LINCOLNSHIRE police’s new chief constable wants his officers to be visible and approachable on the streets.
Chief constable Neil Rhodes, who took over his post from Richard Crompton in April, visited Stamford police station on Thursday to talk about his aims.
One of his key targets is to reassure the public that the police are there for them.
He said: “We have a very strong focus on local policing. I want to explore the quality of the relationship with the community.
“Officers have to be seen regularly, known by name and they have got to be approachable. I really want people to feel comfortable speaking to officers.”
Mr Rhodes began his career as a constable in Lincoln in 1986 and was a sergeant in Stamford in 1990. He added: “We do have challenges but Stamford is a really safe place and a nice place to live and work.”
Yesterday, Mr Rhodes met with sector inspector for Stamford, Bourne and the Deepings, Mike Burnett, to find out his plans for the area.
Insp Burnett is also new to the role, having started in April.
Mr Rhodes said: “I used to come out regularly when I was deputy chief constable to meet with the inspectors in the various areas. It’s important to do it regularly.
“Mike Burnett is new to Stamford and I wanted to get his first impressions of the place and talk to him about his plans.”
One of the force’s key challenges in the area this year has been dealing with metal theft, particularly from church roofs.
Mr Rhodes said: “We have had some really success in relation to metal theft. It is challenging in an area like this with so many historical buildings.”
Stamford, Bourne and the Deepings are busy preparing for the Olympic torch relay which will pass through the area on Tuesday and Wednesday. Mr Rhodes saw the relay in Lincoln this week and was impressed with his officers and with the public.
He said: “This is the largest peace-time police operation ever. We are seeing far bigger crowds than the organisers expected.
“The public will be surprised and pleased by the convoy they see. I have been really impressed by the professionalism on show.”
Lincolnshire police is dealing with a £20m cut from a budget of £120m, but Mr Rhodes is confident his officers are coping well.
He added: “We are 14 per cent down on crime with 70 fewer officers across the county. They really are delivering the goods.”