A new approach to the way policing is delivered across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland will result in more officers based in neighbourhoods and quicker response times.
From March 11 Leicestershire Police will be introducing its new Target Operating Model (TOM) across the force area.
It will result in more officers being based locally meaning quicker response times and more resilience and capability in neighbourhoods.
Currently there are eight Neighbourhood Policing Areas (NPAs) across the city, county and Rutland. This will increase to nine under the changes. These will be:
North West Leicestershire
Melton and Rutland (newly created area)
Harborough and Wigston (newly created area)
Hinckley and Blaby
South Leicester (some boundary changes)
Each area will be led by a commander and have the capability for patrol, incident response, investigation, problem-solving and community engagement.
NPAs will have their own area CID team, headed up by a Detective Inspector, meaning a dedicated resource in neighbourhoods for investigating more serious offences locally.
A new role of Neighbourhood Patrol Officer (NPOs) is being introduced. These officers will respond to incidents, carry out pro-active patrol and investigate volume crime such as burglary, vehicle crime and criminal damage. They will be overseen by additional locally based sergeants. They will work alongside existing Dedicated Neighbourhood Officers and teams who work to address local issues and priorities with partners.
All newly trained police officers joining the force will become an NPO and be allocated to a neighbourhood policing area. The force is recruiting additional police officers this year paid for from local council tax payers and from the Government’s Uplift programme.
Deputy Chief Constable Rob Nixon said: “This new way of organising how we deliver our services will ultimately put more police officers directly into neighbourhoods where the public want us to.
“In the first few months people may not see any major changes but over time they should start to see more officers in and around their communities.
“It will mean more crime being investigated locally by dedicated officers from initial allocation through to arrest and preparation for court or resolution. This means better ownership of issues and the ability to build trust and confidence with the public.
“The model is very much based on detailed analysis we have done over time and feedback from officers on the frontline on how best we can deliver 24/7 response. We want to remove some of those boundaries that currently exist that creates silo working, to ensure a greater level of team working.
“With more officers based at local level it will mean stronger local knowledge and intelligence and quicker response times.
“This will take time to embed, particularly as we will be busy recruiting and training officers for the frontline throughout the year.”
Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach has been travelling round a number of police stations in the city and county talking to officers to find out what they think about the new model.
He said: “The reaction is very positive. I think officers like the idea that now they will usually handle an incident or crime from start to finish, and I know that residents will find that appealing.
“Personally, I like its localism, it’s a good thing. Officers in the heart of communities, dealing with the problems in that community. That’s just what people have told me, over and over, that they want to see. I promised to increase the number of frontline officers tackling local issues and now people are seeing the proof of that.
“The aim is to also use our resources to better meet the demand on our services. I think that this new model of service delivery will achieve that and I’m proud to have been involved.”