Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis hits the beat in Hanley
POLICE and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis joined police officers on the beat in a bid to get first-hand experience of life on the frontline.
Mr Ellis joined bobbies patrolling the central policing area of Stoke-on-Trent and discussed officers' concerns.
It is the seventh 'visibility session' organised by the commissioner to help learn more about the public's perception of Staffordshire Police.
He said: "I think so far the community are bowled over by the work that police officers are doing.
This Sunday between 11am & 4pm with FREE admission at the Moat House Hotel Festival Park we will be exhibiting with some special show offers, the weather forecast isn't good but our deals are
Terms: Visit us or pick up a voucher at the show to be eligible
Contact: 01782 342609
Valid until: Sunday, June 23 2013
"Today is about continuing to engage with people about what their views are."
Mr Ellis said he recognised the need for visible policing as a top priority for the public during yesterday's event.
And he believes kitting out officers with I-Pad-like devices can allow more hours to be spent on the beat as a whole – despite cuts to policing numbers.
He said: "At present there are clumsy systems and a perception of target chasing. By the end of the year I want the officers on the streets to have the same amount of information available to them as they would have sitting behind a desk.
"It will mean hundreds of thousands of hours spent out on the streets and will cut down the time they spend going back to base and filling out forms.
"It is a revolution and it will take some serious investment."
During his visit to Hanley police station Mr Ellis attended a briefing with regular officers and those working on covert operations.
He then joined PC Jason Howell in a patrol vehicle to spend an hour visiting parts of Festival park and Hanley.
He said: "I would like to go to every district and every part of the city.
"Visibility is always an important issue that is raised and I have already increased the number of police vehicles with police signs.
"I think it offers reassurance to people that the police are out there doing a good job."
Since starting his role in December Mr Ellis estimates he has met up to 300 officers in 'straight talking' sessions.
Chief Inspector Martin Brereton, the local policing team commander for Stoke Central, said: "From my perspective Mr Ellis is trying to do two things. One is internal meetings with officers, which is very important, and the other is engaging with the public.
"I think today is a bit of both. He is very keen to speak with officers of all ranks to create a better service, without the bureaucratic burdens.
"And he wants to be visible in the community. The people of Staffordshire are Matthew's boss and I am sure he will live and die by the quality of the service."