Joining forces to ensure your community is as safe as houses

Community Policing Inspector- Chris Stewart
Community Policing Inspector- Chris Stewart

This will be the first of many articles for the Journal and Gazette in which Chris Stewart, Community Policing Inspector for the Bo’ness area, will give the local community information and updates on local and national policing.

As this is my first article, I thought it was important to give some information on how policing is delivered within Bo’ness and the wider community.

On April 1, 2013, the eight legacy regional police forces and the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency were merged to form Police Scotland.

This merger saw the creation of 14 local policing divisions across Scotland, each headed by a police commander who ensures local policing in each area is responsive, accountable and tailored to meet local needs.

Forth Valley Division has three area commands.

Bo’ness is in the Falkirk area command, headed up by Chief Inspector Mandy Paterson who is responsible for day-to-day policing in the area.

Chief Inspector Paterson is supported by local area inspectors who have responsibility for a geographical area within the command patch.

I am responsible for day-to-day policing in Grangemouth, Bo’ness, Upper Braes and Lower Braes.

Locally, the community of Bo’ness is policed by response officers and community officers; response officers generally deal with emergency calls while community officers work with local partner agencies to try to resolve on-going issues and concerns in the town.

Local resources, as shown below, do not work in isolation and form part of a much larger team to work on reducing violence, disorder and anti-social behaviour, being pro-active in the community and keeping people safe in Bo’ness and across Forth Valley.

In addition to these local resources, there are also a number of national resources within Police Scotland including the air support unit, dog unit and the mounted branch. These resources exist to assist and support local divisions.

At a local level, each area command has a local policing plan, setting out local priorities which have been agreed in consultation with the community.

Local scrutiny boards for each area command check on policing at a local level with the commander reporting to the board on issues such as performance and policing activities.

In addition, there is regular engagement with local councillors. In Bo’ness officers attend Bo’ness and Blackness Community Council meetings, where officers provide updates on local policing activities.