Crime rates half after introduction of wardens

Crime rates half after introduction of wardens

Crime rates on a formerly crime ridden housing estate have halved following the introduction of community wardens.

The success of the initiative, believed to be the first venture of its kind between housing association tenants and the police, is now being studied by the SFHA as a potential solution to the national scourge of neighbourhood crime.

The unique action by Reidvale Housing Association, which manages 950 properties in Glasgow’s Dennistoun area, involved buying 750 hours of police time from Strathclyde Police over the last 12 months at a cost of £15,000.

The scheme translated into two officers policing the area for four hours in the evening, two nights a week. Overall, the weekly cost to each household in the area was just 30p.

The results, which show a dramatic fall in reported incidents and an increase in the quality of life for local residents, are likely to re-ignite the debate over police numbers and the application of police resources, particularly in light of the forthcoming election.

Although official figures have yet to be published, the scheme has been monitored by the Urban Studies department of Glasgow University. A draft report shows a total reduction of reported incidents of 44%.

The association’s own records show that acts of vandalism which required their attention, including graffiti and damage to tenement close doors, fell from 232 to 150, saving it £2,200 in repairs.

What distinguishes the scheme from other crime-busting efforts under the Scottish Executive’s Better Neighbourhood Services Fund is that the association initiated and funded it independently.
Source: Sunday Herald.