Thurrock all set to be policing “guinea-pig”

THURROCK haS been selected to run Essex Police’s new operational policing model ahead of its force-wide launch next March.

The operational policing ‘Blueprint’ is a result of a fundamental review of all aspects of policing. It is part of the force’s efforts to find £41m per year in savings by 2014/15 due to a combination of cuts in grants and other unavoidable financial pressures.

The new ‘Blueprint’ is scheduled to be implemented across the county in March 2012. As part of this implementation process, South Western Division, which covers Basildon and Thurrock, will take part in a ‘Pathfinder’ programme from early November.

Chief Superintendent Glenn Caton, divisional commander for South Western Division said: “This is an exciting time for our officers, staff and the community. It’s a chance for us to put the new ‘Blueprint’ into action and to see what works well, and to retune any areas that don’t.

“It’s vital that the ‘Blueprint’ is tried and tested before being rolled out across the county, and I’m proud that Basildon and Thurrock will be leading the way for the rest of the force,” he added.

Currently, Essex Police uses a divisional model where the resources used to carry out policing are geographically ‘owned’. In this traditional structure the accountability for delivering most of the key policing services sits with divisional command teams. For, example each division has to independently staff and run its own custody suites, 24-hour emergency response teams and crime investigation teams.

Under the new ‘Blueprint’, Essex Police will no longer be geographically divided and will instead be made up of a series of commands responsible for delivering a specific policing service across the entire force area.

As part of the ‘Pathfinder’ programme, officers in South Western will be redeployed from their current teams into their new ‘Blueprint’ roles across three key areas:

– Response and Patrol

– Area Investigation Teams

– Neighbourhood Policing

Ch Supt Caton explained: “Officers and staff working within the new commands will still be based locally so that they maintain important local knowledge and understanding of how their communities work. However, the simple structure of the functional commands will mean that all officers work to a common high standard across the county.

“I want to reassure you that every step is being taken to ensure that the level of service you and the rest of the community receives from us does not change.”

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