Five more police officers for Wigan

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THE streets of Wigan are to be boosted by putting more bobbies on the beat - despite planned swingeing cuts to the force.

As part of a shake-up of Greater Manchester’s frontline policing, the borough has emerged as one of the winners out of the 10 local authorities, getting an additional five police officers.

The shake-up has seen a redistribution of officers across the Greater Manchester authorities, four of which will lose officers, one will stay the same and five will get additional resources.

The news comes just a week after it was announced that officers would be changing the way they work across the division to provide a more localised service to the community.

The move involves nearly 40 officers being taken from other duties to join existing neighbourhood policing teams to help investigate crimes.

And the change forms part of Greater Manchester Police’s new policing model, which will enable dedicated teams to respond more quickly to emergencies and spend more time patrolling the streets.

Chief Supt Shaun Donnellan, of Greater Manchester Police’s Wigan Division, said: “The five additional officers will be joining our recently-strengthened neighbourhood policing teams, as work to improve efficiency has allowed us to move officers from administrative posts into frontline policing.

“We regularly review staffing levels and adjust them as required to ensure we have the right number of officers in the right place to tackle crime and keep people safe.”

Out of those benefiting from more bobbies, Wigan has gained the least, but the move, scheduled to come into play from April, will still be welcomed.

The plans will be discussed at a meeting of Greater Manchester Police Authority’s policy committee and police bosses say they want to make the best of the resources they have to put more bobbies on to the frontline.

Chief Constable Peter Fahy insists that the move is the best thing for the region.

He said: “The public will see no difference in the policing they receive.

“We are simply adjusting small numbers to assist us in managing the workload we have in policing Greater Manchester.

“Criminals don’t respect boundaries and neither must we. It is vital that we are able to keep the whole of Greater Manchester safe.”