Select Committee on Home Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Annex A


  An established and successful Home Office funded community warden scheme currently operates in the Thornton estate area in Hull. It comprises six full time neighbourhood wardens with administrative support operating from a community safety one-stop shop located in the estate's main shopping parade. Wardens underwent two months training prior to commencing their duties and this training was certified and conformed to national guidance.

  A steering group that consists of local residents and representatives from Kingston Upon Hull City Council, housing associations, local businesses and a local resource centre manages the team.

  The main purpose of the scheme is environmental clean up, deterring anti-social behaviour, reducing the fear of crime, fostering social inclusion and crime prevention. It is linked to other community safety projects in the area, including an innovative community focused CCTV initiative.

  The wardens do not directly intervene in crime situations or become involved in enforcement. They wear a uniform to enable them to be easily recognised but not confused with police officers.

  A key aim of the wardens is to provide an additional link between the community and the police and, by building up information about the estate, to assist in the better targeting of police resources. Conscious efforts are, nevertheless, made to ensure that, whilst the respective roles of the parties are complementary, they do not overlap or duplicate.

  The success of the scheme has centred on its desire to operate as part of the community, rather than work with it, and on the commitment to deliver on its promises to take effective action in response to identified need.

  Whilst no formal evaluation of the scheme has yet been undertaken, recorded crime levels in the area have fallen by 50 per cent over the last two years and anecdotal evidence points to a sizeable contribution to this position having been made by the operation of the scheme.

  The scheme steering group had no desire to seek any form of accreditation that would confer police powers as they actively sought not to adopt any form of enforcement role for the neighbourhood wardens.


  There are several warden schemes operating or planned in Lancashire.

  A pilot scheme is currently being run by Lancashire police with the intention of utilising traffic wardens in a wider role as community liaison officers. Lancaster University will undertake an independent evaluation of its success. Some of the elements of the scheme are as follows:

    —  During the course of the pilot a number of traffic wardens wear different uniform and are deployed to a specific estate in the area.

    —  They are referred to as community liaison officers and their role is to provide targeted high visibility patrols in locations and at times where they are accessible to members of the public in order to provide reassurance.

    —  Their role is non-confrontational and includes provision of crime prevention advice, liaison with persons who have been victimised, and dealing with community problems.

    —  Whilst under the direction of the police, community liaison officers are expected to liaise with appropriate local authority departments in respect of accessing services ie removal of litter or graffiti.

    —  A shift rota seeks to maximise availability at times when the public requires community services.

  Whilst this scheme has yet to be concluded and evaluated, early indications are that it has been well received by the public. Additionally, a good working relationship has been developed with local police officers. Final figures are not yet available to show whether there has been any significant effect on crime and disorder offences but the effect on public reassurance appears to be very positive.

  Another scheme is planned in Accrington by the Hyndburn Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership. The wardens will cover environmental health issues in relation to the cleanliness of the areas, crime, disorder, vandalism, and anti-social behaviour. The scheme is currently seeking twelve personnel who will be employed by the Council and be allocated geographically but based within Accrington police station (council staff are already operating within the police station monitoring the town centre CCTV system).

  The wardens will operate with short wave radios linked to the town centre retail premises and licensed premises radio scheme. Warden patrols will work seven days per week and be flexible, but targeted in the main during the afternoon period during 2 pm and 10 pm. The main activity will be providing patrolling activity from school closing time onwards.

  In order to achieve public confidence and reassurance the wardens will wear uniform that is smart, highly visible and give a sense of authority. It will also clearly make them distinct from the appearance of police officers. The wardens will have collar numbers and name badges and will be in possession of cards that they can give to the public identifying where and to whom a complaint can be made which will link to the Council complaints procedure.

  The role of the wardens in both these schemes is seen to be fairly "passive" (rather than confrontational) and the need for additional enforcement powers has not been identified.


  Exeter City Council introduced a pilot community patrol service in 1994 when two part-time staff patrolled council housing estates outside the normal office hours during the evenings and at weekends. In 1996 the pilot scheme, together with the existing park patrols, were consolidated into a new community patrol service. Staffing numbers were increased to eight and the operational times extended from seven in the morning until midnight, daily, throughout the year. The service extended its operation beyond council housing areas to deal with issues across the city.

  A community wardens scheme was introduced in April 2001 to concentrate on community related issues in a specific area of higher density accommodation to the north of the city. Four community wardens are allocated to various areas in this part of the city and to focus on anti-social behaviour, the fear of crime and community and environmental improvement issues. The wardens act as facilitators and their main aim is to empower residents to address issues of concern within their neighbourhood.

