South Holland residents will be asked to help shape policing priorities at roadshows after neighbourhood panels are scrapped at the end of December.
Community police inspector Jo Reeves explained: “Listening to our communities is a vital aspect of neighbourhood policing and it is my job to ensure that we are providing a consistent and fair service to everyone in South Holland.
“Our existing panels are largely attended by parish councillors, who already have an opportunity to engage with police at parish council meetings, and I am keen that we explore additional ways to listen to our communities so that all priorities truly reflect the concerns of local people.”
Held every three months, panels for Spalding East Rural, Spalding West, Spalding East and Town, Crowland, Holbeach Town, Gosberton, Quadring, Donington and Pinchbeck and Surfleet have helped decide three policing priorities.
Police say the panels have not been fully representative of their communities and, consequently, priorities set were often repetitive and not a true reflection of what really matters to local people.
The Neighbourhood Policing Team will continue to attend parish council meetings where neighbourhood panels were previously held and take one priority from them every three months.
The remaining two priorities will be determined during a series of roadshow style events in various locations, allowing a wider representation of the public to have their say.
Police say locations, times and dates will be publicised in advance and all will be welcome to attend. It is hoped that by taking this approach, those people who would be unaware of panel meetings, or unable to attend, or who live in an area not covered by a panel, will be able to make a valuable contribution.
Insp Reeves continued: “I believe that we have moved on considerably from where we were when neighbourhood panels were initiated.
“Our communities have changed and people are busier than ever with limited availability. I hope everyone can see that my plan is not to ignore the concerns of the public and local communities but rather to increase the access to police across the entire area and improve the service we deliver to all.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the panel chairs and members for their time and commitment over the last few years.”