Since 1995 every British Crime Survey shows a fall in overall crime, yet around two thirds of people believe that crime has risen in the past 2 years. There are concerns about public confidence in the Police, and other local service providers, including the criminal justice agencies. This lack of confidence and sense of insecurity is damaging to local neighbourhoods. There is an urgent need to create neighbourhoods that are safe and feel safe.
Building Communities, Beating Crime sets out a vision of the police service that is accessible and responsive to the needs of the citizen. Based on work done by the Service, for example on Reassurance Policing & Community Cohesion, it identifies Neighbourhood Policing as key. Neighbourhood Policing – Your Police, Your Community, Our Commitment went further by setting out plans to deliver neighbourhood policing teams to every community by 2008, supported by funding for up to 24000 Community Support Officers.
On behalf of Association of Chief Police Officers, the National Centre for Policing Excellence has produced advice on Professionalising the Business of neighbourhood Policing. The advice contains 10 principles that will form the basis of learning for 43 Pathfinder Basic Command Units. This is the first stage of an ACPO led programme of reform, which aims to achieve confident and secure neighbourhoods by providing people with:
These elements link with the overall approach to reform of public services and should be considered alongside commitments to Quality of Service.
To be successful Neighbourhood Policing must achieve:
The Right People, in the Right Places, in the Right Numbers
Neighbourhood policing is about confidence; confidence that the police understand the issues that matter topeople, and are dealing with them. Confidence in policing is essential. It provides the legitimacy and public support needed to act in preventing crime and bringing offenders to justice.