The Canterbury Community Safety Unit
The Canterbury Community Safety Unit started moving into its current premises in the autumn of 2009.
The unit is based at the Canterbury City Council offices in Military Road, Canterbury. Previously the CSU was based at Herne Bay Police station, with the unit created in 2003.
The CSU brings together police and council staff all under one roof to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour. The aim is to improve the quality of life of those who live, visit and work within the Canterbury district.
The unit does not get involved in one-off incidents but steps in if an area becomes regularly affected by anti-social behaviour or other crimes. Within the unit the police and council share information as well as working together on prevention, intervention and enforcement.
The joint working means nothing slips through the net and that knowledge and resources can be shared. Also the answer to an issue can rarely be found by the police, the council or other agencies working alone. The aim is to find longer term solutions to problems by working closely together.
Community Safety Manager Doug Rattray said: “Police and council staff working in the same room makes sense. Each day we can easily share information and discuss the best way to tackle issues. We have found that taking joint action can be much more effective.”
Day to day staff in the unit could be involved in issues such graffiti, nuisance drivers, criminal damage, alcohol related crime, drug misuse, fly tipping or student safety – to name just a few. The day begins with a briefing of events which have happened over the weekend, or past 24 hours, with police and council staff working together to decide on actions and solutions.
The Police bring into the unit officers who deal with anti-social behaviour, licensing, safer schools, architectural liaison, community liaison, crime prevention and joint family management programmes, as well as Police Community Support Officers.
The Council brings into the partnership the unit’s management, community safety officers who cover the city centre, the rural areas and the coast and community safety support officers. There is also a close working relationship with departments within the Council such as parking, housing, licensing and environment.
Also within the unit is the Canterbury City Council CCTV monitoring equipment.