Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd has praised the sense of community spirit in Rochdale and how the town has come together following significant challenges over the past year.
Dozens of people joined Tony, Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy and divisional commander Chief Superintendent Annette Anderson in the beautiful location of Rochdale Town Hall on Tuesday 18 June for the latest #TalkToTony event.
Tony said: “Rochdale has faced challenges over the past year, particularly with the child sexual exploitation trial, but what we see in this town is sense of shared community where people come together to make Rochdale a safer place.”
Sir Peter added that the case had had an unfair impact on the town, but added that crime was going down in Rochdale as a result of police, community and other agencies working together.
Ch Supt Anderson added that it was a privilege to serve the people of Rochdale.
During the lively debate, which was covered live on twitter and GMPCC website and can be replayed here, many residents raised concerns about the new merged neighbourhood policing teams, which mean that currently officers are travelling from their local area to bigger police stations each day to “parade on”.
Many residents are concerned that this is taking the resource away from their areas, but the Chief Constable sought to reassure them that the new teams would provide a better, more integrated service.
Sir Peter said: “My staff have done an incredible job adjusting to the changes, but they are significant and will take a bit of time to get used to. Ultimately it will result in a better service to members of the public. But I do appreciate there has been some concerns and I would just appeal to you to give them a chance to bed in.”
The changes to the teams mean that management levels have been reduced, and non-uniformed CID have been integrated into the neighbourhood teams.
Tony added: “The real test is whether there is productive community engagement and from listening to you tonight, it’s clear that the neighbourhood officers and PCSOs are playing an active part in your community. Neighbourhood policing is here to stay, because it works. It’s absolutely the core of policing in both Rochdale and Greater Manchester.”
The next meeting takes place on Tuesday 2 July from 6.30pm at the council chamber in Oldham Civic Centre.
Meetings will be held monthly in each local authority area of Greater Manchester throughout 2013 so that every resident has the chance to meet Tony and Sir Peter and have a say in policing and crime issues.
Find out more at gmpcc.org.uk/talktotony where you can also replay our online coverage of previous meetings.