Belfast Telegraph

Board agrees new policing strategy

All victims of crime are to be kept updated on the subsequent investigation under a new strategy to improve policing with the community across Northern Ireland.

The commitment to contact people with a progress report within 10 days of the incident taking place is one of 10 outlined in the PSNI blueprint.

The Policing with the Community Strategy 2020 has just been agreed with the Policing Board and will become effective next month.

It is the second such document since the PSNI was formed and sets out how officers can work to deliver more personalised policing in the next decade.

Its completion comes ahead of Thursday's publication of the overall policing plan for the next three years - a plan that will reflect the objectives laid out in the strategy.

While the first Policing with the Community strategy was effectively designed for the PSNI's Neighbourhood Policing Teams - which make up 10% of the service - the revised plan is to be followed by all officers of all ranks.

As well as commitments to update victims and respond to call-outs within certain timeframes, the document also contains pledges to improve personal contact and reduce complaints of officers being rude to the public.

Sinn Fein Policing Board member Alex Maskey said the strategy placed a responsibility on every PSNI officer.

He said: "This new strategy which we have agreed with the PSNI is an in-depth way of saying that every single officer no matter what job they are doing, no matter what rank that officer happens to hold, that they have to do their job on the basis that they have to work with the community, they have to engage with the public and they have to go into partnership with the community to tackle problems that affect communities - particularly issues like anti-social behaviour, drug peddling in areas and so on.

"This is about saying, yes, a core function of policing is about delivering policing with the community but that means that every single officer has the responsibility to do that on their shoulders, so it's not just the task of the Neighbourhood Policing Teams - this is every officer has the job of work to win the public confidence."

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