Your views are very important to the Commissioner.
The Commissioner offers a variety of ways in which members of the public can voice their concerns, through 1-1 surgeries, surveys, telephone calls and online meetings (due to current Covid restrictions).
If you would like to have a 1-1 meeting with the Commissioner, please email – firstname.lastname@example.org where an appointment can be arranged. Alternatively you may wish to email in your concerns.
The Commissioner also offers briefing sessions to councillors, community representatives and local MPs so that local issues can be flagged up.
For full details about how to contact the Commissioner, visit: https://www.cambridgeshire-pcc.gov.uk/contact-us/.
One of the key roles of Police and Crime Commissioners is to listen to the views and concerns of the public.
A number of members of the public have contacted the Acting Commissioner, when he was in post, with their views and concerns regarding the Chief Constable’s proposed changes to neighbourhood policing announced in October 2020.
When the Chief first announced his proposals, then Acting Police and Crime Commissioner proactively engaged with the public to seek their views in the following ways: emailed a request for views to c. 20,000 residents who are signed up to his Ecops (Neighbourhood Alert account), participated in a joint BBC Cambridgeshire radio phone-in with the Chief Constable, updated councillors at a pre-planned briefing, asked local MPs for their views, put out 2 media statements to Cambridgeshire media, met (virtually) with the Chambers of Commerce, met (virtually) members of the rural community and wrote to the Community Safety Partnerships.
The Chief Constable has now published his decision.
The views and concerns raised have all been shared with the Chief Constable at the Acting Commissioner’s monthly business meetings (when he was in post), known as Business Coordination Boards – held on 8th and 16th December. You can read the full minutes of both meetings here.
The table of responses:
|FAQ||Response from the Chief Constable|
|Will the changes effect police visibility?||Neighbourhood policing in Cambridgeshire is not shrinking, it’s growing. By March 2021 there will be 132 police officers in neighbourhood policing across the county.|
|How will the work that had been undertaken by the PCSOs be covered in the neighbourhood teams going forward?||PCSOs are integral to neighbourhood policing and the changes are aimed at embedding them closer within neighbourhood policing teams. The changes will also ensure that the PCSO role is delivered consistently throughout neighbourhood teams, across the county.|
|How will the local knowledge PCSOs have built up be transferred to the benefit of neighbourhood policing and communities?||It is recognised that PCSOs have a great deal of local knowledge therefore the Chief Constable has offered the opportunity for PCSOs to apply to become regular warranted officers. Should they be successful, following the training, they would then have the option to be redeployed back into their previous neighbourhoods so their knowledge is maintained.|
|Why is the public being told on one hand that Cambridgeshire is receiving 62 new officers from uplift funding, yet PCSO numbers need to be decreased because of financial constraints on the other?||The money provided by the Government is for new warranted police officers and is ringfenced. Consequently, it cannot be spent on anything else, including staff or lessening budget deficits.|
|What will happen to the work undertaken by Community Safety Officers?||The activities of the Community Safety Officers will be redistributed to other areas within the Constabulary with added support and investment into the Force Partnership and Operations Team, led by an Inspector who will be responsible for Hate Crime, all the Watch Schemes, Special Constabulary and Police Service Volunteers. This team will work closely with the Neighbourhood Teams and crime prevention support and advice will be coordinated by this central team. There will also be elements of the role that will no longer we carried out.|
|What assessment has been made to determine which enquiry offices are to be closed?||A number of offices were already closed or open for a minimum amount of hours, due to staff sickness or them leaving and not being replaced, as well as an ongoing decline in footfall directly into the smaller stations.
There are several ways in which the public can contact the police, via the telephone or online, as well as at Parkside in Cambridge, Thorpe Wood or the city centre station in Peterborough. The public will also be able to book an appointment to speak to a warranted officer face to face at a local station with no enquiry desk.
|Will the public still be able to speak face to face with an officer?||Public Enquiry Offices will remain at Thorpe Wood and Parkside Police Stations which will provide a seven day a week provision from 8am until 8pm.
The public can also use the yellow phones located outside police stations or contact via 101 to book a face to face appointment to speak to a warranted officer.
|Is the Constabulary still committed to Citizens in Policing?||The Chief Constable stated that the Constabulary is committed to all Watch Schemes, and to engaging with the community regarding these – the Force Partnership and Operations Team will be responsible for all the Watch Schemes, Special Constabulary and Police Service Volunteers.|
|What engagement has been undertaken by the Chief Constable regarding the changes to neighbourhood policing?||The Policing Protocol Order 2011 is clear that allocating police resources (including staff) is a matter for the Chief Constable.
The Chief Constable took the lead in staff engagement and consultation on the day of the announcement, supported by the Constabulary’s Head of Local Policing, and a Human Resources representative. This was done virtually (due to Covid) at nine locations across the force, with line managers and Unison representation supporting staff affected. Prior to the announcement, the Chief met with Unison on a confidential basis to arrange the support. He also provided a briefing to the Police Federation, the Superintendents’ Association, and the Neighbourhood Sergeants, in order that the welfare of those affected by the proposals could be looked after.
Externally, the Chief briefed Chief Executive Officers of the local authorities within the county, all MPs were invited to attend a briefing and a follow up briefing was provided in conjunction with the Acting Police and Crime Commissioner. A press release was sent to all of the county’s local media, information was put on the Constabulary’s website and on its social media channels, and the Chief Constable conducted seven media interviews with local and police specialist media. The Chief also held two further meetings with Unison following the initial announcement.
The Acting Police and Crime Commissioner, whose role it is to listen to the view of the public asked members of the public to provide their views and presented these to the Chief Constable at his business meeting on December 8th. A link to the minutes of the meeting can be found here.