It can be so easy to demonise the young. I remember when I was growing up, I’d walk the streets with my friends at night (Sutton, Ings Road and Gillshill Road was our circuit – carefully avoiding Pelican SS.)
It was part of a rites of passage and the cool thing to do when you were 13. Mind you, there wasn’t much else to do when you had no money!
Now I’m in my thirties, I sometimes have to force myself to remember why I did it when I see kids doing the same thing today. They’re not looking for trouble, it’s just what they do and the vast majority stay out of trouble.
In fact a new survey for the Youth Justice Board found that 6 out of 10 young people actually want to see MORE police on the street. They fear crime just as much as we do.
The Neighourhood Policing Teams which are currently being rolled out across Hull are going to go some way to addressing this concern. By assigning local officers and PCSOs for each ward, the police will have a greater opportunity to build links with the community, provide continuity and be a visible presence on the streets.
It’s already paying off in London. We’ve had socalled ‘Safer Neighbourhood’ policing teams for the last three years, thanks to a deal done between Ken Livingstone and Met Police Commissioner Ian Blair. On average we’ve seen annual 6% cuts in overall crime.
It’s worked because people now have the name and number of their local officer and can join neighbourhood policing panels to set policing priorities and scrutinise performance.
The only way we’re going to continue to keep cutting crime in East Hull is for the community to work closely with the police and other local agencies.
On the same day that it’s been revealed that Humberside Police apparently ‘screened out’ 1 in 3 calls or 30,000 suspected crimes, neighbourhood policing is going to be the best way to win back public trust in the force.
If you to find out more about your neighbourhood policing team and get involved then click here.