County set for cost-cutting police changes

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Changes to policing in the county, which include 999 response teams being shared between Rutland and Melton, come into effect next week.

The shake-up, which is part of cost-cutting measures by Leicestershire Police as it looks to save £16.7m before 2015/16, will begin on Tuesday.

The changes will affect response officers who attend 999 calls. One team will be between Rutland and Melton, as their numbers are reduced in the force.

The teams will report to a hub in Melton rather than Oakham but will be deployed to incidents in both areas as normal.

Some of the response officers will join new Safer Neighbourhood Teams and work more hours on their beats from Thursday to Saturday.

Similar changes are being made in other areas of Leicestershire.

When the announcement was made in November last year, police reassured people that the shake-up was a positive move for the county.

Insp Kam Mistry, commander of Rutland Local Policing Unit, said: “The good news for Rutland is that there will be more neighbourhood officers policing the county.

“The Safer Neighbourhood Teams will be led by a beacon officer all of whom are experienced local officers who are already known by many people in the county.

“This internal restructure of our staff is based on scientific data which has mapped the peaks and troughs of our demand and identified hotspot locations. This has been done to ensure we have the right people in the right place at the right time.

“While response officers will be shared between Melton and Rutland there will still be some response officers based in Rutland. In an emergency, the officers nearest the incident would be sent regardless of where they work or what their role is.”

There will be four Safer Neighbourhood Teams across the county – Oakham Town and Barleythorpe, Uppingham, Rutland North and Rutland South.

Each team will have a beacon officer, who will be the named point of contact for their community, a sergeant, PCs and PCSOs.

The beacon officer for Oakham Town and Barleythorpe is PC Joe Lloyd, Uppingham is PC Peter Icke, Rutland North is PC Laurie Appleton and for Rutland South is PC Paul Le Pla.