The Future of Camden Policing: The Full ‘Consultation’ document

Below is what i received from Camden Metropolitan Police. They are having to take the political flack for having to enforce Mayor Boris Johnson’s unprecedented cuts to the Metropolitan Police – at least £500m – probably more. Below is unedited and i leave it to constituents in Camden to decide whether this is really what you want. Councillor Abdul Hai and i were both given less than a week to consider this.

Please email me your feedback: andrew@andrewdismore.org.uk.

Camden Borough – Public Access

The aim of the process is to seek the views of key statutory partners and
political representatives prior to finalising the MPS Public Access proposals.

There are a number of reasons for this proposal and broadly they encapsulate
the need to reduce the MPS budget by £514 million by 2015, release
warranted officers from support roles to frontline policing to improve
performance as well as improve confidence/satisfaction through better ways
of accessing policing services.

The MPS has 136 front counters, but over 25% of those have less than one
visitor per hour. At present, only 48 crimes are reported between 11PM and
7AM on an average night and 23 24/7 sites have less than one crime reported
every three nights. Keeping these sites open does not best serve the needs
of Londoners and does not make economic sense. These are now primarily
staffed by police officers, simply waiting for the public to come to them.

Our vision is of safer neighbourhoods, where we go to the public when they
need us. The MPS will put 2,000 more officers back into neighbourhood
policing and recruiting PCSOs into PC roles. We want to offer the public better
quality service and treatment – whether that’s in person, on the phone, online
– that matches the best standards found anywhere.

We are reviewing our front counter services at police stations to see how
effectively these services are used. We have looked closely at how many
and what types of crime are reported in person at police stations, which will
help inform any decisions to alter opening hours or close front counters whilst
being there where victims need us.

There has been nearly a 20% decrease in visits to front counters in four years
– the introduction of a standard 101 non-emergency number; wider internet
access for online reporting and our ability to diary appointments for members
of the public, means greater flexibility to access our services. We also attend
over an extra 200 victims every day. People prefer us to go to see them,
and so do we. All of this is reflected in the reduced number of visits to public
buildings.

There has been much speculation about the closing of local police station
front counters. We cannot afford to keep the least used services operating – it
is just not financially viable.

This is not about reducing our service but expanding, adapting and changing
it for a more modern approach. We intend to increase the number of locations
where the public can contact us by 2015, from 136 currently to up to 270
locations. Those locations will be within London’s communities – all part of
taking policing to the people of London rather than waiting and expecting
them to come to us. So 65 front counters will be replaced by over 200 Contact
Points; around 7 on our borough.

At least one police station will provide access for the public 24 hours a day,
seven days a week. It is proposed that ours will be at Holborn. These 24-hour
front counters will be improved to provide a better service for the public and
will eventually include, for example, initial contact kiosks to provide instant
access translation for the public.

We will also provide a greater presence in London’s communities – with more
officers assigned to Safer Neighbourhoods Teams and more surgeries being
held in popular locations such as shopping centres. We are keen to work with
all London authorities to look at opportunities for sharing public access points,
creating a ‘one stop shop’ of public services for people to access the help they
need.

We believe that contact points would offer a greater flexibility to the public
who could visit at a regular time and place to suit them. While we are still
working up the detail on these proposals, it may be that they are open at
certain advertised hours, rather than around the clock.

We are working on a budget proposal which puts the MPS at or around
32,000 officers. This will include increasing the number of constables from
around 24,000 to 25,000.

What we are seeking from this engagement and consultation are your views
on what you think are the benefits of the recommended changes and what
concerns do you have about our plans?

****************************************************************************************

Additional:

Safer Neighbourhoods teams will remain in place and we are building on this
successful model. We will develop Neighbourhood Policing to:
– Hold one community engagement activity such as a street briefing or surgery
each month on all wards
– Make five promises to each ward panel and these will be monitored and
recorded with results fed back monthly – Respond to public contact within 24
hours, seven days a week
– Engage with all diverse communities, in particular the police will visit every
school and place of faith once a month
– Police will also visit colleges and youth clubs, and making use of
Metropolitan Special Constable (MSC) support to enhance engagement
with diverse communities – Meet all local victims of crime where a visit is
requested.
– Partnership working is key to the success of the local policing model and is
an essential part of how boroughs will operate.
– A key feature of this local policing model is a significant shift of visible,
uniformed officers into neighbourhoods, reinforcing existing ward-based
policing. This new approach will enable us to tackle crime and anti-social
behaviour (ASB) with greater flexibility, pace and momentum, both within
boroughs and across London.

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