Hafan » Paws on Patrol Neath Port Talbot
Paws on Patrol
Paws on Patrol is a crime prevention initiative run by the Community Safety Team in Neath Port Talbot, but there are other areas in Wales also doing something similar, such as Swansea. Community conscious dog walkers in the Neath Port Talbot area are asked to help their local neighbourhood by being the “eyes and ears” of the community and report issues such as Graffiti, Dog Fouling, Faulty Street Lighting, Fly Tipping and Anti-Social Behaviour, and Criminal Activity. The Safer NPT Partnership believes that the over 1000 dog walkers within the County Borough can play an important part in keeping neighbourhoods safer and cleaner. Even the smallest action can have an impact. This scheme links in with existing community initiatives such as Neighbourhood Watch and South Wales Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). At no time are members expected to intervene in any incidents. Their role is to simply report to relevant agencies and to help gather evidence.
Each new member receives a welcome pack containing all the information they need. Regular newsletters are sent out via email which will include up to date information on events, crime trends and advice from the community safety partnership. Newsletters are posted to those without internet access.
Before the pandemic, regular events took place to advertise the scheme, sign up new members, and to be a presence in the community for residents to speak to about any concerns they may have. Events were sometimes targeted at specific areas that were having issues to help inform residents of how to report issues. Where possible, we would invite other partners to attend our events, such as Dogs Trust, South Wales Police, or other internal Council departments.
During the pandemic, we have been unable to engage with existing members and potential new recruits, so it became important for us to broaden the scheme and look at more digital avenues. As a result, new members can now sign up online.
There is also a brand new Paws on Patrol Facebook page, which helps push messages out to members and further promotes the scheme by encouraging online engagement @PawsNPT. A recent post relating to dog theft prevention reached nearly 10k on social media.
The Neath Port Talbot scheme has over 1100 members.
Benefits for members
- Free welcome pack if they sign up at an event, and online members receive an electronic version of the welcome pack.
- Kept up to date with Community Safety Crime Prevention messages from a range of partners.
- Bi- monthly newsletters, and special edition newsletters, as and when required.
- Offer of additional materials to help them feel safe e.g. Feel Safe Scheme, and Dog Theft Prevention Packs (see attached image).
- Equipped with all relevant information on how to report on different community safety issues.
- Opportunity to speak with partner agencies and our team at events.
Events pre-pandemic would offer
- Free basic health check for the dogs from partner agency DogsTrust.
- Free Microchipping and check of the microchip from partner agency DogsTrust.
- Help and advice from DogsTrust.
- Offer of home safety fire check from the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.
- Community Safety and Crime Prevention Advice from the Community Safety Team.
- Free recycling advice and the opportunity to collect new waste equipment from NPT Recycling.
- Free advice and be able to discuss concerns relating to waste crime and dog fouling.
- Crime Prevention advice and police presence from South Wales Police.
- Advice from local housing associations.
We hope to resume events like these in the near future. Events are back up and running but currently on a much smaller scale. We are regularly collecting anecdotal evidence, but otherwise it’s difficult to measure how many people are reporting as they report directly to the agencies.