Policing across Rossendale had previously been operating on a hybrid model, meaning officers acted in both response and neighbourhood roles meaning, given the demand on response calls, there has been a gap in having the capacity for consistent local pro-active policing.
However, to meet the new Police and Crime Commissioner’s ambition for more visible front line policing to tackle things like anti-social behaviour and dangerous driving, along with internal reviews being undertaken by the Chief Constable, changes utilising the government uplift programme and Commissioner’s precept will see the introduction of 19 additional police officers, with a new neighbourhood team, alongside a large 24/7 response team, instead of one smaller team trying to perform both roles.
The new neighbourhood team will be led by an Inspector and two neighbourhood Sergeants with a team of 14 made up of Police Officers and PCSOs who will operate from Waterfoot police station. They will focus on public engagement, problem solving and targeting criminals using community intelligence and pro-active patrolling.
The officers will be supported by four dedicated Rural Task Force Constables who have already made headway tackling Rossendale’s top priorities; speeding, anti social behaviour and rural crime, along with a dedicated response team of 30 police officers who will handle emergency calls to enable the neighbourhood team to focus on pro-active policing in local areas and a Community Safety Team who help to support vulnerable people.
Rossendale is one of the first areas benefiting from investment from the Commissioner as it’s one of only two areas in East Lancashire operating the hybrid policing model. By rebuilding policing in Rossendale, there will also be a positive knock on effect on neighbouring areas including Hyndburn, Burnley and Blackburn as officers there will no longer be called upon to regularly support Rossendale.
Lancashire’s newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner, Andrew Snowden said: “This is great news for the people of Rossendale and the first of many investments into front line policing across Lancashire, with more announcements to follow.
“I have pledged to lead the fight against crime and I’m delighted that through the Government’s uplift programme and policing precept, we have been able to reshape policing here in Rossendale and put officers back into local neighbourhoods to be proactive and to take the fight to criminals; on everything from anti-social behaviour to drug dealing to dangerous driving.
“Importantly this team of officers will start and finish their shift at Waterfoot and will spend 100% of their time actively engaging with residents, problem-solving with partners and importantly cracking down on criminal behaviour. I want every law-abiding person in Rossendale and across Lancashire to know I am on your side and I will give the police the resources and support they need to lead the fight against crime”.
Lancashire Chief Constable Chris Rowley said: “We really welcome the extra funding that has been made available to us to help bolster local policing and keep our communities safe.
“For residents in Rossendale, this investment means additional resources available to respond when they need us most and more dedicated neighbourhood officers to work with them to prevent crime.
He added: “Our communities have told us that anti-social behaviour, road safety and cross border criminality are their main concerns. These extra officers will be working hard alongside colleagues on the rural task force and other specialist teams, to address these and any other issues that matter most to Rossendale residents.”