12 March 2008
Gwent Police has picked up an accolade at the Excellence Wales Awards for its local collaboration in Public Services.
Excellence Wales is a Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) event, which recognises good practice across a range of public services.
They received a commendation in the 'Our Council – Collaboration in the Public Services' category for the Community and Neighbourhood Directed Operations (CANDO) initiative. It is a joint operation between Gwent Police, Caerphilly County Borough Council and the Safer Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership.
CANDO is an initiative that works with communities throughout Caerphilly County Borough to identify local solutions to local problems, providing a high visibility presence to tackle the identified issues.
To date, seven CANDOs have been held in areas including Caerphilly Town Centre, Blackwood Town Centre, Pontllanfraith, Pengam, St Cattwg, Penyrheol and Twyn Carno.
CANDO was first introduced to address perception levels of crime and disorder, which despite decreases in crime were disproportionately high. Much of this was being determined through low-level 'signal' crimes that are often linked to anti-social behaviour, such as broken windows and graffiti.
The initiative therefore encourages partners to work together and involve the local community in making their CANDO a success.
Communities are first consulted on problems in their areas, before an action plan is implemented to address those issues, by utilising the resources from all of the partners.
Past operations have seen efforts to increase awareness of security and crime prevention as well as undertaking graffiti removal, litter-picks, removal of abandoned vehicles, fly-tipping and stray dogs.
Operations to target youths committing anti-social behaviour and identifying licensed premises that sell alcohol to underage drinkers have also been included in CANDOs.
Chief Superintendent for C Division, and Chair of the Safer Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership, Alun Thomas, said: "I am delighted that the CANDO initiative has been recognised for the full range of benefits it can bring to the local community. By identifying the problems that are affecting residents and making a targeted approach of resources to address them, the communities where the CANDOs have been held have seen positive results. It is a great example of how by working together with our partners, and most importantly, local residents, their quality of life can be improved."
Leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council, Cllr Harry Andrews said: "It is indeed tremendous news that such a positive, worthwhile initiative has been recognised for the benefits it brings to local people. These operations truly show partnership working at it's best – long may they continue."
Gwent Police Authority Chair, Cilla Davies, said: "It is great news that the CANDO project has been commended at the Excellence Wales Awards, which showcases best practice in Wales. This initiative most definitely demonstrates how, by engaging with our local communities and working with our partners to apply local solutions to highlighted problems we can help to make a difference to those communities."
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