The online community policing platform does not replace in-person PACT meetings in Blackpool

A digital platform has helped more people engage with police than in-person PACT meetings, which ‘attract only a small group of community activists’, according to a police freedom of information letter. Lancashire.

Lancashire Talking was rolled out from January 2020 and took off during the pandemic. It is linked to the In The Know police community messaging system.

But Dave Blacker, chairman of the Talbot PACT group, argued that the online forum will not replace the need for their monthly meetings.

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Blackpool Police and community organizations insist they need to work together if they are to tackle anti-social behavior in the city. Pictured L-R: PCSO Martin Taylor, Blackpool Council Neighborhood Services Manager for the Central Area Hugh Wignall, Dave Blacker, Chairman of the Talbot Ward PACT, and Jamie Robinson. PHOTO BY ROB LOCK 11-4-2013

Dave said, “In The Know can send PCSOs down your street, but that’s different. It’s about building trust between one human being and another. It doesn’t come with just one visit. Building relationships with the police and the community in person is absolutely vital.

Monthly meetings allow the public to raise issues with their Neighborhood Policing Team and local Neighborhood Councilors. The public can set a priority, if there is a problem that the police need to deal with in the area.

Over the years, they’ve tackled persistent dog poo and campaigned to stop a bank branch on Whitegate Drive from closing in 2017.

They fought against the installation of a mobile phone mast in a conservation area in 2021.

And they’ve helped police solve crimes, including antisocial behavior and counterfeit goods.

“Our members provide vital information. It might just be one thing that doesn’t mean much on its own, but it can make all the difference.

Lancashire Police wrote that the new platform allows people to do so using a poll, which integrates with the In The Know force’s community messaging system.

Blackpool users have grown from 3,000 in January 2020 to 8,500 in May 2022.

David added, “E-readers haven’t replaced physical books. It’s a massive assumption to think that everyone is reached with technology. There is room for both types of commitment.

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Meetings are held monthly at the Guards Club on Whitegate Drive. Some people are regulars, while others step in when they have a problem to raise.

And they also receive special guests to share their expertise.

Cllr Jane Hugo, conseillère du quartier Talbot, a déclaré: «[Lesgenspeuvent}soulignerleurspréoccupationsconcernantleursexpériencesduquartierparexemplel’ASBlevolàl’étalagelessalissuresdechienslespropriétésdélabréeslavitesseetl’étatdesroutesLeprésidentdemanderaaufonctionnaireconcernéderépondreet/ouderapporterunrapportàlaprochaineréunion»[Peoplecan}highlighttheirconcernsabouttheirexperiencesoftheneighbourhoodforexampleASBshopliftingdogfoulingrundownpropertiesspeedingandroadconditionsThechairwillasktherelevantofficialtorespondand/orbringareportbacktothenextmeeting”[Lesgenspeuvent}soulignerleurspréoccupationsconcernantleursexpériencesduquartierparexemplel’ASBlevolàl’étalagelessalissuresdechienslespropriétésdélabréeslavitesseetl’étatdesroutesLeprésidentdemanderaaufonctionnaireconcernéderépondreet/ouderapporterunrapportàlaprochaineréunion »[Peoplecan}highlighttheirconcernsabouttheirexperiencesoftheneighbourhoodforexampleASBshopliftingdogfoulingrundownpropertiesspeedingandroadconditionsThechairwillasktherelevantofficialtorespondand/orbringareportbacktothenextmeeting”

Jane holds her operation after the PACT meeting. She added: “It is important that the local community can share their concerns, hold officers and elected officials to account and highlight priority issues for the region.”

In addition to solving crime, meetings are a hub for local information and community spirit.

Residents learn about events at Stanley Park and about litter pick-up.

Ian White, CEO of Chorlton Hotel and Stay Blackpool, is a regular at Talbot PACT meetings. He said: “The community is learning from the things that are happening, many of which are positive. There are times when things have a detrimental impact on our lives. The meeting has a huge role to play in the journey towards restoring order.