As part of your application to the Home Office and to ensure that the accommodation you provide will be suitable for refugees to live in you will need to consult your local police force to see if they have any concerns with the proposed address. Your Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team (or equivalent) will be able to provide a view on the property being used for a refugee family, which will be considered as part of the application process. Carrying out this process will enable the Police to highlight any safeguarding concerns such as community tension, hate crime or anti-social behaviour in the immediate vicinity of the property. It will also help you to build a relationship with your local police force, which may prove useful for your group and it will alert the police that refugees, who will be considered vulnerable, will be moving to the area. This will enable the police to be proactive in their engagement in their local area.
It’s particularly important for those groups who are investing in buying property to seek this consent of your Safer Neighbourhood Team prior to purchase.
Who should I speak to?
All Police Forces will have a Safer Neighbourhood or Neighbourhood Policing Teams. These are small groups of officers who are responsible for policing within a specific area. To find the Safer Neighbourhood Policing team in the area in which the refugees will be living, please visit https://www.police.uk/
When you are contacting the relevant team, do keep in mind that they have lots of responsibilities so it may take some time for them to come back to you. They may not have heard of Community Sponsorship, so you may need to explain what this is and the role of your group.
When should I contact my Safer Neighbourhood Team?
You should contact the Safer Neighbourhood Team when you have found a property.
What should I ask the Safer Neighbourhood Team to do?
You should complete section A of the Police Consultation Form (available as a download on the right hand side of this page along with a background note), and ask them to complete section B and return this to the Home Office team listed on the form.
Keep in mind that you may not see a copy of the completed form, so you should keep in contact with the Police team to keep up to date on the progress of this form.