  A system of programmed patrolling has recently been introduced to target incident reports and referrals from a number of sources. This enables the targeting of resources at areas where problems have been identified and to displace certain types of petty crime and anti-social behaviour. Neither the patrollers nor wardens are there to intervene in public order offences, to respond to drunkenness, aggression, criminal damage and other criminal offences although intelligence and information is referred to the police as appropriate.

  Both community patrollers and neighbourhood wardens support the local community safety strategy. They:

    —  Provide high visibility patrols across the city.

    —  Report environmental problems.

    —  Monitor nuisance and anti-social behaviour.

    —  Report acts of vandalism.

    —  Provide an immediate response to out of hours complaints particularly relating to nuisance and anti-social behaviour.

    —  Liaise with the police.

    —  Attend public meetings.

    —  Liaise with local neighbourhood groups, residents' associations and neighbourhood watch monitoring public health nuisance.

    —  Report abandoned cars.

  In addition, community patrollers:

    —  Provide a safe environment in the city parks and open spaces.

    —  Provide a security watch for empty council houses and public buildings.

    —  Lock public parks.

    —  Conduct detailed inspections of public play equipment.

    —  Enforce dog fouling, littering and parks regulation bye-laws.

  Community wardens:

    —  Seek partnership opportunities for environmental improvement.

    —  Provide active links between the public and service providers.

    —  Provide an out of hours patrolling service dedicated to an area of high density private sector housing.

    —  Liaise with the university, student bodies, and hard to reach groups on community safety and anti-social behaviour issues.


  There are a number of warden type schemes operational in Cheshire, all of which are operated through either a local authority or a housing association. They perform a number of care-taking roles within the community.

  In the case of wardens employed by Congleton Borough Council their primary function is to provide a high visibility uniform presence within the area. Additional duties include taxi licensing enforcement, graffiti, park patrol, addressing minor levels of anti-social behaviour, monitoring CCTV, and are empowered to enforce local bye-laws, litter and dog fouling. The police are involved in the initial training programme. The Congleton scheme currently employs six wardens who are required to cover the whole borough. Data from the recent local crime and disorder strategy audit indicated that a high percentage of the borough's residents were unaware of the warden scheme, which was originally intended to fulfil its high visibility presence. This may therefore suggest that this scheme is not able to fulfil its high visibility role with so few wardens on the ground at any one time.

  Cheshire Constabulary, in partnership with the local council, is currently developing a warden scheme which would come directly under police ownership/management. The project, which is an extension of the successful Blue Christmas initiative (a visible policing campaign run during the Christmas period in the main shopping centres of the borough), intends to combine uniformed police officers and wardens, providing a high profile presence to the retail sector.


  There is a diverse set of warden schemes operating within the police authority area.

  Since April 2001, Darlington Borough Council in the Darlington Police Division, has had in place a warden scheme operating powers in relation to anti-social behaviour, litter, graffiti, dog-fouling. Consultative meetings and surveys have shown that a uniformed visible authoritative presence on the streets has had an impact in providing reassurance.

  In Darlington there is a youth offending and community safety service which is an integrated multi-agency service comprising staff from both police and the local council. The service is concerned with quality of life and community safety issues and covers a range of partnership activity (crime and disorder, drug action teams, youth offending teams etc) as well as local authority, probation, police and health services. It is funded jointly by the local authority, the NHS and the police authority. It has been commended by HMIC.

  The uniformed wardens are managed by the youth offending and community safety service. Their main responsibilities are to:

    —  Work with the police and others to promote safer communities.

    —  Liaise with residents on crime prevention.

    —  Expand crime reduction responses and develop crime reduction capacity in the borough.

    —  Expand and initiate neighbourhood watch schemes in collaboration with the police.

  Durham police trains uniformed wardens and there is a mixture of permanent and temporary posts. The uniformed wardens are popular with the public in Darlington, with the recent joint police and local authority best value review of street safety in Darlington reporting that over 80 per cent of people wanted a warden in their area.

  In Darlington, uniformed wardens share intelligence with the police and are utilised in certain policing operations. The recent best value review carried out by police and the council recommended that sufficient uniformed wardens should be secured to cover each of the ward areas and to work as part of the beat management teams alongside beat officers and specials.

  Within the area there are also dog wardens, environmental wardens and a technical officer to deal with abandoned vehicles. Work is in hand to enhance the coordination between these various wardens.

  In the Sedgefield area the crime and disorder programme includes a community force team. The community force team consists of a team of 11 people working shifts and offering a patrol function in conjunction with the police. The team share intelligence with the police and attend police briefings. The feedback from public meetings demonstrates that the team is highly valued by the communities it serves and that it is making a difference to community development.

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2002
Prepared 7 May 2002