Neighbourhood policing in Hertfordshire ‘still priority’

NEIGHBOURHOOD policing will remain Hertfordshire’s top priority over the next three years – despite a 20 per cent cut in Government grant.

Hertfordshire Police Authority launched its Policing Plan 2011/2014 last night (Monday), and pledged to keep neighbourhood police teams at their current levels for at least the next two years.

The plan also includes new targets to reduce anti-social behaviour and improve public confidence in police services - while finding �36m worth of savings in the process.

But Stuart Nagler, chair of Hertfordshire Police Authority, said the force was “well placed” to cope.

“We have pledged to maintain our neighbourhood policing teams at their current levels for at least the next two years,” Mr Nagler said.

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“That means over 800 police officers, PCSOs, specials and other volunteers working locally with our communities. This is what the public say they want and it is what we intend to deliver.

“We aim to do this despite a 20 per cent cut in Government grants, which means we have to find savings of �36m over the next four years.

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“However, we are well placed to meet that challenge and plan to ensure that Hertfordshire remains one of the top performing forces in the country.

“Crime is currently at an all time low and detections at an all time high – we want it to stay that way.”

Mr Nagler said that savings would be found through deeper collaboration with Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire forces, as well as partnerships with local authorities and outside organisations.

Chief Constable Frank Whiteley added: “This is a realistic plan that acknowledges the significant reductions in crime that have occurred in previous years and our ability to maintain these low crime levels in a period of major cuts in funding.”

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