FENLAND: Who you gonna call? Try CrimeBUSters says Safer Partnership

WATCH out, CrimeBUSter s about – and it could be coming to a village near you. But there s nothing to fear. The purple, single-decker bus is the Safer Fenland Partnership s latest move in its drive to make people feel even safer. The bus is part of a jo

WATCH out, CrimeBUSter's about - and it could be coming to a village near you. But there's nothing to fear.

The purple, single-decker bus is the Safer Fenland Partnership's latest move in its drive to make people feel even safer.

The bus is part of a joint project by Fenland District Council and other partner organisations, including the police and Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Although crime is relatively low in Fenland compared to other parts of the country, some people still tell us that they feel insecure.

Consequently, the new bus aims not only to reduce actual levels of crime. but also to cut the fear of crime.

CrimeBUSter will provide detailed information and advice on how to stay safe.

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Over the next 12 months it will be used to run about 80 local "surgeries" all over the district - at least four a year in 19 villages.

It will also visit areas at short notice to respond to particular local concerns about crime.

The bus will also be geared up to deliver a range of other practical services to those who find it difficult to get to our four town centres.

Projects that it will support include the Golden Age fairs for older people, road safety campaigns and efforts to tackle drug and alcohol problems.

Councillor Ken Mayor, Chairman of the Safer Fenland Partnership and portfolio holder with responsibility for safer, stronger communities, said: "Reaching out to people in rural areas presents a big challenge.

"All too often, it is the most vulnerable in our community that would benefit from advice and support, but cannot leave their homes to get it. This project is a major step forward in meeting that challenge."

The bus, which was previously used by the BBC Radio Manchester, has been given an extensive makeover by the council's CrimeBUSter team.

It is now equipped with mobile internet access, a private area for confidential discussions with service advisors and a selection of crime prevention equipment that is available free.

Finishing touches are now being put to the vehicle before it hits the road next month. From March 23 it will be touring the villages of Fenland and will be on show in Wisbech market square on March 27.

Chief Supt Mick Gipp, Cambridgeshire police's central division commander, said: "I'm really excited about this new initiative.

"Cambridgeshire police is working with our partners more and more to solve local problems.

"This brings us all even closer together and under the same roof as the community affected. It will allow local people to have face-to-face interaction with those who serve them.

"The bus will contain a whole library of advice leaflets and if questions can't be answered by someone on the bus, there are computer links to each organisation to enable people to get the help they need."

Mick Lawrence, Fenland District Manager for the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "We are thrilled that this bus is now in existence. It will ensure that all agencies are working together to help make the people of Fenland safer in their homes and out on the streets."

As well as delivering a programme of community safety events, the vehicle is available for other organisations to hire.

For details, call Fenland District Council on 01354 654321 and ask to speak to the CrimeBUSter Coordinator.

Look out for more details on the CrimeBUSter programme over the coming weeks.

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