Published Thursday, 29 March 2012
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Outlining his plans for the PSNI over the next three years during a meeting on Thursday, Matt Baggott says the trend of more visible policing must continue.
"We are spending 90 minutes more per officer per shift now because of the investment in technology, because of the way we're working and because we put 700 more police officers back on the streets," Mr Baggott told UTV.
"Over the past 12 months the PSNI has seen a further reduction in the overall levels of reported crime which now sit at a 12-year low.
"At the same time confidence levels in policing have increased. It is my belief that this has been achieved by the continued commitment and professionalism of police officers and staff working in partnership with the communities they serve."
The force will spend £1.2bn on policing the region over the next financial year.
Its new plan puts greater emphasis on improving the quality of service the PSNI deliver, as well as tackling anti-social behaviour and drugs and human trafficking gangs.
It focuses on vulnerable members of society including children, older people and victims of crimes such as domestic abuse, hate crime and sex crimes.
The Policing Board, which holds the police service to account, has welcomed the plan.
Members say they are pleased that it considers the quality of the service and community feedback, as well as performance figures and targets.
Brian Rea, Policing Board Chairman, said: "People are interested in seeing real police officers in their communities raising the confidence of the community by dealing with the issues that arise, irrespective of what those issues are.
"We must remember too that in some areas that can only be done with additional security measures being brought in place to enable that to happen."
DUP MLA Ross Hussey said: "It is easy for such plans and reports to be regarded as abstract documents with little relevance to the lives of ordinary people, but this is not the case.
"It is essential that the Police receive the full support of the public as they go about their duties, and it is essential that the police demonstrate professionalism in return."
Justice Minister David Ford welcomed the "commitment" of both the PSNI and the board.
"This new style policing plan is evidence of the Policing Board and the PSNI working in partnership on behalf of the entire community," the Alliance minister said.
"Policing with the community underpins all aspects of policing and crucially, this plan reflects the priorities of the public and demonstrates the PSNI's commitment to work with them to further enhance community confidence."