New recruits and new vehicles give boost to Neighbourhood Policing Teams
Main article content
Northamptonshire Police's renewed focus on neighbourhood policing takes a further step this month as 13 new recruits take up their first posting on a neighbourhood team and new livered vehicles are introduced to help teams become more visible and accessible in their local communities.
The additional officers and new vehicles are part of the changes to local policing announced by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable earlier this year, which will see the number of neighbourhood constables increase from 50 to 100 by mid-2022, with the ambition for a further 60 by 2023.
The increase in officer numbers means, for the first time, a cohort of new recruits will begin their policing career in a neighbourhood team. Thirteen new officers completed their initial training last month and are now progressing with the next stage of their development under the guidance of experienced neighbourhood officers.
The recruits will be ready for independent patrol in July when they will join their police officer and PCSO colleagues to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour on their local policing beats across the county.
Local Policing Commander Chief Superintendent Ash Tuckley said: "We're excited to have the new recruits on our neighbourhood teams and have also welcomed a number of experienced PCs over the last few months. For the student officers, it's a different approach to their usual training route as part of a Response team, however neighbourhood policing plays an equally important role and they will learn some really valuable skills.
“They will have the opportunity to respond to incidents but will also get early exposure to working with partners, dealing with community issues that require long term problem solving as well as investigating crime and dealing with anti-social behaviour on their patch.”
To support the increase in officers, neighbourhood teams have been given additional patrol vehicles, which include four new Skoda Octavias. The new vehicles are marked up with a dedicated livery making them more recognisable in the local community.
Chief Superintendent Tuckley added: "The new vehicles will prove very useful too and it's great they will be identified as Neighbourhood Team vehicles.
“We want our officers and PCSOs to be out on their beat getting to know people and getting themselves known as the local contact. While we'll still be using normally marked vehicles, as these are replaced all our new ones will be marked up, helping to increase visibility as residents will be able to identify when their local officers are in the area.
“Our two new mobile police stations will also soon be on the road, which we plan to use for regular surgeries and visits, especially to some of our more remote and rural communities.”
Northamptonshire’s Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said: “I know how important it is to local people that the police are visible, accessible and able to focus on the crime that really matters to them where they live and work.
“Northamptonshire has seen an increase of more than 200 police officers in the past four years, with more than 100 still to be recruited by 2023, which has been made possible thanks to the investment local people have made through their council tax, alongside the government’s uplift funding for recruitment.
“It’s so important that we make the most of this to reinvigorate our approach to local policing and get more officers out on the beat and into the heart of the community, and I’m delighted to see the new recruits begin their policing career in such a vital role.”
Chief Constable Nick Adderley said: “This is a great opportunity for these new officers to experience community policing so early on in their career. They have already gone through an intense and thorough 17 weeks of initial training and they can now develop further in this different but equally challenging and rewarding role.
“Fighting crime and protecting people is what we do and our neighbourhood officers are at the core of this. By putting more bobbies back on the beat, we will be more visible and better connected with local people. We will be better able to work together to identify and react to crime and anti-social behaviour at the earliest opportunity, providing innovative, sustainable solutions to the issues that matter most to our communities.”