Volunteers gathered for an annual conference to decide the future of community safety in Harrow.

The Neighbourhood Champions scheme, which offers ordinary neighbours training in their efforts to support police officers, the fire brigade and council enforcement teams in keeping their area free of crime, was rebranded to Community Champions as the Labour administration stamp its identity on a scheme set up by the Conservative opposition.

Hundreds attended the conference on Wednesday at the Kadwa Patidar Centre, in Kenmore Avenue, Harrow, including Harrow’s police borough commander Simon Ovens, fire brigade borough commander Richard Claydon and leader of the council David Perry.

 

Addressing the room, Mr Perry said: “There has been a lot of negative talk about why we are altering the scheme, but we have not made the change to community champions for the sake of it.

“We see potential in really expanding what the champions are. We want to broaden our base of champions out to the whole community.

 

“Tonight is an opportunity for us to listen to what you have to say, and how we can pull together for the better, how we can get younger people involved and what other duties our volunteers can contribute towards.”

The champions took part in a series of workshops, discussing scenarios and how they would be able to use their local expertise to aid the authorities.

Mr Ovens and Mr Claydon talked the audience through how both the police and fire service got about its work, and how volunteers can continue to help them prevent crime and emergencies across the borough.