Po­lice bid to do their pa­per­work in cafes

Loughborough Echo - - FRONT PAGE - By Liam Cole­man liam.cole­man@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

PO­LICE are hop­ing to in­crease their pres­ence in Lough­bor­ough town cen­tre by al­low­ing of­fi­cers to carry out pa­per­work in cof­fee shops, restau­rants and busi­nesses in the town.

Po­lice com­man­der for Charn­wood, Insp Dwight Barker told the that he is hop­ing the ini­tia­tive can help re­duce crime in the area.

He said that he was hop­ing busi­nesses would come for­ward to al­low of­fi­cers to sit in their shops, bars and restau­rants to carry out work that can hope­fully re­duce the amount of crime in the town cen­tre.

He said that this does not just ap­ply to Lough­bor­ough town cen­tre, but to all of Charn­wood.

Insp Barker said that all of­fi­cers now have ‘ag­ile equip­ment’ such as spe­cial­ist lap­tops and mo­bile phones that will al­low them to carry out pa­per­work wher­ever they are based.

The equip­ment can al­low staff to be based in a range of build­ings, but still have ac­cess to po­lice sys­tems.

He said: “We are hop­ing that by do­ing this across the area we can have a more around the clock po­lice pres­ence.”

He said that it means that of­fi­cers can sit in their cars, or can for ex­am­ple go and sit in a cof­fee shop rather than hav­ing to head back to the po­lice head­quar­ters to fill in forms.

He said that he hopes this will lead to a “re­duc­tion in crime.”

He said: “So if you see an of­fi­cer on their phone or lap­top even in places like McDon­ald’s then they will be more than likely do­ing work and it will hope­fully be a de­ter­rent to crim­i­nals.

“Of­fi­cers have to carry out im­por­tant paper work for a lot of dif­fer­ent rea­sons and if they are out do­ing it in pub­lic I think it is bet­ter for ev­ery­one.

“Peo­ple of­ten com­plain about a lack of po­lice pres­ence but I am hop­ing that this can go to­wards solv­ing this prob­lem. ”

He said that of­fi­cers will still be in their uni­forms and it will al­low them to re­spond quickly to nearby emer­gency calls.

In Fe­bru­ary as part of his an­nual bud­get, po­lice and crime com­mis­sioner for Le­ices­ter­shire, Lord Willy Bach pro­posed to in­vest £4m in the con­tin­ued roll out of ag­ile IT equip­ment un­til 2018-19.

This was part of his plans to in­crease po­lice vis­i­bil­ity that were sup­ported by the Po­lice and Crime Panel.

He said that this would en­able uni­formed staff to spend longer in the com­mu­ni­ties they serve - thus in­creas­ing vis­i­bil­ity.

Insp Barker said that if any busi­nesses were in­ter­ested in be­ing part of the scheme then to call 101 and con­tact Sergeant Leon Kirk­patrick.

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