Peterborough has an “army” of police officers under a new policing model which went live on Monday.
Under the model Cambridgeshire police has recruited 50 additional officers with a promise of more visible local policing. This is in addition to another 55 officers who are currently being recruited thanks to an increase in the police council tax precept.
The 105 new officers will deliver a better response to crime victims, police chiefs claim. Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite said: “It was very pleasing to hear the commander for Peterborough comment he now feels he has an army whereas before clearly they were struggling for numbers.
“Criminals in this county should beware.”
The changes follow an 18 month local policing review and will see the force divided into two divisions, with Peterborough and Fenland brought together under the command of Superintendent Andy Gipp.
Specialist teams - who cover crimes such as burglaries - will now come together to form one unit who can cover all crime types. The new model is also due to deliver savings through a reduction in senior management, fewer PSCOs and greater efficiencies.
In March an inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services found the force ‘Requires Improvement’ with 15 hour waiting times for prompt calls following a period of “exceptional demand.”
Calls are classed as prompt when there is not an immediate concern that a person is going to be harmed, but police are still expected to attend inside an hour. The average prompt call waiting time is now 67 minutes.
Deputy Chief Constable Alan Baldwin said there is now a greater focus on crime prevention rather than response.
He added: “We are now better placed to respond to calls from the public.
“We do not hit our targets 100 per cent of the time but we will be close to getting to all incidents in 15 minutes if immediate and an hour if urgent.
“Cambridgeshire remains a very safe county to live in. Our intention is to make it even safer by modernising the police service. That includes putting more officers on the front line.”