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Police agree change we called for in September

(February 26, 2009)

A SIGNIFICANT change in policing, which was advocated on this website six months ago, has been taken up by Wiltshire Constabulary.

Back in September we commented in our policing chapter that the new neighbourhood policing teams were too small and that officers were being abstracted for other duties, especially response, far too often - resulting in the NPTs being very ineffective.

Inspector Minty admitted to the Warminster area pilot board that police had indeed made a mistake and things would change from April.

The number of neighbourhood teams in the Warminster area will be reduced by two and the number of response officers would rise by two.

In addition we will be getting a new sergeant to oversee response duties in the town.

“I received an assurance from Inspector Minty that this change meant a net gain of one police officer for Warminster - which is a step in the right direction for the town,” said former county councillor Steve Dancey.

“He revealed that the abstraction rate for neighbourhood policing officers -or the times they are taken away for other duties - was 50 per cent locally which is way over the new target of 20 per cent.

“I’m glad police have taken this step as following conversations with officers at the sharp end I knew things couldn’t go on and that something had to change.

“I still want to see more officers in Warminster and believe that its ‘weighting’ should be increased since more officer time is wasted in ferrying people to and from to the custody suite in Semington than is the case in other towns nearer the divisional HQ.”

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