We all rely on the police to keep us safe and protect our communities but the Government is making it increasingly difficult for them to do this.
The police are doing what they can but the scale and pace of the Government's cuts over the last three years is hitting services hard, despite its promises that the frontline would not be affected. In South Yorkshire alone, we’ve already lost 169 police officers and across the country we’ve lost over 10,000 frontline officers.
Neighbourhood policing is an integral part of the fight against crime and anti-social behaviour but a recent report has suggested that it is under threat and local communities could be the ones to suffer the consequences.
Earlier this week former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Stevens published his Independent Police Commission Review, the most comprehensive analysis of policing for half a century, and it makes several recommendations on the future of policing in England and Wales, including a renewed focus on neighbourhood policing.
Neighbourhood policing was pioneered by the last Government as a new way for police forces to operate. It meant police officers were more rooted in the communities they served, more able to prevent crimes instead of just reacting to them and more likely to work in partnership with local authorities, schools and the NHS.
However neighbourhood policing in the Rother Valley could be under threat from this Government. This could mean fewer bobbies walking our streets, responding to 999 calls, talking to local people in the community and working to make sure that our families are kept safe.
Policing, like all public services, is most effective when it reflects the views and voices of those it needs to serve. We need a renewed focus on neighbourhood policing that is rooted in the local community.
We need a new vision for policing in the 21st century that identifies new ways of tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in our communities, neighbourhood policing needs to be an integral part of that vision.