Nick Clegg visits Newton Abbot
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg MP has been finding out more about partnership work to tackle anti-social behaviour as he paid an official visit to Newton Abbot today.
During an hour long visit to Teignbridge District Council’s headquarters and a local youth reparation project, Mr Clegg met Police, council and fire service representatives, along with residents helped by the work of the South Devon and Dartmoor Community Safety Partnership (CSP).
Superintendent Sarah Sharpe and Acting Superintendent Jim Meakin, along with Teignbridge Council’s Chairman Cllr Stephen Purser, accompanied Mr Clegg as he found out more about a safer-driving initiative and met people whose lives were improved by CSP work to tackle individual offenders.
Mr Clegg even lent a hand with some bird-box making and bike repair at the Making Amends Project, a horticultural community reparation scheme for young offenders based at Cross Park Nursery in Newton Abbot.
Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister said:
“Teignbridge is a clear example of an area where the authorities are working well together and with the community to tackle an issue which is important to local people. Today I have seen first hand the enthusiasm and drive that helps make the partnership so successful, and it should be commended for its work.
“It is clear that local people play a key role in helping solve issues in their communities, and I personally thank all those Teignbridge residents who have stood up to offenders and worked alongside the police and council to help make things better.
“I have been involved in restorative justice initiatives in Sheffield and I am always keen to support projects which offer a smart approach to cutting crime by preventing the young offenders of today become the hardened criminals of tomorrow.”
Superintendent Sarah Sharpe from Devon and Cornwall Police said: “South Devon is a low crime area, with reported crime falling even further each year for the last six years. One of the reasons for this is the strong partnership approach across South Devon and Dartmoor, tackling the underlying causes of crime and anti-social behaviour.
“We’re delighted to have had this opportunity to share our approach with Mr Clegg. By pooling our skills and resources we are able to fully support local people as we work together to ensure people can enjoy their homes and neighbourhood peacefully and safely.”
One of the key projects discussed during the visit was The Honest Truth, a partnership between the Police, Teignbridge Council, South Hams District Council, West Devon Borough Council, the Fire Service and local driving instructors to help teach young drivers about the risk of anti-social driving.
Launched in November 2010 with a budget of just £750, the project has gone on to attract another £6000 of external funding and has signed up over 170 driving instructors to the scheme.
By signing up they agree to raise the issue directly with all of their pupils, providing Honest Truth literature and additional support where required.
The scheme has seen strong regional interest and it is hoped it can be rolled out nationally this year.
Release date: 11/02/2011 16:20
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