A number of Post Offices in Sheffield, Barnsley and Doncaster have been ‘adopted’ by the force as part of a scheme designed to provide reassurance and crime prevention support in key community locations, after a trial in Rotherham proved successful.
Overall, 43 Post Offices across Sheffield, Doncaster and Barnsley are taking part in the ‘Adopt a Post Office’ partnership scheme, which has been in place in Rotherham for the past year.
Today (Monday 18 April), the scheme was launched in Sheffield at Woodhouse Post Office. Watch Inspector Jason Booth speaking at the launch by clicking here. For photographs from the Woodhouse event, visit our Facebook page. Launch events will be held in Barnsley and Doncaster later this week.
The scheme sees PCSOs regularly visiting Post Offices at peak times, speaking with customers and members of staff to ensure that strong links are maintained within communities.
One example of the Rotherham partnership in action was when Post Office staff alerted police to an elderly woman who was vulnerable and spending hundreds of pounds on postal orders. Officers were able to liaise with partners to visit the woman to help her with her quality of life.
Post Office staff have also been passed information from the local community, which has then been passed onto police, with arrests being made.
The scheme has helped to forge excellent links with the community, increasing engagement and reassurance. It’s hoped that this success can now be replicated across South Yorkshire.
Police have already established a presence in the further 43 Post Offices across South Yorkshire, to raise awareness of support services available as well as to provide crime prevention advice.
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Jason Harwin, leading on the scheme, said: “Post Offices are key locations where members of the local community, particularly the elderly, regularly handle money. This makes them an ideal place in which we can interact with the public.
“After the success of Adopt a Post Office in Rotherham it made sense for us to ‘adopt’ Post Offices forcewide, in some of our key communities. We found the scheme to be very beneficial for people in Rotherham, and hope that we can replicate these benefits across the county.”
Senior Post Office Security Manager Amy Quirk said: “We are always looking to create new partnerships with the police which will benefit not just our two organisations, but the wide variety of customers who use our locations.
“The Post Office remains at the heart of communities up and down the country, and we are happy to provide branches in South Yorkshire for the police to utilise in terms of liaising with customers and conveying key security messages.”
Official launch events are being held in each district this week, and members of the public are invited along to drop in and ask any questions they may have about the scheme and about policing in their area.
PCSOs will hand out crime prevention advice and materials - including purse bells and UV pens - at the events, so come along and pick up some of their giveaways. Dates, times and locations are listed below.
Sheffield - Monday April 18 - Woodhouse Post Office, Co-Op, Market Street from 10am. Inspector Jason Booth attended along with representatives from the Post Office and Trading Standards.
Doncaster - Tuesday April 19 - Thorne Post Office, 10am to 1pm.
Barnsley - Thursday April 21 - Penistone Post Office, 10am to 12pm.
For a list of Post Offices taking part, visit this dedicated webpage.