PCC welcomes changes made to improve local policing services within Wiltshire
Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson has welcomed the first phase of a series of changes to improve the visibility, consistency, and resilience of our local policing services within Wiltshire has taken place.
Since joining Wiltshire Police in February 2023, Chief Constable Catherine Roper has received consistent feedback from local communities and teams within the Force of a need to provide a stronger focus on visible neighbourhood policing.
Based on this feedback, Wiltshire Police has been evolving its local policing approach to make best use of our resources and provide a more consistent service across the county.
Moving Response Teams on to a new shift pattern that will ensure have better alignment of resources against demand and can give a higher quality of service to victims of crime and wider communities. As part of this, Response Teams now start and end their shifts from four hubs instead of five, strengthening communications and ability to respond to demand while continuing to provide a highly-visible presence in existing geographical areas. The number of police stations the public can access has not changed and Neighbourhood Policing Teams continue to work from existing stations.
A set of Community Commitments – clearly outlining what engagement our communities can expect to receive from Neighbourhood Policing Teams – has been published. This will improve the consistency of service provided and allows communities to hold Wiltshire Police accountable for the service they receive.
In addition to the improvements made so far, Wiltshire Police will also be:
Increasing the number of dedicated neighbourhood engagement vehicles. These have been funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon and will be used by our Neighbourhood Policing Teams to improve visibility and engagement across our communities (particularly in rural areas).
Looking at the operational model for the Force’s investigative and specialist teams to ensure they are able to provide consistently high-quality services to victims of crime.
Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson said: “Delivering a police service which meets the needs of its communities has never been more important – or challenging. Both the Chief Constable and I know residents want greater public engagement with officers, more public access to officers and an increased officer presence at community level.
“Wiltshire Police is tackling these issues and the introduction of a new operating model and recent improvement programme to provide a better-quality service 999 and 101 callers, alongside its Community Commitment, will mean it is consistently providing communities with improved local policing – and that is a real benefit to our communities.
“My commitment has been to invest in Mobile Police Stations so our rural communities receive a greater level of service, improve Melksham Custody so it is fit-for-purpose and the future, invest in training facilities to provide an exemplary environment to equip our police officers to keep you safe and to challenge the force to consistently provide a quality service to residents – regardless of location.
“All of this is underpinned by the importance of investment in the delivery of a policing service I know our residents want - and deserve. Together the Chief Constable and I are determined that not only will Wiltshire be safer but that our communities will start to feel safer too.”
Chief Constable Catherine Roper said: “I am really excited by the opportunities these changes present to fundamentally improve the local policing service we provide and address the consistent feedback I have received from our communities since joining the Force that they want to see much more emphasis on providing visible, neighbourhood-focused policing.
“The changes we have made within our Response Teams will help to free up our Neighbourhood Policing Teams to carry out proactive and visible policing within their communities which I truly believe will enhance the service our communities receive. This has been carried out alongside a programme of improvement within our Crime and Communications Centre to provide a better quality service to people who call for our assistance.
“Although it is still early into our adoption of the new operating model, already I have been receiving positive feedback from officers about the impact it is having on their ability to respond to demand and provide greater support to victims of crime. I am hopeful that we will continue to see further benefits arising from these changes as we embed it further over the coming weeks and months.
“In addition to the resourcing changes, we have also launched our Community Commitments – this is a contract between us and the public, outlining what engagement they can expect from their Neighbourhood Policing Teams.
“The Community Commitments will ensure greater consistency in the level of service provided across the entire county and allows for the public to hold us to account for the level of service they are receiving in their local communities.
“We are also increasing the number of dedicated neighbourhood engagement vehicles in our fleet and we’ll be actively promoting these across our social media, website and Community Messaging channels so our communities will be able to clearly see where there are opportunities to engage with their Neighbourhood Policing Teams. This will enhance our reach across communities and in particular will ensure our rural communities have an increased policing presence and more opportunities to engage with us.
“These changes are part of a much wider plan of improving policing within Wiltshire and give our communities the best and most consistent service possible. On Monday 23 January 2024 from 6.30pm I will be hosting a live Q and A session via the Wiltshire Police Facebook page and I am looking forward to talking more about the improvements we are making and answering questions from our communities.”