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Surrey Police Plans for more Bobbies on the Beat

March 6, 2010 1:00 PM

Surrey could get 200 new bobbies

Surrey Police Authority is to hold a widespread public consultation on their plans to expand their force by about 200 new constables, paid for by cutting about 50 senior officers and relocating Police Stations to council offices and supermarkets. About 100 of the new officers would join the neighbourhood police teams of "Bobbies on the Beat". This initiative has been supported by the Lib Dem members of the Surrey Police Authority.

The move follows another cut in Government funding and Surrey Police's refusal to let that diminish its workforce and its ability to continue to reduce crime in the county, much of which comes in from outside the county.

The structure in Surrey is likely to be divided into three main categories in the future : crime response teams, neighbourhood policing and the crime investigation/solving workforce. Half of the new recruits will go into neighbourhood policing : local police panel meetings have met with considerable support and success across the county.

Councillors recently heard from the Police about the need to achieve sufficient savings to sustain and expand the numbers of police officers operating in Surrey. Pending the consultation no decisions have yet been taken, but preliminary talks have been held about the feasibility of using part of the Town Hall as a Police Station. The old part of the Town Hall currently houses voluntary organisations on the ground floor and the whole top floor is let to Surrey County Council.

Currently Epsom Police Station is the local HQ and the base for neighbourhood policing and the specialist teams. The cells at Epsom police station have not been used for many years. Instead any prisoners are now taken to Reigate. Similarly police patrol cars now operate from Reigate. Previously the cells and the patrol car base were at Staines.

However a number of police support vehicles are based at the Police Station. Lib Dem councillors expressed concern about parking arrangements associated with relocation to the Town Hall, suggesting that staff parking should be accommodated in Hook Road car park and that a portion of the existing Police Station site could be retained for parking support vehicles.

The new system is being trialled in Woking, where Woking Police already occupy part of the council's accommodation. A detailed review and report of these arrangements will form the basis for other agreements with other local authorities. No police station will be closed unless a better alternative is in place. The changes are likely to take two to three years. The Chief Constable hopes to implement the majority of the changes by the summer of 2012.

A commitment has been given that these changes will be subject to local consultation and the oversight of the Surrey Police Authority.

You can give the Surrey Police Authority your views through their on-line survey, see the Related Link below.

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