David Simmons and
the Minister of State,
the Rt. Hon. John Denham M.P.

National Community Safety Network – “The Future”

The past 12 months have seen the most significant milestones in the history of the National Community Safety Network (NCSN) in two ways:

Firstly, members will recall that last year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) built on previous mandates to the National Executive Committee (NEC) and fully endorsed the Network’s 5-year Business Plan, which was presented as the mechanism for taking the Network to the next stage of development: A Company Limited by Guarantee and Charitable Status.

Secondly, for the first time a Minister of State, the Rt. Hon. John Denham M.P. addressed a Network conference and indicated the importance to the government of the Network’s role in supporting practitioners across the community safety field.

A meeting was arranged between NEC members and senior Home Office representatives. This resulted in a Business Case being drawn up for presentation to Ministers to request funding for future NCSN development. The funding application was successful, and a two-year funding package was agreed. Our ‘Business Case’ contains comprehensive targets, which were constructed around the needs of our members and from feedback received from them.

Since then a great deal of progress has been made, and the NCSN is now incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee, and has been granted charitable status. The Network’s Articles of Association clearly identify its role and that of its members in promoting positive action in development of safer communities. Although over the years we have been able to input to and impact upon national policy, this new status allows the Network to have wider influence on a much sounder footing than previously was possible.

A National Co-ordinator will shortly be appointed, and after that other appointments for Information and Regional Development Officers will follow. An office location has yet to be agreed, but there will be a central point for Network business in the near future.

Moves have already commenced to develop regional links through our members to the Government Offices, a process that will gather pace over the next 12 months or so. We see this linking into training and partnership development needs and an aid to identifying how the Network can best play a part in the development of solution to these.

As we move the organisation to a professionally representative status, it is important that we all remember that the roots of the Network are firmly grounded within our membership and the needs of our members. The NEC would like to stress that this approach, by members for members, will continue to be the foundation on which the National Community Safety Network will develop.

In these exciting times, it is important that you, the membership, play your part. I would therefore like to encourage you to consider how best that may be achieved, perhaps by getting involved nationally as a Director, regionally as a representative or co-ordinating/running a regional training event with other members and your Government Office. We have the opportunity to grasp the future, but the development and shape of the network depends on you and your support.

David Simmons
National Community Safety Network