News article

RHE Global

Neighbourhood Policing Week: The Bedrock of Community Safety

By Director of Community Safety, Jim Nixon

RHE Global logo
RHE Global logo
RHE Global logo

RHE Global

11 Jan 2024

Two female police officers
Two female police officers
Two female police officers

As Neighbourhood Policing Week unfolds, I admit to it holding a special place in my heart, as a result of over two decades of unwavering service as a police officer with the West Midlands Police.

Throughout my tenure, the essence of my work resonated with neighbourhood policing – a role I passionately believe is pivotal in fostering trust, reducing crime and nurturing safer communities for all.

However, substantial cuts to neighbourhood police officers have cast a shadow on our capacity to effectively address crime and anti-social behaviour. Now, more than ever, it is crucial to underscore the value of robust neighbourhood policing and its far-reaching benefits to society.

The impact of neighbourhood policing

My transformative journey leading a neighbourhood team in a challenging part of the West Midlands spanned many years. During this time, the power of continuity became evident, resulting in lower crime and anti-social behaviour rates.

Consequently, trust and confidence in policing reached unprecedented levels, underscoring the significance of a sustained and steady approach. Another key catalyst to this success was the cultivation of resilient partnerships, where all stakeholders shared responsibility for community safety. Neighbourhood policing thrives on the bedrock of consistency and local knowledge, highlighting the paramount importance of placing the right individuals in the appropriate roles.

The importance of specialised training

While neighbourhood policing embodies a unique set of challenges and dynamics, a recurring challenge has emerged over the years – the placement of seasoned specialists, such as those from the Criminal Investigation Department, into such roles upon gaining promotion. This mismatch often results in officers feeling out of their depth, struggling to hit the ground running or to make a meaningful impact.

Neighbourhood policing demands a specialised skill set, including a profound understanding of partnership working and mastery of the tools and powers provided by the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime, and Policing Act 2014. To fortify its effectiveness, it is imperative to reevaluate and acknowledge the specialised nature of this pivotal role.

The Community Safety Podcast

An illuminating conversation on these critical issues recently unfolded on this week’s Community Safety Podcast, where I had the privilege of engaging with Deputy Chief Constable Andy Prophet, the National Anti-social Behaviour Lead. Together, we delved into the significance of neighbourhood policing and the enduring impact of standard training.

For a comprehensive exploration of these themes, I invite you to listen to the thought-provoking podcast episode here.

In conclusion

As we unite to celebrate Neighbourhood Policing Week, let us take a moment to reflect on the indispensable role of such officers in laying the foundation for safer, more resilient communities. By acknowledging the need for training, strategic officer placement and the sustained cultivation of robust partnerships, we can pave the way for enhanced trust and confidence in policing. Together, let us champion the cause of neighbourhood policing, recognising its profound and lasting impact on the wellbeing of our communities.

Jim Nixon

Director of Community Safety, RHE Global Ltd

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© 2023 RH Environmental Limited trading as RHE Global. All rights reserved.

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© 2023 RH Environmental Limited trading as RHE Global. All rights reserved.