TAMESIDE’S new top cop has revealed the impact of some of the changes he has brought it, with arrest rates going up by 30 per cent.
Chief Superintendent Rob Cousen has taken charge of policing in the borough he grew up in and has already managed to implement alterations.
And it has had the desired impact as he told The Correspondent more people are being taken into custody, with the aim of getting even more.
Chief Supt Cousen said: “Since I took over, there’s been a 30 per cent increase in arrests.
“We’re bringing more people into the custody office, putting bellies up against the counter and holding people to account.
“Those are good signs, we’re making good inroads but we’ve got some way to go yet.
“I’m working hard to see how we can efficiencies can be put into the system, so we can get more people out on the best doing the bobbying I did many years ago.
“I asked all police officers to do this and we had a month of looking and seeing. Some things you think, ‘We’re going to deal with that here and now,’ some we’re going to have to build in gradually.
“There are lots of areas we’re looking at in all areas of policing in Tameside and there’s lots we’re going to be doing over the coming weeks and months.
“On some things we’ve been able to put a really quick fix in. We’ve reduced our demand significantly just by making a few tweaks. Officers are getting to incidents a lot quicker and making arrests quicker.
“There’s loads planned too. You’re going to see very frequent days of action, you’re going to see officers pulling people over on roads where people speed, you’re going to see is working with the local authority where cars park illegally near schools.
“Where we need to be a smarter is in telling communities what we’re doing and I’m really keen on listening to them.”
Chief Supt Cousen, who started on the beat in Longsight and Gorton, admitted after taking the job one of the biggest things he wanted to rebuild is trust in the police.
A damning report from the Inspectorate of Constabularies found some 80,000 crimes were not recorded by the Greater Manchester force.
But he hopes some of his changes can rebuild that trust between the public and the police.
He added: “People saw the HMIC inspection last year and knew that 80,000 crimes hadn’t been recorded.
“If I was a member of the public, which I am, seeing that, I’m thinking, ‘What is going on?’ Straight away that would create a real issue around trust and confidence.
“Here at Tameside, we look at the incidents that come in and our crime conversion and it’s really high.
“I’m confident we’re recording crimes and investigating them like we should do. I have a commitment though that we want to investigate smarter and bring more people to justice because we’re not where we want to be yet.
“I say to my staff all the time, ‘Make sure you keep your victims updated in relation to what’s happening with their crime. Make sure they know if you’ve got some good lines of inquiry, if you’ve identified a suspect for example off CCTV.’
“Those are things that really dent trust and confidence if we don’t keep people updated. We’re working really hard and we’ve made an improvement over the last month.”
As well as doing the job of policing, Chief Supt Cousen has other motivations to improve the way they work in Tameside.
Ask him where he comes from and he replies: “I’d say I’m an Ashtonian and always will do.”
And with that comes the responsibility of making sure some of his family and friends are helped if they are victims of crime.
He told The Correspondent: “One of the reasons I’m really proud to be head of Tameside is being Chief Superintendent bestows upon me responsibility to make sure my staff and my teams are the best we can possibly be.
“Potentially my family and friends may be victims of crime and I’d want them to have a really good service. I want to make sure we do everything possible to bring people to justice.
“I know that we’ve work to do and that we don’t always get it right but I know we’re making the right tracks now, that will pick up momentum.”