Camden police chief plans to put officers back on the beat
18:26 29 November 2012
The Camden police chief has announced that more officers will patrol the streets, as specialist teams are reduced, in a major overhaul of community policing.
Chief Superintendent Richard Tucker said at a meeting last night (November 28) that Safer Neighbourhood Teams will become responsible for investigating crimes as well as reporting them, in an effort to save money for the Metropolitan Police.
The London police have been set the task of saving £500,000 over the next three years, following budget cuts.
Speaking to the councillors and residents who turned up to hear about the future of policing on their streets, Chief Supt Tucker said: “We have to save half a million pounds and that is going to be challenging, and as result of that we’ve had to look at the way we can do things.
“There is going to a big change in how we set up locally.”
Specialist Camden Met teams, which are currently responsible for investigating low-level crimes such as criminal damage, will also be reduced.
Instead, an extra 100 police officers will work on the ground reporting crime as well as taking on the investigations.
The shake-up may also see a decrease in the number of permanently assigned officers per ward, with the extra 100 police officers, distributed where needed.
Chief Supt Tucker explained: “Every ward will have a sergeant, a dedicated, named police constable and a dedicated, named police community support officer and that will be a reduction in some of the wards of what you have already, but on the other side of this is the uplift of these 100 plus officers and there are additional responses for the teams.”
Currently, the number of permenant officers per ward depends on the size of the area.
In a move that Chief Supt Tucker termed ‘localism,’ the more traditional model of ‘bobbies-on-the-beat,’ which characterises most forces outside London, will ensure that police “know every inch and face.”
“Do they know the parish priest, do they know the rabbi, the imam, the biggest business, the owner of the local pub?”
The borough commander added that the police officers “will be held responsible for what is happening in their area,” going on to say, “this is what they do for a living, and if they don’t do what we want them do and they fall below the standard required we have a response system in place.”
Speaking of the new plans, Chief Supt Tucker said: “This way our police officers will be multi-skilled.
“I also think that local problems can be solved better this way.”