Marking Neighbourhood Policing Week by celebrating our frontline teams and volunteers
Bridging the gap between our communities and our policing service has been a key focus of mine and during National Neighbourhood Policing Week, I want to highlight the vital work that all our Neighbourhood Police Officers, PCSOs, Police Staff and volunteers do to protect and support the communities of Wiltshire and Swindon.
The work carried out by those on the frontline is crucial in preventing crime from happening, supporting those most vulnerable and keeping the public safe. I recently welcomed changes made by Chief Constable, Catherine Roper to our neighbourhood policing teams to ensure a more visible, consistent and resilient service is provided to our local communities.
I’ve supported this with significant investment in two new mobile police stations, meaning the Force will have four in total, to facilitate more visible and accessible policing throughout our city, towns and villages – with a particular focus on our more rural areas.
I was able to join officers from Devizes in the marketplace this week to see a mobile police station in action and how important they are in establishing those strong relationships with our communities.
We need to equip our officers, staff and volunteers with the right tools for the job including training facilities, vehicles, IT and stations that are fit for purpose to ensure that our communities receive the police service they rightly expect and deserve.
My new estates strategy, which will be published next week, ensures that we have well-placed police stations and hubs providing a base for our officers and staff to work smarter, adapt to changing crime and, most importantly, ensure that not only will communities be safer but they will start to feel safer too.
Road safety is another crucial aspect to Neighbourhood Policing Week and following a summer road safety campaign by Wiltshire Police highlighting the Fatal Five offences and the work the Roads Policing Unit (RPU) is doing to target offending drivers, there were 21 fatal collisions in 2023 compared to 28 collisions in 2022 – a 25 per cent reduction.
This is really reassuring progress and it’s clear that positive, proactive policing from the RPU and our community speedwatch teams is making Wiltshire’s roads safer. But 21 people still lost their lives on our roads and every death on our roads has a devastating effect on those left behind and those emergency service workers who deal directly with the aftermath.
By monitoring data from the county’s Speed Indicator Devices, we can see increased enforcement is starting to slow drivers in identified hotspots, but we can always do more to reinforce the message that Wiltshire Police will not tolerate drivers being a danger to themselves and others.