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‘We are up to the challenge’
NEIGHBOURHOOD policing is all about visibility and the public’s perception, according to Warrington East Inspector Richard Spedding.
The new policing pledge requires neighbourhood policing teams to achieve at leadt 80 per cent visibility in the community, a target he describes as ‘a major challenge’.
“To suggest that of 100 hours you have to spend 80 of them on patrol is perhaps a little bit simplistic. We have to be working on our beat, doing our inquiries, doing our job and not being distracted away,” said Insp Spedding.
“CSOs are measured on their visibility but when it comes to police officers it’s a little bit harder because of the work after they arrest someone. For me, they are still working in the community.”
He is determined to make sure his policing is led by what the community wants, and has organised for officers and CSOs to attend regular councillors’ surgeries and hold their own each week.
Once a month his team, like every other neighbourhood unit, highlights the area’s priorities and angles their work to reflect them.
‘In the past we would ignore the little things and concentrate on the major crimes. Now we are trying to tackle those small things’– Insp Richard Spedding
“A lot of the things highlighted to us are minor compared to what’s going on elsewhere, but they are the things that affect people’s confidence in us.
“In the past we would ignore the little things and concentrate on the major crimes. Now we are trying to tackle those small things.”
In an effort to give neighbourhood teams more freedom to work Cheshire Police has done away with detection rate targets.
It means they are less bound by the need to solve a certain amount of crimes, which sometimes led to very insignificant crimes being prosecuted in order to maintain figures, said Insp Spedding.