20th Jan, 2019

Some police officer roles will still be lost despite council tax precept hikes

Laura Kearns 29th Apr, 2018

DESPITE an increase in tax some police officer roles will still be lost says the county’s crime commissioner.

Warwickshire Police had been faced with the prospect of losing up to 70 officers after being given no increase in government funding this year.

But instead Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe was given permission to increase the police percentage of the council tax precept – accounting for around a tenth of the total bill.

It means he has been able to keep around 50 of these roles. The rest will be lost through what the force calls ‘natural turnover’ – when officers leave or retire.

After the changes the total number of frontline officers in Warwickshire will be around 900.

Mr Seccombe said: “When I set the police precept this year I promised to invest the additional funding it raised directly into frontline policing in Warwickshire and this is what the new policing model delivers.

“Time and again the public have told me they want to see more visible policing in our communities and to receive the right service at the right time. Warwickshire Police has undertaken detailed work to make sure it matches its resources to the level of demand with its new model, which keeps neighbourhood policing as its bedrock but also provides additional capacity for patrol officers, roads policing and specialist teams to enable a continued focus on victims and protecting vulnerable people.

“Together with the considerable investments I have already made in new technology to support frontline policing and the progress which has already been made, I am confident these changes will ensure that we can continue to build a safer and more secure Warwickshire.”

Police assistant chief constable Richard Moore backed the move.

He said: “The changes we are making support Warwickshire Police’s ongoing work to improve the services we provide to our communities; by ensuring local policing officers are available and visible on our streets, making it easier for people to contact us when they need our help, and ensuring that the public receive the right support as quickly as possible.

“Our vision remains to protect people from harm, and we are focused on being as efficient and effective as we can be, especially when dealing with the most vulnerable members of our communities.”

Last month the force was told it needed to improve its performance.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found the force ‘requires improvement’ – a step backwards from last year’s verdict of ‘good’.

The report highlighted the force needed to address how it kept residents safe and worked to reduce crime.

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