A day of community action has taken place to tackle arson and anti-social behaviour on Daventry’s Southbrook estate.

On Tuesday, March 6, members of the Daventry District and South Northamptonshire Community Safety Partnership visited Southbrook residents to share home fire safety advice, promote Neighbourhood Watch, and survey their thoughts and concerns about where they live.

The event is the latest stage of Operation Unite, a campaign to tackle arson and anti-social behaviour issues in and around Daventry town centre. It was launched in December by the Arson Task Force, a joint initiative between Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Andy Evans, of the Arson Task Force, said: “Through Operation Unite, our aims are to reduce anti-social behaviour and fire-setting across Daventry, and to educate homeowners about keeping safe in their own property.

“We also wanted to talk to local people about their concerns and direct them to the help that’s available. Today has been about bringing the community safety partnership together to help make the area a better place for everyone.”

Representatives from the task force, Northamptonshire Police, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, Daventry District and Town Councils, housing groups Futures Housing and Bromford, and Northamptonshire Emergency Services Cadets visited residents and delivered advice packs throughout the day. 

Local residents joined volunteers from Olympus Care and Daventry Volunteer Centre for a litter pick supported by Daventry District Council (DDC). A total of 18 volunteers filled 25 bags of rubbish and collected eight trollies, while Futures Greenscape removed larger items no longer wanted by residents or which had been flytipped.

Enforcement officers from DDC served seven written warnings to households with excess waste outside their property, while a Council Dog Warden worked alongside representatives from the housing associations.

The Partnership thanked Tesco for donating food for the volunteers and Daventry McDonalds, who provided discount vouchers as well as free teas and coffees.

Kevin Fagan, community partnerships manager at Daventry District Council, said: “For the second phase of Operation Unite, we’ve come to the Southbrook estate as a lot of arson incidents have occurred here. We want to look at educating the community and helping people take pride in their area to help prevent future issues.

“It’s great to see so many partners supporting this work. In times of austerity it’s about bringing agencies together and being most effective, and working together will get a better result.”

Duncan Timbs, crew manager at Daventry fire station, added: “We’ve had a great reception from residents today and shared some potentially life-saving advice. It’s great to work with so many people all dedicated to improving life for the Southbrook community.”

Residents interested in starting their own Neighbourhood Watch groups will be supported by the Daventry area Neighbourhood Watch support team (DANWST).

Group chair Andy Crisp said: “We already have one active scheme in Anson Close and are looking to increase support and participation in the area. Schemes can be street or area based and will bring real benefits to residents.”

Teams set out from a temporary base at Danetre and Southbrook Learning Village in Hawke Road, where Operation Unite will be funding the delivery of educational theatre performances by Solomon Productions.

Senior deputy head Katie Towers said: “We have a really good relationship with the police, fire service and our community. By working together with the children and parents, a really good relationship has been developed and it’s great to see everyone here today.”

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