This month the county-wide campaign 'On the Beat' gives us the chance to tell you a little bit more about how local policing works in Wiltshire.

Acting Inspector for Swindon South Community Policing Team, David Tippetts tells us why Community Policing is more than just Wiltshire Police.

"Policing today is more challenging than it has ever been. I have now been a police officer for 13 years and although it feels like these years have flashed by, I have experienced first-hand how policing has adapted and change to meet demand.

"For me the one thing that has remained constant and something I don't think will ever change is the importance of the public being involved in policing. 

"It's not all blue lights and sirens. We talk about our Community Policing Teams when referring to police officers, PCSOs, LCIs and Specials, but in reality community policing goes beyond the boundaries of a police station. It is predominately about talking to local people and finding ways to help solve issues.

"Here in Swindon I feel privileged to work with an extremely dedicated and hardworking team, but we can only do our job and achieve our outcomes by working closely with our partners and members of the public from across the community.  

"Last Christmas together with the In Swindon Bid Team and Swindon Borough Council we opened up Wiltshire Police's first Community Policing shop, in the Brunel Centre in Swindon, offering seasonal crime prevention advice. This opportunity would never have taken place without the support of our partners. David Tippetts - Community policing shop

"Just by talking to us the community plays a proactive role in policing, and through talking we can gather intelligence. It allows us to know about the concerns of the public, to understand the bigger picture, focus our response and take action where needed.

"At one of our community engagement events an elderly gentleman spoke with one of our partner agencies informing them that he was being exploited by an individual who was repeatedly visited his home address asking for money.

"This enabled us to gain the confidence of this vulnerable person and identify the suspect. As a result we have recently obtained a civil injunction through the courts in partnership with Swindon Borough Council, preventing the suspect from making any contact. Should they do so they will be liable for arrest.

"Talking plays an important role in helping us to stop or prevent crime. It can make all the difference to an individual or a community but if we don't know about a problem in your area we can't do anything to change it.

"We are all part of a community, and we all want that community to be a safe, enjoyable place to live and work. But we can only achieve this if we do it together and keep talking."


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