Posted on 21st December 2017
Insp. Rob Bowns (North East Local Policing Unit), SC Adrian Portianow, Lord Nick Bourne (Minister for Faith) and Sgt Mark Church and PC Kat Newton- Jones (Shirebrook SNT)
Our officers who work in the Shirebrook area have met with the Minister for Faith to showcase their work as he visited the town to launch a £1.26m government investment.
Lord Nick Bourne came to Shirebrook to meet the teams who will be making use of the grant, and learning about work which is ongoing to help the community come together following the increase in migration to the area during the past decade.
As part of the visit he met with Special Constable Adrian Portianow and found out more about his experience of migrating to Shirebrook from Poland, and his ambition to become a police officer.
Adrian and his family moved to the area when he was just eight years old. Once he became an adult, he joined Derbyshire Constabulary as a Police Support Volunteer in 2016, and then became a Special Constable in July 2017 at the age of 20.
As a Police Support Volunteer, Adrian gave up his time to help the Shirebrook Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team bridge the gap with harder to reach communities, and help officers to communicate with people who have not spoken English as their first language.
He speaks seven different languages which include English, Polish, Czech and Slovakian, and has continued to use these skills to help him communicate as part of his role as a Special Constable.
Adrian is currently going through the recruitment process to become a regular police officer in Derbyshire.
Sgt. Mark Church of the Shirebrook Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team has worked closely with Adrian during his time with Derbyshire Constabulary, and also as part of the Building Resilience project.
He said: “It was really great for Adrian to be able to speak with Lord Borne and not only talk about his personal experiences of moving to Shirebrook from Poland, but also about how our team are working with the local community and partnership agencies to ensure our town is a safe and pleasant place to live.”
Bolsover District Council received the grant from an initial £15 million allocation to Local Authorities from the Controlling Migration Fund (CMF) in July. A further £18 million was awarded to other successful Local Authorities in November, making a total of £33 million awarded so far.
The two year investment will help improve access to public services, stage community events, improve the market square and ease the pressures on local services such as housing, schooling and health services resulting from recent migration.
The project, entitled ‘Building Resilience’ is being managed by Shirebrook Forward NG20 which was formed by Bolsover Partnership and is a multi-agency group whose aim is to focus on working positively with the local community to bring about benefits and improvements.
The project has seven strands across which the funds have been allocated:
- Community resilience
- Market Square Enlivenment
- Migrant community access
- Improve access and quality of private sector housing
- Social Norms and UK Laws
- Additional GP resources
- Healthy Workforce Programme
Sgt. Church said: “As part of this project, we hope to use some of this grant to provide equipment and resources which we can use to help us go in to schools and help educate youngsters about UK laws and issues affecting Shirebrook, including driving laws.
“We also have a Police Support Volunteer, Zanetta Pieprzak, who will be able to lead on this project and help us build good links and relationships with the younger members of the community.”
Speaking about the project during his visit to Shirebrook on Thursday, December 14, Lord Bourne said: “Over recent years Shirebrook has seen significant economic growth and is an example of the real benefits migration can bring to Britain. However, we recognise that population change in a short space of time can put pressure on local services. That’s why we are making funding available to support areas like Bolsover who have ambitious plans to ease pressures on services and also build stronger more integrated communities.
“Government’s £1.3 million extra support for Shirebrook will help them address some of the issues their communities care about most. Whether increasing provision of GP surgeries, tackling rogue landlords who make money form overcrowded properties or providing English classes - these initiatives will improve services for everyone while helping to bring communities together.”