Officers across Northumbria Police will be hitting the roads in a new state-of-the-art Community Engagement van to further connect with communities from Berwick to Sunderland and everywhere in between.
The van, which has been paid for through Home Office funding, fully opens up supporting Wi-Fi facilities, speakers and digital screens, iPads, a PlayStation, mini kitchen and a seating area for visitors.
Officers touring communities will be able to use the vehicle as a platform to engage with local residents, addressing concerns, answering questions about policing and recruitment and building on the strong relationships we enjoy across our Force area.
The Community Engagement vehicle, which is also equipped with a disability ramp, was put into gear earlier this week and has already been out and about in our more isolated rural areas in Northumberland.
Northumbria Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Helen Mcmillan was delighted to see it on the road, confident it will deliver a number of benefits.
She said: “This vehicle will help increase our engagement across all the communities we serve, meaning we can meet more people and ultimately further our understanding about the issues which really matter to them and better address those.
“It provides another way to reach out to people, for them to meet officers and find information on a whole host of crime and policing topics including help for victims of crime, recruitment, and crime prevention advice.
“We also want to use this as an opportunity to engage with young people, to hear their concerns and discuss issues such as the dangers of knife crime and anti-social behaviour.
“It also offers a very visible presence and will be used to help target areas where we may be seeing rises in certain crime types.
“The van will further be used to support campaign activity, as well as visiting community events across the Force area.
“It is a great asset to Northumbria Police and we are very excited about how it will help continue to build relationships with our communities and partners.”
Inspector Rob Bosson (pictured), the officer leading on the initiative, added: “This has been a long time in development and we have been really excited to launch the new Community Engagement vehicle.
“It will help increase our community visibility and engagement to allow officers to directly address community concerns on location. We can also get out and about with partners and take information and services direct to people’s doorsteps – the benefits and opportunities really are endless.”
Members of the public are encouraged to speak to officers when they see the van out and about so make sure to give us a wave and pop by and say hello.
Keep an eye on our Twitter to find out where the van has been and what types of issues and concerns our officers have been dealing with.