Following on from the survey conducted recently in the Newcastle area by the Alliance Party, Neil Powell, who is standing in the Newcastle ward in the May election, has now been in touch with the Chairman of the District Policing Partnership to express some of the concerns raised.
Mr Powell said: “Whilst two-thirds of those interviewed say they now trust the police shows progress, there is still a clear desire for more police on the beat – an incredible 82 percent thought there were not enough police seen on the beat in the community.
“Perhaps trust in the PSNI would grow even more if officers had greater contact with the community at a street level. Trust has to be earned, and if the police are visible and become part of the community they serve in, that will build confidence in the PSNI.”
Mr Powell said he was encouraged that the DPP Chairman was taking his concerns on board and was prepared to look at how some improvements to community policing could be recommended to the PSNI.
“One are where there could be a significant impact is the development of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. Such a scheme could help give people a greater sense of security and contribute to more effective policing with the community,” said Mr Powell.
“Another possibility might include a mobile police station, which could be parked at “hot spots” and make reporting anti social behaviour and other localised crime much more practical.
“Then there is the “bobby on a bike”, currently operating in other towns. These very mobile officers would make a police presence so much more evident, immediate and hopefully responsive to reported crime.”
Mr Powell added: “Alliance is a party that has always listened to the people, and it can be a voice for everyone, not just one section of the community. Policing is clearly a very big issue for everyone but is by no means the only one.”