This week (January 22-28) is Neighbourhood Policing Week and we’re proud to shine the spotlight on our community-based colleagues.
What is Neighbourhood Policing?
Neighbourhood Policing describes teams of police officers, PCSOs (police community support officers), , police staff, special constables and police support volunteers who work within communities, striving to make them better and safer.
They are often out and about, engaging with the public, businesses, schools, colleges, and other organisations. Working a range of shifts, they play a vital role in building relationships with local communities and providing knowledge, reassurance, and resolution on a wide range of policing matters, whilst also gathering intelligence.
Community engagement is an essential part of Neighbourhood Policing, which involves building trust and developing a deep understanding of what the community needs. Officers, PCSOs and police staff also work with a wide range of partners, for example, councils and housing providers, to problem solve issues for the community – such as anti-social behaviour and drug issues – and help prevent them reoccurring. They safeguard vulnerable children and adults and when they spot problems, they will often do early intervention work to stop them escalating.
Neighbourhood police officers care about their communities.
PCSO Samuel White, who works in Wells, Somerset, explains: “I am fortunate to live in the area I work in, and whether it’s getting a pint of milk from the shops or walking round the market, I am enveloped in my community. This isn’t just a job to me, this is my life, and my actions and decisions have an impact on both me and those around me.
“People need to understand that this role, this organisation has a huge impact on our lives, and we don’t always have the ability to switch off. It is both physically and mentally challenging, and yet we come in day after day, prepared to put ourselves in harm’s way to help others and better our communities.
“Sometimes that is a hard thing to come to understand and accept, in yourself as well as for family and friends. But we do it because we are passionate about what we do.”
What’s the difference between Neighbourhood Policing and Response?
A response team is made up only of police officers and their primary role is to attend the emergency calls that come through to police on 999.
A neighbourhood team is made of up of police officers, PCSOs, police staff, special constables and police support volunteers. The team work collectively to engage communities, solve problems, and target activity.
What’s the difference between police officers and PCSOs?
The role of a neighbourhood police officer is varied, and no two days will be the same. Their regular duties include responding to calls and requests from the public to assist at incidents, patrolling and providing a visible presence to deter crime and reassure the community, providing support and reassurance to victims of crime and anti-social behaviour, working alongside communities and liaising with groups and individuals, diffusing potential volatile situations whilst keeping people safe, developing community knowledge to identify individuals and locations at risk of being involved in crime and investigating crime, from making arrests, gathering evidence and taking statements to preparing case files and giving evidence in court.
Our PCSOs’ duties include being highly visible in the community on foot and cycle patrols as well as by car, dealing with anti-social behaviour alongside neighbourhood wardens and community action teams, providing crime prevention advice, making house visits and speaking to victims and vulnerable people to reassure and offer advice, visiting schools and talking with young people, building links with businesses and community leaders, gathering and developing intelligence from within the community and detaining suspects and guarding crime scenes.
Police staff, police support volunteers and special constables play a key role in delivering neighbourhood policing, and support in numerous ways including, for example, with Neighbourhood Watch, Community Speedwatch, and crime prevention work.
All the duties mentioned above are just part of the Neighbourhood Policing roles. Each day and every situation are different and our officers, PCSOs, special constables, staff and volunteers will call on their training, experience and expertise to deal with all manner of issues.
When would I contact my local Neighbourhood Policing team?
Neighbourhood Policing teams work alongside the community to resolve issues or concerns the community may have. If you have concerns about someone or about crime and disorder in your area you can contact your Neighbourhood team.
How would I contact them?
You can find your latest crime statistics, view local policing priorities and see a calendar of events your local policing team will be attending, by clicking here: Your area and finding your locality.
You can also keep up to date with their news by following our social media channels, which are listed below.
Find out more during Neighbourhood Policing Week
During Neighbourhood Policing Week our teams will be online to share their news and answer your questions, and we’ll be sharing more insight into their work. You can follow all the latest on Avon and Somerset Police’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
If you would like to find out more about joining us, visit our recruitment pages here: Jobs and volunteering
Follow your local Neighbourhood Policing accounts for latest updates:
- Bath and North east Somerset Neighbourhood Policing
- Bristol Neighbourhood Policing
- Mendip Neighbourhood Policing
- Sedgemoor Neighbourhood Policing
- South Gloucestershire Neighbourhood Policing
- South Somerset Neighbourhood Policing
- Taunton and West Somerset Neighbourhood Policing
- North Somerset Neighbourhood Policing