The Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police has revealed major changes to the force, which he hopes will improve how they respond to crime.
When Gareth Morgan was appointed in June 2017, he promised a review of operations to ensure they were working as effectively as possible.
Earlier this year he opened a Resolution Centre to speed up how they deal with non-emergency issues, with dedicated officers to deal with people over the phone or online - freeing up officers who would have previously had to carry out visits.
Now to improve how they deal with urgent incidents, teams responding to 999 calls are being re-located so they can react more quickly.
Officers will work from one of three response ‘hubs’. They will then be deployed to locations around Staffordshire, where they will base themselves at key road junctions or in areas of high demand so they can swiftly respond to serious incidents across all parts of the county.
Over the next two years, 144 officers will also be moved to neighbourhood teams across the county, 75 of which will join in June and July.
There will also be increases in CID with an additional 50 detectives working on serious and complex crimes by autumn 2018.
A Resolution Centre was opened earlier this year
Chief Constable, Gareth Morgan, said: “I know police visibility matters to the communities of Staffordshire, as does investigating localised crimes affecting people’s everyday lives. That’s why these changes have been made; these officers will be focused on preventing crime, locally.
“We continue to be challenged financially and while we have been boosted by the precept increase, this move of resources to neighbourhoods is primarily a redistribution of existing, serving officers.
“As part of the reallocation of resource, I’ve also invested to boost capacity within our investigations teams. One of the biggest national challenges is the growing complexity that comes with investigating serious crime and the time-intensity it can often bring. The additional officers in this area will improve our ability to improve investigative outcomes and raise standards within our digital investigations for example.
"Separating out response teams from neighbourhood teams means we can balance demand with resource more effectively. We’ve streamlined the service so we can respond as and when the public needs us to, across the whole county. Improved technology and dispatch processes will also ensure officers can stay out on patrol longer, with less requirement to go back to a station or ‘hub’.
“These changes will improve the way we respond, problem solve, investigate and prevent crime. Rising crime levels and the changing face of crime has put pressure on our ability to achieve these aims and that is quite simply, unsustainable. I’m confident that this new policing model will allow us to provide a better overall service to the public we serve.”