Gloucestershire Police chief: Olympic trial a success

Chief Constable Mick Matthews, of Gloucestershire Police
Image caption Mick Matthews wants to make senior officers "more visible"

A police chief has said that a trial to redeploy senior officers during the Olympics was "very successful".

While more than 200 rank and file officers were supporting forces in London and Dorset, Gloucestershire Police changed the way it was managed.

Its six superintendents were used centrally, rather than across their own patch, and asked to work a longer day.

Chief Constable Mick Matthews had earlier said that elements of the trial could be retained if it was a success.

He said: "Under normal circumstances you'd have six superintendents looking after six policing areas in the county.

"For the Olympics we centralised them, pooled the resources, and spread them out over a long period of time.

"What that has resulted in has been a far quicker response to more urgent issues, interventions when necessary, and a more effective command of the force.

"I am very keen to exploit that further."

The same system will also be in place throughout the Paralympics and a full review then carried out in September.

Mr Matthews added that early indications suggested that it might not be sustainable "in its current form" because officers were being asked to work longer hours.

Tracy de Young, Gloucestershire Police Federation chairman, said she would look forward to a "full and open" evaluation of the new redeployment model next month.

"The chief constable made it clear in his command briefing on 1 June that he wanted his senior managers at chief inspector and superintendent ranks to provide strong, clear and, more importantly, visible leadership for both the constabulary and the communities we serve," she said.

"We are always open to new methods of working and welcome a more visible and hands-on approach from our senior leaders."

Mr Matthews became the chief constable in June, replacing Tony Melville who resigned from the position in April over the police reform agenda.

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