A TASK force dedicated to keeping communities safe has been set up at Perth Community Fire Station – the first of its kind in Scotland.
Around a dozen community safety wardens will now assist fire-fighters across the Fair City and Aberfeldy in helping safeguard homes, tackling anti-social behaviour and protect the environment.
The joint partnership between the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Perth & Kinross Council means the two teams can share services and boost public safety.
SFRS Group Manager Billy McLintock said: “This is a brilliant example of safety partners literally coming together under one roof to protect communities.
“Having fire-fighters and safety wardens working in tandem on intelligence led schemes like this always helps to reduce risk across a broad range of areas.
“But if we can prevent harm from arising in the first place then it’s better for everyone – and this partnership with the council wardens is definitely a way of achieving that.”
Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs Annabelle Ewing added: “The Scottish Government is focussed on integrating public services and promoting the sharing of services through closer collaboration.
“Partnership working between the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and the Perth & Kinross Community Safety Wardens is a great example of this transformative change in action at a local level.
“Initiatives such as this deliver lasting and effective changes and secure better outcomes across the communities we serve.”
Community safety wardens are council staff based at the fire station.
They assist fire-fighters who are carrying out home fire safety visits and can help address any household hazards.
Wardens are also able to engage with more young people and educate them on the dangers of fire-setting.
These prevention tactics are tipped to have further knock-on benefits such as reducing hospital admissions, deterring bogus door-knockers and providing support to isolated individuals.
Depute Convener of Perth & Kinross Council’s Housing & Communities Committee Councillor Harry Coates commented: “This is a terrific initiative on the part of Perth & Kinross Council’s Community Wardens and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, (SFRS).
“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our Wardens and SFRS on the excellent partnership working they have achieved to date in tackling water safety and domestic abuse as well as carrying out home safety visits.
“These initiatives are already well established in this area and help protect residents across Perth and Kinross. Working closely at the Fire Station can only help to develop these relationships further.
“I am excited by this development and it has the signs of proving to be a successful model of good practice that other local authority areas may wish to follow.”