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Crime Week: Commitment to neighbourhood policing

Visible neighbourhood policing is the bedrock of British policing, and is central to how we, in Staffordshire, police our communities. Last year, our Chief Constable, Chris Noble, reorganised the force to create ten local policing teams, covering all parts of the county from Stoke North to South Staffordshire.

The aim of this reorganisation was to bring local officers closer to their communities.

Earlier this month we updated our new neighbourhood strategy, which placed visible, accessible and responsive policing at the heart of our ambitions. This is key to modern policing: we need all our communities to have trust and confidence in what we do. When this is the case, communities engage more, support us more, and together help us tackle crime.

Of course, effective modern neighbourhood policing isn’t just about returning to the old ‘bobby on the beat’ approach. Crime, just like modern life, is very different today. Increasingly, our local officers are also communicating with residents through a host of different channels, including social media, and through our own ‘Smart Alert’ system. These tools enable us to reach a much wider range of people, to provide updates on our work and issue alerts when we need to.

But being visible in the heart of our communities remains key. We’re planning a significant expansion of our face-to-face activity, with more focus on being at those events and locations where we can meet more of our communities, including markets, community events and festivals, or at churches, synagogues, temples and mosques.

In addition, we’ll focus our patrols on known hotspots, using intelligence provided by our communities and our partner organisations to identify where we can have most impact.

Of course, behind our local officers are a raft of specialist teams, called upon to support their work – whether that be forensics specialists or public protection specialists. So, while our local policing teams will be at the forefront, there are hundreds more officers and staff committed to keeping our communities safe.

I want to make this commitment to you all: Staffordshire Police is and will continue to be a visible, neighbourhood-based force, working with all our communities to make Staffordshire a safer, more confident county.

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