STAFFORDSHIRE POLICE have said that Neighbourhood policing and criminal investigation teams in the County will be bolstered by a new policing model and an increase in officer numbers following the Police and Crime Commissioner’s recent increase in the precept.
Over the next two years, 144 officers will join neighbourhood teams across the county, 75 of which will join in June and July.
There will also be increases in CID with an additional 50 detectives working on serious and complex crimes by autumn 2018.
The significant expansion in policing teams is accompanied by other changes to the way the force operates.
Stafforsdhire Police say that efforts to modernise emergency response teams has already seen the introduction of a Resolution Centre earlier this year, established to separate out non-emergency incidents for telephone-based resolution when physical attendance of an officer is not required.
Now, emergency teams responding to 999 calls are being re-located to enable the force to provide a quicker, more agile and effective blue-light service.
Officers will work from one of three response ‘hubs’ located in the county. They will then be deployed to locations around Staffordshire, where they will base themselves at key road junctions or in areas of high demand so they can swiftly respond to serious incidents across all parts of the county.
Chief Constable, Gareth Morgan, said: “I have always maintained a promise to invest in neighbourhood policing and I am pleased to announce today the additional officers that will soon be working within our local teams. I know police visibility matters to the communities of Staffordshire, as does investigating localised crimes affecting people’s everyday lives. That’s why these changes have been made; these officers will be focused on preventing crime, locally. They will be working collaboratively with partners and other agencies to deter offenders through education and early intervention.
“We continue to be challenged financially and while we have been boosted by the precept increase, this move of resources to neighbourhoods is primarily a redistribution of existing, serving officers.
“As part of the reallocation of resource, I’ve also invested to boost capacity within our investigations teams. One of the biggest national challenges is the growing complexity that comes with investigating serious crime and the time-intensity it can often bring. The additional officers in this area will improve our ability to improve investigative outcomes and raise standards within our digital investigations for example.”
Commenting on the changes to response teams, Gareth Morgan, added: “Separating out response teams from neighbourhood teams means we can balance demand with resource more effectively. We’ve streamlined the service so we can respond as and when the public needs us to, across the whole county. Improved technology and dispatch processes will also ensure officers can stay out on patrol longer, with less requirement to go back to a station or ‘hub’.”
Gareth Morgan concluded: “These changes will improve the way we respond, problem solve, investigate and prevent crime. Rising crime levels and the changing face of crime has put pressure on our ability to achieve these aims and that is quite simply, unsustainable. I’m confident that this new policing model will allow us to provide a better overall service to the public we serve.”