Police changes on way

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RESTRUCTURING of policing in Cambridgeshire forced by budget cuts could actually benefit Fenland according to the area’s new commander.

Chief Inspector Mike Winters, who took over as Fenland Area Commander back in November, has revealed his plans for policing the street’s of the districts four major towns and villages.

Speaking at a special press briefing on Wednesday Chief Insp Winters, explained the aim was ensure that policing is not only maintained at the levels prior to the £16million budget cuts across Cambridgeshire, but to try to make it better.

As a result there will be a shake-up of how the area is policed, with Fenland no longer being joined with Huntingdon, but operating as an independent area instead.

Chief Insp Winters said officers will be redistributed across the district focusing on the area’s with most need.

As a result March, Wisbech and Whittlesey police stations will be manned 24/7, and Chatteris will also have an increased presence.

There will also be geographically appointed sergeants who will be responsible for the day to day policing of needs.

Neighbourhood policing teams will no longer be separate entities but instead, from April, they will become part one big team working on a five shift pattern to ensure full police cover.

Detective Inspector Dave Murphy, who will be responsible for the CID side of policing, said the hope was to restore the old-fashion sense of pride and ownership officers felt for ‘their patch’ in years gone by.

“For the vast majority of the public, the changes will not really be noticeable, but people should be reassured that we will be maintained to the highest possible standards,” said Chief Insp Winters, who also spoke of plans to introduce an offender management scheme aimed at helping offenders turn their lives around.

“I hope to introduce a multi faceted offender management scheme which may sound like wrong to some people, but it makes good sense and will be worthwhile if we can target offenders or those who are vulnerable to offending and help them to change their lifestyles by giving them the support and advice they need.”