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Commissioner Plans More Specialist Police Funded by 10% Tax Precept

Published on: 4 Apr, 2019
Updated on: 5 Apr, 2019

Specialist police officers could be deployed to every borough and district in Surrey to tackle knife crime and county lines drug problems, says David Munro, Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

There will be one youth intervention constable assigned to all 11 borough and district local authorities in the county under plans to increase police officer numbers.

The specialist officers are among the 100 posts to be created and saved by the 10% increase of the council tax police precept.

David Munro

Mr Munro says the £3.8 million generated from the precept rise will help increase the number of front-line officers in the county, with 75 new posts being generated and 25 positions being protected from cuts.

There will be more neighbourhood support officers (NSOs) and police community support officers (PCSOs) as well as safeguarding detectives focusing on tackling exploitation and missing people.

The report on planned investments to be presented to Surrey Police and Crime Panel on Friday, April 5 shows demands on police to search for missing children has gone up by 380% in six years. Between 2012 and 2018, the number of missing child cases Surrey police worked on rose from 597 to 2,866. In that period, missing adult cases rose by 306% from 606 to 2,464.

And the number of cases relating to rape and serious sexual offences against an adult demanding policing in Surrey over that time increased by 302% from 238 in 2012 to 957 in 2018. But burglary went down, according to data compiled in the report.

The report says the 10% precept will allow Surrey Police “to meet budgetary pressures, such as inflation and pay increases and, together with savings plans, to be able to provide about £3.8m of investment”. This will include Mr Munro’s pledge to provide 100 more front-line officers in Surrey.

It states: “Exact numbers are still to be developed and are subject to internal consultation and by public engagement. It should be noted that any increase in staffing will take time to implement due to timescales for recruitment and training. The difference is likely to be noticed in communities after a year to 18 months.”

Mr Munro will hold public meetings to assess feedback from residents across the county.

Investment plans for staffing include:

  • 22 NSOs or 36 PCSOs across the 11 boroughs and districts, focusing on local problem-solving, reducing harm and reducing repeat offences;
  • One youth intervention constable per borough/district, tackling the increased threat of knife crime, county lines and being drawn into criminal exploitation;
  • One or two divisional safeguarding detective constables per borough/district, focusing on tackling exploitation, missing people and reactive investigation;
  • Three officers to work on Surrey High-Intensity Partnership Programme, working with partners to tackle substance abuse or mental health issues;
  • Extra detectives and intelligence officers, focusing on serious organised crime, in particular, county lines; and
  • Extra sexual assault liaison officers, supporting victims of rape and serious sexual violence.

Dates for public engagements include:

  • 8 May, 7-9pm, Guildford, The Ash Centre, Ash
  • 14 May, 6.30-8.30pm, Woking, Bishop David Brown School
  • Virtual online event TBC.

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