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Delivering neighbourhood policing in partnership

Community policing
Researchers: Caroline Turley
Published: May 2012

Aim

We conducted this study to identify the key facilitators and barriers to delivering neighbourhood policing in partnership with residents and local partner agencies, focusing on six areas with a strong partnership approach.

Findings

Each area had a Neighbourhood Manager

Neighbourhood Managers were responsible for overseeing and coordinating delivery of initiatives. They were either dedicated posts, or carried out by existing police or Community Safety Partnership staff alongside other commitments.

Carrying out the role alongside other commitments was not necessarily seen as inferior. It was more important that the Neighbourhood Manager was perceived to act independently and represent community interests to engender trust from partner agencies.

Strong leadership, engaged staff, and effective communication were required

Successful local partnerships were underpinned by:

  • strong leadership and engaged staff;
  • shared aims and objectives;
  • effective communication and information sharing between partner agencies.

Stable funding and co-location were also seen as helpful, although not essential.

Barriers to delivering neighbourhood policing in partnership

Challenges the areas faced included:

  • engaging a wide range of the community;
  • managing community priorities that didn't match up with those evident from local crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) statistics;
  • a lack of staff continuity.

The benefits of delivering neighbourhood policing in partnership

Participants identified a range of benefits for partners:

  • joint neighbourhood policing and neighbourhood management approaches had the potential to result in more efficient service delivery;
  • more effective problem-solving when issues were dealt with collaboratively by more than one agency;
  • partner agency representatives reported a sense of personal fulfilment when they saw results being achieved in their areas.

Local residents reported benefits too

  • Residents more directly involved in service delivery tended to feel that working with local partners had increased their sense of empowerment.
  • Residents felt there had been reductions in the types of offences that caused them most concern e.g. retail crime, prostitution, drug-related offences and youth ASB.
  • Increased visibility and accessibility of partners, particularly neighbourhood patrols, improved perceptions of safety.

Methodology

Qualitative case studies of six areas across England and Wales, involving focus groups with neighbourhood policing teams and residents, in-depth interviews with partner agencies, observations of partnership meetings, and a review of secondary data.

Read the report