This progress report from the Home Office describes the national programme of neighbourhood policing as the biggest change in policing for many years with individual forces being provided with up to date support and good practice through a national team.Delivery of the programme has now extended to about 6,000 neighbourhoods. Over 50% of police Basic Command Units have implemented substantial coverage. Nearly 11% of police officers and PCSOs are already involved in neighbourhood policing. This will now rise substantially. It is planned that by April 2007, every community in England and Wales will see increased patrolling, better local information and a greater focus on confidence and reassurance. By April 2008, there will be a dedicated neighbourhood policing team embedded into every area in England and Wales.
An evaluation of some of the first Neighbourhood Policing pilots shows that the initiative has the capacity to drive dramatic improvement. Crime fell by nearly a quarter in the pilot areas, almost twice the fall in wards without neighbourhood policing activity. The public noticed a reduction in anti-social behaviour in wards with neighbourhood policing. In one of these wards, the percentage of people who thought teenagers hanging around was a problem fell from 70% to 54%, while in the similar ward without neighbourhood policing, the percentage of people perceiving a problem with young people increased from 52% to 57%.