Kent: Chief Constable's Policing Changes

The Chief Constable of Kent Police, Alan Pughsley, says new changes he is making to the way the force works should mean more visible policing in the county.

Under the new policing model, Mr Pughsley is giving more power to the 13 District Commanders across Kent and Medway, allowing them to decide how to use the resources in their areas to tackle crime and anti social behaviour.

Two new policing units will be created to help deliver the model. Firstly, the Local District Policing Teams which will be tasked to to deal with emergency and non-emergency calls, investigate local crime such as assault and theft and provide increased community visibility.

They will continue to use things like Predictive Policing to help tackle and prevent crime in Kent’s communities.

Under the previous model, officers responsible for responding to emergency 999 calls and custody staff were managed centrally and not under the direction of the district commanders. As a result of the change, Chief Inspectors will have greater flexibility in allocating resources where they are most needed.

The other new unit is made up of New Community Policing Teams which will form part of the existing Community Safety Units and will tackle anti-social behaviour and persistent local problems.

They will provide a better connection with their local communities, while Police Community Support Officers will continue to work closely in their designated areas. Each ward across the county will continue to benefit from its own assigned PSCO.

Community Safety Units remain dedicated to dealing with licensing, mental health and crime prevention. They will also locally direct volunteers and district Special Constables and work alongside local authorities and partner agencies.

Kent Police Chief Constable Alan Pughsley said: "Local policing is absolutely fundamental to everything we do and is at the heart of this new policing model.

"Listening and working together with our communities to make sure Kent continues to be a safe place and giving the best possible service to victims were the commitments I made when I became Chief Constable.

"Like many public sector organisations, we have been carefully planning for the challenges of the second comprehensive spending review – overall we have to find £20million savings over the next two years.

"But thanks to our careful planning, we remain in a strong position to deliver this new operational model.

"Putting resources at the disposal of our district commanders and giving them the control of officers in their area will provide better local policing for our communities."