Headlines: June 7th, 2002

A further 22.5 million pounds is to be directed towards the provision of 300 more wardens to help the Police tackle fear of crime and anti-social behaviour in crime hotspots.The wardens also play a community role by fostering social inclusion and providing a friendly face to turn to for society’s most vulnerable people.

Wardens are a key part of the National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal, launched by the Prime Minister in January 2001, which aims to narrow the gap over the next 10 to 20 years between England’s most deprived communities and the rest of the country.

The Home Office and Office of the Deputy Prime Minister have already contributed to an 86 million pound pot for neighbourhood warden schemes nemploying 750 wardens in more than 200 schemes. The new announcement will increase the number of street wardens to 1050.

Government Offices, in conjunction with Regional Crime Directors, will identify which hotspots will benefit from the new wardens within the 10 police service areas of the Met, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Liverpool, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Thames Valley, Nottinghamshire, Avon and Somerset, and the West Midlands.

The street wardens are seen by many as the model of low-level policing for the future, and provision for them to be officially given some lesser Police powers is planned in the Police Reform Bill. See PublicNet Briefing, 28 January 2002.