Extra investment in community policing is taking shape
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Derbyshire Constabulary’s work to reshape community policing is already well under way, with officers now in training for a number of new roles.
This includes the role of Police Community Support Officer Supervisor, with 11 new Supervisors completing their training this week.
All those taking up this post were previously Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) within Derbyshire. The Supervisors’ focus will be to provide active community leadership for the Safer Neighbourhood Teams across the county. This will enable their Sergeants to realign some of their duties so that they have more time to focus on investigations.
The Supervisors’ development is providing opportunities for others, and recruitment has taken place for 40 new PCSOs to start their training in July. They will start arriving in communities in August and September.
The new roles, and the subsequent rebalancing of community policing, are as a direct result of the extra investment from our communities through an increase in council tax.
The increase in council tax precept was agreed by Hardyal Dhindsa, Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, following extensive consultation last year which showed overwhelming support across the county for increased investment.
The purpose of this investment is to deliver increased visibility; redress the balance of uniformed officers across the force area, enhance road safety measures, provide greater investigative capacity and more support for vulnerable people.
Mr Dhindsa, said: “Everywhere I go, people tell me they want better communication with the police in their community. These Supervisors, which are part of the uplift programme enabled by my budget this year, will be able to co-ordinate, shape and improve those communication links across our neighbourhoods.
“These posts are part of the ongoing programme of enhancements made possible by the increase in resources, for which I am hugely grateful to our local taxpayers, and represent a big step in the right direction.”
The PCSO Supervisors will work to maintain and strengthen close relationships with councils, neighbourhood groups, schools and businesses around the county and supporting PCSOs to address any community concerns in a timely way. In addition, they will be seeking to increase links with local charities and other organisations that support vulnerable people.
One of the ways this will be done is by continuing to improve communication, through the use and promotion of Derbyshire Alert and the force’s social media accounts. It is hoped this will result in improved response to incidents, improved officer visibility, higher quality investigations and better support for victims of crime.
The investment in community policing also sees the new role of Neighbourhood Investigation Officers, which are police staff roles, to work alongside PCSOs, and the additional intake of 20 police officers, including seven who were previously PCSOs.
Chief Superintendent Ady Gascoyne, who is overseeing the Constabulary’s programme of change said: “We know that communities are already seeing changes in their Safer Neighbourhood Teams, as officers progress to new roles.
“The extra investment in community policing has provided opportunities for staff development, and we are working swiftly to train and deploy the people we have successfully recruited.
“While it will take time for this to take effect, officers will continue to be there when they are need to respond to incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
If you would like to sign up to Derbyshire Alert to receive free community safety alerts, crime information and messages from your local Safer Neighbourhood policing teams, visit: www.derbyshirealert.co.uk.