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Waltham Forest's new policing model was rolled out yesterday
Police will be more efficient and subject to greater accountability due to major changes introduced this week, according to a senior officer.
Superintendent Pippa Mills said today the new Local Policing Model (LPM) means officers have greater flexibility to do their jobs and respond to the needs of the public.
Under the cost-cutting model, there will be 119 new officers stationed in Waltham Forest by 2015 and Safer Neighbourhood Teams will have direct responsibility for investigating crimes such as assault, theft and drug offences.
And the public can question neighbourhood inspectors on how the teams are performing at meetings held every two months.
Supt Mills said the changes had brought a sense of optimism to the force.
“I’m massively optimistic these changes will reduce crime,” she said.
“After launching yesterday I spoke to officers during the day and they are really optimistic, but specifically the neighbourhood teams.
“They said this is what they’d been waiting for: having the right resources to address the problems bothering their communities.”
The model aims to free up detectives to investigate more complex or serious incidents.
But Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has voiced alarm that the model risks being seriously eroded as beat officers are switched to maintaining the frontline response to emergency calls and investigating crime.
However, Supt Mills believes the force will better respond to public concerns.
Every four months inspectors will meet with the chairs of ward-based panels to discuss police performance.
“Promises aren’t set for a year where they might become stale, they’re real live issues to people who live in these wards,” Supt Mills said.
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