Wigan police chief hails bigger neighbourhood teams and more bobbies on the beat
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Greater Manchester Police is boosting the force’s neighbourhood teams by 264 extra officers in a bid to make communities safer.
Bosses say that with the extra warranted police officers, there will be a much greater focus on officers and partner agencies working together in communities to fight crime and solve local problems – like burglary, vehicle crime and drug-dealing.
Wigan district police commander Chief Supt Emily Higham said: “Many of you from Wigan and Leigh will have given your opinions on what you want our neighbourhood policing teams to do.
"Everybody now has designated police officers who will be patrolling your areas and will be doing pro-active policing.
"I’m really happy because my neighbourhood officers have been ring-fenced and dealing with that type of work for over now for over a year.
"Now we have the official launch which is brilliant for our communities to be able to engage with officers on a more regular basis.”
Neighbourhood officers can now be contacted directly through the new and improved Your Area pages on the force’s website and the brand-new community alerts system Bee in the Loop.
Bee in the Loop will also allow those who sign up to be amongst the first to know about incidents and emergencies; get involved in shaping local priorities; and receive targeted crime prevention advice.
The neighbourhood teams, made up of PCSOs, PCs, sergeants, and inspectors, will also benefit from the support of specialist teams - including their own local Neighbourhood Prevention Hubs and Neighbourhood Crime Teams to help them reduce and investigate crime in a way which secures the best possible outcomes for victims and communities.
The Prevention Hubs will also work with partners to address repeat offending and demand while the Crime Teams will lead on operations to target offenders who are committing the most common types of crime.
Chief Supt Higham said: “We’ve always had neighbourhood policing, even I remember who my local beat bobbie was when I was growing up.
"We want to get back to that traditional policing.
"GMP has a whole has had a three-year recruitment process and we’ve recruited over 2,000 extra bobbies and we still have more to recruit which is really positive news.
"Some of them have been in those roles for quite a while and some of them are brand new.
"Also at Wigan, you’ll see additional response officers and more pro-active units.
"We are getting an influx of police officers.
"Hopefully, the public are starting to see the differences.
"We answer the phone a lot quicker and are one of the best police forces in the country for answering 999 and 101 calls.
"Officers get to jobs now a hell of a lot quicker.
"If you’re a member of the public and your job is not serious, you can make an appointment convenient for you.
"We’re now beginning to see those really good results.”