WEST Midlands Police are to launch some major new changes – to improve their service to the public in Solihull.
The changes follow work carried out by the force’s Continuous Improvement
Programme, examining local policing systems and processes from the time of taking an initial call from a member of the public, through to the custody process. The aim is to improve the service to the public, while identifying and reducing waste, duplication, and inefficiency.
In future, members of the public making non-emergency calls will be offered ‘Policing by Appointment,’ giving them the option to meet with officers at a time, and a location, to suit them. An appointment system will mean that the public are clear about when the police aim to attend, so they are not left waiting for long periods for an officer to become available.
Other changes include a revised help desk, an incident resolution team to handle all calls, a response team focused on rapid incident response, a larger investigation team – dedicated to bringing criminals to court, and community priority teams to resolve local community priorities.
Although neighbourhood teams will be smaller, they will also be ‘more visible,’ and remain focused on community engagement and problem solving at a local level, including tackling Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB). Response times to emergency 999 calls will be improved, and the dedicated local investigation team will ensure that opportunities to solve and resolve crime and disorder, will be maximised.
As part of the changes, where appropriate the force aims to resolve more issues over the phone at the first point of contact, so that the public are not passed from person to person, or team to team. Solihull Police are introducing the new changes on June 1, 2011, before rolling them out across the force, over the next 18 months.
The new way of doing business is built on five key foundations: continuing to keep the public at the heart of everything we do, guaranteed neighbourhood policing, a strong dedicated investigative capability, delivering the right policing response and ensuring the most effective, and efficient service possible.
The changes come amid leaner times ahead – with the force facing a £125m funding gap over the next four years.