Cost-cutting changes to the way policing is delivered to the people of the Melton borough come into effect from Monday.
Leicestershire Police’s existing 15 local policing units (LPU), including Melton, are being replaced by eight Neighbourhood Policing Areas which will work exclusively on community engagement, problem-solving, anti-social behaviour and partnership working.
As part of the frontline transformations Melton, Market Harborough and Rutland will now form the Eastern Counties Neighbourhood Policing Area.
The new commander for this area is Inspector Lou Cordiner, who has previously been commander of Rutland LPU since June 2013.
Melton will have also have two dedicated neighbourhood sergeants, six dedicated neighbourhood officers and 14 police community support officers (Pcsos) who will be based at Melton Station as well as smaller offices across the area. Melton will also have a neighbourhood priority sergeant and seven neighbourhood priority officers who will serve the Eastern Counties area and who will help support local problem-solving and planned operations.
Leicestershire Police, which says it needs to make significant savings due to a reduction in budget, claim its changes will result in neighbourhood police teams being more visible on the street as officers in these new roles will no longer routinely carry out duties such as crime investigation, planned arrests and attending incidents. These tasks will now be dealt with by other specialist units.
A new dedicated patrol and resolution team will focus on patrolling streets and attending and resolving all emergency and urgent incidents. The team will start and finish shifts from five ‘hubs’ across the force area, including a small number from Melton.
Non-emergency calls that still require a police response will be dealt with by a new Managed Appointment Unit. Through this unit, Melton residents will be able to book an appointment to see an officer a convenient time and location.
Leicestershire Police Chief Constable Simon Cole said: “This transformation is the latest in a series of on-going changes in response to reducing budgets and changing public expectation and demand.
“This new way of working will allow the teams based in our communities to dedicate their time to working closely with neighbourhoods and partners to resolve issues at a local level.
“Protecting our communities still remains at the heart of everything we do and I hope that this shift shows our commitment and dedication to seeing this continue and improve.”
Inspector Lou Cordiner, commander of the new Eastern Counties Neighbourhood Policing Area, which includes Melton, said: “I’m very much looking forward to working alongside the team that is already based in the area to continue to build on the strong relationships that exist within the community and with local partners.”
l Inspector John Gray, who has been commander of the Melton LPU for the last five years, is taking on a new role as a Detective Inspector at Keyham Lane Police Station in Leicester, working at one of three hubs of the force’s Investigation Unit.