Coventry & Warwickshire

Warwickshire Police introduce new policing model

Warwickshire Police has introduced a new policing model which it says will help cope with budget cuts and increase the number of officers on duty.

A force spokesman said the changes were designed to provide the public with "maximum protection" from harm.

He said there will be a move away from district-based management to local policing with countywide support.

The strategy includes shifts being cut from 12 hours to eight to reduce overtime payments and rest days.

Neil Brunton, Assistant Chief Constable for the operations directorate, said: "The new policing model will create a more visible and responsive service with more officers on duty at any one time and neighbourhood officers dedicated to solving local issues."

But Simon Payne, chairman of the Warwickshire Police Federation, said members were not happy with the changes.

He said: "We cannot forget the national picture around pensions, pay and conditions of service and that is what is eroding the moral of the rank-and-file officers.

"We would have liked a different shift pattern that would have balanced the needs of the community with the needs of the organisation and the needs of our members.

New teams

"But that hasn't happened and what our members and the federation are now focussed on is moving forward and trying to deliver this new policing model."

At a community level, policing will continue to be provided by the existing 33 "Safer Neighbourhood Teams" (SNTs).

The SNTs will no longer have responsibility to undertake criminal investigations, although they will still investigate local issues such as anti-social behaviour.

The teams will not have to deal with incidents outside of their neighbourhood.

At a countywide level the "Incident Resolution Team" will respond and manage incidents of crime, disorder and road accidents throughout the force area.

The team will operate from four bases and respond to emergency calls.

Crime investigation will be carried out by the "Local Investigation Team" (LIT) which will provide a new CID.

In March it was announced that scores of Warwickshire Police officers would be taken out of front-line policing roles and moved to support posts.

The force has to save £22.9m by March 2015 and has invited civilian staff with two years continuous service to apply for voluntary redundancy.

The Home Office said police forces should focus on driving out wasteful spending and increase efficiency in the back office to protect the front line.

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