Various organisations came together at Richbell Court in Bedford last month as part of a Community Safety event to help improve life for local residents.

Bedfordshire Police, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Bedford Borough Council and Neighbourhood Watch all supported us to engage with residents about issues that are important to them and their community.

It follows a consultation into anti-social behaviour in Richbell and Chandos Courts run by bpha’s Community Development Team.

Residents gave their views about a number of key issues that affected their quality of life and we’ve been working towards addressing many of the concerns raised over the past 12 months.

As a result bpha has:

  • invested £70,000 in CCTV equipment for the high rise blocks;
  • introduced a local lettings policy, giving bpha more control over who they let their properties to;
  • taken possession of two properties from tenants who were causing a nuisance;
  • made maintenance and ground improvements work to the flats and communal area.

The event, which took place on 22 April, had information stands and fun activities for people to take part in, while a prize draw to win a colour TV also took place with a resident of Richbell Court being the lucky winner.

A community litter pick was also held with the help of the Police Cadets and local residents.

Margaret Dodwell, Interim Operations Director at bpha, said: “This event showed we have listened to our residents and demonstrates our commitment to taking positive action to improve their quality of life, whilst having a bit of fun at the same time. It was great to see people working together for the benefit the whole community.

“There is more work to be done, but we learned a lot from the people who attended the event and can build on what we have done so far to make the area safer and more secure.”

Inspector Paul Ayling, from Bedfordshire Police, said: “We were delighted to be asked to support bpha with this event. Working alongside our partners like this is vital in helping us protect people, fight crime and keep Bedford safe.”