Art On The Wall
With neighbourhood policing being back to the forefront in the Constabulary we are often asked what does neighbourhood policing look like?
We start as Police do, by describing the structure of the Police. Well it looks like a team headed by Insp with sgt etc.
But I think a more interesting view point is how does neighbourhood policing look to the community it is part of.
Neighbourhood policing should be part of any community not there serving the community but working as part of the community. Yes there are activities that only Police can do to ensure communities are safe, strong and resilient but at the heart of all those activities is the community. Without the community knowing their neighbourhood team, trusting their neighbourhood police and seeing them as part of their community, they will go to them to discuss issues and give that information which leads to positive action whether it be that drug dealer or drink driver.
Neighbourhood policing should look the norm for a community. It should be the norm to see a police officer or PCSO within their community. It should be the norm to see them taking part in activities and events supporting their community and enable residents to be able to know they have your backing.
It shouldn’t be ‘odd’ that police want to attend a coffee morning or help set up a youth club.
As Robert Peel stated all those years ago the Police are the community and the community are the Police. Police are part of their community and having a designated named officer for those communities helps to bond this relationship.
Christmas is a time on the community when this should be more evident than ever. Police sat with youth workers, community workers, residents enjoying celebrating good times and engaging with communities. Residents not asking why are the police here? but chatting with them as it’s the norm for them to be part of our community. Neighbourhood policing means that police are part of the community, they can be trusted and relied upon to work with the community. Being there with our communities during the good times not just at crisis.
Being part of the community, playing an active role in strengthening the community, through empowering and enabling residents to make a difference. This was evident in Coney Hill where neighbourhood police took to ask the community what do you want to do? What do you want to see in our communities? A youth club was born from these discussions. A youth run by residents, parents, councillors, young people and members of the neighbourhood policing team. Fast forward 18 months and that group still run the club which has inspired others to take part and enabled residents to make a difference. The young people and parents that use the club do not see Police, Councillors, Parents, Residents they see a community coming together. A community that includes its neighbourhood police. Neighbourhood policing is a partnership its working together its supporting and strengthening but most importantly to any community it showing commitment and passion. The same commitment and passion every resident feels that wants to make a difference.
Working alongside our community and helping to problem solve as part of a partnership with that community. When there are concerns raised look at the relationships in our communities and see how and who we can involve in the solving of that issue. Look into our communities not away and into our own organisations. Our communities have greater power and strength than any one organisation within it.
So what does neighbourhood policing look like to you? It looks like the ‘norm’ to me but ask our communities.