By Elliott Patrice –
On Wednesday 24th, the police held a contact meeting at the Chestnut Centre. Some people are not familiar with what the point of these meetings are and why they might be useful.
With the lack of knowledge on what this is, we thought we would put together an article explaining what they are and why they take place. Making sure that people in the community of Ashbrow can best take advantage of these contact points.
What is a contact meeting and why are they necessary?
A contact meeting is an initiative run by the police to give people in the community a safe and familiar place to go and raise any concerns with the police. Some people may not feel comfortable going into the police station to make a complaint or provide information that might be useful to the police.
No one wants to be seen as snitching, but this stops people from raising their concerns with the police. Understandably, there is always a fear of reprisals and some people don’t want to get involved in something that might spiral into something bigger.
Then there are also times when you just can’t get to a police station. Whether it is because you can’t take time off work, or because you are new to the area and are not familiar. There are lots of reasons why someone might not be able to go to the police station.
The benefit of these contact point meetings is that they take place in local areas, in places that are familiar to you, and that you can feel comfortable in. There is no stigma with heading into your local community centre, whereas there is some with heading into a police station. These meetings make it easier for the public to come forward and raise issues with the very people who serve and protect the area.
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Relationships with the police have never been perfect, especially in an area like Ashbrow, which has reasons to be a little hesitant of the police. These meetings put officers who work in the community in front of the community to learn more and offer their support.
They are also there to be accountable to the community they serve. If you have issues with the policing in your area, if you have any concerns or worries about anything going on, or you just want to meet some of the people who are on the streets every day looking out for your safety, then these meetings are a perfect place to have your say.
How they work:
How it works is that there will be two representatives from the police, who will be in the community centre for a couple of hours. At any point, you can go in and sit with the representatives of the police and have an in-depth discussion about anything you want.
If you want to provide information, you can walk in and speak to an officer. If you just want to ask questions, you can. These meetings are for the community to take advantage of. Hopefully building a better relationship between the police and the community.
To find more information on when and where a contact meeting might be in your area go to:https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/news-appeals/events