Your local bobby – a new approach

 

In 2018, Gloucestershire Constabulary will be offering a new approach to neighbourhood policing, working with communities to deliver the needs they identify and provide a more consistent service across the county. 

This is in line with the Police and Crime Commissioner’s plan to make neighbourhood policing a priority, and in response to public opinion.

The Force is pledging to make local policing accessible again by providing a dedicated, named PCSO in every neighbourhood so that everyone knows who their local bobby is and how to contact them.

The 55 dedicated PCSOs will be the first point of contact for local concerns, but they will be working as part of a bigger team protecting the local and wider communities.

As well as the dedicated PCSOs each neighbourhood team will include police constables and sergeants who will work, sometimes behind the scenes, on a wide range of issues such as Dangerous Drugs Networks, tracking down paedophiles and the organised crime groups which are targeting our rural communities.

They in turn will be supported by other specialist teams including those looking after vulnerable children, those investigating major crimes and firearms officers.

This new offer comes at a time when many forces are having to make cuts in neighbourhood policing, including PCSOs,  but [thanks to prudent spending decisions] Gloucestershire Constabulary has chosen to invest instead.

Chief Constable Rod Hansen said: “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.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl 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 £30m 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 focussing on it more”.