Bedfordshire Police emphasise the power of community in Neighbourhood Policing Week
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Bedfordshire Police’s officers have this week taken to the frontline to tackle anti-social behaviour and drug related crime.
Community Policing officers working to interrupt and tackle violent activity carried out proactive, high visibility patrols in hotspot areas in Bedford as part of Operation Cypher; a dedicated operation targeting serious youth violence. Officers in central community teams conducted weapons sweeps and hosted partnership engagement events to help disrupt activity impacting local communities.
A positive result was also achieved following warrants at two Luton addresses on Wednesday (25 January). Community Policing officers in the town recovered what was suspected to be Class A and B drugs, a set of weighing scales and drug paraphernalia in response to community reports of drug dealing and anti-social behaviour. Two women were subsequently arrested for possession with the intent to supply.
This activity comes during a national week of action where police forces, partner agencies and members of the public across England worked in tandem to demonstrate the continued power and importance of neighbourhood policing, and its role in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour.
Neighbourhood policing week 2023 themes include increased prioritisation of the wellbeing of police officers and staff, identifying early intervention and problem solving as tools for reducing crime and anti-social behaviour, and highlighting the importance of improving trust and confidence in and of local policing.
Throughout the week (Monday 23 January – Sunday 29 January) several schools and local service providers in and around the county joined Bedfordshire Police officers to raise awareness of the function and action taken by community policing. Officers on the frontline committed to further educating and supporting members of the public by hosting speed watches, drop-in style surgeries for residents to connect with officers, meetings with local councillors and assemblies across several pre, primary and secondary schools.
Bedfordshire Police’s Chief Inspector for Community Policing South, Alex House said: “In policing every week is a week of action, and we continue to commit to results and progress that will reassure, encourage, and instil a sense of confidence in the force and our abilities. Neighbourhood policing week allows for us as a force, and the public, to take a further look at the value of collaboration and how we achieve positive results together.
“Crime of any kind can have long-term effects on victims, communities, and even the offenders themselves; this means that these targeted efforts are important to effectively help break the cycle and reduce the amount of serious crime in the area.
“The wellbeing of police staff and officers remains a priority and to have this as one of the focus themes for this particular week of action shows just how important health and wellbeing is - for members of the public and within the police, too.”
Leading on Operation Cypher, Inspector Samantha Hunt said: “Police presence and making our activity known further reassures members of the community that they can share any information that might help us tackle the issues causing most damage to their communities. Operation Cypher had a positive result because members of the public felt empowered to speak out.
“This is just one example of many where we have seen the community taking a stand and contributing to stamping out a very disruptive crime.
“Neighbourhood policing is about what is happening locally to local people, and we are very grateful for the relationships we have and must continue to work together.”