Two dedicated Neighbourhood 'Beat Buses' take to the roads across Northamptonshire
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Local policing teams will be taking to the roads in two new Neighbourhood Beat Buses, helping to boost police visibility and provide easier access to local officers in towns and villages across Northamptonshire.
The dedicated neighbourhood vehicles will be used for regular surgeries and community visits across the county, with one vehicle allocated to each of the North and West Local Policing Areas (LPAs).
The two new Volkswagen Crafter vans, which have been funded by the Northamptonshire Police Fire and Crime Commissioner, will give greater access to policing services in some of the county's more remote and rural communities, as well as providing a useful focal point for community engagement and targeted policing activity in more urban areas.
Northamptonshire Police Local Policing Commander, Chief Superintendent Ash Tuckley, believes the new vehicles will be a valuable asset for the neighbourhood policing teams, giving the public greater access to their local officers.
He said: "The two new 'beat buses' will be a great addition to our neighbourhood policing toolkit, helping to get our officers closer to the public and their local communities. They’ll provide a mobile office enabling officers to spend more time in different communities across their beat.
"The vehicles are smaller than our previous mobile police stations, making them more versatile in terms of where they can go, yet they're big enough to be a visible focal point and also provide adequate indoor space where people can sit and chat to their local officers in private if they prefer.”
The investment in the new 'beat buses' is part of the wider investment in local policing announced by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable earlier this year, which will see the number of neighbourhood constables more than double over the next 18 months. The renewed focus puts neighbourhood policing at the heart of the fight against crime, tackling problems that matter to local people at the first opportunity and being visible and accessible to local communities.
Chief Supt Tuckley added: "Being visible and accessible to local people, and tackling the issues that matter to them in their community, is the cornerstone of neighbourhood policing and we want to establish a strong and useful dialogue between the police and the public.
"It's important we balance between spending time in those communities where we know there are specific issues, while also getting out to more remote areas that don't have a police station nearby, to provide a visible presence and the opportunity to meet local officers even though that area may not have any particular issues that need addressing.
"However, we want to give everyone the chance to get to know their local policing team and the public are our eyes and ears in the fight against crime - you know what's going on in your neighbourhood and the information you give us about what the issues are and who might be involved, is invaluable."
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said that he had made a commitment to strengthen local policing in the county.
Stephen said: “I am committed to ensuring that the people of Northamptonshire receive the highest standard of policing possible, and that means policing that is close to them, that they can see and that tackles local problems at a local level.
“These beat buses will take local policing teams out to the public, with regular, scheduled visits around the county, particularly to the more rural and remote towns and villages. With more police than ever before, this means that the focus on local policing can be increased and the buses will, quite literally, bring police closer to the communities they serve. I believe they will be a great new tool to help strengthen trust and confidence in policing across Northamptonshire.”
For Chief Constable Nick Adderley, the need to build stronger relationships with communities is as the heart of his policing philosophy.
He said: “I made a promise to the public of Northamptonshire that I will develop and lead a force that is flexible, adaptable and capable of serving all four corners of the county, from the most deprived areas in urban conurbations to the wide expanses of rural Northamptonshire. I also said we would become more accessible, visible, contactable and better connected to those communities so we can understand, focus and deal with the issues affecting them.
“Our refocus on neighbourhood policing is central to this, and this latest investment in a mobile neighbourhood ‘beat bus’ for each of our local policing areas provides a hugely valuable resource. They will help our officers get right into the hearts of their communities, where they can talk to people, share information, find out what matters most, and focus on building sustainable solutions that improve the quality of life for all.”