Neighbourhood policing: Your police; your community; our commitment


Neighbourhood policing your police; your community; our commitment

This report sets out the government’s approach to neighbourhood policing. The aim of neighbourhood policing is to make communities feel safe and secure by reducing crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) in their area.

Title: Neighbourhood policing your police; your community; our commitment
Author: Home Office
Date published: March 2005
Number of pages: 16
full report


The government’s aims are that by 2008:

  • every area in England and Wales will benefit from dedicated, visible, accessible and responsive neighbourhood policing teams

  • there are record policing resources on the frontline – (12,000 back-office staff are to be freed up)

  • there will be 24,000 community support officers providing up to 36 million hours a year out in communities

  • everyone will know who their local police officers are and how to contact them

  • everyone will have a real say in local policing issues and setting local priorities

  • everyone will know how well their police are doing locally in tackling crime and ASB.

How does neighbourhood policing stand today?

What are the benefits to the public?

Individuals and communities will benefit from:

  • more visible and accessible policing – regular contact with the same local officers.

  • having a better say – with more effective ways of identifying and responding to what local people see as priorities.

  • holding people to account – the public will know exactly who is responsible for reducing crime in their area.

Neighbourhood policing teams

A mixed neighbourhood team will typically be made up of:

  • uniformed police officers – will act as team leaders and tackle crimes that require the full use of police powers.

  • community support officers (CSOs) – uniformed members of the police team who provide a high-visibility presence, and are designated with a range of powers e.g. issuing
    Fixed Penalty

  • special constables and other volunteers – specials are volunteers with full police powers. Other volunteers can help with administrative work to help free up uniformed officers time.

  • neighbourhood wardens

  • other authority figures – security guards, park rangers etc.

Intelligence is the key

The government and the police believe that the National Intelligence Model must drive the development of neighbourhood policing. This
will use local information and intelligence to better target crime hotspots and bring more offenders to justice.

Responding to the public

The government is working with the police service on ways to increase police responsiveness, including:

  • a single non-emergency number – national 3-digit number, to be used for issues such as graffiti, noisy neighbours, abandoned cars etc.

  • improved 999 response

  • quality of service standards – by 2006, all forces will have standards in place covering the quality of service that local people can
    expect when they contact the police.

  • airwave – a new generation police radio system. It is expected to be fully operational by 2006.

  • mobile data – will help cut down on paperwork allowing officers to spend more time in their communities. It allows officers to check vehicle details and criminals’ names within seconds.

Making it happen

Neighbourhood policing requires a genuine partnership between local people, the government, the police service, police authorities, local councils and other partners responsible for community safety.

The roles of individuals and communities

Communities need to take a joint responsibility for reducing crime in their area. People can join local neighbourhood watch groups, volunteer to help with the local police force, or consider becoming a special constable.

The roles of government, the police service and local partners

The government is committed to providing funding and resources to support the spread of neighbourhood policing. It has already provided funding for additional police officers, a programme to increase the number of special constables and made money available for community support officers.

Local authorities and partners also play a key part in funding. In some areas, local councils have funded community support officers.

Local businesses can pay for special services such as patrols in large shopping centres.

The government also wants to:

  • remove unnecessary police paperwork to free up officers to the frontline

  • work with the leadership of the police service to spread good practice, provide the right kind of training for officers and agree a set of national recruitment standards for the expansion in CSO numbers

  • implement a new duty on police authorities which means that all households will receive information on local policing issues

  • establish a new National Policing Improvement Agency to spread good practice

  • publish proposals for a National Community Safety Strategy.

Last update: 17 March 2005

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