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Listening to Our Police

Dawn meets with local police teams

Police officers and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) from across Bristol South have this afternoon met with local MP Dawn Primarolo to discuss neighbourhood policing.  Neighbourhood policing gives people power over how their streets are policed, and will be rolled out across the UK by April.

Bristol already benefits from neighbourhood police teams, made up of beat managers and PCSOs.  As well as tackling crime and the fear of crime, the teams have been busy building up relationships with communities by attending local events and holding surgeries.  Further improvements will see residents issued with a mobile phone number to call and direct email address to send any concerns to.    

Commenting after the event, Dawn said:

“I wanted both to thank officers for all their hard work and to listen to their suggestions as to how the government and city council can help them do an even better job.  I’ve taken away a number of ideas to raise with the Chief Constable and Home Secretary.”

“It’s so important that local people and the police have a good relationship based on trust, which is exactly the point of neighbourhood policing.  I know that residents really appreciate the work of the police, and we’re seeing a return to the days when people knew their local police officer.  Police officers and PCSOs are spending more time out on the beat, meeting with local groups and visiting schools to provide young people with information on how to stay safe and out of trouble.”

“If someone had suggested thirty years ago that residents would get the chance to shape the priorities of their police team, nobody would have believed it.  But that’s what we’re seeing now, with Police and Communities Together (PACT) meetings.  PACT meetings give residents the opportunity to let police know exactly what their concerns are.  Some of these meetings have been really well attended – with forty people going to the event in Knowle West – and show that residents value the opportunity to have their say.”

“There’s no doubt that neighbourhood policing works.  That’s why I’m particularly delighted that the council has funded an extra 42 PCSOs.  We’re showing that we’re determined to tackle crime and make sure that people feel safe on Bristol’s streets.”

Chief Inspector Andy Bennett added:

“This afternoon was an excellent opportunity for officers to discuss their thoughts on neighbourhood policing.  We know that residents really value seeing a familiar face on the beat, and our local teams are all working hard to make sure they are involved in every aspect of community life.  By doing that, police officers and PCSOs will help to reduce both fear of crime as well as crime itself.” 

[29 February 2008]

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