Select Committee on Home Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 160 - 161)



  Q160  Chairman: Mr Duvall, one last point?

  Mr Duvall: I think it would be wrong for us to go back on Safer Neighbourhood Teams. It is the new foundation stone of policing. When people got into cars we lost something in terms of the contact and, quite frankly, patrolling and giving anticrime prevention information, or even going to local schools, is not a bad thing and I suspect there is not any neighbourhood that cannot do that work if they are not in a hot spot area, as they say. However, I do think we need to look at some issues and there is a live discussion around Safer Neighbourhood Teams where they have an allied major town centre, what do we do there, do we have the right numbers. We are looking at making sure we localise our Transport Safer Neighbourhood Teams which are central at the moment, and we want to localise those to transport hubs and start working locally on bus routes. Also, we live and die by wards but the police do not and nor do the criminals, and we know there are extra resources that we put in some areas which, quite frankly, may not be required in that locality, so over and above the core, because of the size of the neighbourhood, there is a debate to be had whether people stay on Safer Neighbourhood Teams or help to supplement other Safer Neighbourhood Teams but still be available to help in times of need. So we would not obstruct them or allow them to be moved off willy nilly, but keep them focused rather than in response. That is a healthy discussion which we are not rushing into because of the issues we have discussed. History is littered with Safer Neighbourhood Teams and nobody ever believed they would happen. There are suggestions made by people that some of the changes being made in the service now will go away, that we are running custody suites with medical support and moving away from doctors to senior nurses to give a better service to the criminal justice system, but there are reforms going on that are here to stay and that will be with us for some time in the future.

  Q161  Chairman: Thank you very much. We have kept you longer than we anticipated because what you have had to say has been very useful, but if we have missed anything please send us a note.

  Mr Duvall: I was going to suggest that.

  Chairman: And your suggestions of where we can visit. That would be very helpful.

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