Two men have been working hard to reduce the fear of crime in a by dfhrf555fcg


									Two men have been working hard to reduce the fear of crime in a city parish.
They found time in a hectic schedule to speak to reporter ROB GIBSON of

John Cowling and John Franklin share a common goal - they have been
charged with the arduous task of making Shenley Church End a better place
to live and work.
As Police Community Support Officer and Parish Warden respectively, their
work is funded by the parish council, although PCSO Cowling receives his
duties from Thames Valley Police. These duties include confiscating alcohol
and tobacco from under-age consumers, dispersing groups acting anti-
socially and stopping cyclists from riding on the pavement. In addition he
keeps an eye on parking, carries out road checks on vehicles, arranges the
removal of abandoned vehicles and the seizure of others, such as Mini Motos,
which may cause alarm or harassment to local residents. His work is centred
on the Community Safety Partnership's core agenda to reduce crime, fear of
crime and anti-social behaviour.

PCSO Cowling said: "Patrolling the streets is a great way to make residents
aware of the true level of crime and anti-social behaviour in the Parish. This
is often much less than residents think it is and engaging with them enables
me to identify any potential problems and to deal with many of them before
they escalate into criminal activity. A lot of what we do is about visual
presence, so people see someone out there doing something about it.
Especially with John here, we can act as a crime deterrent, for example to
kids who are drinking on the streets. I can seize the alcohol off them and take
their details."

Parish Warden John Franklin represents the Parish Council and provides
retailers, residents and children with vital links to local schools, youth groups,
the Council and the probation service. A glance at a week in his diary reveals
a busy and varied schedule. It begins with a meeting with the Parish Clerk,
Chrissy Ashby, followed by a foot patrol of Shenley Church End. He then
talks to a group of children at the local secondary school about the experience
of being bullied and discusses some possible strategies to avoid being bullied.
Next, he attends a Halloween event organised by the Parks Trust and tells
ghost stories. Part of the job involves keeping a check on the environment
and at a meeting with MK Council's wildlife officer, he has the chance to raise
concerns about two ponds that need cleaning. The pair are currently
overseeing the regeneration of the pond area, work carried out by community
offenders from the probation service. John is also a walk leader on the
Primary Health Care Trust's 'Walking for Health' programme. He understands
the importance of meeting both the younger and older generations within the
Parish and has already worked as a youth leader at the newly established
Crownhill Youth Club.
He frequently attends coffee mornings with older people living in sheltered
accommodation. John said: "If I can't fix a problem, then the chances are that
I know a man, or woman who can. The area is better now than it was 18
months ago and the level of anti-social behaviour has gone down. It's
definitely tidier and there's less graffiti. We've been to other parish councils in
Milton Keynes and it seems it makes a difference if you have got somebody
doing our kind of job, actually on the ground. I love my job because it affords
me the potential to meet with everyone living in, working in, or just visiting the
Parish; and to work with them to make Shenley Church End an altogether
better place to be."

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