Changes to local policing in Gloucestershire are set to take effect from next Thursday (23 July).
Amongst the most significant developments, response officers (who now become incident resolution officers) for Gloucester and Cheltenham will move to a central location at Bamfurlong, shift patterns for officers and PCSOs will change to match peak periods of demand and neighbourhood officers will be more focussed on threat, risk and harm in our communities.
There will continue to be six policing areas, with dedicated Inspectors for each area. Officers will perform incident resolution, local investigation, or neighbourhood policing roles but we will be flexible and officers may police other areas in the county if needed.
Incident resolution officers will respond to emergencies but also take on a comprehensive role with the crimes they attend, in many cases investigating to a conclusion without the need to hand over to another officer. The primary role of local investigators will be to solve more protracted crimes; and neighbourhood officers will engage in problem-solving for local communities and our most vulnerable people.
Superintendent for local policing Richard Cooper said: “Undoubtedly the policing budget for the new few years is going to decrease so changing the way we work to make it more flexible wasn’t just desirable – it was essential.
“With that in mind, we decided to make the most of the situation and take the opportunity to redesign how we work, where we work and when we work so we can police the county as one team and put the public at the heart of everything we do.
“An important feature of these changes is that officers will be able to offer support to colleagues in other roles and in other areas of the county as and when the public most need us. This may also mean that as demand changes each day, officer deployments may change to manage this demand effectively.
“While our communities may not notice many of the changes straight away there are some really tangible benefits – such as improved officer numbers for policing the night time economy and more officers to tackle anti-social behaviour at the times it happens in the evenings and at weekends.
“Neighbourhood policing is going to adapt as well and will be focussed more on addressing threat, risk and harm. With our neighbourhood officers working seven days a week and at times when neighbourhood problems normally arise we’ll be able to deal with those problems quickly and put in place effective long term solutions.
“The six local policing areas will continue to have individual Inspectors and they will be a point of contact for local communities, for partners, and for elected representatives at parish, town, city, district, county council and parliamentary level.
The Inspectors, and the teams they lead, will be based at police stations in the following locations:
- Barton Street police station, Gloucester (Inspector Steve Wood)
- Cirencester police station (Inspector Karen Ellis)
- Coleford police station (Inspector Steve Chester)
- Stroud police station (Inspector Andy Poole)
- Tewkesbury (inside the Borough Council headquarters) (Inspector Dave Goga)
- Cheltenham police station (Inspector Tim Waterhouse)
Furthermore, in Stow and Dursley, we will still have officers working from these locations.
Both Gloucester and Cheltenham will continue to have their own dedicated teams of officers. The Gloucester Area team will be based at Barton Street. We will retain a reception desk at Bearland, although as we announced earlier this year we intend to move this to inside Shire Hall.
The Cheltenham Area team will be based in Lansdown Road. In the Cotswolds, the Forest of Dean, and the areas in and around Stroud and Tewkesbury there will be single teams of incident resolution, local investigation and neighbourhood policing officers who will work alongside PCSOs.
Superintendent Richard Cooper will be taking part in a webchat between 5.30pm and 7pm next Tuesday (21 July) and anyone wishing to take part and ask a question should visit https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/neighbourhood-policing/local-policing-web-chat.