Operational review to enhance policing services for local communities

Following an extensive review of its operating model, Merseyside Police is implementing the final phase of a change programme designed to enhance the service provided across the county and ensure that the force maintains its determination to put communities first.

The review, known as the Community First Operational Review (CFOR), initiated a series of changes to underpin the force’s commitment to maximising available resources to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, prevent offending and re-offending and improve victim experiences.

Chief Constable Serena Kennedy of Merseyside Police explained, “We last reviewed our operating model in 2017, and whilst the changes put in place following that review have been successful in many ways, we need to keep moving forward and developing.

“It is vital to the delivery of Community First policing that we respond to the fast-changing needs of our communities, and changes in the scale and scope of demand we face.

“The Community First Operational Review aims to maintain high standards and only make the changes needed to improve and enhance our service to the communities of Merseyside and, being mindful of budget constraints, the changes are designed to enhance efficiency and effectiveness across the board.

“With CFOR, we have invested additional resources into a place-based focus on policing. We are putting the needs of our communities first and restructuring ourselves, adding more officers to the mix, and ensuring our resources and command teams are aligned with local authority areas to tackle local issues and priorities most effectively alongside our partners, whom we have consulted with throughout the development of the new model.”

Chief officers commissioned the review in January 2022 and following a comprehensive programme of research, and consultation with policing colleagues and community partners, a raft of recommended changes was approved for phased implementation, beginning in April this year.

Strengthening neighbourhood connections

The final phase is underway and due to conclude in October 2023, and whilst some changes may be less noticeable to the public, others are quite visible. Notably, the implementation of a City and Boroughs structure for Local Policing and the introduction of Command Team Corridors for the city and each borough, stand out as changes that will benefit all communities.

The City and Boroughs structure reflects the complex demands within the five policing areas across Merseyside. It underscores the force’s commitment to providing visible and accessible neighbourhood policing, and supports the introduction of Command Team Corridors to optimise partnership working and foster cohesive decision-making. This is all aimed at addressing local issues effectively.

In summary, the most noticeable changes are:

  • The introduction of a City and Boroughs structure for Local Policing with each of these five areas led by a Superintendent
  • A focus on place with neighbourhood, response, proactive and investigative resources dedicated to each local authority area
  • Additional patrol stations opened at Upton, Southport, Lower Lane, Admiral Street and Speke, plus the relocation of patrols based at Kirkby to Huyton – all of which optimise response times
  • The introduction of Command Team Corridors that co-locate each area’s command team from Response and Resolution, Investigation and Local Policing to enable more cohesive management and problem solving
  • Investigation split into two partner strands – Investigation and Investigation Protecting Vulnerable People (PVP) – each led by a Chief Superintendent
  • The introduction of a Child Criminal & Sexual Exploitation Team (CCSET), which will be a centralised team
  • An uplift in officer numbers across Response and Resolution, Investigation, Investigation (PVP), Matrix and Local Policing
  • Increase in Roads Policing officers – to make Merseyside’s roads safer
  • Increase in Disruption officers – to further enhance the ability to tackle serious and organised crime

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said, “Neighbourhood policing is the bedrock of good policing, and today’s announcement is part of our ongoing commitment to making sure Merseyside Police is in the best possible position to serve our communities now and into the future.

“That means a greater focus on place with more dedicated resources into each of our boroughs and more investment in the teams that tackle the issues that matter most to local people with extra officers to respond to emergencies, tackle gang and gun crime, and protect vulnerable people. We are also boosting the teams that work to disrupt serious and organised crime and make our roads safer. All steps which will help Merseyside Police to forge even stronger connections with communities across Merseyside.

“These changes are the result of detailed analysis and review of how the organisation operates and have been developed to enable Merseyside Police to be as effective and efficient as possible, maximising our resources and ensuring officers and staff are based where they are most needed to build a safer region for all.”

Chief Constable Kennedy added, “Making these changes allows our specialist resources to focus on their specialisms and excel in our mission to pursue offenders, prevent crime and protect people. By reviewing and optimising our ability to do this, we can continue to put our communities first in everything we do and keep people safe. I believe these changes to our operating model will greatly enhance the services we provide to the communities of Merseyside.”

Collectively, the CFOR changes allow Merseyside Police to deliver a highly localised service that is best placed to meet the needs of communities across the force area. Although the location of where some officers and staff are based has changed, the police stations with public enquiry counters and other contact methods for Merseyside Police all remain the same.

To report a crime, anti-social behaviour or a road traffic incident to Merseyside Police, use the following options:

You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or pass information via their secure online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/forms/give-information-anonymously

In an emergency, always call 999.

If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use the textphone service 18000 or text on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with Relay UK, the emergency SMS service.

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