April 24th, 2008

Here we go again

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

In a  recent article in the Police Review, Inspectpr Simon Hepworth of West Yorkshire Police, waxes lyrical about the ‘new’ government initiative of neighbourhood policing.

Entitled ‘Keeping Policing Local’ he says the recent publicity by the government promoted "a localised brand of policing & promises the public access to a dedicated & visible neighbourhood policing team."

Inspector Hepworth is a  neighbourhood policing team inspector & is "pleased to say there is nothing new in this initiative" – well no shit Sherlock!

He explains "West Yorkshire Police moved towards the primacy of neighbourhood policing over a year ago & our chief constable, Sir Norman Bettison, has long been a champion of this format." 

I seem to recall that Inspector Hepworth has previously written criticism of police bloggers. It’s a shame he hasn’t been reading this one or he’d have discovered that neighbourhood policing initiatives date back far longer than his ‘forward thinking force’.

Insp Hepworth ends his article with some advice to improve the success of this ‘visionary‘ style of policing. "To be most effective, neighbourhood ethos needs to be spread across all parts of the police organisation. An ideal model of neighbourhood policing would [be] to have patrol teams, proactive beat managers [e.i. neigbourhood PCs] & CSOs working in the same area every day. They could be backed up by CID & local intelligence officers who would also concentrate their efforts in the same small area.

"A police station in each town would be ideal. The lack of a loal nick is something the Home Office should address to get the best out of its new idea. Ultimately, local police stations mean local policing."

Pretty much as it was in the 1970s & 1980s, before they sold all the neighbourhood & rural officers’ houses & offices & decided to put everyone on squads.


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  1. Twining says:

    Those that argue that the concept of neighbourhood policing is “new” are unbelievable masters of spin. To rival the spin of Monty Panesar in this way is quite er offensive to Monty! Local policing is real not a vision. 200 weeks I am with you on this. As for Bettison, he has no credibility in the opinion of many that know him. How can you trust a man that asks his IT staff to check and update his wikipedia entry?

    April 25th, 2008 at 15:51

  2. Twining says:

    Hepworth is a spin master! But he doesn’t care much for blogs.

    April 25th, 2008 at 15:52

  3. Twining says:

    Hepwood or Hepwroth?p

    April 25th, 2008 at 15:53

  4. 200 says:

    Twining, well spotted, wondered if anyone would pick up on the ‘deliberate’ error, it’s just a ploy to see if anyone reads these things, honest, nothing to do with lacksadaisical standards (You may have noticed I have no idea how to spell lacksadaisical)

    April 25th, 2008 at 16:23

  5. Plodnomore says:

    As well as local Police stations, how about local control rooms staffed by people who know the area so that when someone phones 999 and screams, “There’s someone being murdered in the High Street.” they aren’t asked, “Which High Street? Which town are you talking about?” and don’t send the response car to the wrong place (as mentioned in another blog recently). When offenders make off from a house burglary, the local control room, having knowledge of the area can quickly, efficiently and competently, direct officers to head them off. The list goes on. Instead I am half expecting to phone my local Police and be redirected to Bangalore, Manilla or Beijing “because it’s cheaper” (nothing against those places but it’s a bugger taking in a HO/RT1!). Must go as I have to check that my staff have correctly adjusted my Wikepedia entry.

    April 25th, 2008 at 17:04

  6. Civ_In_The_City says:

    I blame hairdressers. When they started calling shampoo and conditioner ‘product’ everyone else thought they could punt any old crap just by lighting it from a fancy angle. What`s in the bottle doesn`t change, only the perception of what`s in the bottle.

    This con of ‘neighbourhood policing’, or ‘citizen focussed policing’, or ‘community centric policing’ is just another name for precisely the thing that police forces were formed for in the first place. It really is that simple.

    The core purpose of police being in amongst us hasn`t changed in hundreds of years. The appalling fact is that the government thinks it can package up policing like it`s a new invention and sell us something which we owned in the first place. And which they stole from us.

    What happened was this. Crime increased across the board. Police resources didn`t. Police focussed on the serious crime, leaving the less serious stuff. Public get p*ssed off which the low level stuff. Government wants to convince people they`re doing something about it. Government ‘invents’ neighbourhood policing. Government doesn`t provide more resources. Government invents PCSO`s to do the low-level stuff as they`re cheaper. Government withdraws funding for PCSO`s but leaves the requirement for PCSO`s and neighbourhood policing in the hands of the police. Government doesn`t provide extra funding or resources. Police struggle to cope. Government starts getting a lot of grief. Government blames police authorities and chief constables.

    What happens next. Government is voted out at next election. Everyone breathes sigh of relief. It all starts again.

    April 26th, 2008 at 14:51

  7. Twining says:

    Notice my clerical error too old boy, “Hepwroth?p.” How many weeks left now? Er and 200 weeks if you get a chance email me. Er also I agree this is all the hairdressers fault.

    April 26th, 2008 at 15:04

  8. Nightjack says:

    The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round.

    And so it come to pass that the pieces are swept from the board and we start all over again. Of course, we won’t be able to offer many of the ne recruits an exciting diverse career. We will have to stop lookin for ambitious young things and settle for committed recruits who are happy to spend a career in one patch learning and being part of the local community. Not galmorous work but deeply rewarding. If we are serious about it, we need to insist that “Neighbourhood Officers” sign up for 5 years at least. Much less and by the time you know the people and they know you, you are gone gone gone.

    Yet we have spent a decade or more recruiting officers who, I think, do not necessarily look on uniform neighbourhood patrol as “a good thing to do.” Should be interesting if we end up having to try and do NBT’s with officers who are not in it for the long run.

    April 27th, 2008 at 11:16

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