Shake-up of Cambridgeshire policing gets the go-ahead

PUBLISHED: 13:51 13 January 2018

Chief Constable, Alec Wood, and Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite

Chief Constable, Alec Wood, and Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite

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A new system of policing in Cambridgeshire - which will see the introduction of 50 extra police officers - has been agreed and will come into effect at the end of April.

"The new structure will put more officers on the frontline and enable us to improve our service"

Chief Constable Alec Wood

The shake-up follows a review by the force which believes its present model of policing was hindering its ability to manage demand.

The new system will see the county split into northern and southern halves, replacing the current six district areas, which police said hampered “interoperability”, with Huntingdon being in the southern sector.

The move will see the number of PCSOs cut from 126 to 80 and savings of £3.1 million will also be made over the next four years.

Chief Constable Alec Wood said: “Our current policing model is no longer sustainable and is hampering our ability to manage our demand. As a result officers and staff are having to work long hours and juggle heavy workloads and this is not manageable in the long term.

“Our commitment remains protecting the most vulnerable people in our communities and proactively targeting the most dangerous offenders in the county. But to be as effective as possible, and to provide victims with the best service we can, we need a new way of working that enables us to better manage our demand and resources.”

Mr Wood said: “The new structure will put more officers on the frontline and enable us to improve our service and the way we manage our demand.”

Police and crime commissioner Jason Ablewhite said: “I am pleased to see the new local policing model now being implemented by the constabulary. This will enable us to respond more effectively to increasing demand of crime types such as domestic violence and cybercrime whilst maintaining neighbourhood policing.

“It will also increase our ability to investigate crimes and deter people from criminality.”

The new model has been designed using the evidence gathered by the local policing review team over the past 12 months. This includes feedback from officers and staff, demand and resource mapping, visits to other forces and a review of existing data from within the force.

Officers and staff affected by the move have been through a period of consultation but police said there would not be job losses at this stage.

Police said under the new structure every resident would have access to a local policing team and have an identified PCSO in their area, there would be extra officers to deal with issues such as child protection, rape and domestic abuse and a demand hub to handle contact and crime management.

There would be a missing, exploited and trafficked hub to protect children at risk of harm, together with a range of community policing initiatives.

The force serious and organised crime, cyber and fraud and surveillance teams would remain.

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