Tuesday, 2 June 2009

No Handcuffs! - Interacting with the Local Police

Monday 1st June

Its clear from my discussions over the last few months that one of the main concerns resdients have in Windlesham, Bagshot & Lightwater concerns policing.

We are blessed with living in one of the safest and crime free areas in the country but naturally enough some crime still occurs. Thankfully the majority is relatively minor in nature - very few armed robberies, for example, but what is on peoples' minds is the idea of tackling that end of things: issues like anti-social behaviour, speeding and, particularly in the case of residents of a particular vintage, a return to feeling safe both out & about and at home.

During the last couple of years I've spent a fair amount of time with the police in respect of their 'Speedwatch' and Licensing capacities and have had the unique opportunity to discuss some of these issues at length. What is interesting is that the officers feel pretty much the same.
They too would like to see:
  • More officers employed and out on the street
  • Less onerous paperwork to enable the above - most crimes take up to three hours to report & process.
  • More meetings & newsletters for a fuller interaction with the public.
In addition to this, both the public and police appear to want to see a stronger judiciary - most complaints in this respect come from the perception of the courts giving offenders minimal sentences for repeat offences.

I'm not able to affect the judiciary, but I do hope, as a County Councillor to be able to fully support the police in their requests to be able to carry out their tasks. Its a little known scandal the way in which police funding is redistributed under this government and its high time that we in Surrey get the amount of officers that we not only require, but that we already pay for!

Note -

You may know from media reports that Surrey Police is facing budget cuts as a result of years of under-funding and a Government decision to cap the amount of money Surrey Police Authority is allowed to raise this year. This capping will mean cuts to front line policing services you receive and less resource available to keep Surrey the safest county in England.

Surrey Police Authority and Surrey Police are very worried by the prospect of having to make cuts; the Authority is fighting for sensible future funding of policing in Surrey. Details of the SPA campaign along with an online petition can be found on the Surrey Police Authority web site at http://www.surreypa.gov.uk/.

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