DUDLEY has a new police chief who has assured the public that the force is giving their ‘unrelenting commitment’ to protect them.

Chief Superintendent Sally Bourner, who has worked for West Midlands Police in various roles for the past 28 years, started her new role this week.

She will lead the borough’s neighbourhood policing unit, hoping to ‘build relationships’ with the people of Dudley, while making sure there is a police presence on the streets.

Ch Supt Bourner said: “I’m really looking forwards for the days, weeks, months and years ahead to be getting out and about with my local neighbourhood teams right in the heart of the public.

“We want to get to know you, get to understand the issues which affect your lives and to give you the reassurance of our unrelenting commitment on preventing crime, protecting the public and helping you when you’re in need.”

The ‘hands on’ cop – who will be based out of Brierley Hill Police Station – said she understand the cuts to the policing budget have an impact on the force, but the savings which have been made by closing the borough’s other stations have led to more police on the streets.

“We have been able to invest in frontline policing,” Ch Supt Bourner said. “PCSOs and officers are out on the streets, and that has to be our priority.

“Staff have mobile devices which enable them to do their work out on the streets, rather than having to go back to police buildings.”

She added: “People deliver policing – buildings don’t.”

Ch Supt Bourner, who formerly led the region’s contact centre – which dealt with between six and 7,000 calls a day – said she will be heading out ‘on the beat’ during the first few weeks in her new role, where she wants to “help the public understand” the most appropriate ways to report crime.

She added: “The people of Dudley can be assured that on the ground our neighbourhood teams – who are in every ward across the borough – are there to build the local relationships.

“They are people’s primary contact.

“Obviously for matters which involve life at risk, serious injury and crime which is ongoing there and then in front of you, then we would always tell people to dial 999.

“But for everything else, non-emergency matters, we are asking people to connect with us on our WMP Online channel, where they will actually get a dealt with in a far more convenient manner.

“I’m a real advocate for digital policing and will encourage the public to get in touch by email, as well as following our Twitter feeds and Facebook pages.”

Ch Supt Bourner will also be publishing monthly update videos on her Twitter feed @SalBWMP.