Gloucestershire Constabulary have today announced a brand new 'Neighbourhood Policing' initiative, to help increase the presence of local Police offers in communities across the county.
The scheme will see individual neighbourhoods allocated a dedicated Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), who will be on hand as the point of contact for local crime concerns. The name of the officer and their contact details have been made available on the Gloucestershire Constabulary website, with the aim of ensuring residents and business owners know who their dedicated officer is, and are able to discuss issues directly with their local officer.
There are over 50 PCSOs involved with the initiative in total, who as well as taking responsibility for their own domain, will also work with with officers in nearby areas to form neighbourhood teams.
Commenting on the launch of the scheme, Chief Constable for Gloucestershire Constabulary, Rod Hansen explained:
"All policing begins and ends in a neighbourhood. It’s where we need to be to keep people safe and, more importantly, it’s where the public expect us to be. As part of our new neighbourhood policing offer we will have 55 dedicated PCSOs who will become part of their neighbourhoods, visible and available to address local concerns and act as a first point of contact within the communities."
"They will not be patrolling without a purpose. I expect them to know their neighbourhood and the people living in it. That means being at the school gate to talk to parents; it means going into care homes and sheltered houses to talk to residents about the issues that are concerning them; it means attending the events that matter; and it means listening to what you are saying."
"We want to ensure that the service you receive is the very best it can be every time. There is no reason why this cannot be a reality, but it will take time to achieve. We won't get it right all the time but we promise to continue to work with you to find the best possible solution. We need you to tell us what your local concerns are, and we will seek to give you dedicated time to help us both solve the issue. Our ambition is to provide a neighbourhood policing service of which you, and we, can be proud."
Martin Surl, Police and Crime Commissioner for the Constabulary, said:
“I have felt for some time that neighbourhood policing has been allowed to slide down the list of police priorities, a view borne out by what people have told me. That is why it was an important strand of my campaign for re-election and is fundamental to my Police and Crime Plan."
“Central government cuts of around £30 million since 2010 have had a detrimental effect on neighbourhood policing and we must all face up to having to contribute more if we are to restore it to a level in which people have confidence. Engaging with the communities they serve is absolutely crucial if the police are to achieve their number one task of protecting the public. The bond between police and public is what makes policing in the UK different from anywhere else in the world. And whilst there is no doubt seven years of austerity has undermined that relationship, I am pleased that the Constabulary is focusing on it more.
Watch the video below to hear from Paul Dutton, the Superintendent responsible for Neighbourhood Policing
We think this sounds like a really positive initiative, which has all the right intentions. Having a friendly face and dedicated point of contact for your local area should make it simple get in touch and share information about any crime taking place near to you.
When it comes to security, it's also a chance to discuss any ongoing concerns you may have about burglary. You can seek advice, tips or even let the Police know about an issue that may be affecting someone else in your community.
What do you think?
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For more information about Neighbourhood Policing and to find out who your local officer is, click here to be taken to the Gloucestershire Constabulary website.