Local bobbies with local knowledge making local decisions – they’re crucial to helping residents of rural Wales feel safe.
High-level new research by the Universities' Police Science Institute and Aberystwyth University reveals that communities want stronger neighbourhood bonds with the police.
Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner Christopher Salmon, who funded the work known as Rural Connect, said: “Local policing is vital. I want officers to know - and be known - in their communities. That way we build trust and confidence.
In light of the report, Mr Salmon’s actions will include exploring:
- Better mobility for local officers, including cycles and mopeds;
- More Special Constables with specialist local or professional knowledge;
- A Say Hello! campaign encouraging officers and public to speak more often.
- Local initiatives to replace ineffective PACT meetings;
- More public access to mediation.
He is already considering how schools work can become the responsibility of local officers.
He wants a better 101 system, more investment in police IT, a review of police middle management and to review provision of the Bobby Van service – “Its withdrawal was a mistake.”
The research was led by the Universities' Police Science Institute (UPSI) based at Cardiff University and used the expertise of Aberystwyth University’s Department of Law and Criminology.
It included detailed discussions with members of the public, police officers and police staff. The sessions were run by UPSI, the Commissioner’s Office and Dyfed-Powys Police.
The key question was: “How can the police best connect with people living in rural communities?”