Workers urged to play their part

PUBLIC sector workers across Suffolk are being urged to “play their part” to reduce anti-social behaviour and the fear of crime.

PUBLIC sector workers across Suffolk are being urged to “play their part” to reduce anti-social behaviour and the fear of crime.

This week saw the launch of a new video and hotline aimed at the county's 50,000 public sector workers, from housing officers to library assistants.

It is hoped that the video, produced by Suffolk Films, will be shown staff over the next 12 months, and will encourage them to work together to make a positive impact in the county.

Alan Keely, of Suffolk County Council's community safety unit, said: “We wanted to find a way to encourage all our staff to play their part.

“Although Suffolk is a very safe place - one of the safest places in the country - that isn't always the perception that people have.

“Because of the way that communities are changing, people are less likely to know their neighbours, for example, anti-social behaviour such as speeding and graffiti can give the impression that things are worse than they are.”

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It is hoped that by combining their resources, the different agencies such as fire safety and social work can solve problems in less time than it would traditionally take.

Mr Keely said: “For example, we have fire safety officers but they can't go to everyone's house and check their smoke alarms are working.

“Care workers visit people in their homes. All it would need would be for them to press the test button when they are visiting someone and if there is a problem, it can be reported.”

A new hotline, administered through the Customer Service Direct service, has been set up where staff from any branch of the public services can report any problems they come across.

Examples of issues that can be addressed in this way include road potholes, uneven pavements, faulty street lights, fly-tipping, graffiti, abandoned cars, speeding drivers, noisy neighbours, dog fouling, rogue traders and vandalism.

The scheme is part of Suffolk County Council's plan to fill its obligations under the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act, which gives local authorities the responsibility of improving community safety.

Is anti-social behaviour a problem in Suffolk? Have you been a victim? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN, or e-mail

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