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District Dispatch - 16 January 2024

We're very proud of the vital work that our Community Wardens do to help people feel and keep safe in our communities.

Councillor Tracie Bangert, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing

If you live in Chichester East and Whyke; Chichester West; Tangmere and Oving; Selsey; or The Witterings, you will probably have seen our friendly Community Wardens in and around your area. They are a fantastic group of people, so do say hello if you see them.

Their work ranges from liaising closely with local police and dealing with environmental issues, to carrying out checks on older people or the vulnerable in their communities.

They also develop community projects that are hugely beneficial for local people. A great example of this is a fantastic initiative that Rich Moorey, our Community Warden for Selsey, has been working on with the Selsey Care Shop to help protect some of the area's most vulnerable residents.

Rich has been working with the Selsey Care Shop for the past year to conduct in-person welfare checks on vulnerable residents when volunteers are not able to contact them during their daily 'good morning' check-in calls. In some cases, Rich found that a resident had fallen or was unable to reach the door and so, as a result, he came up with a simple and cost-effective idea to help improve people's safety and peace of mind — by encouraging residents to install special key safes.

After approaching the Chichester District Joint Action Group with his idea, he was awarded £650 which has been set aside for Selsey Care Shop to order key safes when requested by a resident.

The key safes mean a resident can keep a key securely outside their home. This can then be accessed by a trusted family member or carer so that they can gain access to the property in an emergency. The money will fund 60 key safes and Rich has already installed 30!

Rich, who was previously a Police Community Support Officer in the area for 14 years, is also very involved in helping people spot the signs of scams. One recent case of a rogue trader that Rich dealt with involved an elderly man in his 80s at risk of losing £3,000 before Rich was able to assist! Since joining the district council in the summer of 2022, Rich has teamed up with a number of local groups and organisations to run sessions offering tips and advice on avoiding scams.

All of our Community Wardens are digital ambassadors. This means that they have received training to give them a better understanding and knowledge of scams, which is being used as a safeguarding tool for residents in their areas.

If you're concerned about scams, the free Get Safe Online website checker (opens new window) has lots of information and advice that residents can use to protect themselves. Citizens Advice also offer an online scam checker (opens new window) tool that you can use if you are suspicious about websites or messages you may receive.

Collectively, our Community Wardens operate seven days a week on a shift pattern. If you live in one of the areas mentioned and want to contact your community warden, you can find all of their contact details on the Community Warden webpage.

Although our district is a safe place, all areas experience issues of crime and disorder to some extent and so we all need to take proactive steps to ensure our area continues to be a safe place to live, work and visit. This is why we have a Community Safety Partnership, which is a group of local agencies that closely monitors crime rates, anti-social behaviour issues and community tensions, so that we can quickly provide a multi-agency response and put solutions in place. If you're interested in this work, you can find lots more information about the group on the Community Safety webpage.

Best Wishes

Cllr Tracie Bangert

Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing at Chichester District Council