I went along to the RCT Council meeting this evening, glutton for punishment that I am. Very interesting presentation from Chief Superintendent O’Neill of the South Wales Police on the ‘New Policing Model.”
There has been widespread concern recently over the proposed closure of numerous police stations throughout RCT with people understandably worried that the closure of these stations will lead to a drop in the level of local policing.
The Chief Super was at pains to explain that this is not the intention and that their focus is very much on front line policing rather than ploughing money into buildings that are underutilised by the public, and are in many cases not fit for purpose.
He stated that PCSOs at present spend on average only around 60% of their time on the streets, which he says is unacceptable. Technology means that all officers are now subject to GPS tracking and the plan is that this will enable those in the control room to ensure that officers are where they should be when they should be.
Together with changes in their operating methods officers should be spending less time at the station booking in those they have arrested.
In all he presented a very convincing argument for the changes – let’s hope it works.
Of course the Labour Councillors couldn’t resist the temptation for a dig at the ‘evil empire’ as leader Russell Roberts likes to refer to the Westminster coalition. Will the cuts affect the level of service one asked? ‘No’ came the reply. Has the loss of the local partnership budget had a detrimental effect on the service? ‘No’ once again came the answer.We will be watching progress with interest but the idea of less money poured into unfit premises and more into front line policing seems a very sensible one