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Community safety

CCTV, neighbourhood policing, public spaces protection orders and more

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What is Community Safety?

Torridge is one of the safest places to live, work and visit in England and Wales, and we should be proud that the level of recorded crime still remains low. However we should never become complacent and that is why your Community Safety Partnership work together in partnership to reduce crime and disorder, protect the vulnerable, and to help everyone feel safer.

Who make up your Community Safety Partnership?

Torridge District Council Officers and Elected Members work closely with representatives from:

  • Devon and Cornwall Police
  • Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue
  • Devon County Council
  • Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Community Rehabilitation Company (Probation Service)
  • Northern Devon NHS Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Devon Public Health
  • Business community representative(s)
  • Social Housing providers representative(s)
  • Voluntary and community group representation

How we assess our local crime priorities

All work undertaken by the partnership is overseen by The Safer Devon Partnership at Devon County Council who annually produce a Devon Strategic Assessment. From this assessment The Partnership then assess the local crime priorities and consult with partners and the local community about how to deal with them.

Everyone would like to live in a safe community where there is no fear of becoming a victim of crime, where they feel safe in their homes and going about their daily lives.  Community Safety concerns us all and by working together we stand the best chance of making Torridge a safer place to live, work and play in.

Torridge District Council works as part of the Safer North Devon community safety partnership to improve the quality of life for residents in Torridge, by reducing crime and disorder and improving community safety and security.

We work closely with the Police, Elected Members and other community and voluntary organisations about issues that concern residents.

Torridge District Council contributes to the delivery of a wide range of initiatives, including:

  • Anti-social Behaviour Orders, which tackles the worst cases of anti-social behaviour in the District
  • Prolific Offenders Scheme, working with offenders to change their behaviour
  • Bideford Radio Link and other similar schemes - working with businesses in the town centres to reduce crime.

These are just some of the projects which together aim to have a real impact on residents and making people feel safer.  Our approach is to:

  • Improve security to reduce the opportunity for crime
  • Work with offenders and potential offenders to change behaviour
  • Raise public awareness of both the true incidence of crime and our work to reduce the fear of crime

Preventing Exploitation

The Safer Devon Partnership has developed an online toolkit to tackle the threat of exploitation. This toolkit will help frontline workers learn about, identify and report exploitation happening in Devon and the surrounding area.

The toolkit can be accessed at The toolkit is designed for anyone who, through their paid or voluntary work, may encounter people who are vulnerable to exploitation.

The toolkit will help people to:

  • gain an understanding of exploitation happening in their local area
  • gain an understanding of the factors that can make people vulnerable to exploitation
  • identify signs of exploitation
  • report concerns that someone is being exploited
  • receive guidance and support about working with people who are vulnerable to exploitation
  • advance their personal development through gaining a greater understanding of exploitation

Bideford CCTV Partnership

The Bideford Town Centre CCTV System has evolved from the formation of a partnership between Torridge District Council & Devon & Cornwall Constabulary

Bideford Town Centre CCTV

The objectives of the Bideford Town Centre CCTV system are as follows:

  • To help reduce the fear of crime
  • To help deter crime
  • To help detect crime and provide evidential material for court proceedings
  • To assist in the overall management of Bideford Town Centre
  • To enhance community safety, assist in developing the economic wellbeing of the Bideford area and encourage greater use of the Town Centre, car parks etc
  • To assist the Local Authority in its enforcement and regulatory functions within Bideford area
  • To assist in Traffic Management
  • To assist in supporting civil proceedings which will help detect crime
  • Any other specific objective identified by the owners or partners of the scheme

Bideford Town Centre CCTV system comprises of a number of PTZ (operator controlled) and fixed cameras which are installed at strategic locations throughout Bideford. The cameras are manned by fully trained and experienced operators who operate the system in accordance with The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), TDC Codes of practice and TDC CCTV policy. Cameras record constantly and images are retained for 28 days before being overwritten to comply with GDPR.  All recordings are securely held within a restricted access office within Bideford Police Station and are only accessible by authorised personnel.


