20 February 2023
Derbyshire Police Federation said it would back plans to bring neighbourhood policing up to date to rebuild public trust.
Branch chair Tony Wetton was speaking after shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper unveiled Labour’s plans to invest in community-based policing.
Tony said: “We have long argued that our communities are best served through a neighbourhood policing model which can help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and produce positive relationships between the police and the public.
“We have spoken about restoring public trust and confidence in the police and accept it could take some time but properly-resourced community policing would definitely be a step in the right direction.
“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.”
Ms Cooper said Labour’s “neighbourhood policing guarantee” would be fit for the modern age with the £360 million plan seeing patrols return to town centres and making sure “communities and residents know who to turn to when things go wrong, with new statutory responsibilities on forces to protect and deliver neighbourhood policing”.
Ms Cooper said she wanted to modernise the traditional core of British policing - the bobby on the beat - with better training and new technology to provide data which would enable officers to target crime hotspots, react quickly and build partnerships to solve problems.
In a speech at the Institute for Government think tank, Ms Cooper said: “Thirty years ago this year Labour shadow home secretary Tony Blair said our party would be ‘tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’.
“It was right then, it’s right now. It’s what we did then, it’s what we’ll do again.”
Ms Cooper said the plan for extra neighbourhood police officers would be underpinned by new legislation and gave details on how it would be funded.
She said: “The £360 million we have estimated from the savings is actually a very cautious estimate based on a lot of the work that's been done by procurement experts.
“There’s a whole range of areas where they absolutely could be cutting down on waste and making those savings in practice. And as I said, the Police Foundation’s estimate was in fact that the savings will be well over £600 million from these kinds of programmes.”
The shadow home secretary also said in her speech that Labour would “most urgently” introduce new mandatory requirements on vetting, standards, training, and misconduct across the police.
She said: “It means new leadership from a Labour Home Office to set out active strategies in vital areas - including on violence against women and girls, on fraud, on youth violence, on antisocial behaviour.
“And we will work not just with the police and the criminal justice system but with councils, community groups, businesses, the NHS, schools and the voluntary sector.
“And it means reforms right across the criminal justice system, so more criminals can be charged and punished while more victims get justice.”