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Bury MBC's pioneering community safety wardens are attracting international visitors back to the town once more. ...
Bury MBC's pioneering community safety wardens are attracting international visitors back to the town once more.

Just days before the brand new user friendly service is due to begin on December 1, a team of Dutch experts, led by Peter Oosting, who came to the borough in September of this year, are to see for themselves the progress that has been made. In fact such has been the success of the Bury project, that the team from Holland, who are all involved with similar schemes in their home country, are hoping to learn new lessons that they can make use of.

Nationally, Bury is a pioneer of the community safety wardens scheme, with a hand-picked team of eight set to patrol the town centre area offering friendly advice and assistance whenever it is required. At the same time, the wardens will also be able to assist the police in tackling petty crime and act as the eyes and ears for various agencies, including the council, which will all help to make the streets even safer. It is also envisaged that they will not only be operational in Bury town centre, but may well establish patrols in other town centres around the borough, depending on the success of the initial pilot scheme.

Bury MBC leader Derek Boden said: 'We have had a steep learning curve in order to get everything in place for a December 1 start up, but we have drawn on the expertise of others and we are very confident that things will go well. Our initiative is one of just two in the country and is being backed by Single Regeneration Budget funding with

additional European support. We have taken advantage of those links with the continent in order to take advice not only from Holland but also Italy, Belgium and France. Our wardens, who have been recruited from the long term unemployed in the town, have now almost finished what has been an intensive period of training and they will soon be out on our streets. Their job will be to keep a watchful eye on the town centre. They will also be active in crime prevention, warning shoppers of wallets or purses within easy reach of thieves and preventing cycling and other banned activities in pedestrianised areas. But most of all we want them to be the friendly face

of Bury. They will be our ambassadors on the street and we believe they will significantly boost the warm and welcoming reputation that the town already enjoys.'

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