Four Torridge District Council officers are some of the first in North Devon to be accredited under a police scheme.

The environmental protection officers have passed the entry requirements of the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) run by Devon and Cornwall Police.

The scheme allows chief constables to accredit people already working in roles that contribute to maintaining and improving community safety, with limited but targeted powers.

The four Environmental Protection officers from Torridge will now have the power to access and share information with the police and also the power to require names and addresses from people for a relevant offence or anti-social behaviour.

They will also be able to issue fixed penalty notices for certain disorder offences.

Councillor Philip Hackett, lead member for health and wellbeing and community safety said: “The letter from the chief constable acknowledges the effort required to establish and maintain the standards for such a scheme.

“I would echo his thanks to the team for their effort and involvement in delivering this scheme, which we all hope will result in delivering improved local safety for residents and visitors.”

It’s hoped that by increasing the uniformed presence (officers will be badged and carry identification cards) this will help to reduce and control local issues associated with the enforcement of The Council’s Public Spaces Protection Orders.

It will also allow the police and the council to share intelligence more affectively to tackle anti-social behaviour within our community.