Wednesday, 13 October 2010

New 'tardis' comes to St James's Street - a fig leaf for cuts or a great plan?

A new Brighton Council inititative will see a Doctor Who-style police box taking up residence in a car park below St James's House in a bid to deter drug-taking, and provide a local point of contact for people unable to make the journey to Brighton's Main Police station at the end of the road.

It sounds great - and I hope it does what is expected of it: serves to cut both crime and the fear of crime as well as embedding the police in the community.

But the cynic in me doubts that it will have that effect for long - such initiatives usually merely push criminal activity elsewhere rather than actually preventing it, and the new initiative comes just as Sussex Police is planning on shedding 1,050 jobs and reviewing the way it delivers neighbourhood policing.

It reminds me of those schemes where cardboard cut-out coppers were stood by the side of motorways to deter speeding: a great idea, but no substitute for a real human police presence. I suspect total crime levels will be unaffected, and the new 'tardis' will be devoid of PCSOs and officers soon.

I hope I'm wrong, of course, but I'm not holding my breath.

No comments:

Post a Comment