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Dave SYP

Are the police too remote? Have the police now become mostly reactive in their community policing? Are the days of proper community policing now gone? Will we ever see a return to proper community policing, where officers wearing uniform patrol neighbourhoods, engage with them and foster better relationships? 

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One little amendment I'd make to this statement: Decent, taxpaying and law-abiding members of the public won't bother reporting low level crime. You can sure as hell count of the drug-dealing/tak

The other day we were told to ensure our rural areas were patrolled and to allocate enough officers to do that, "when resources allow" as there had been issues reported.  We all had a good chuckl

I say this in all honesty, aside from domestics, I arrested more people whilst in Scotland for wasting police time and attempting to pervert the course of justice than for any other offence down here.

BlueBob
Posted (edited)

Perhaps you're referring to the good old Dixon of ye olde Dock Green days.  IMHO, that series on its own created a huge challenge for policing into future generations.

Alas I am not old enough to remember them in such hallowed ways, and would suggest they rarely have existed and been in decline since the advent of the internal combustion engine.  Even at times when there were the village bobbies, home beats, and various other permutations, the 'walking the beat' officer has been a rarity with the usual exception of the town centre, and for good reason.  What is the real value of watering aimlessly around a housing estate at 11am when they have either got to work, doing work at home or in a rush to/from the shops?  Even the naughty people have not got out of bed yet.  
As a rural inhabitant, I think the 'local' bobby (Several do it) covered something like 30-40 parishes, so even a half shift per parish equates to one visit per month- is that really engaging with the community?  Even if they walked past my gate, unless I was peering out of the window, it would have been a missed monthly engagement opportunity but a way for me to criticise that they are never about!!!   
There is certainly merit of a small percentage of officers being let loose to engage as they see fit with a community/ group/ region. However, extraction of a small percentage fro a diminishing resource can mean they keep being extracted to do frontline work. 
With so may things going to 'national approach' to everything, a community policing model in central Manchester would be of scant relevance to rural Wales (Other regions can be exampled). 

Edited by BlueBob
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Zulu 22

Proactive Policing seems to have become a dirty word, but it does work and does provide results. It just happens that because of policies set from above it becomes harder and harder and more impractical.

Why would you want to wander aimlessly around an estate at 11am when it would offer greater results at 3 to 6am.

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Equin0x
29 minutes ago, BlueBob said:

Perhaps you're referring to the good old Dixon of ye olde Dock Green days.  IMHO, that series on its own created a huge challenge for policing into future generations.

Alas I am not old enough to remember them in such hallowed ways, and would suggest they rarely have existed and been in decline since the advent of the internal combustion engine.  Even at times when there were the village bobbies, home beats, and various other permutations, the 'walking the beat' officer has been a rarity with the usual exception of the town centre, and for good reason.  What is the real value of watering aimlessly around a housing estate at 11am when they have either got to work, doing work at home or in a rush to/from the shops?  Even the naughty people have not got out of bed yet.  
As a rural inhabitant, I think the 'local' bobby (Several do it) covered something like 30-40 parishes, so even a half shift per parish equates to one visit per month- is that really engaging with the community?  Even if they walked past my gate, unless I was peering out of the window, it would have been a missed monthly engagement opportunity but a way for me to criticise that they are never about!!!   
There is certainly merit of a small percentage of officers being let loose to engage as they see fit with a community/ group/ region. However, extraction of a small percentage fro a diminishing resource can mean they keep being extracted to do frontline work. 
With so may things going to 'national approach' to everything, a community policing model in central Manchester would be of scant relevance to rural Wales (Other regions can be exampled). 

The "real value" is that when people see lots of police on the beat they feel more secure, and it deters criminal activity. At least that is the theory.

In my opinion the problem is largely that we don't see you anymore. With a local beat bobby you could chat to them, get to know them as a person. If you ever had an issue you would feel comfortable going and talking to them about it. These days you only see the police when they arresting someone. They are just "the police", you don't really get to know them as well so there's less rapport.

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Dave SYP

I think the perception that old PC Reg Dixon of Dock Green is the answer is a thing of the past. I’m sure there are cops on here who are too young to remember him?  However, even younger people can appreciate that community policing is in decline and that it is a negative as far as the relationship between police and the public are concerned. 

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BlueBob
1 hour ago, Equin0x said:

The "real value" is that when people see lots of police on the beat they feel more secure, and it deters criminal activity. At least that is the theory.

