It’s finally here, the launch of The Community Safety Podcast created by someone who has become a wonderful and quite unique friend of mine, Jim Nixon.
I connected with Jim last year on LinkedIn; we had a chat and found the more we were saying, the more we were singing from the same hymn sheet. Before I go on and using Jim’s words from his Community Safety website, I’ll quickly explain what Community Safety is.
Community Safety is the use of skills, knowledge and techniques, to prevent and reduce crime, disorder and fear of crime and develop safer communities in which to live, work and visit. Community Safety affects us all in society, it's all our responsibility to improve communities. Some main issues affecting communities in today’s society are violence, knife crime, mental health, alcohol abuse, drugs, child exploitation, anti-social behaviour and many many more.
What makes our friendship unique? Well, Jim is a passionate Community Safety Professional who has been working in this field for 25 years. He worked as a Police Officer for over 20 years. He specialised in Community Policing to improve communities. He worked some challenging areas with the West Midlands and is very proud of his track record. In 2016, Jim left policing and specialised in Community Safety. He worked as a Community Safety Manager with a housing association tackling anti-social behaviour and wider community safety issues. In 2018, Jim moved to become the Anti-Social Behaviour Operational Lead Manager at Stoke-on-Trent City Council. During his time with the council, he has transformed the ASB service and has reduced ASB in some areas by up to 50%.
History shows I have never had a great relationship with our boys in blue. Sworn enemies wouldn’t be an overstatement. I can’t say that the police always treated me fairly, but I can say I don’t blame them. They and I gave as good as we got. When I was a young teenager and my mates and I were bored, we would sometimes phone the police on ourselves just to liven things up a bit. Nothing like a police chase to get the blood running. Yes, I am fully aware of how irresponsible that was of us; we were aware then. I suppose the difference now is a better understanding of consequence, both direct and indirect. It was not long until the police and the courts had had enough of this little shit. At 15 they sent me off to get some short, sharp, shock at a place called Her Majesty’s Detention Centre Blantyre House in the beautiful rolling fields and hills of Cranbrook in England’s garden, the county of Kent. Coincidentally, I was chauffeured there by the police. How it was in those days, police cars, Black Maria’s and coaches were the modes of transport for prisoners. However, as I mentioned, that is now all history and experience.
I haven’t mentioned this to Jim yet, but since we’ve been in contact and our friendship has grown, I often wonder how my life could have turned out if Jim was walking the beat in my hometown, if Jim had nicked me as a kid. It would have been impossible of course as Jim and I are close to the same age, only a few months between us, but someone like Jim. My dad was friends with one of our local bobbies. They used to drink in the same pub, but ‘Jock’ would only take me home rather than nick me followed by a warning to my dad, coincidentally also Jim, not to let me out again that night or I will end up in a police cell. About as far as my early intervention went. Again, though, that is now history and experience.
Talking of experience, The Community Safety Podcast launches tonight at 7.00 p.m. with three incredible guests. (Keep it to yourselves, but I am also going to be a guest on Jim’s podcast soon)
Guest 1 – Dr Grace Robinson
Dr Grace Robinson completed her PhD in 2019. Using Merseyside as a case study, her research focused on gangs, Child Criminal Exploitation and County Lines. Grace is the Executive Director of Black Box Research and Consultancy Ltd; a nationwide criminal justice consultancy providing Expert Witness Testimony, commissioned research and educational workshops. She is also employed by the University of Nottingham as a Rights Lab Research Fellow in Modern Slavery Perpetrators and Organised Crime, where she is researching the effect of Covid-19 on Child Criminal Exploitation and County Lines drug supply. For the past five years, she has participated in interviews, podcasts, workshops and lectures to students, practitioners, faith groups and members of the public, and has been an invited speaker at numerous academic and practitioner conferences across the UK. Grace is able to offer independent Expert Witness Testimony on Criminal Exploitation, Forced Labour, County Lines drug supply and trafficking for the purposes of County Lines operations.
GUEST 2 – PAUL WALMSLEY
Between 2006 and 2011, Paul was ‘Britain’s Most Wanted’ – spending five years on the run from the police on European shores. Acknowledging the certainty of a lengthy spell in prison, he handed himself into the Police in 2011 and was sentenced to 10 years for a drugs conspiracy. Whilst in custody he was awarded numerous accolades for creative writing and published a book; Just an Ordinary Decent Criminal which is a Koestler Trust, double-award winning piece which gained him a writing scholarship. The book reached number #3 in the Amazon Kindle rankings. Paul is now a qualified life coach, humanistic counsellor and NLP practitioner. Lecturing about the desistance theory (To desist from criminal behaviours by using educational creativity, the arts and music) in Universities across the north-west, he regularly participates in intervention projects in the Merseyside area to help and guide young people.
Guest 3 – Tracy Jones
Tracy has over 15 years’ experience working within Anti-Social Behaviour and Community Safety Services. She has worked for Manchester City Council as well as Wigan Council. Tracy has successfully managed different teams within both a Local Authority and Social Housing context, including the management of a front-line ASB service, ASB enforcement case management service, management of specialised ASB projects. Tracy has strategic management expertise as well as an in-depth understanding of community safety partnership working.Tracy now works in the learning and development industry as a Digital Learning Consultant for Me Learning Ltd, providing digital learning solutions to many Public Sector clients. Tracy has recently led on the development of a new approach to delivering best practice casework training which is deployed via an online ASB Digital Learning programme and can be accessed by large numbers of people at any one time yet still delivers the high quality of traditional training methods.
Where can I listen? I hear you thinking to yourselves, well, the podcast will be available on all the relevant podcast sites, however, I also suggest connecting with Jim on one of his social media sites.
On LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jim-nixon-9a823a118/
On Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/359655268492057
or on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/JimNixonASB
You can also find out more on The Community Safety Podcast page on my home page, where I will upload all of Jim’s podcasts in the future as and when they become available.
All that is left for me to say is don’t forget to tune in to The Community Safety Podcast tonight at 7.00 p.m. and to wish Jim all the very best with what has the potential of becoming a game-changer regarding our communities.
Who doesn’t want a safer community?
#strongercommunities are #strongertogether.