THATCHAM’s policing team is to merge with Newbury in a bid to cover the town more effectively.
Thatcham currently has one neighbourhood inspector, one sergeant, two Pcs and two Pcsos.
In contrast, Newbury town centre has an inspector, a sergeant, two Pcs and six Pcsos.
But the two towns are to pool their manpower from June in order to cover a greater area.
The announcement was made at the annual town meeting last month by Thatcham neighbourhood sergeant Llian Spinks.
She said that the combined team would result in two sergeants, four Pcs and nine Pscos covering the two towns.
“By having a bigger team, it gives more flexibility,” she said, adding that having a small team in Thatcham meant that officers could be pulled away from the Broadway if an incident occurred elsewhere in the town.
“Hopefully it will give us a bit more coverage,” Sgt Spinks said.
“You will still have familiar faces in the community and attending community events.”
Speaking after the event, Sgt Spinks said that the force was restructuring to become more effective following a reduction in government funding and the number of officers being cut.
She added that changes to the neighbourhood policing teams were because of the introduction of a new problem-solving team.
“Officers on the problem-solving team have come from neighbourhood so it means the local geographical teams are a bit smaller and hence the Thatcham and Newbury merger,” Sgt Spinks said.
“By having two teams covering Newbury and Thatcham it will hopefully mean there will be more times that officers are about in Thatcham.”
Sgt Spinks said that as the Thatcham team was on the same shift pattern there was little police presence on their days off.
She said the new system would allow one Pc and two Pcsos from Newbury and Thatcham to focus on the town.
“The new structure will require more flexibility and the officer will have to deal with the demands for the day which could mean all officers are dealing with a job in Newbury but it also means if there is an issue in Thatcham there will be more officers available to come to Thatcham.”
And Sgt Spinks said that longer term issues, such as police efforts to tackle anti-social behaviour in Thatcham, would be able to call on assistance from the problem-solving team.