Radical changes to policing

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A NEW policing model for the county comes into operation on May 9

Designed to provide maximum protection from harm for the people of Warwickshire, the new model sees a radical change to the way the county is policed.

Moving away from the existing district based management the focus will be on local policing with countywide support.

Neil Brunton, Assistant Chief Constable, Operations Directorate, said: “The new policing model will create a more visible and responsive service with more officers on duty at any one time and neighbourhood officers dedicated to solving local issues.

“There will be a better service for victims of crime with the introduction of dedicated investigators offering a professional service and conducting timely investigations.

“Those individuals who cause harm within communities will be targeted using the Neighbourhood Protection Team officers who will support neighbourhood teams, focusing on and bringing to justice persistent offenders.

“The new model is a radical one which has the support of our workforce, the Police Authority, our partners and local communities. It offers the best protection with the resources available within Warwickshire Police.”

At a community level, policing will continue to be provided by the existing 33 Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs).

But the structure and the role of the SNTs will see significant change with the local police teams no longer having responsibility to undertake criminal investigations, although they will still investigate local issues such as anti-social behaviour.

The SNTs will comprise of a police constable, who will take the role of Beat Manager, supported by a mix of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), Special Constables and volunteers. They will use their collective powers and skills to deal with community priorities and concerns, through community engagement and effective problem solving.

The SNT will focus on providing a dedicated support and resolution role where the team, working with partner agencies and individuals within the community, will identify and solve issues and concerns that affect their neighbourhood. For example identifying and tackling those who are responsible for causing harm within their community through antisocial behaviour.

In order to develop and maintain a high degree of visibility and familiarity within the community, SNTs will operate entirely within their respective neighbourhoods and not be abstracted to deal with incidents elsewhere. The SNTs will also provide the reassurance of a regular uniform presence within the local community.

Superintendent Martin McNevin, in charge of neighbourhood policing explained the reason behind the changes at local level, “It has been necessary to change the structure of neighbourhood policing in order to support efficiency savings, while maintaining an effective service to the public.

“Policing in Warwickshire will continue to be delivered across the 33 neighbourhoods with a strong emphasis being placed on solving those problems that cause most concern to communities.

”We are committed to engaging with the public, listening to what people have to say and working with them to deal with their issues. This will be achieved with the support of volunteers and continued partnership working, with an overall aim of protecting people from harm.”

Supporting the Safer Neighbourhood Teams a Neighbourhood Protection Team (NPT) has been established to provide a dedicated countywide resource to deal with priority issues in neighbourhoods.

This team will support problem-solving plans and will be instrumental in managing offenders who are believed to be active within communities. The NPT will also form part of the Enhanced Policing Initiative (EPI) that operates at weekends across many of the county’s town centres, where additional resources support regular patrols with the aim of reducing violent crime and dealing with other night time economy issues.

The NPT will also include Community Protection officers and staff who will deliver a countywide service for:

· Crime reduction

· Architectural liaison

· Drugs intervention

· Working with Watch scheme organisers

· Firearms and licensing administration

· Licensing

· Camera enforcement

· Road safety

· Schools liaison

Also at countywide level the Incident Resolution Team will provide the resources to respond and manage incidents of crime, disorder and road incidents throughout the force area.

Operating from four reporting bases across the county, they will respond to and attend emergency and priority calls which are received within the Communications Centre at Leek Wootton.

In addition the patrol teams will also provide resources for the appointment system enabling members of the public to book an appointment to discuss non emergency or non priority issues with a police officer.

When not attending incidents or appointments the Incident Resolution Team will undertake regular police patrols, maintaining a visible presence within the communities and on the roads of Warwickshire.

Crime investigation will be carried out by the Local Investigation Team (LIT) which provides a new CID comprising detectives, uniformed officers and police staff investigators. They will take on the responsibility of all crimes that require investigation. This ensures dedicated and appropriately trained staff conduct all investigations.

All crimes will continue to be recorded with the Force Crime Desk in order to ensure professional, accurate recording, evaluation, allocation and prioritisation of each incident.

The LIT will also include the provision of specialist units including Protecting Vulnerable People and the Sexual Offences Investigation Team.

In addition force level teams will continue to be available where higher levels of investigation involving criminality across force or international boundaries are required.

The specialist support functions such as major crime investigation, serious organised crime taskforce and scientific support will continue to operate as bespoke teams to deliver support at neighbourhood level.

Detective Superintendent Graeme Pallister, Head of Local Investigations, said, “These are challenging and at the same time exciting times. The Force has re-designed policing services to provide the maximum protection to the public within the budget available. Our approach to investigations is innovative and creates teams of dedicated staff for all levels of crime. Victims of crime will benefit from more efficient investigation and more direct feedback from investigators themselves. “

As part of the new policing model an eight-hour shift pattern will also be introduced on 9 May 2011.

The pattern will support the delivery of the new policing model. It will integrate a single shift pattern across the force - communications centre, neighbourhoods, patrol, custody, intelligence and investigation - thereby improving consistency in the delivery and the quality of services to the public.

An eight-hour shift pattern costs less than current arrangements and brings ‘single team’ benefits to the delivery of services. It will reduce rest-day working and overtime - two major financial costs to our organisation and requirements that also impact heavily the personal lives of officers and staff.

More senior leaders will also work shifts, improving levels of leadership and supervision within the force. Also, three quarters, rather than half, of our workforce will be on duty on any given day.