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 Tributes paid to rugby referee killed in Sixways crash

2 Drug dealer jailed for 16 years

3 Rugby star opens new play area

4 Royal party has an explosive twist

5 Man has lucky escape after car hits tree

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
Falcon Hotel set for £6 million facelift

THE HISTORIC Falcon Hotel in the centre of Stratford is ...

Bromsgrove Standard
New shoe shop to open its doors in Bromsgrove

A NEW shoe shop in Bromsgrove Town Centre will create ...

Redditch Standard
Fun fair blocked from coming into town

A FUN fair has been cancelled after council officers blocked ...

Evesham Observer
Calling all young masterchefs......

THE OBSERVER has teamed up with the Evesham Hotel to ...