The PCC has sought reassurance from the Chief Constable around community-based police officers being pulled away from their community posts to attend emergency calls.
Data received from West Mercia Police has shown Herefordshire has less SNT officers than Telford & Wrekin, yet often see nearly twice as many officers removed to attend emergencies and cover additional patrols.
In line with PCC John Campion’s Safer West Mercia Plan, and supported by correspondence from communities, questions have been put to Chief Constable Pippa Mills about the model of frontline policing. One of the PCC’s main concerns is about whether community-based officers are being given enough time to serve the needs of the local area they police.
As part of his holding to account role, the PCC has asked the Constable for clarity on why some Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT) are being taken from their posts in the community so often, whether other resources are considered before SNT officers are called upon, and whether the force truly understand when SNT officers should be providing assistance.
PCC John Campion said: “We have had a significant increase in officer numbers in recent years, and we need to see enough of those officers spending more time in the heart of the communities, understanding, and tackling local issues as well as being a reliable source of contact for residents. I am very worried that they are being taken from their assigned roles and assisting elsewhere despite capacity being at historic levels due to my investment.
“I absolutely support the Chief Constable’s focus to ensure there is cover for emergencies when necessary, however there should be plans in place to ensure SNT officers are not compromising their fundamental duties.”