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Walk The Beat

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I walk the beat as much as I can, I know my patch and most of the locals know me. Having said that, having a vehicle is a god send for most tasks and enables you to do things much quicker.

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You will learn more and gather more information walking the beat than at any other time. Sadly it is an art which is a dying art.

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6 hours ago, Zulu 22 said:

You will learn more and gather more information walking the beat than at any other time. Sadly it is an art which is a dying art.

Absolutely agree, I know locals who will only give me information as I'm the only officer they can say they "know". 

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When I joined, over 50 years ago, almost every operational constable walked the beat; there were relatively very few cars then.  In my force there existed a well tried system whose object was to keep as many officers on the beat as possible, To this end, bureaucracy was kept to a minimum and I can remember making multiple arrests during the course of a shift but still found time to patrol my beat, speak to people and generally be seen to be out and about.

This situation gradually changed during my service and while I think we gained some advantages of being more mobile I also feel we lost something in the process.  As a sgt and inspector I always tried to have constables on foot patrol but quite often, because of the volume of calls, I had to call them back to the station and instruct them to take out a car.  As time has progressed I think more people became likely to telephone the police to complain about minor matters than in previous years and I suspect the increase in telephone ownership has contributed to this. From what I hear nowadays, and have experienced myself, it would appear the police just ignore many of the requests for police attendance.

However, times change and I have doubts about whether we will see a return to a more personal approach to policing. We just have to make the best of what we have.

 

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I should have mentioned in my previous post on this subject that I have noticed when police officers ARE walking the beat members of the public stop and look at them. If further proof was required that the walking policeman is a rarity these days, this fact would appear to verify it.

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I would love to walk & cycle all day but bosses say no, as I won't be able to get to the jobs on the computer………….not a bad thing!

The days of walking are long gone, unless an officer is based in a town centre, other than that a vehicle is required to attend jobs. At this present time we have 30 - 40 jobs on the computer and the other night we stacked 5 immediates due to no resources, so how can bosses allow officers to walk when there are a list of jobs waiting to be attended………it is just not possible.

The public dictate what we do with the amount of calls they make…………less calls, more walking, more cycling & more proactive work to reduce crime.

 

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22 hours ago, Mark101 said:

I would love to walk & cycle all day but bosses say no, as I won't be able to get to the jobs on the computer………….not a bad thing!

The days of walking are long gone, unless an officer is based in a town centre, other than that a vehicle is required to attend jobs. At this present time we have 30 - 40 jobs on the computer and the other night we stacked 5 immediates due to no resources, so how can bosses allow officers to walk when there are a list of jobs waiting to be attended………it is just not possible.

The public dictate what we do with the amount of calls they make…………less calls, more walking, more cycling & more proactive work to reduce crime.

 

From what I can see and hear from serving officers there is much truth in what you say. However, for many years we encouraged the public to telephone us, no matter how trivial the matter, and this message eventually got through and contributes to the amount of heavy calls experienced today.  I remember a woman phoning in because she found her budgie dead in its cage and being assured that this was OK when she apologised for taking up police time. 

Also, when I joined and walked the beat we did not have personal radios and relied on police boxes with flashing lights to keep in contact with the station. By the time we saw the light flashing and phoned in to see what we were wanted for and made our way to the street fight, or whatever. the incident was often over.  After we became more mobile we attended incidents more quickly and the public came to expect a speedier response. 

I think all these things contribute to the situation where it is frequently operationally impossible to deploy regular foot patrols.

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