Community policing reshuffle

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WIGAN’S neighbourhood watch teams have received a boost as part of Greater Manchester Police’s new-look community policing scheme.

Investigative officers will now work alongside their neighbourhood counterparts giving local officers more capability to deal with more serious crimes.

The move to provide assistance to officers on the local beat has been welcomed by the borough’s Home Watch co-ordinators.

Margaret Pemberton, 59, who runs part of the Wigan East scheme with her husband Terry, said: “This appears to be a very positive move from our point of view.

“For the PCSOs and officers to get help from higher up the chain could make a big difference to tackling crime.

“Obviously some crimes are more serious than others but this will help what the schemes already do.

“We are in regular contact with our PCSOs and their presence has helped cut incidents of car crime, for example, by a significant amount.”

GMP said the changes will mean more decisions being made at a local level, providing a police response that matches the borough’s requirements.

Assistant Chief Constable, Garry Shewan, said: “The new teams will still be keeping communities safe, and with other agencies can provide a more joined up service to local people.

“This restructuring process is vital to ensure that we continue to provide the best possible service to the public in the current challenging policing environment.

“Alongside this, GMP has also introduced a new police support staff role to assist the teams. Operational support officers will help with customer service, administration and IT duties, thus ensuring that police officers spend as much time as possible out in the community dealing with issues that matter.”

To find out more information about Wigan’s two neighbourhood policing districts; East and West, visit www.gmp.police.uk