Police officers in Roffey for neighbourhood initiative today

JPCT 140114 S14030035x South Holmes Road, Horsham -photo by Steve Cobb ENGSUS00120140114101548
JPCT 140114 S14030035x South Holmes Road, Horsham -photo by Steve Cobb ENGSUS00120140114101548

Officers from Horsham police will be in South Holmes Road, Roffey today (Thursday April 10) to raise awareness of the ‘Think Family’ initiative.

All those living on the South Holmes estate will be surveyed by police.

Residents will be asked to give their views on crime and anti-social behaviour, the environment, unemployment and the community.

The area of north Horsham has previously been notorious for drug-related crimes, and is the subject of a police project to improve the neighbourhood.

South Holmes Road has been chosen as one of the first places in West Sussex to be targeted by a government initiative to support vulnerable families in turning their lives around.

It has been renamed ‘Think Family’ by West Sussex County Council and Horsham police have been taking the lead with this particular project in Roffey.

By answering the questions today, police say residents will be able to help shape the future of their community.

Speaking in January, PC Jonathan Walker said they hoped to reduce joblessness, anti-social behaviour, and child truancy.

PC Walker explained: “What we want to do is find what they would like and how we can move their neighbourhood forward.”

He continued: “The most important thing is the community feels empowered.

“There’s no right or wrong answers to this and we have to try and test things.”

He hoped the project would give residents a ‘greater sense of community resilience and pride’.

Sergeant Chris O’Leary said: “It’s all very comparative. When you look at the data for South Holmes Road, whilst it may have a reputation as not being particularly great in terms of crime the statistics do not back that up as crime is very low.”

He added: “When you compare [it] to the rest of West Sussex and the national picture Roffey is not a big problem. It’s just the district has to identify areas to focus on.

“There are in effect other areas that will have exactly the same treatment, it happens Roffey has been given the attention first.”

Roger Wilton, chairman of North Horsham Parish Council, said: “There was drug dealing over there at one time but has now been sorted out and this involved arrests, people put in prison, or evictions, and I think that’s pretty good.”

Sergeant O’Leary is leading the project along with the help of other agencies, including West Sussex County Council, Horsham District Council, Roffey Parish Council, London & Quadrant Housing, Youth services, Roffey Methodist Church and many more.