PCC urges public to “get involved” in new police community meetings
GET INVOLVED is the message from Nick Alston Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex as he commented on new plans announced by Essex Police to change the way they meet with the public.
Under the changes police will host local community meetings, guaranteeing the presence of a neighbourhood Sergeant whilst PCSOs will host weekly “street meets”.
Mr Alston said: “Our local policing teams must be in frequent contact with the communities they serve. Regular meetings between police and residents are crucial. Until now, the local meeting structure has been dominated by Neighbourhood Action Panels (NAPs). Some NAPs are well attended and very effective, but others have attracted fewer local people. From my regular public meetings across the county I also know that police attendance at NAPs has been inconsistent.
“Essex Police needs to get better and be more consistent at engaging with local communities. I welcome these plans for new regular meetings, with a guaranteed presence from a Neighbourhood Sergeant, and a clear system for ensuring that concerns are recorded and acted upon. It is essential that everyone who raises an issue receives timely feedback about the matter that concerns them, which may be a direct outcome such as an arrest or community resolution, or the fact that the information is helping police to build a detailed intelligence picture. I also welcome the concept of PCSOs holding weekly surgeries in supermarkets, libraries and shopping centres – actively seeking out the public in ‘street meets’.
“At our recent Essex Police Challenge event in Colchester, where there was a passionate and informed discussion about the new local community meetings, Chief Constable Kavanagh made it clear that our best NAPs will continue to provide important channels of information and local intelligence for police, ensuring that local officers are made aware of some of the nuisance and crime issues that can too easily blight local communities.
“These local community meetings provide opportunities for people to engage with their local policing teams, and I encourage everyone to get involved.
“If you need to report crime or anti-social behaviour urgently, please ring 101 or 999 immediately, rather than waiting for the next community meeting.”
For full details about changes to the Essex Police meeting click here.
For details of meetings hosted by the Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston visit: https://www.essex.pfcc.police.uk/events/