There was a report on the above featured on the today program this morning. Apparently our PM had commissioned this about 8ths ago because he was concerned that although crime as been falling the general public don’t believe it. We don’t believe much of what our politicians are telling us so why should this be any different? The author Caroline Gammell went along to Downing St. yesterday to present her report, which contained no less than 32 recommendations. Being involved with Neighbourhood Watch I suppose I know better than most that this is in fact true. We have campaigned for improvements to the way that the police present the crime numbers and in the way they interact with the community and groups such as NHW. Neighbourhood policing is working. We here in Newton have a good team but I am less than confident about the views of their senior officers. I still think that electing our most senior officer in the borough is the way to go. The report mentioned the public’s perception which is supported by media is we need more Bobbies on the beat. I am perhaps one of the few people who do not believe this is necessary. PCSO’s do the job far more effectively. We campaigned to get our cops on bikes, now, you would think that was easy with a spread out ward such as ours but not so. We faced a lot of opposition from senior officers (no budget for uniforms) but eventually we got our Bobbies on Bikes. The report mentioned the police being more involved with regular monthly meetings with community groups. We already have this over here with their regular attendance at NHW and community forums. More needs to be done (I hate that phrase because one of our councillors uses it on his leaflets with a picture with his arms folded).
Recently we had an incident which might have been serious but turned out to be minor. I was involved in my NHW role so I knew a lot of what had happened. Some time later I was gossiping to a neighbour when this incident was raised. “The Police came but they did nothing” she claimed. Now I knew this was not true. I know the officers who were given the job of investigating the incident and I talked with them on a couple of occasions but the story was out there “cops did nothing” I quickly put the case for the police but I fear the damage was done.
I am coming to the view that community policing is closer to what we will have to move to, not just neighbourhoods.