Residents in Hampton will see more of their local police officers thanks to a scheme to take them out of their police station and onto the streets.
The new project is being piloted in the township, and has seen businesses allowing officers to use spaces in the community for briefings.
The idea is the brainchild of Inspector Andy Bartlett, and will also see police officers with issued with mobile devices such as laptops and tablets in order to be able to work efficiently away from their desks.
Inspector Bartlett said: “When I joined the police many years ago, computers were not in frequent use and I am sad to say that there were as many forms then as there are now.
“While most of our paperwork is nowadays completed via a computer, up until now our officers have still had the necessity to come back to the station to complete their work on desktop computers.
“This roll-out of mobile technology allows the officers to get back out where they want to be – on the streets of our neighbourhoods providing a visible and reassuring presence.”
The confirmed sites so far for briefings are the food court in Serpentine Green Shopping Centre, Dobbies Garden Centre and Orton Centre.
Inspector Bartlett added: “The trial will be in two parts, the first being to hold our daily shift briefings in public spaces which I believe will professionalise our briefings but also lift some of the myths about what we do.
“The second part is around where we go to complete paperwork – I want us to be driving to areas where we know there has been high crime levels and anti-social behaviour and park up there to complete it.”
The new scheme follows a pilot project at Sainsbury’s in the Bretton Centre, where officers and Police and Crime Commissioner outreach workers attend the store five days a week to speak to residents about crime issues.