Across Cupar, the Howe of Fife and Taybridgehead police officers are returning to their roots by becoming part of the communities they patrol.
In a return to what could be seen as ‘good, old-fashioned policing’ the officers will be dedicated to Council ward areas with the aim, it is hoped, of them becoming closer to the public.
Cupar, Dairsie, Ceres and all areas within Council ward 21, will be the responsibility of PCs Emma Clarkson and Jim Michie to liaise and build relationships with residents and businesses.
As well as reporting concerns to them, members of the public should become used to seeing the same officers on the streets, making them more approachable – they are even planning to take to mountain bikes to get around areas.
PCs Stevie Tufft and Stuart Bruce will cover the Howe of Fife and Tay Coast – Council ward 17 – a jurisdiction stretching from Newburgh to Falkland and Ladybank.
All four police constables will be led by community ward sergeant Neil MacKenzie, based at Cupar police station.
Neil explained community officers will be solely focused on the communities they serve and will not be taken away, as they have in the past, when other matters take precedence.
“The community ward officers will work either 9am-5pm or 12pm-8pm and the intention is for them to become familiar faces on our streets,” he said.
“We are already in week two of this and seeing a difference already. We are trying to get round all of the areas and make ourselves known. Stevie, Stuart, Jim, Emma and myself will be available to meet anyone who wants to raise any issues with us.
“They can also visit schools and nurseries and speak to groups who may with to know more about what the policing priorities are for their area.”
He added: “We won’t be holding community engagement meetings any more as these weren’t always that well attended; instead we will be going along to community council meetings, when we can, and finding out what the issues are and how we can address them.
“In most places speeding, anti-social behaviour and dog fouling are the top concerns. We will work with communities to take a pro-active approach to dealing with the problems.”
PC Tufft, who leads training sessions for the Community Speedwatch initiative, said most complaints are about driver behaviour and he would be working with volunteers to tackle the problem.
The team of community officers, operating out of St Andrews police station, will also provide a high visibility presence on the streets of the Taybridghead.
PCs Susan Martin and Norrie Hill will work under Sergeant Pat Turner.
Anyone wishing to contact their local officer can call 101 and ask to be put through to them.