Pocklington’s police sergeant is optimistic about the future of Humberside Police following the radical changes to the force recently.
Ryan Reed, who is the sergeant for the Pocklington and Market Weighton areas, Howden and Goole, says there has been some problems since the restructure, which took effect in April.
The changes, which will see around 200 police officers and 500 civilian staff leave the force over the next four years, have been introduced in order to help Humberside Policesave £31m before 2019.
Geographical divisions that the force had traditionally been split into have been scrapped. Within the new operating model, a team of officers can be deployed anywhere in the Humberside Policing area. Shift patterns for officers have also been changed. Officers have been equipped with new technology and the force is now focusing its resources in the areas and at the times of greatest need.
Sgt Reed, 36, said: “We’ve had a big investment in IT. So our office can be in our car using wifi and mobile technology which is time saving.
“I am quite hopeful for the future. We have gone through huge change. When you go through something like that there is always going to be teething problems. But everyone is focused on getting over that and getting things to how they should be. You can plan all you want but when it comes to the doing of it that’s when some things you might not have seen do happen. I’m quite happy with how it has all been managed.
“The teething problems have mainly been around getting used to new ways of working and trying to develop new systems to compliment this.
“We do have some connectivity issues, especially rurally using the mobile system, but there are workable solutions such as linking in with restaurant Wi-Fi and similar and with this being a new process officers are still working out how best to use this new tool.”
Sgt Reed works from both the Pocklington and Goole police stations. When asked about the future of the police station on George Street in Pocklington, he commented: “There are no plans to close it. What this station has in its favour is its geographical location, we do need this base here.”
The front office at the station is now open just Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 9am to 5pm. Sgt Reed says the footfall at the station is low and that it is not practical to open the station more often. He explained: “There are advertised days when the front office is open, we have a dedicated member of staff who does that. If we were to open it 24/7 that means we would have to take someone off the streets to do that. The footfall we get at this station isn’t very high, so do you want someone out in the community or do you want someone sat behind a desk at the front counter waiting for someone to come in. For me every time it’s going to be somebody out working in the community attending calls.
“These days everyone has a telephone, we’re quite easy to contact on the 101 number, we’re also on the internet so people can contact us in that respect. In an ideal world it would be nice to be able to open the station and someone on the front counter 24 hours a day but the way things are it’s not practical to do so. So we’ve had to think of other options where people can still get in contact.”
A new PCSO has recently joined the Pocklington Provincial neighbourhood policing team. Mike Simpson, 33, previously worked in Goole but will now be covering the Pocklington area.
He said: “Pocklington is a lovely town. There is a lot less crime here but it is more widespread.
“I have been going round the market on a Tuesday and have been popping into groups and meeting people and speaking to as many people as possible.”