During last week’s heavily moderated (i.e. no hard questions) webchat with Home Office ball-breaker-in-chief, Louise Casey, on the Respect Agenda, several bloggers, including Nosemonkey, noticed what looked to be a fair blatant bit of astroturfing going on involving a ‘Jimmy Devlin’, who posted this…
Jimmy Devlin: Louise, empowering communities and fully supporting tenants and residents associations to fight ASB and criminal behaviour is the best way of ensuring that the Respect message is delivered into the heart of the community and everybody will stand as one and demand respect . The problem minority will then be forced to alter their attitude and behaviour or else they will become isolated very quickly. Return power to the decent majority. Zero Tolerance and harsher sentences would be a good starting point.. Too often they are given far too many chances . They need a real shock to turn them away from crime/ASB. Families , schools and the community all have their part to play but if local people don’t take a stand and demand change , nothing will deter future ASB etc.
Perhaps the best comment on this came from Kitty Killer, who doesn’t post nearly often enough, who observed:
Softball? This was practically a handjob:
All of which begs the question, if you’re bored enough, as to who is Jimmy Devlin? Especially when idle curiousity leads you to this, from Labour’s recent exercise in communal banality – ‘Respect: Your Stories‘
I formed Greenbank Tenants & Residents Association in May 2003.
Implemented Home Watch and was elected by St.Helens Community Empowerment Network Panel members to represent the St.Helens Community on the CDRP.
Affiliated to the Social Landlords Crime & Nuisance Group and have become involved with Urban Forum , to lobby for major changes which I hope will help empower Communities to demand Respect from all residents in future.
Locally , we work closely with the Police and some members of Greenbank TRA carry out Speedwatch with CSOs etc.
I am also a Community Volunteer with Merseyside Police and was involved with the National Reassurance Policing Project.
We bombard the neighbourhood with newsletters explaining the benefits of dealing with ASB and send out the message that anybody who passes information to us or the Police is not a grass, but that they are helping our Community for everybody to enjoy a better quality of life free from ASB, Drugs and crime.
I really appreciate the support we receive from the police and am delighted that the Government (very ably fronted by Louise Casey) is progressing the Respect Action Plan , which can only improve the lives of often already vulnerable and disadvantaged people .
Although it may seem harsh that any person needs to be evicted , it is the best and only way to ensure that the victims and community gets some respite (they have usually suffered for years ) , although it does not help when pretty soon, the housing organisations allocate the property to another similar problematic tenant and their chaotic family members.
The Dundee project must surely be copied in every town and city across the UK to ensure that these miscreants not only receive the help they need, but also so that the communities are afforded the opportunity to regroup and engender the spirit which usually disappears when communities are under pressure .(Through fear etc.)
in my opinion, poor housing organisations use the “Homelessness” legislation as an excuse to repeatedly house problem tenants simply to ensure income from properties via housing benefit.
We experience this on a permanent basis.
A revolving door situation becomes the norm because of the allocations and lack of vetting /proper consideration by housing professionals .
If only our TRA committee could have an input in lettings,I am sure that the difference would be astonishing.
I can say that I fully support the measures announced earlier by the Prime Minister and hopefully communities like ours will see improvements in behaviour as a result.
I truly believe that “Togetherwecan” .
jimmy Devlin (Chairman) Greenbank TRA
Jimmy Devlin, St.Helens , Merseyside
Same guy? The similarities are too obvious to be coincidental, in which case Jimmy’s list of registered interests, as a member of St Helens Community Empowerment Network, run to the following:
Greenbank Tenants and Residents Association
H8 Pathways St Helens (ESF funded labour market project)
Helena Housing Allocations
St Helens forum
North West Tenants and Residents Assembly
St Helens Federation of Tenants and Residents Association
TPAS Northern Regional Committee
National Consultative forum
Social Landlord Crime & Nuisance Group
Reassurance Project (national)
Town Centre Neighbourhood Renewal Fund Group
Town Centre Key Individuals Network Group.
St Helens Crime & Disorder Reduction Partnership (Community Safety Thematic Group)
I’ll leave you to decide whether that supports the astroturfing contention or not.