SWINDON’S new police superintendent says he aims to keep operations running smoothly in the face of declining resources.
Andrew Carr, who replaces Gavin Williams at the end of March, will look to introduce aspects of his former role in public protection into neighbourhood policing.
After spending most of his career in Swindon, having been chief inspector for operations, duty inspector, and a beat officer, Andrew will come in with a good grasp of the main issues.
“I want to build on the good work that has been done already, by trying to continue the reduction in crime in the face of diminishing resources,” he said.
“That is about working with our partners to ensure we make effective use of all our resources, and protecting the vulnerable in our society while providing the right support when it is needed.
“It is about understanding the risks around children and young people, in areas such as child sexual exploitation. We can then identify those risks and see how police can support specialists in managing them.
“It is often that wider range of issues which needs management, including dealing with registered sex offenders and how that affects the community.”
Andrew was involved with the pilot of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme – known as Claire’s Law – which allows people to find out from the police if their partner has a violent past.
He said: “We did a lot of work around domestic abuse schemes over the last few years, and understanding how they work allows me to bring that knowledge back to local policing. If you get that right, then it works better for the victims and helps them break the cycle.”
While budgets are being stripped back, Wiltshire Police are recruiting for around 300 special constables, who Andrew says will be vital in providing additional numbers on the ground.
“We still have the same number of people on the front line in Swindon and we want to keep it that way,” said Andrew.
“There are potential future challenges to come. We do not know what they look like yet, and we need to constantly review operation practices and meet any budgetary constraints.
“Wherever we can get volunteers to support policing operations it returns local policing to their neighbourhood responsibilities. There is a real value in providing that additional support for sudden demands.
“They could be supporting the neighbourhood teams with extra visibility, and it enables us to double crew units.”
Additional operations will be planned this year, particularly around public safety during the World Cup in the summer.
“We will also continue the important work on drugs,” added Andrew. “Those people we take out will always be replaced, and Operation Harness will continue over the rest of the year.”