New approach to policing the community is launched
Police officers are promising to spend more time working in the Congleton community after Cheshire Police launched a new approach to community policing.
The change will see police officers assigned to each of the county's 122 policing areas to tackle crime and support communities.
Weekly police surgeries will be held where residents can meet officers face to face to raise any issues.
The initiative has been developed by police and crime commissioner David Keane, who wants Cheshire to be the leading police service for delivering community policing.
He said the scheme built on the successfully delivered initiative to provide a dedicated PCSO and police community base for each area.
The new community police officers will work with their fellow PCSO, the wider policing team, and other partners to build relationships within the community, sharing the same "mission" to solve problems at their root cause before they become more serious.
They will spend more time in the heart of their dedicated communities and be given time to deal with issues that matter most to local residents.
Another benefit of the changes, Mr Keane said, is local residents will have more opportunities than ever before to directly contact their officers - either online, through social media, or face-to-face during police surgeries.
The work of the new community policing teams will be supported by a funding package for each community, made available from money seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
This will consist of a £1,000 funding pot for all 122 communities and an additional £10,000 for all eight policing units that local people can bid for to deliver projects which work with the local policing team and key partners to address specific issues.
This now means that residents will now have:
• A local community police base;
• A dedicated PCSO;
• A dedicated PC;
• Regular community policing surgeries, and
• Funding for their local community.
In the Congleton West area, PC Iain Bell and PCSO Ben Hooper will be based at New Life Church, West Street; PC Helen Weeks and PCSO David Bell, covering Congleton East, will be based at the Bromley Farm Hub; PC Kate Ritchie and PCSO Jeanette Carter will be at Glebe Farm, Astbury, for the Odd Rode area and in Gawsworth and Chelford PC Gary Charnock and PCSO Julia Short will be based at Marton Meadows Golf Club, Marton.