Veterans in Warrington to receive training

Alert message sent 16/03/2021 17:29:00

Information sent on behalf of Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire

Members of an army veterans charity will be offered training to help maintain and protect bikes following a rise in bicycle thefts in Warrington. 

It’s thanks to funding from police and crime commissioner David Keane’s Community Police Fund. The training sessions will look to upskill the veterans enabling them to develop their skills in bicycle maintenance and bike marking, which will then be provided to Warrington residents free of charge.

The Armed Forces Community Support Hub is keen to support local residents to maintain their bikes, especially since the large rise in bike usage as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown. Many residents now rely on their bikes to travel safely to and from work and the group are eager to help them stay on the move.

The hub will work with their local community policing team to host an event at the Green Cabin, in Orford Park. The event will provide free bike marking to residents and enable them to seek advice and guidance on how to secure their bikes when not in use.

Once trained, the veterans will be able to fix and service bikes for those who ordinarily couldn’t afford to pay for repairs. The volunteers will be on hand to ensure bikes are road worthy and work alongside the bike owners to develop their own understanding and skills.

Orford has some large areas of deprivation which can often lead to high proportions crime being reported.  There has been an increase in bicycle thefts locally so doing more to protect them will definitely help.

Many of the army veterans using the centre have mental health issues and find it hard to reintegrate within the community.  The group hopes the project will help them to interact and engage with the wider community and aid their rehabilitation.

The project is set to launch with the help of Jack Wilkinson, the dedicated PCSO for Orford.  Jack worked with the veteran’s hub to develop the concept and submit an application to the commissioner’s community policing fund.

PCC David Keane said: “it is great to see how many veterans are being supported by the hub in Orford. Many of our armed forces veterans report feeling isolated or lonely after leaving the military and projects like this help us to ensure they can connect and build relationships with people in their local community.

“Not only will we help the veterans to improve their mental wellbeing, the project will also enable residents to gain access to free services which are vital to making our communities safer.

“Bicycle marking alone won’t stop thefts but it will help to raise awareness and reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim, as thieves will know the bike is protected and marked.”

The Community Police Fund is a new fund which has been provided to all 122 policing communities in Cheshire. Community police officers and PCSO have been working with local residents to develop bids of up-to £1,000 to fund projects which address local issues. 

The fund has been developed using money seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act (PoCA) 2002. It also links directly to the recently launched initiative to increase police visibility in every community by providing a dedicated Police Constable and PCSO for all 122 areas. 
Message sent by
Caroline Tozer (Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, Head of Engagement and Policy, Police and Crime Commissioner)

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