Bobby on the beat promise for every ward in Greater Manchester
Every ward in Greater Manchester will soon have a bobby on the beat - and a PCSO - the region’s mayor has promised.
Not every area will have a single, dedicated officer. Some will cover more than one patch.
But residents in every ward will have a named PC and PCSO.
The number of beat officers has dwindled in recent years as government-imposed cuts have hit Greater Manchester Police hard.
More than £9m will be raised to fund a ‘wave’ of recruitment, if Andy Burnham’s plans to raise the policing precept by £24 are approved.
The force will have recruited 50 neighbourhood beat officers by March.
Mr Burnham wants said he wants each of Greater Manchester’s 287 wards to be covered by the end of 2020/21.
Officers will also be placed at some secondary schools with the ‘greatest need’ for extra enforcement following calls from headteacher.
It is hoped an increased police presence will build a ‘relationship of trust’ between young people and the police.
Mr Burnham told the region’s police and crime panel: “What this wave of recruitment will allow is that we can begin to make a clearer commitment to all of our communities.
“We’ll guarantee all wards a named neighbourhood beat officer and named police community support officer (PCSO).
“That’s the commitment that we’re making, recognising that everybody will want to understand the minimum guarantee that they’ve got for visible neighbourhood policing.”
Deputy Chief Constable Ian Pilling said it would not be a ‘pure distribution’ of officers, with some communities sharing one or more neighbourhood beats.
Regarding schools, the meeting heard 20 schools had been initially earmarked for full-time police officers, with some offering to pay for the additional resources.
Having spoken to his own children, Mr Burnham said it is often ‘well-known’ among some young people who might be carrying knives or other dangerous weapons.
“It seems to me that the evidence that can come through a school-based officer is invaluable,” he added.
“I think young people can have a conversation there that they probably wouldn’t do outside of school.
“It’s intelligence that needs to be gathered more systematically by building that relationship of trust with our teenagers.”
GMP is expected to recruit an additional 347 police officers in 2020/21 at a cost of £11.7m.
The total number could rise to 1,156 by the end of the government’s three-year national recruitment drive for 20,000 recruits across the UK.
There were around 8,200 officers working within GMP in 2010, but numbers have dwindled to just 6,200 due to austerity cuts.