19 January 2023
Calls for a return to “common-sense” community policing have been welcomed by Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton.
Tony backed comments made by national chair Steve Hartshorn who was today giving evidence to the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee on policing priorities.
He said: “Our national chair told MPs that restoring public trust and confidence in the police would be a long process but was possible through properly-resourced community policing.
“We have to accept there has been a breakdown in trust with some members of the public and it is important that we go about rebuilding those relationships in the right way. Looking at community policing would be a good start.”
During the select committee session on policing priorities, Steve was questioned about how trust in the police service could be restored through a return to “common-sense policing” by Marco Longhi, Tory MP for Dudley North.
He told the committee: “I don’t think it will be a quick pathway to getting back confidence in policing.
“I think some of the steps of a practical nature are let’s get back to community-based policing, neighbourhood policing, putting police officers out there walking the beat.
“There was a tried and tested method and it perhaps harks back to the ‘good old days’ of Dixon of Dock Green and that was the best option.”
Steve acknowledged demands on policing had changed significantly but said there was still room for community policing.
He said: “The only time you see a police officer is when you need their help and you’ve dialled 999 or there has been a major incident. That needs to change. We need to be seen as part of the community.
“We need more numbers. With a population increase of four million people over the last 10 years, are 145,000 police enough to deal with it? I suggest it isn’t by the fact that we are failing the public.
“We can’t give the service we want to because we are constantly responding rather than being proactive.”
Steve opened his remarks to the select committee by apologising to the victims of serial rapist David Carrick and also to the wider public for the “loss of confidence in policing”.
He said the apology was heartfelt and was made on behalf of “every right-thinking, decent police officer who is absolutely appalled by recent events”.
Serving Metropolitan Police officer Carrick, who was unmasked as one of the UK’s most prolific sex offenders, was officially sacked from the force on Tuesday.