The Blackburn BID (Business Improvement District) has revealed the two new fresh faces joining the policing team of police community support officers patrolling Blackburn’s Town Centre, thanks to investment from levy payers.
The BID funded PCSO appointments are Emma Donaldson (24) and Hasim Sattar (19) who will be working with a team of seven police officers, one sergeant and an existing PCSO to increase the police presence in the town centre as part of measures to make Blackburn safer and more secure.
The Mall Blackburn’s Security Manager and Chairman of Blackburn Businesses Against Crime (BBAC), Ronnie O’Keefe said: “No other town in the North West has invested in this level of police presence around their town centres.”
He continued: “Shoplifting is causing a problem for certain areas in Blackburn. In particular the shops on Townsmoor Retail Park mainly caused by the number of hostels within walking distance around town. The BBAC will work with the new PCSOs to combat shop lifting and reduce anti-social behaviour in partnership with other partners.” Hassim, from Bolton who has a retail background himself, is being placed on Townsmoor with a focus on building relationships with the traders and customers. He said, ‘It’s a new challenge and I’m looking forward to finding out what the issues are facing the businesses in this area.’
Emma who comes from the Wirral will be initially focussed on patrolling the Blackburn College campus and surrounding businesses. She studied at UCLAN and has a foundation degree in policing. She has also been a special constable for the last two years. She said, ‘I’m looking forward to the opportunity to get to know the area and meeting people as part of my work.’
Inspector Victoria Crorken, Neighbourhood and Partnership team BwD said: “Despite the current economic climate, I’m proud that Blackburn has a relatively low crime rate in the town centre and that’s because of a high detection rate. This is a result of a partnership approach to tackling crime and anti-social behaviour. We all recognise the importance of engaging partners in the town to support the on-going regeneration that we can see around us and making the place safe and secure is part of the wider investment in making this a more attractive place to visit. The job of the PCSOs is to enhance that investment by building relationships with business owners, local communities and improve the overall engagement between the Police and the people who work and visit Blackburn.”