'Safer Neigbourhood Teams are the cornerstone of local policing'
PUBLISHED: 14:29 31 January 2013 | UPDATED: 14:41 01 February 2013
Newham Police Borough Commander Rob Jones
This week I met Newham Community and Police Forum to talk about policing issues – including investigating domestic violence and hate crime, stop-and-search, and caring for victims. The two biggest questions were what the changes to policing will mean for people in Newham, and what we can do to shape the future in a way that builds capability, trust, and confidence in the way we police.
One thing I am clear about is that to address both these questions, Safer Neighbourhoods Teams will be the cornerstone of what we do. Local officers will be available for longer and at times when communities really need them. Every day of the week, Safer Neighbourhoods officers and PCSOs will be on duty throughout Newham, responding to local needs and priorities, and solving problems rather than just responding. Every ward will still have a named officer and PCSO, with a named sergeant responsible for one or in some cases two wards. They’ll have access to more officers to support them for more deep-seated problems and the increased teams will have more of a focus on cutting crime – having a role in the investigation of crimes in communities and catching local criminals.
I’m excited about this change. It will take time to achieve, but we will have more than 80 extra officers in post by April, 2015, welcoming the first wave of new recruits to Newham in August.
Public access to policing services is constantly evolving. The 101 non-emergency number and our ability to diary appointments for members of the public, coupled with internet access, provides greater flexibility to access our services and the number of crimes reported to front counters has fallen by 20 per cent in four years. We are reviewing which of our existing front counters are the most needed, and what we can do to make them more easy to use.
Some things will not change. Forest Gate police station in Romford Road is our busiest site and will be improved and remain open for the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and Plaistow station will stay open during the day when demand is highest.
We want to seek your views on the police stations and public access in other areas, like North Woolwich, Beckton, and Stratford. There will be a public consultation meeting convened by MoPAC at Stratford Old Town Hall, The Broadway, Stratford, on February 11 between 6pm and 7pm. If you wish to attend, you should register interest at http://www.london.gov.uk/events/newham, although this is not a prerequisite for attendance. You can also register views online. For more on the consultation and how to have your say, go to www.london.gov.uk/events/policing-and-crime-consultation-events. I look forward to meeting some of you there.