Following an invitation from the Police & Crime Commissioner, John Dwyer has today (3 September) met with a small number of Warrington councillors including councillors Chris Vobe, Russ Bowden and Mary Greenslade, to discuss the improvements made to local policing in Warrington earlier this summer.
John Dwyer said: “I’m pleased that councillors took up my invitation to sit down and talk about this in greater detail so they are able to fully understand the purpose of the changes to local policing and the benefits the Chief Constable and I believe it will bringing to our communities - not just in Warrington, but across the county.
“I called this meeting to quash some of the misinformation and inaccuracies that has been put out – often without any evidence to support them.
“In the last year we’ve seen crime rates at the lowest rate for a generation; detection rates rising; fewer victims of crime; and public confidence at nearly 90%. Going forward I’m committing considerable resources in frontline policing, including a recruitment programme which means we’ll have 53 extra officers in Force by April with 130 additional officers on the frontline. Despite tough national budget settlements over the last five years we’re maintaining our commitment to neighbourhood policing and the 220 PCSOs that underpin this; and we have some of the highest numbers of volunteers we’ve ever had.
“The new policing model introduced in early July was an operational decision by the Chief Constable which I’ve supported and is based on a detailed pilot in Ellesmere Port. “
Eight new Local Policing Units bring together staff involved in responding to calls, neighbourhood problem solving, intelligence officers and investigators. The teams begin their shifts with a coordinated briefing, enabling officers and staff to share their knowledge and maximise opportunities for working across teams, and ensuring the right team are sent to deal with incidents at the earliest opportunity.
Detailed work was carried out to ensure the move to bring staff together at the beginning of the shift in this way adds value to their work and delivers more visible patrol time in communities. Time spent travelling between booking on stations and beats has been looked at, and will be kept under review.
John Dwyer added: “We have also put in place local community bases for officers to work from and this autumn we will be rolling out mobile technology that will make it easier for officers to do their job and increase their visibility with the public.
“This new model aims to make officers more visible and accessible to their communities in line with the Chief Constable’s We’re Here Commitments and the priorities I laid out in my Police and Crime Plan.
“I thought it was a fruitful meeting, I was pleased to hear positive feedback about the work of local officers and I felt it was a great opportunity to discuss and explain a model of policing which will deliver benefits to the whole of Cheshire.”