We have an extra 17 officers set to come to Doncaster this year to work in neighbourhood policing, writes Ch Supt Shaun Morley.
And we want to make sure they deal with the issues that really matter to the public, in the areas where they live.
When I first became the Doncaster district commander we looked to deal with the immediate issues of aggressive begging and antisocial behaviour in the town centre, organised crime, and issues associated with the local prisons.
Since then, we have made progress on those issues – and we will continue to target those areas in the same way.
But with extra officers coming to the borough, we now want to look in more depth at the problems our communities face in their neighbourhoods, and deal with the issues that the people who live there want resolving.
We now want to engage with those communities, to build confidence, and find out exactly where they want to see us taking action.
We, the police, would like to be in a position where we fully understand what the local issues are so that we can direct our activity towards them. When you look at what people are saying, we tend to find that it is off-road bikes, speeding, parking, antisocial behaviour, drug misuse, and burglaries that they see as key issues.
We intend to actively engage with local communities, listening to what people want, through online meetings, actual meetings in public buildings, and drop-in sessions in places which are convenient to people, like supermarkets and shopping centres.
One new way we will communicate with people is with new neighbourhood profile posters.
This will outline the key issues that local people are telling us about and what we have done to address them. They’ll show our top five priorities for the neighbourhood, and where and when you can meet us to tell us what you want to see, as well as pictures of their local officers.
The first ones will be appearing in locations like shops and public buildings in the Doncaster central area in the next few weeks.
In that area, the top five priorities are begging and vagrancy, drug crime, violent crime, police visibility and nuisance youths. The posters explain the interventions we have put in place to address these issues such using drug dogs and increased policing resources dedicated to the town centre. The posters also flag-up our online question and answer session, the next session is at 6pm on Wednesday March 17 on the facebook.com/doncastercentralnhp web page.
Similar posters will appear for Doncaster West and Doncaster East in the weeks after that.
We want to built up people’s confidence in the police so that they will be happy to come to us with information and trust us to take action.
We are finding particularly in the rural communities, speeding is often a key issue. As a police service, we may see organised crime as a key concern, and to a degree that is right and proper. But most people are often concerned about what they see on their own doorsteps, and we need to recognise that, and ensure we address the things that matter most to the local community. As neighbourhood policing grows over the next 12 months, we will increasingly focus on issues like these in our communities.