Last Updated: 24/01/2024
This week is Neighbourhood Policing Week of Action - an opportunity to celebrate the vital role that neighbourhood policing teams up and down the country play in keeping communities safe.
The difference made by local officers and PCSOs in communities across South Wales cannot be overstated – and it’s what I hear constantly from local people..
Here’s just one example: I recently spent an evening with the team in Bridgend to see how ‘urban rugby’ is helping to tackle antisocial behaviour in a local area. I have funded this project, called TACKLE After Dark it gave a snapshot of the innovative way in which young people are being engaged and how highly committed PCSOs, youth workers and sports people are working together to solve problems and help bring communities together. There are many examples across South Wales.
Central to neighbourhood policing is the PCSO - whose role is about communicating - listening to the community, providing information to the community, engaging people, getting people together to solve local problems. And it is about enabling and empowering people in the local community to work together to tackle local issues.
Because of the trust between a community and its PCSO, neighbourhood policing also plays a vital role in the gathering and development of community intelligence – and this is not limited to lower-level anti-social behaviour - it also includes information about organised crime and the violence and exploitation which comes with it.
Of course, PCSOs play an important, public facing role, but this week is also about celebrating and acknowledging those largely unsung people in specialist roles which supports neighbourhood policing, the volunteers and our many partners play who all play their vital part. As a former youth worker myself I’ve been pleased to meet current youth workers like those I saw in Bridgend and to see the inspirational work they are doing.
Neighbourhood policing has been at the heart of my Police and Crime Plan and the quality of the teams in South Wales continually improves and leads to new initiatives. Both myself and the Chief Constable are firmly rooted in the belief that effective community policing is fundamental to the police service's relationship with the public and the number one police priority of preventing crime and harm. Despite the tough times we are in we have continued to protect neighbourhood policing and make it a priority - and that will not change.
I want to thank everybody involved with the daily implementation of neighbourhood policing - for their personal commitment, for their ability to think outside the box and come up with new ideas and for their effectiveness in keeping communities across South Wales safe.
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