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Visibility central to new policing plan

Plans for a more visible police presence, aimed at reassuring local communities, are being considered by Hertfordshire Police Authority today. The authority says the changes could revolutionise the way police services are accessed by the public throughout the county.

The chair of the authority says that one of the key aims of the Public Access and Visibility Strategy is to increase public access to police services by increasing the number of police stations and by providing a larger number of community access points, such as mobile police stations.

Part of the plan is a two-year programme of improvements for police stations throughout the county. Chief Constable Paul Acres says many police stations are poorly located and some areas that need stations do not currently have one. "The new strategy will aim to greatly enhance the number and style of opportunities for people to contact the constabulary," he said.

The strategy says that no community that currently has a station will be without a station and that no station will close until a new replacement station is operational.

The recent HMIC (Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary) report 'Open All Hours' (PDF version) (government press release) suggests the use of different types of public access points, including one-stop shops, mobile police stations, and variations in the size of police stations to meet operational and public needs.

If today's meeting agrees the strategy, work will begin on setting out an initial two-year programme of improvements to be presented to a further Police Authority meeting in the autumn.

You can discuss local policing and the Public Access and Visibility Strategy in this site's Forum.

July 19, 2002

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