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Lowestoft scheme making an IMPACT

PUBLISHED: 14:32 13 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:29 05 July 2010

MULTI-agency events, which have been held in Lowestoft and across Suffolk, form part of a successful scheme that tackles anti social behaviour and various concerns in local neighbourhoods.

MULTI-agency events, which have been held in Lowestoft and across Suffolk, form part of a successful scheme that tackles anti social behaviour and various concerns in local neighbourhoods.

And this week, one of the key figureheads involved with the community safety partnership in the Waveney area, spoke about her role co-ordinating IMPACT events across Suffolk.

Working to make communities safer, Charlotte Foster - who as well as being a member of the Waveney CSP is a community safety officer for Suffolk County Council - said: “One of the key things I do is co-ordinating IMPACT events across Suffolk. IMPACT stands for 'intensive multi-partner agency co-ordinated team.'

“It means getting together many different organisations including the fire and rescue service, other county council services such as trading standards and education welfare, the police, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, district council services such as waste management, environmental services and community safety, and voluntary groups,” she said.

“By getting together we can tackle problems in an area in a 'short, sharp, shock' style event.”

Examples of this in Lowestoft have been seen during an IMPACT day held in the Gunton area in 2005. Here a multi agency sweep of the estate was hailed a success as vehicles were removed, 15 bags of rubbish was cleared, police carried out 4,630 vehicle checks and the DVLA carried out 2,705 automatic number plate recognition checks.

Explaining the details behind the swoops on targeted areas, Ms Foster said: “Teams from different organisations walk to a specific location - usually an estate or a small area of a town - and take action to deal with areas of concern.

“This might be enforcement actions, arrests where required, issuing fixed penalty notices cleaning and removing offensive graffiti and removing abandoned vehicles and rubbish. We also make sure we put in place some support for communities to help make sure that they can sustain their new environment.

“Organising an IMPACT event can be quite hectic, but it's worthwhile when you see the difference it makes to a community,” she added.

The IMPACT logo is now worn by all officers on their high visibility jackets when the events are held, to identify all of the numerous partners who are part of the IMPACT team.

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