Volunteers are being recruited to help deliver fire safety and crime prevention advice

VOLUNTEERS are being recruited to help deliver fire safety and crime prevention advice to neighbours and nearby residents.

Essex Police and the fire service have launched the scheme to help make people safer in their homes at a time when the police force is facing £63million cuts by 2020.

The volunteers will carry out regular hour-long visits in their own communities and deliver crime prevention and fire safety advice, fitting of free smoke alarms and letting people know where to get the best health and wellbeing guidance.

In July 2015, the scheme received a £77,544 grant from Essex County Council to launch a two year pilot across Essex.

All of the volunteers undergo training by both police and fire service officers so they have the knowledge they need to deliver messages on behalf of both organisations. Two volunteers are already working in Wivenhoe and another 10 are nearing the end of their training and will soon be helping people in villages across the county.

Stephen Kavanagh, chief constable of Essex Police said: “The enthusiasm and community spirit of parish safety volunteers will be put to best use – making our communities safer. For both the police and the fire service it’s really important that we provide the right training so volunteers can give out vital guidance to residents on fire safety and how to make their homes more secure. Every smoke alarm fitted and every lock securing a shed or security light putting off a would-be burglar adds value to the work parish safety volunteers are doing.”

Acting chief fire officer Adam Eckley added: “The scheme is a fantastic example of the collaborative work taking place between us and Essex Police as we work together to make Essex safer. This is a community based scheme and by using volunteers we are able to forge vital links in these communities which will live on long after the safety visit has taken place."