Community Safety Wardens
Help combat crime in your local area by becoming a community safety warden. Wardens are kept safe from physical risks and act to tackle fear of crime and assist crime prevention. They target unwanted activities such as vandalism, littering and graffiti. They work with local police to make their communities safer, more pleasant places to live.
Role of a Community Safety WardenRoles vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. Wardens are allocated a uniform to give them status and make them identifiable. Although they do not tackle criminals directly they are a valuable link in community policing and help combat crime in a variety of ways.
Get out on the streets to create a visible presence and talk to members of society from lots of different backgrounds and groups. Encourage people to be vigilant and to report crimes. Inform local authorities about problems such as fly tipping, unlighted areas and derelict buildings or other problem areas which may attract antisocial elements. Develop relationships with local shops and businesses and exchange information and advice to enhance a shared sense of community so that people actively participate in keeping their area safer.
Community safety wardens may be given the authority to issue fines for littering and go out into the community to give talks and presentations to community groups or local schools. They enhance local security by checking on empty buildings and support vulnerable members of society such as children and the elderly so that they do not feel isolated or afraid for their safety. For example they can give valuable advice on dealing with bogus callers and empower people to increase the security of their homes.
Who can get Involved?Almost anyone can apply to become a community safety warden. No specific qualifications are required for volunteering. Common sense, respect for confidentiality, maturity and integrity are the most important skills as well as an ability to communicate with many different kinds of people. It helps to be able to listen to people and to withhold personal judgements. In some cases a driving license is useful and because there will be some paperwork involved to record information basic reading and writing skills are usually required.
Because some of the work is outdoors and involves patrolling it is helpful to have a reasonable level of physical fitness.
Training and SupportCommunity safety wardens are part of a team and can expect initial training and the opportunity to gain skills and experience by working alongside more experienced wardens. There may also be the opportunity to attend talks and training run by the police and there is also now an NVQ available in Community Warden skills.
Not only is the role a sociable and rewarding one in itself but it also offers opportunities to gain skills for life and to enhance job prospects. Wardens will develop communication, confidence and leadership skills as well as an increased awareness of crime prevention and local community and police initiatives. Although this is a voluntary position there are also paid careers in this area in some local government regions so if this is of interest it is worth contacting the local council for more information.