Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire reveals her thoughts in latest Podcast

Cambridgeshire Constabulary Chief Constable Julie Spence has released her latest podcast where the Policing Pledge is top of her agenda. She said: BACK at the beginning of last month I told you we intended to let you know how we were meeting the Policing

Cambridgeshire Constabulary Chief Constable Julie Spence has released her latest podcast where the Policing Pledge is top of her agenda.

She said: "BACK at the beginning of last month I told you we intended to let you know how we were meeting the Policing Pledge.

"Since then you should have been bombarded with information from us in all sorts of ways - on our website, through e-Cops and the media - and even by word of mouth at neighbourhood meetings.

"I make no apology for that.


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The messages may not always be the most exciting you've ever heard or read, but they're nonetheless important.

"For the first time on such a scale we are trying to tell you what we are doing and why on your behalf, and often at your request.

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"For example, this week we're focusing on that part of the Pledge which says we will ensure your neighbourhood policing team and other police patrols are visible, and they will be working in your community for at least 80 per cent of their time.

"To try to demonstrate that we have a colourful new video on our website which shows various aspects of policing in action - from critical situations to making time for a chat and a check on how the more vulnerable members of our communities are faring.

"I think it demonstrates the huge and growing range of tasks we carry out and the challenges we face - as well as what we like to think of as the "human" face of policing.

"We are also launching a newsletter on northern division - that's the Peterborough area - and the other divisions will be looking at how well that goes down.

"There is other material also on the website to try to give you some idea of the wider policing "family" - the specialist teams like the dog and helicopter units, and the largely unseen but vitally important "first contact" team in the control room.

"Please don't think this is all about "spin" and wanting to win a popularity competition. As a police chief who once walked the beat I know not everyone wants to see a police officer on every street corner.

"And on that note - there must always be an element of reality in expectations.

"While we do our best to ensure that neighbourhood teams are where you want them when you want them, there are times when they have to be used as "reinforcements" elsewhere.

"Our approach, though, is to make these occasions the exception rather than the rule.

"Much of what we are doing, as you will have noted, probably looks like simple, commonsense solutions to problems which we should have gripped years ago - and so they are.

"But like everyone else in any walk of life we are learning as we go along. Not all great ideas work well in reality - but we have to try them to find out.

"That's what this information campaign of ours is all about. Unless you have to get involved with us you'll be unlikely to know exactly what we're doing and how we're spending your money.

"Yet you're entitled to know - in exactly the same the same way that you are entitled to expect us to respond swiftly and effectively when you do need us.

"And unless you can see for yourself that we're doing our job competently you are unlikely to be satisfied or confident in calling for our help.

"Of course the confidence measure is a target for police and local authorities alike, and I would be less than truthful if I said that I wasn't anxious to achieve the figure which the Government has set for us by 2012.

"But more important to me is your verdict - that what we do is pleasing and right for Cambridgeshire, not just Whitehall.

"By now you will have seen all sorts of warnings about being careful with fireworks. Here, I'm afraid, is another.

"The vast majority these days know that it makes sense to attend an organised fireworks party or event.

"Sadly, the minority continue to see the days around November 5 as an opportunity to use fireworks to make life a misery for others. Regulations concerning the sale of fireworks are much tougher than they once were, but somehow they still find their ways into the hands of people who think that using them to terrorise is amusing.

"It isn't and they are anything but funny. If you're thinking of letting off what can be highly dangerous explosives where you shouldn't - don't. My officers will come down hard on anyone caught doing so.

"But if you're having your own properly organised event, or going to a public display, have a wonderful time.

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