Cheshire Police has today launched its new approach to community policing, which will see dedicated police officers assigned to each of the county's 122 policing areas to help tackle crime and support communities.
The initiative, developed by Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) David Keane, builds on the initiative which provided a dedicated PCSO and police community base for each area.
The new community police officers will work with their fellow PCSO, the wider policing team, and key partners to build relationships within the community, sharing the same mission to solve problems at their root-cause before they become more serious.
They will spend more time in their dedicated communities, be given time to deal with issues that matter most to local residents and local residents will have more opportunities than ever before to directly contact their officers - either online, through social media, or face-to-face during police surgeries.
- PC Katherine Meikle is the Community Police Officer for Wilmslow, Dean Row and Lacey Green working alongside PCSO Lisa Gamble and Dean Row Community Centre on Ringstead Drive serves as their community base.
- PC Chris Mullin is the Community Police Officer for Wilmslow East working alongside PCSO James Hails and Wilmslow Library on South Drive is their community base.
- PC Sam Mutch is the Community Police Officer for Wilmslow West and Chorley working alongside PCSO Karen Linton and Wilmslow Police Station on Hawthorn Street serves as their community base.
- PC Matthew Rowbotham is the Community Police Officer for Handforth working alongside PCSO Gareth Harding and Handforth Youth Centre on Old Road is their community base.
The work of the new community policing teams will be supported by a funding package for each community, made available by the Police and Crime Commissioner from money seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
This will consist of a £1,000 funding pot for all 122 communities and an additional £10,000 for all eight policing units that local people can bid for to deliver projects which work with the local policing team and key partners to address specific issues.
PCC David Keane said: "My focus will always be to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour, support victims and protect vulnerable people. I believe the best way to do this is by delivering a truly local police service that is fit for the future and an integral part of our communities.
"This project is about local police working more closely than ever before with local communities, to meet local priorities.
"With the support of Cheshire residents, we have been able to increase our officer numbers, which has helped make this next stage possible.
"Delivering it has been a key budget priority for me this year and I am pleased we have been able deliver this initiative despite the challenges that Covid-19 has posed and continues to pose on our communities.
"I'm confident having dedicated officers will build on the success we've already had in providing each community with a dedicated PCSO and its own community base and will allow us to stay connected to our communities in light of new coronavirus restrictions.
"For me, community policing is an integral part of protecting our communities and my ambition is to make Cheshire the best in the country at community policing.
"I know that we can only achieve this by investing in our communities and our workforce to ensure policing teams and local residents are given the support and tools they need to make our communities safer."
Chief Constable Darren Martland added: "This is a big step forward and exciting development in our policing model.
"Dedicated police officers will work with PCSOs, volunteers, partners and, most importantly, the communities that we serve, to adopt a preventative and problem solving approach to dealing with the issues that most affect our communities".