A new policing model for Cambridgeshire, that will see an extra 50 police officers brought in, has been agreed and will roll out from April 30.
In November Chief Constable Alec Wood and Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite announced proposed plans to create a sustainable policing model that includes an extra 50 police officers.
In November 2016 the force commissioned the Local Policing Review tasked with designed a model that would deliver demand-led and victim-focused service and provide much-needed support to the frontline.
The force’s current policing model is hindering its ability to manage demand. Like forces across the country, Cambridgeshire faces an unprecedented workload and, as a result, officers and staff are working long hours with heavy workloads.
Officers and staff directly affected by the proposed changes have now been through a period of formal consultation and the final structure for the new model was signed off this week.
Chief Constable Alec Wood said: “Our current policing model is no longer sustainable and is hampering our ability to manage our demand. As a result officers and staff are having to work long hours and juggle heavy workloads and this is not manageable in the long term.
“Our commitment remains protecting the most vulnerable people in our communities and proactively targeting the most dangerous offenders in the county. But to be as effective as possible, and to provide victims with the best service we can, we need a new way of working that enables us to better manage our demand and resources.
“The new structure will put more officers on the frontline and enable us to improve our service and the way we manage our demand.”
The new model has been designed using the evidence gathered by the Local Policing Review Team over the past 12 months. This includes feedback from officers and staff, demand and resource mapping, visits to other forces and a review of existing data from within the force.
Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite said: “I am pleased to see the new local policing model now being implemented by the Constabulary. This will enable us to respond more effectively to increasing demand of crime types such as domestic violence and cybercrime whilst maintaining neighbourhood policing. It will also increase our ability to investigate crimes and deter people from criminality.”
Below is an overview of the new structure:
• Every resident will be able to access their local policing team and have an identified PCSO in their area. However, there will be no new intakes of PCSOs and the current headcount will reduce by natural turnover over coming years, with a commitment to retain a minimum of 80 full time equivalent posts.
• Additional officers will be in those areas where our most vulnerable people and most dangerous offenders are, focusing on issues such as child protection, rape investigation and domestic abuse.
• A Demand Hub will be created to merge the force’s contact and crime management functions centrally at force HQ. This will modernise our approach to public contact and allow for early and more effective management of demand.
• The previous force model saw it split into six district areas which affected our interoperability. This will change to just two areas, north and south, making us more efficient, reducing supervisory and senior management posts and enabling us to commit more resources to the frontline.
• A Missing, Exploited and Trafficked (MET) Hub will be created, tasked with protecting children most at risk of harm within these three areas and focused on apprehending the offenders who target them.
• There will be changes to our current intelligence structure, which will enable us to increase our analytical provision, allowing improved analysis of demand.
• PCSOs will continue to play a central role in neighbourhood policing and problem solving.
• Community action teams, similar to the current Rural Crime Action Team (RCAT), will be created to respond to local problems and challenges. These officers will be tasked with dealing with local issues, prioritising those where the risk to individuals and the public is highest.
• Every district council area will have an enquiry office function.
• A reduced number of response bases will allow for maximum efficiency in response deployment.
• The force will continue to have a serious and organised crime team, cyber and fraud team, and surveillance team to tackle crime gangs.