Engagement 'ambassadors' at the heart of every community

Merseyside / September 02

A team of community engagement officers will act as “ambassadors” for the Merseyside Police Commissioner, enabling her to better understand the public’s priorities across the region.

A team of community engagement officers will act as “ambassadors” for the Merseyside Police Commissioner, enabling her to better understand the public’s priorities across the region.

The six-strong team will be the eyes and ears of Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy in the heart of every community. They will build on the work of the previous team of six introduced by the former Police Authority in 2002 and funded by the Labour Government’s “Invest to Save” initiative.

Since taking office last November, a key priority for the Commissioner has been meeting and listening to the needs of people across Merseyside and responding to their concerns. She has travelled extensively around the region attending public events and roadshows and visiting diverse organisations.

Now, the Commissioner has put in place a dedicated community engagement officer for each of the Force’s six Basic Command Units (BCU) – Sefton, Liverpool North and South, Wirral, Knowsley and St Helens – in order to further strengthen relationships with organisations, groups and members of the public in each area.

The officers will attend public events and meetings, meet with community, voluntary and faith groups and listen to the concerns of people in the many communities of Merseyside. They will then report directly to the Commissioner to ensure she has a broad understanding of the work carried out by partners and community organisations in each area.

Commissioner Kennedy said: “I am delighted that my community engagement team is now in place and out meeting people from all the different communities of Merseyside.

“It is absolutely essential to me that I understand the concerns and needs of people across our region. I am committed to tackling the issues that impact most upon our communities to ensure Merseyside continues to be a safe place to live.

“By creating this team, I am providing a channel by which all organisations, charities, community and voluntary groups and members of their public can have their voices heard and ensure their concerns can be directly addressed by me.

“It will also enable me to make informed and balanced decisions on how community safety money should be spent on Merseyside to address the region’s priorities.”

The team of engagement officers will be headed by Norma Kielty-Crummey, who worked for the Merseyside Police Authority (MPA) before it was replaced by the Commissioner in November 2012.

Lucy Johnson, who also previously worked for the MPA will cover the Wirral region, while former Force trainer Mike Berry will be the Commissioner’s engagement officer for Knowsley.

Kim Dawson and Matthew Garlick will work in Liverpool North and South respectively, with Matthew also covering St Helens, while Jenny Currie will represent the Sefton area.

Each of the officers will also be committed to building relationships with under-represented groups, including the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community, those from racial minorities and people with disabilities.

The Commissioner has already created a Youth Advisory Group, made up of young people from across Merseyside from a variety of backgrounds, who she will meet regularly to gain a better understanding of their concerns.