Essex set to trial new police system

A RADICAL new form of policing is to be introduced in north Essex that will see individual neighbourhoods allocated their own dedicated officers.Chief Superintendent Dave Hudson, commander of the recently created Eastern Division of Essex Police, said that the new approach would be introduced in the spring.

By Roddy Ashworth

A RADICAL new form of policing is to be introduced in north Essex that will see individual neighbourhoods allocated their own dedicated officers.

Chief Superintendent Dave Hudson, commander of the recently created Eastern Division of Essex Police, said that the new approach would be introduced in the spring.

It will see residents given mobile telephone numbers so they can ring officers direct instead of having to try and contact them through police switchboards.


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And it will establish permanent teams of sergeants, constables, special constables and police community support officers (PCSOs) allocated to specific areas based on council wards.

“Everyone will know who their neighbourhood policing officer is, and it will be much easier to get hold of them,” said Chief Supt Hudson.

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“The teams will be made up of the whole police family, and they will be able to get to know their communities very well.

“People will be able to recognise their officer and talk to them.

“The teams will be expected to know who the criminals are and who is responsible for anti-social behaviour in their particular neighbourhoods.

“This will help us try and deal with potential criminals at a very early stage.

“Also, neighbourhood officers will be investigating the crimes committed in their areas.”

The new method of Neighbourhood Policing is due to be established in all forces across Britain by 2008, but Chief Supt Hudson said that a pilot scheme would be launched in Colchester next month.

This will fine-tune the system before it is launched across the whole of Essex Police's Eastern Division - formerly the two separate divisions of Colchester and Tendring - later in the year.

A neighbourhood team of about eight constables and two sergeants will be established and will start working with residents and community leaders in the St Anne's and St Andrew's wards to find out the specific needs of the area.

Yesterday Mike Hogg, one of the councillors for St Anne's, which covers the Harwich Road and Harwich Road Estate area, said he welcomed the move.

“We launched a multi-agency approach about a month ago which includes ward councillors, street wardens, social services and schools.

“This will really help to cement and build on what we have already got in situ, and obviously we welcome that.

“We are really beginning to make progress and real gains, and when this new policing is introduced if it will consolidate and build on what we have got it will be brilliant.”

Tim Young, a ward councillor for St Andrew's, which covers the Greenstead Estate, said: “We very much welcome this approach. It is the sort of thing our late PCSO Brian Wyatt was trialling very successfully.

“It will be a real benefit to us as ward councillors and to the community as a whole and I look forward to seeing it introduced through out the whole of the borough of Colchester.

“It will have a real deterrent effect on anti-social behaviour and crime.”

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