Calls for more bobbies on the beat

By Ian Dipple Friday 04 January 2013 Updated: 05/01 16:31

Latest News

Buy photos » Police jacket

CALLS have been made for police bosses to put more bobbies on the beat after research revealed officers from West Mercia are spending just over a tenth of their time on the streets.

According to the statistics, West Mercia Police had just 12.6 per cent of its officers and PCSOs ‘visible and available’ to the public at any one time.

That equates to 14 available for every £10m spent by the force - an average cost of £722,589.

The figures were released by the TaxPayers’ Alliance, using data from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers Alliance, called on police chiefs to ensure they were cutting unnecessary red tape getting in the way of frontline policing.

“Many police forces can do more to use their resources efficiently and get more of their officers out on the frontline fighting crime,” he said.

“Of course the police have some important work to do that will sometimes legitimately stop them being available for visible policing, but the large differences between forces suggests some are giving taxpayers much better value for money.”

A West Mercia Police spokeswoman said officers were deployed based on need and the nature of their work, which meant not all officers would be visible to the public while on duty and many did not carry out traditional ‘bobbies on the beat’ roles, such as CID officers working on a murder investigation in an incident room.

“We recognise there is a popular view police visibility lowers crime levels, however day-to-day experience shows that crime falls for a wide variety of reasons and officer visibility is just one of the tactics available to help drive crime down.”

The force also pointed out crime had fallen.

West Mercia’s Police and Crime Commissioner Bill Longmore said: “As it is not entirely clear how these figures were calculated I would not want to comment on them specifically at this stage."

“However, I would reassure residents of West Mercia that ensuring the force has as visible a policing presence as possible across the three counties is something I see as a priority.”

Popular »

1 Speed cameras will stay switched on

2 City taxi chiefs say enough is enough

3 Visitors told to stay away from hospital

4 Honours for Warriors chief and Worcester Live boss

5 Patient challenges hospital over complaints policy

More news »

Update: Detectives given extra time to question suspect

DETECTIVES have been given more time to question

This week's letters

Allow PCC to do his job I HAVE

Murder investigation: Man arrested in connection with city murder

A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of

Headteacher welcomes planned expansion

A HEADTEACHER in Worcester has welcomed proposals which

Regional news »


Stratford Observer
School children coach evacuated on M40

SCHOOLCHILDREN were safely evacuated after smoke started to fill their ...

Bromsgrove Standard
Bromsgrove bobbies handed award for disarming gunman

TWO Bromsgrove Police officers have been awarded for their bravery ...

Redditch Standard
Cash stolen from elderly man at ATM

AN ELDERLY man had £200 stolen from him in broad ...

Evesham Observer
Festive fare at fayre

HUNDREDS of pounds was raised when a Vale village hosted ...