The slimmer blue line…

SADDLEWORTH is losing two of its most familiar police officers in a major streamlining operation but Uppermill police station will remain open.

ON THE MOVE: Inspector Danny Milovanovic and Sgt Steve Hall
ON THE MOVE: Inspector Danny Milovanovic and Sgt Steve Hall

The moves were announced by out-going Chief Superintendent Tim Forber to members of the Saddleworth and Lees District Partnership.

However, he assured the meeting officers and PCSO’s will remain the same and working out of Saddleworth on the same beats as before – a move reflected across the whole of the borough.

And police will not have to leave Saddleworth to attend briefings in Oldham but instead participate in a twice-daily video link with their headquarters.

As part of the new regime, Inspector Danny Milovanovic and Sergeant  Steve Hall will be absorbed into a new slimmer management structure around two Integrated Neighbourhood Policing Teams – one to  be known as Central INPT covering Oldham West and Oldham East District.

The second – the Borough INPT – will cover the other four District Partnership areas. This is about a 50-50 split in terms of work and demand.

But Superintendent Forber stressed:”There are no plans to close Saddleworth police station. We are introducing a new shift pattern which better matches demand.

“The teams will be supported by a new staff role called an Operational Support Officer who will support front line staff with administration allowing them to be more visible in their communities.

“Crime is down 23 per cent and anti-social behaviour by 45 per cent over the past three years and we believe that realigning our resources will provide the best opportunity to work with partners in the future and continue this downward trend.”

Inspector Milovanovic has headed up the Saddleworth and Lees Neighbourhood Policing Team and been in the community for nearly five years. He said: “We have created some fantastic partnerships with other agencies during that time.

“We have seen crime reduce and there has been a terrific amount of community engagement as well as developing close working relationships across the villages.”

POLICE: Ch Supt Catherine Hankinson
POLICE: Ch Supt Catherine Hankinson

Meantime, Chief Superintendent Catherine Hankinson, GMP’s new Oldham division police chief, said: “I look forward to being Commander for an area as enriched in culture and heritage as Saddleworth.

“My time as superintendent for the area has given me the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience while understanding the community concerns and issues.”

To contact the police in an emergency call 999 or to contact Greater Manchester Police for a less urgent matter call 101.

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