Theresa May has welcomed a new policing approach that aims to provide all communities with their own dedicated neighbourhood policing team. These teams will identify and resolve local issues affecting people’s sense of security. They will also help raise the accountability of the police force in the local area.
The teams will forge closer links between the dedicated neighbourhood officers, their partners (including neighbourhood watch, local authorities and housing associations) and Police Community Support Officers.
Theresa May said: ‘In order to police neighbourhoods effectively, police need to really understand the area and community and the issues that concern local people. In other words, the police need to be able to see through the neighbourhood’s eyes.
‘I welcome the move my Thames Valley to integrate local communities and the police force in order to make neighbourhood policing more transparent, accountable and efficient. Neighbourhood teams will provide a local face to police actions and will provide informed, local answers and sustainable solutions to community problems.’
Following a lengthy consultation process Thames Valley Police have separated Windsor and Maidenhead have been split into 13 neighbourhoods and each neighbourhood will be subject to the roll-out of neighbourhood policing at some stage between now and 2008.
The success of Neighbour teams rest largely on the number of Police Community Support Officers that Maidenhead can attract. Thames Valley Police have admitted that recruitment and retention of PCSOs in the Maidenhead area has been problematic. Of all the applications forms sent by Thames Valley Police to the Maidenhead are, only 10% return.
May adds: ‘I hope we can convince more people to join as PCSOs. I truly believe they can make a vital difference to local policing and are a valued and important part of the local community. Some of the problems stem from the length and bureaucracy of the application forms. However, I hope people will be able to see past the problems with the form and help us build up strong neighbourhood teams in Maidenhead.’
- Application packs for PCSOs are available by logging onto www.policecouldyou.co.uk or by calling 0845 600 0925.
- Please see Thames Valley Police for more information on PCSO recruitment and the new Neighbourhood Policing scheme (www.thamesvalley.police.uk)