More neighbourhood officers in Staffordshire Police shake-up
Almost 150 new neighbourhood police officers will be brought in across Staffordshire over the next two years, as part of a major shake-up of policing in the county, it was revealed today.
Emergency officers responding to 999 calls will also be deployed from just three stations, dubbed ‘response hubs’, and parked up at out-of-station locations.
The changes are being introduced by Chief Constable Gareth Morgan as the force continues to review its estate of 22 stations, which include bases in Wombourne, Rugeley and Lichfield.
In total, 144 officers will join neighbourhood policing teams at stations across the county, with 75 starting in June and July.
Not all will be new recruits, with some redeployed.
There will also be an additional 50 detectives working on serious and complex crimes by this autumn.
The three response hubs will be in Hanley in Stoke, Burton and Cannock.
The officers will be based at ‘key road junctions’ and areas of high demand.
These could include retail parks and laybys.
VIDEO: Staffordshire Police outline the changes
Chief Constable Morgan said: “We’ve streamlined the service so we can respond as and when the public needs us to, across the whole county.
"Improved technology and dispatch processes will also ensure officers can stay out on patrol longer, with less requirement to go back to a station or hub.”
He added: “I have always maintained a promise to invest in neighbourhood policing and I am pleased to announce today the additional officers that will soon be working within our local teams.
“I know police visibility matters to the communities of Staffordshire, as does investigating localised crimes affecting people’s everyday lives. That’s why these changes have been made.
“These officers will be focused on preventing crime, locally.”
In February, the Express & Star revealed Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis was aiming to raise £13.7 million from the force’s estate in 2018/19.
Chief Constable Morgan has been tasked to find £2m in savings this financial year, and £4.4m the following year, according to the budget.