In my opinion the problem is largely that we don't see you anymore. With a local beat bobby you could chat to them, get to know them as a person. If you ever had an issue you would feel comfortable going and talking to them about it. These days you only see the police when they arresting someone. They are just "the police", you don't really get to know them as well so there's less rapport.

So how, in your imaginary world, would you end up being in the same place, at the same time with the same officer so as to engage to the point of 'knowing'  them individually, unless it was during normal hours in a town centre.  Perhaps at the school crossing patrol (Local authority deals), perhaps at the gym (hush my mouth), wandering aimlessly around a housing estate where you see them from the 7th floor balcony. 

As I mentioned, even in a rural environment, with some exceptions, it will be the naughty and haughty few who will be that familiar with any locally based officers.  Even then, if they are not at work at that particular time, you should expect to be seen by 'just another' officer.  

Its rather like going to a surgery to see a familiar doctor or to A&E and see any doctor that can do the job. Oops, thats you going to them rather than them going to you!!!

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SimonT

Would it be good to have a local officer and proactive police? Yes.

Is there any way we could possibly get the numbers to do it? Nope. No chance. We would need to double force size as a minimum, pour on more pcso's, more stations, cars etc. 

All to see someone to have a nice chat to which mist people wouldn't every actually do. 

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Richhamdo
4 hours ago, Equin0x said:

The "real value" is that when people see lots of police on the beat they feel more secure, and it deters criminal activity. At least that is the theory.

In my opinion the problem is largely that we don't see you anymore. With a local beat bobby you could chat to them, get to know them as a person. If you ever had an issue you would feel comfortable going and talking to them about it. These days you only see the police when they arresting someone. They are just "the police", you don't really get to know them as well so there's less rapport.

@equinox I think it was Professor Peter Waddington around the time of the Mid eighties  or just after who said that Bobbies on the beat were just a “romantic delusion”.  The jury is still out with me on that but I did a lot of foot patrol through the seventies and eighties, and not just in town late at night on the weekends. I was in no doubt that police patrolling in the town at night and around the pubs provided reassurance to those drinkers who were perhaps a bit timid and frightened of being accosted by some hooligan or drunk. 

You  might be interested in this reminiscence about the time I was on duty on election night one time .
I was asked to visit all the polling stations in town and show the flag so to speak and  make sure there were no drunks causing trouble, (fat chance)I  must have  walked quite a few miles this particular evening and I sat down for a rest in one of them. This gentleman came over and sat down next  to me for some reason and we started talking about things in general. 
After about five or ten minutes he got up and said  “you know, you are just like us really aren’t you”. those were his very words. I don’t know if he realised that I was a special and not a regular or not but  i was shocked, i can still hear him saying it and that was over forty years ago, it just seems to have stayed in my mind for some reason.

Talking about foot patrol/community policing, i was doing some in a village one day about seven miles out of town with another special. We were  engaged in setting up a neighbour hood watch scheme. One person came down the garden path to meet us and in a concerned voice asked whats happened, who are you looking for?. We told him what we were doing . A few minutes later further down the road someone said “have you got nothing better to do”. 

I know we were both probably thinking at the time  why we had given up our sat afternoon,ha. I guess we just couldn't win that day.

But even in those days the regs were up to their ears in files and other admin,  foot patrol was a luxury. I usually asked them on friday or saturday night how the were doing admin wise.  They often to said to me (but not always)i don't want any arrests unless its absolutely unavoidable, I’m  up to my ears in jobs to sort out, (or words to that effect). 
So maybe thats why we don't see any/many police doing foot patrol any more. My bet though is all to do with there being higher dependency of drugs and the associated consequences brought about by suchlike, as opposed to days gone by. Rich.
Ps, Dave SYP, i remember Reginald Dixon, and also George of the same name, I got your subtle joke though, nice one.

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Dave SYP
Posted (edited)

Richhamdo nice to see you again! Yes, I wondered who would get the subtle joke (my Capt. Mainwaring bit! -Haha) Reg Dixon had an organ and George had his truncheon. 😂

I still think foot patrols and community policing are important and we shouldn’t forget their importance in today’s policing. 

Edited by Dave SYP
Schoolboy grammatical error
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Radman

I don't think with the current money orientated, corporate culture police services seemed to have ventured down in the last 10 years has done anything positive for local policing or society in general if I'm being 100% honest. 

