Dallow Cares - community initiative aiming to make Luton a better place for all
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A new community-based campaign to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in part of Luton has got underway with a brand designed by local schoolchildren alongside a targeted fortnight of police activity.
The campaign, which has been named ‘Dallow Cares’ by children at Dallow Primary School, is hoping to galvanise the local community and ensure a safe place for residents to thrive by tackling crime and promoting participation and pride.
It is the start of a long-term plan involving local agencies such as Bedfordshire Police and Luton Council working alongside voluntary and community organisations.
Following initial discussions with local community groups and residents, particular concerns around drug dealing, knife crime and the criminal exploitation of young people were highlighted, along with wider issues that negatively impact life in the neighbourhood such as parking, litter, and anti-social behaviour (ASB).
In an initial wave of activity, police dedicated resources to tackle the issues raised and looked to apprehend those involved in criminal networks. Throughout the intensification period, officers:
Seized 1,200 deal-sized amounts of class A and class B drugs, along with £2,650 in cash, 22 burner phones and three knives
Arrested 11 people for offences including supplying class A and class B drugs
Undertook warrants at six addresses
Gathered substantial intelligence related to a range of potential criminality
Representatives from Bedfordshire Police also took part in two engagement events alongside the council and with the support of the Mayor and local community leaders, to meet with community groups and residents.
These focussed on solutions to issues such as knife crime, drug-related criminal activity, and diverting young people away from crime and violence.
Colleagues from Luton Council also took part in high visibility patrols in local parks searching for items that could cause harm to park users, where they found a number of illegal deposits of waste which were reported and removed.
Officers also took part in foot patrols in the area, engaging with residents around environmental issues such as fly tipping. Civil enforcement officers also carried out several patrols and enforcement, issuing tickets for vehicles unsafely parked.
In addition, the council’s Trading Standards and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) visited several shops in Dallow and seized illicit vape pens and cigarettes, while providing guidance on several other areas.
The ‘Dallow Cares’ name was chosen by children from Dallow Primary School, who also created a logo for the initiative to represent their commitment to making the community a better place for generations to come.
Detective Chief Inspector Katie Dounias, who is leading on the activity for Bedfordshire Police, said: “It has been really inspiring to speak with residents in Dallow and understand how passionate they are about their area and their dedication to helping it - and the people who live and work there - to thrive.
“Our initial operational activity has led to some really positive results and again comes on the back of working alongside the local community and other stakeholders. We will now be looking to develop this even further by working hard to stop criminality and prevent people from being drawn into it in the first place.
“But we increasingly see with these types of issues that this is not just a policing problem. We cannot arrest our way out of this.
“We know that for the campaign to succeed we will need to continue to work hard as a partnership to help Dallow flourish, and we’re committed to making sure this happens over the months and years to come.”
Vicky Hawkes, Neighbourhood Services Manager at Luton Council, said: “The initial work that has been carried out by our teams has resulted in some positive outcomes. Our officers have been out and about in local parks, dealing with issues such as fly tipping and anti-social behaviour, as well as involved in sign posting to services where people have needed help and support.
“It’s so important for us to engage with local people when carrying out this kind of work so we can get to the bottom of issues that are important to them and we continue to work with our partners, so we are tackling local problems in a holistic way.”
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