Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner and acting chief constable have attended an event in Halton to launch Cheshire Constabulary’s new community bases.
David Keane and Janette McCormick were at Upton Community Centre in Widnes on Thursday (5 July) to officially declare the building one of its first community bases.
The centre is one of 17 community bases in the Widnes and Runcorn local policing areas and 122 across Cheshire providing a base for PCSOs to spend more time in the heart of the communities they serve.
The opening completes the commissioner’s and acting chief’s tour of the county to open a community base in each of Cheshire’s four local authority areas to launch the new model.
Housed in existing buildings, the bases will provide a facility for PCSOs to hold regular surgeries or have confidential discussions with victims, witnesses and other members of the public.
PCSOs will also be able to begin and end their daily shift at their community base to increase the amount of time they have to meet local residents and deal with local issues.
David said: “I am proud that we’ve been able to introduce a police base and PCSO for every community across Cheshire to help re-establish community policing across the county.
“When I was elected I promised the Cheshire residents ‘more feet on the beat’ and this model is helping us put community officers back where they belong.
“Under the previous model, some PCSOs were travelling miles each day to the community they were based in, wasting valuable time that they could be spending in their communities.
“The new bases will help increase police interaction with individual communities, providing a named, recognisable officer and an easily accessible police base for local residents in shared community buildings at no extra cost to the taxpayer.”
This event was also attended by Widnes chief inspector Simon Parsonage, PCSO Paul Mines and PC Chris Hull along with Cllr Phil Harris and representatives from the communities team at Halton Borough Council.
The commissioner and acting chief constable were briefed on local issues in the area by PCSO Mines before taking part in a patrol around Hough Green.
Acting chief constable Janette McCormick said: “We are delighted to be able to open these bases at the heart of each community in Cheshire.
“This will bring policing closer to the communities we serve and will mean our community officers are more accessible and local residents are able to directly speak to PCSOs in their areas.
“It will also ensure officers are more visible in the rural areas of the county, as well as the towns and cities, tackling local issues and working with local people on issues of concern to them.
“Furthermore, all of the local areas now have their own Twitter account and ‘Alert’ where local residents can keep updated on issues at the heart of their community or contact their local officers.”
The constabulary is broken up into eight local policing units (LPUs) with the full list of community bases in Runcorn and Widnes LPUs below.
Community bases in Runcorn
Grangeway Youth and Community Centre
Halton Brook Children’s Centre
Heath Business Park
Halton Direct Link
Castlefields Community Centre
Brookvale Community Centre
Murdishaw Community Centre
Community bases in Widnes
Victoria Road Library
Halton Housing Trust, Naughton Fields
Upton Community Centre
Hale Village Hall
Halton Housing Trust, Waterfront Point
To find out more about what is going on in your local policing area or who your local PCSO is, please visit www.cheshire.police.uk/local-policing/runcorn or www.cheshire.police.uk/local-policing/widnes