Around Ealing April / May 2019 | Page 27

COMMUNITY SAFETY Paw patrol Charles is an English springer spaniel and a drug detection dog. He is part of a team patrolling our parks, open spaces and the council’s housing estates, helping to keep residents safe. T he Parkguard team of officers and dogs has been working with Ealing Council and Ealing Police since 2012 – spotting potential trouble, referring vulnerable people to support services and gathering information on anti-social behaviour and crime for the police and council to use. They can also enforce the council’s public space protection orders (PSPOs) that are in force in various parts of the borough to keep public areas safe. Joe Lazone, Parkguard’s west London services manager, said: “The patrol officers take great pride in patrolling the borough and enjoy it. The combination of parks, open spaces and estates we cover means they encounter a wide range of issues and each patrol can be very different to the last. We are very well received by the public and are regularly stopped and thanked for keeping those areas safe.” On any given day, there could be up to four officers out on patrol. They have used their dogs over the last year to help the police and council carry out 582 searches for drugs and 356 searches for offensive weapons. Joe said: “Over the years, we have completed thousands of weapon sweeps, removed hundreds of knives, located numerous drug cultivators. “But I would say nearly 75% of our work consists of harm-reduction activities such as homelessness referrals, welfare checks on vulnerable individuals, referrals to drug at full stor y Read the / wsextra.c ealingne ol /paw-patr features and alcohol services and other safeguarding matters. We have referred hundreds of people into support services and offered reassurance to thousands of residents.” ‘VERY USEFUL LAYER OF SUPPORT’ Councillor Joanna Camadoo, the council’s cabinet member for community safety and inclusion, said: “Parkguard patrols add a very useful and welcome layer of support to the police and the council by providing an additional presence in the community. As well as increasing public reassurance and building relationships, the patrols have proven adept at disrupting anti-social behaviour and gathering intelligence. Alongside enforcing the law, they deliver valuable support with wider community issues and referring homeless people to outreach services is just one of the very human elements of their work.” around ealing    April/May 2019 27