Torridge District Council CCTV

We use CCTV cameras to view and record individuals on and around our premises in order to maintain a safe environment for staff and visitors.  However, we recognise that the images of individuals recorded by CCTV cameras are personal data which must be processed in accordance with data protection legislation.  As a controller, we have registered our use of CCTV with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and seek to comply with its best practice suggestions.  Locations of all TDC sites operating CCTV can be seen In the Torridge District Council CCTV policy.

Devon and Cornwall Police - Torridge Neighbourhood Policing

Devon is committed to delivering a policing service that reflects the different needs and concerns of local communities.

To achieve this, Neighbourhood Policing Teams have been established in local communities, supported by additional 24-hour patrolling officers and specialist officers such as detectives, dog-handlers and traffic-officers. The force area has been accredited as the third safest place to live in England and Wales.

Our aim is to ensure local people are confident in their local police, that they are safe and they feel Torridge Sector is a safe place to live, work and visit. We have had some real successes in reducing crime and anti-social behaviour across Torridge, but there is no room for complacency as we know this is of little comfort to those of you effected by crime or disorder.

There are some real challenges which are often difficult to overcome and in order to do so we rely on the assistance of our local communities to work with us. This strong community spirit is prevalent across Torridge, our work is made that much easier because of your support and information.

Northern Devon Radio Link Scheme

The Northern Devon Radio link scheme is managed by Torridge District Council, and currently has schemes running in Bideford Town Centre, Bideford Rural (Northam and Westward Ho!), and Torrington.

The scheme provides local business with a handheld back-to-back radio, with permanent talk through capability. This means that members can communicate with each other, the CCTV Control Room, and PCSOs.

Information regarding crime, disturbances, and nuisances are transmitted, and members can also use the scheme to request assistance from others.

The objectives of the Northern Radio Link are to:

  • promote and increase the safety of members and the public.
  • reduce the levels of actual crime and address the fear of crime.
  • provide training for all members, to ensure effective use of the radio scheme.
  • improve communication between members.
  • regulate the management of the radio scheme.

The Northern Devon Radio Link scheme allows users to talk to each other directly or make a broader circulation regarding persons that are causing a nuisance, disturbance or committing a crime. These communications can also include information about likely offenders they know to be in the town centre.

Radio Link may also be used periodically to provide information about stolen cheque books and credit cards. With this information being passed between members of the scheme businesses are kept up to date of persons who have been acting suspiciously in other shops and businesses, enabling them to protect themselves.

Members of the scheme have access to all other users, including the Town Centre CCTV Control Room. The Police also monitor the system when appropriate, and the PCSO's can communicate via the system, providing a support network.

If you are interested in finding out more about the scheme or would like to become a member, please contact:

Richard Haste, Operational Services Manager
Telephone: 01237 428963

Public Spaces Protection Order

A Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) is designed to stop individuals or groups committing antisocial behaviour in a public space.

Preventing Extremism

While there is no specific threat to Devon, the UK faces a continuing threat from both international and domestic terrorism and its important that the public remain alert. Together we can fight terrorism and extremism to keep our communities safe

Preventing Violent Extremism (Terrorism)

We do not stigmatise any community or look to criminalise people for holding extreme views. Instead we seek to prevent individuals from using, or promoting, violent activity as a means of promoting these views. These views can be religious, political or a specific issue such as animal rights.

Report it

If you see or hear anything suspicious, be it a vehicle, package or person - report it. It's difficult to define what makes something suspicious so we advise people to rely on instinct. Something just not right, makes you concerned or uncomfortable? - report it.

If there is an immediate threat to life, call 999

Information from the public is acted upon and potential security risks are taken seriously. This might mean that sometimes roads are closed and buildings evacuated, but we are sure that people in the region understand that public safety must always be the first concern and would react in their usual patient manner. 

We are also sending a clear message that we will take action to protect the right of all communities to pursue their way of life as they wish, free of the fear of violence and intimidation. 

Vigilance on the part of the public is one of the best ways of preventing and detecting crime, including terrorist crime. We firmly believe that communities defeat terrorism. Please report if you have any suspicions - it doesn't matter if it proves to be a false alarm.

For more information, see the Safer Devon website

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