Shake-up of policing across Lichfield and Burntwood is unveiled

Plans for a shake-up of policing in Lichfield and Burntwood have been drawn up.

The proposals to replace the current four divisions and 21 Neighbourhood Policing Units (NPUs) with nine Local Policing Teams (LPTs) were presented to Staffordshire Police Authority yesterday (April 13).

The LPTs were drawn up via Staffordshire Police’s Communities First programme and senior officers have claimed that the new structure would preserve frontline services.

Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham

Chief Constable Mike Cunningham explained:

“Our Communities First programme is all about making sure we continue to provide a service which meets the needs of our communities throughout the challenging times ahead. We need to be able to live within our means and our organisational structure therefore has to change so that we can provide excellent, value for money services. We are streamlining back-office support functions to ensure that we protect neighbourhood policing numbers and preserve frontline services.

“I am absolutely committed to, and passionate about, neighbourhood policing. These changes reinforce that. Neighbourhood policing teams are the very lifeblood of policing in our communities. They will continue to provide a very local, accessible, problem-solving service based at neighbourhood level and I’m committed to ensuring that your local bobbies and community support officers are kept on your patch for a minimum two-year period.”

The changes will see LPTs being based on the boundaries of Staffordshire’s nine local authorities:

  • Cannock Chase
  • East Staffordshire
  • Lichfield
  • Newcastle
  • South Staffordshire
  • Stafford
  • Staffordshire Moorlands
  • Stoke-on-Trent
  • Tamworth

Chief Constable Cunningham added:

“Over recent years we’ve made really positive strides to improve services. Currently 88 per cent of all crime victims and 85 per cent of anti-social behaviour victims are satisfied with the overall service provided by Staffordshire Police. I’m restless to do better though and to make local policing more accountable to our communities. The re-structuring is a cornerstone of the Communities First programme. It means we can start to re-align support structures to focus on your Local Policing Teams.

“Over the coming months we will gradually move to this new structure, engaging our communities and stakeholders as we progress. Ultimately it will be up and running for the beginning of April 2011. I fully appreciate that change can cause some uncertainty amongst our staff and we’re working to keep them informed with our staff associations and trade union to ensure that we continue to deliver excellent policing services to communities.”

Members of the public are encouraged to have their say on the changes by logging on to the Communities First discussion forum on the force’s Facebook page.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.