Welcoming our Wardens
Although they have been busy making a difference in our town since April, the Town Council would like to formally introduce our Wardens to Progress readers.
Led by Mick Kendall, we are fortunate to have such a credible and comprehensively experienced team of Wardens, which as well as Mick at the helm includes JJ Mootealoo and Jamie Riggs.
Pleased that their collective skill set dovetails perfectly with what the Littlehampton Wardens need to do, Mick told Progress:
“JJ’s experience includes work with Turning Tides where she helped people who were homeless and other vulnerable people, and also with LGBT charities and as a Warden in London. Jamie has experience of running children’s homes and working with problematic young people. He is really good at interacting and engaging with young people and is very good at spotting drug deals - we recently submitted some intelligence gathered by Jamie gathered that was of particular interest to the police.”
As for Mick himself, his experience spans 43 years in law enforcement.
“I spent 9 years in the Army with the Royal Military Police, then 25 years with Sussex Police. The last 10 years of that was as a Specialist Traffic Officer. I then went to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency as a Traffic Examiner Investigator, and then East Sussex Highways to run the Enforcement and Licensing team and then, finally, I was a Highways Inspector.”
Keen to be known as a reassuring and pro-active presence in the Town, Mick is quick to point out that Wardens are NOT the police.
“We liaise with the community; engaging with them and signposting them to other agencies. We have been instrumental in getting two people rehoused from the streets in our first ten weeks, for instance. We have submitted paperwork that will give us minor police powers, that means we can, for instance, remove alcohol from people who are demonstrating antisocial behaviour, but we don’t have general Police powers.”
Clear that interaction with the community is the backbone of what the Wardens do, Mick and his team want people to introduce themselves when they are out and about.
“We have been distributing fliers outlining what we do and don’t do and that have our pictures on. That way people have can put faces to the names. There is also contact information on there, too. We want the support of the community and to know what their problems and issues are.”
Agreeing that sometimes people simply don’t know where to direct their concerns or complaints, Mick and his team will always help to point people in the right direction.
“We see ourselves as part of the community and for the community. The Littlehampton scheme has been modelled on the Warden scheme in Horsham, which has been running for five years now. We have learnt a lot from Horsham, which is proof that it is an initiative that works.”
WHAT WARDENS CAN AND CAN’T DO:
What Wardens can do to assist the community:
• Provide a reassuring, uniformed patrolling presence
• Provide an efficient eyes and ears service aimed at reducing fear of crime
• Report environmental crime issues, notably dog fouling and littering, and help to preserve the environment
• Reduce incidents of criminal damage and anti-social behaviour by taking intervention and/or enforcement action where necessary and liaising with the Police
• Support the community by encouraging the establishment of activities for young people
• Support vulnerable members of the community by preventing isolation
• Offer advice on crime prevention and fire safety in the home
• Work in partnership with other agencies to help benefit the community
• Act as professional witnesses
What Wardens don’t do:
• Wardens are not a replacement for the police
• Wardens are not an emergency service or response team. Crime and anti-social behaviour should be reported to the police directly
• Wardens do not work 24/7 (and so at times a Warden may not be on duty)
• When dealing with the elderly and vulnerable, Wardens are not there to provide a care service. They can, however, signpost to the relevant agencies
• We are not parking wardens and cannot issue parking tickets
How to contact the Wardens: Mick - 07385 412090, J.J. - 07385 412092 and Jamie - 07385 412091
Find out more about the warden's roles in this flyer.