I think whether some on here like or not the College of Policing has alot to answer for with alienating the public (organisation is a murky one that isn't exactly transparent yet creates the vast amount of operational policy.) I also believe centralisation towards the Home Office wasn't great for local policing, the advent of PCCs was a bit of a con sold to the public as local representation when the reality seems to have been less representation and more politicians meddling in policing matters (even that is arguable considering the PCC cannot influence front line deployment.) 

It's probably fair to say modern policing is generally out of step with what the public expects from us, policing has become a quasi social/mental health worker position, with an emphasis on certain crimes which are targeted based on classifications and buzz words, cops chase their tails solving these high priority crimes to the detriment of more traditional policing which the public would expect you to tackle, that followed by every other goverental organisation offloading whatever work it can onto cops under the guise of "We can't do anything, that's your job" hasn't helped matters either. 

🤷‍♂️

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Dave SYP

I agree Radman. Passing the buck seems regularly being disguised as duty of care these days, doesn’t it ?  Chief Officers need to get the lines re-drawn again and other organisations need to step up and do their jobs!  Otherwise, how are the police going to give the public the service they require and deserve?  A return to some of the old-fashioned disciplines perhaps?

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Equin0x
19 hours ago, Richhamdo said:

This gentleman came over and sat down next  to me for some reason and we started talking about things in general. 
After about five or ten minutes he got up and said  “you know, you are just like us really aren’t you”. those were his very words. I don’t know if he realised that I was a special and not a regular or not but  i was shocked, i can still hear him saying it and that was over forty years ago, it just seems to have stayed in my mind for some reason.

That's kind of what I mean. If we see more of you and chat more, we'll probably be more willing to open up and talk to you if we have issues or information about something. If we never see you except when you're arresting someone, how does that relationship get built up? I don't know what the answer is, I know you don't really have enough officers to properly implement the old bobby on the beat system.

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Dave SYP
52 minutes ago, Equin0x said:

That's kind of what I mean. If we see more of you and chat more, we'll probably be more willing to open up and talk to you if we have issues or information about something. If we never see you except when you're arresting someone, how does that relationship get built up? I don't know what the answer is, I know you don't really have enough officers to properly implement the old bobby on the beat system.

You have the answer! ... Numbers. We’re trying to do too much with less officers on shift, disbanded squads and managers instead of Senior Officers!

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Father Jack
Posted (edited)

Recently an acquaintance of mine tried to report some minor criminal damage to her local force. Not the crime of the century, I know. However, it would either cost her money to put right, or it would be an insurance matter.

Essentially she'd been fobbed off by 101. From her account they'd initially refused to give her a crime number, stating that the the chances of a detection or resolution were low. The cynic in me would suggest that, as far as they're concerned, if it's not recorded it didn't happen. 

She asked me to speak to 101 on her behalf. I assured them that an offence of criminal damage had most definitely taken place, as per the points to prove. The likelihood of a resolution was irrelevant to this fact. They still tried to fob me off, as well. It was only when I mentioned referring the matter to Professional Standards, that I got a crime number.

If this is typical of how my local force deals with the reporting of low level offences (I have no reason to suspect that it isn't). Then I can see why members of the public don't bother reporting such offences. When they are treated with such disregard and indifference.

Edited by Father Jack
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Dave SYP
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Father Jack said:

Recently an acquaintance of mine tried to report some minor criminal damage to her local force. Not the crime of the century, I know. However, it would either cost her money to put right, or it would be an insurance matter.

Essentially she'd been fobbed off by 101. From her account they'd initially refused to give her a crime number, stating that the the chances of a detection or resolution were low. The cynic in me would suggest that, as far as their concerned, if it's not recorded it didn't happen. 

She asked me to speak to 101 on her behalf. I assured them that an offence of criminal damage had most definitely taken place, as per the points to prove. The likelihood of a resolution was irrelevant to this fact. They still tried to fob me off, as well. It was only when I mentioned referring the matter to Professional Standards, that I got a crime number.

If this is typical of how my local force deals with the reporting of low level offences (I have no reason to suspect that it isn't). Then I can see why members of the public don't bother reporting such offences. When they are treated with such disregard and indifference.

I can attest to several such incidents with 101 with the latest one who had the audacity to ask me, “ But how do YOU know that a drugs deal had taken place? “ I politely mentioned in my reply that I had 20 + years of policing experience which changed their tone and helpfulness significantly. Where do they get these people from? You are exactly right Father Jack, it’s no wonder the public won’t report crime. The delaying tactics used on 101 are frankly abysmal!

Edited by Dave SYP
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