This blog is mainly about the governance and future of policing and crime services. (Police & Crime Commissioners feature quite a lot.) But there are also posts about the wider justice system. And because I am town councillor and political activist, local & national issues are covered a little, as well.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Community Safety for All

35 years ago, the UN World Health Organisation held a conference in Alma Ata, Kazakhstan and declared that there should be Health For All by the year 2000. It has not happened yet but the idea of ensuring that every person should have access to primary health care is a burning ambition still. (You can read more here and here)

I was reminded of this by this tweet from Chief Superindendent Gavin Stephens who is currently attending the Senior Command Course with the College of Policing:

The video he is referring to can be found at this link. It is 12 minutes and well worth your time. In it, psychiatrist Vikram Patel explains how local people can be empowered to become barefoot mental health workers with some quite dramatic results. He sums what he is proposing by the acronym SUNDER which is Hindi for 'attractive':

Simplify the message
UNpack the treatment
Deliver it where people are
Affordable and available human resources
Reallocation of specialists to train and supervise

When Gavin posed the question, I tweeted back that I have been talking about empowering and enabling citizens to become more able at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour for a while. You can read one of my early posts on this idea here

As the psychiatrist recognises, there are probably never going to be enough mental health professionals to go around to achieve mental health for all. However, there could be enough empowered and enabled citizens around to achieve it instead.

And I think that Gavin might agree with me when I say that there will be never enough police officers and staff to go around to achieve community safety for all. But maybe if more attention was paid to engaging local people in active partnerships to tackle and prevent crime / ASB (using the SUNDAR model for example), we could have Community Safety for All?

What do you think?

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