Two million hours on the beat since force protected vital role
Bobbies across the West Midlands are set to mark their
two-millionth hour on the beat since the force cemented its
commitment to local policing.
The Police and Crime Commissioner and Deputy
Chief Constable moved to protect the "vital function" of
neighbourhood policing during the force's major modernisation
programme known as
In November last year, the first phase of the ambitious
programme went live. This included a new-look neighbourhood
policing function, body-worn video for officers and more.
Since then, neighbourhood officers have spent two million hours
preventing crime, protecting the public and helping those in
New teams were also created to free up officers on
neighbourhoods, allowing them to continue their essential work -
intervening early in local issues to prevent future harm - while
Response colleagues were released from some time-consuming duties
which allowed them to focus on helping people when they need it
At the same time, the force also invested in smartphones for
officers to allow them secure access to information on the go.
Before this, they would have had to return to a police station and
log on to a computer. Thousands of hours on the beat are believed
to have been saved thanks to the devices.
Deputy Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe is the lead for the force's
major transformation programme, WMP2020. She explained: "Every area
continues to have its local officers and, as promised,
neighbourhood policing has been protected.
"Yes we had to move some people around but in addition to
protecting the function, we protected the numbers of officers
carrying out this vital role.
"Our investment in technology has freed up our people to spend
more time tackling crime and less time returning to the station to
update systems and complete paperwork.
"In the past neighbourhood teams have had to support other
functions, for example backfilling Response roles or guarding
crimes scenes but that is no more following the first phase of
delivery under the WMP2020 programme and today marks a milestone
since these vital changes.
"The creation of new teams, like Force Support, has afforded our
local officers more time to focus on the important community work
which sees us intervening early to prevent people from following a
path into criminal behaviour, or indeed becoming a victim.
"This approach is also a public demonstration of our commitment
to neighbourhood policing."
There are the equivalent of 1,376 full time officers assigned to
neighbourhood policing supplemented by dozens of volunteer special
constables. This week they will have amassed two million hours on
the beat since November.
Over the same period 4,000 people applied to join the force
during recruitment campaigns to enlist new PCs and police community
support officers (PCSOs).
Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, David
Jamieson, said: "We haven't just protected neighbourhood policing,
we are strengthening it. By investing in new technology we are
putting officers where the public want them - out on the streets,
not filling in forms.
"To support neighbourhood policing we will recruit 800 police
officers, 150 PCSOs and 200 specialist staff by 2020.
"The public want local policing to help solve issues in their
neighbourhoods and that is what we are delivering."
Neighbourhood policing teams are the face of local policing.
They are supported by emergency Response officers, detectives from
CID and Public Protection, Traffic officers and thousands of other
specialists who work around the clock to prevent crime, target
offenders and protect local people.
The number of officers aligned to neighbourhoods is based on
local crime levels and other data.
Follow this link and enter your postcode to meet those responsible
for policing your area.