A NEW Inspector has taken charge of policing in the Staffordshire Moorlands.
Inspector Jonathon Ward has been appointed the new commander for the district’s Local Police Team (LPT).
Insp Ward was previously a detective sergeant based in Hanley.
He replaces Claire Riley, who has been promoted from inspector to chief inspector, and is the new commander for Newcastle Borough LPT.
Insp Ward, aged 38, has been with Staffordshire Police for 16 years and lives at Birches Head.
He is married to Joanne and has five children, whose ages range between one-and-a-half and 14.
Previously, he was responsible for the police unit covering the day and night-time economy in Hanley town centre and the Festival Park retail outlet site.
He said: “This is a very pleasing move and it is one of the nicest places I have worked.
“There are a lot of staff who would like to work in the Moorlands.
“I realise that people have concerns over staffing, but crime in the rural area over the last 12 months, for the period from October to October, has fallen by four per cent.
“The staffing has already been established until 2015 and there will be no changes. If someone left then they would be replaced.
“The whole police services has had to work within the spending review.” The inspector said that while crime was low, people’s concerns over the visibility of officers would be taken on board.
He said: “If people are saying that visibility is one of their concerns then this will be one of my top priorities.
“I intend to walk around different villages each week and meet members of the public, and also business owners.
“The Waterhouses rural police area alone is around 120 square miles so these are the challenges we need to address.
“I look forward to meeting and working with the community and elected members of the area.
“I will be attending Ipstones Parish Council on Wednesday, October 30, to discuss any issues.
“I have been given a privileged position and I feel the community does support the police in the Moorlands in their work.”
Chief inspector Riley said working as the commander in the Moorlands had been a very enjoyable experience.
She said: “I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has made my time working with the community in the Moorlands very enjoyable.
“I feel we have made a difference.”