Beat officers will be known as Dedicated Neighbourhood Officers to reflect a change in role that is solely focused on working with communities.
Officers working in this new role, along with Police Community Support Officers, will be patrolling streets and dealing with issues relating to public protection, community engagement and anti-social behaviour.
They will no longer routinely carry out duties such as crime investigation, planned arrests and attending incidents – these will now be dealt with by other specialist units.
Currently less than 25% of neighbourhood officers’ time is spent working on ‘core community’ activities, so by shifting these duties to other areas of the Force it will free up their time to work closer with local communities.
An investment in mobile technology will also allow officers to be more flexible, accessible and visible, without the need to be located in traditional police stations.
This shift is part of the Force’s on-going transformation to meet the change in public need and demand.
A reduction in budget also means that the force needs to make significant savings.
In the last four years £20 million has already been removed from the budget by reducing overall operating cost. This latest overhaul will see a further £10 million reduction.
As part of the changes the force’s 15 Local Policing Units have become eight Neighbourhood Policing Areas (NPA).
As well as Dedicated Neighbourhood Officers, each NPA will also have a team of Neighbourhood Priority Officers. They will help support local problem solving and planned operations.
Other changes include the introduction of a new dedicated Patrol and Resolution Team. This team will focus on patrolling streets and attending and resolving all emergency and urgent incidents.
Non-emergency calls that still require a police response will be dealt with by a new Managed Appointment Unit.
Through this unit, members of the public will be able to book an appointment to see an officer at a convenient time and location, usually on the same day that the incident has occurred.
A new Force Investigation Unit will conduct investigations, process prisoners and make planned arrests, and the Force Intelligence Bureau will action all intelligence reports and requests.
Leicestershire Police Chief Constable Simon Cole said:
“This transformation is the latest in a series of on-going changes in response to reducing budgets and changing public expectation and demand.
“This new way of working will allow the teams based in our communities to dedicate their time to working closely with neighbourhoods and partners to resolve issues at a local level.
“Protecting our communities still remains at the heart of everything we do and I hope that this shift shows our commitment and dedication to seeing this continue and improve.”