Warden to keep Haywards Heath safe

Damon Cooper, Haywards Heath community warden
Damon Cooper, Haywards Heath community warden

The streets of Haywards Heath are now under the watchful eye of the town’s new community warden, who aims to reduce public fear of crime.

A new community warden was deployed on Monday, September 19 to be a visible presence for Haywards Heath Town Council on the High Street and surrounding areas, acting as a deterrant to crime and antisocial behaviour.

Warden Damon Cooper will work as part of the Haywards Heath Town Council team, enabling them to have a dedicated resource that can fulfil their community objectives around crime, public safety and reassurance, as well as direct liaison with the local business community.

Steven Trice, town clerk, said: “Haywards Heath Town Council welcomes the introduction of a community warden to the town centre and its surrounds, (including Victoria Park, Beech Hurst and Clair Meadow) and looks forward to working closely with him during the first year pilot.

“Haywards Heath Town Council is proud to have taken the decision to support and jointly lead upon this innovative way of dealing with Community Safety. It also hopes that residents and business managers will use this resource and support the Warden in making Haywards Heath a safe place to work and shop within, whilst being an enjoyable and safe place to spend their leisure time, supported by recreational spaces which are free from crime and acts of anti-social behaviour.”

The one-year pilot is a joint venture between the council, Sussex police and crime commissioner, the Southern Cooperative and Sussex Police.

The Haywards Heath Community Warden will have access to Facewatch electronic crime reporting direct to Sussex Police and a Communicator Application (Push to talk Radio on a smart phone) for a range of communication options.

Peter Fisher, general manager at SWL Security Services, said: “Deploying a community warden into Haywards Heath on behalf of the council provides an opportunity to demonstrate that this model can work not only across the daytime business economy, but also directly for the public sector in support of those local strategies. I’m sure the Haywards Heath community warden will prove to be a valuable asset to the town and deliver on their objectives of reducing volume crime, reducing the fear of crime and enhancing prosperity for the area.”

Chris Nielson, Sussex Police business crime lead, said: ‘This is an innovative approach to public-private partnership working in the area of community safety and crime prevention. It follows our successful pilot of Business Wardens in the Eastbourne and Littlehampton areas. I hope that a successful first year will enable the initiative to continue.”