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 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
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
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
Report environmental problems.
Monitor nuisance and anti-social
Report acts of vandalism.
Provide an immediate response to
out of hours complaints particularly relating to nuisance and
Liaise with the police.
Attend public meetings.
Liaise with local neighbourhood groups,
residents' associations and neighbourhood watch monitoring public
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.
Conduct detailed inspections of public
Enforce dog fouling, littering and
parks regulation bye-laws.
Seek partnership opportunities for
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
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
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.