- A cross section of council tax payers say they would pay more if it means more police are more visible…
- They welcome the relaunch of neighbourhood policing and like to know who their local officer is….
- And although they are now more aware than ever about the pressures facing police forces, they still expect the police to be there for them in their hour of need.
- These are some of the issues put to PCC Martin Surl and his deputy Chris Brierley during the first half of their two week tour of the county which continues today.
Over the years he has become the embodiment of local policing. And while many fear the ‘Bobby on the beat’ is an endangered species equal numbers say they would willingly pay more in council tax if it meant more police on the county’s streets.
It was one of the main issues raised by members of the public during informal meetings with Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl and his deputy Chris Brierley during the first of their two week fact-finding tour of Gloucestershire.
The top five issues raised so far involved:
- Neighbourhood policing
- Police visibility
- The fear of crime in the countryside and isolated areas
- Anti-social behaviour involving young people with nothing to do
- Road safety – speeding motorists
Mr. Surl said, “Much as people want to see more police around, they also understand that’s hard to achieve with fewer numbers. So it’s been interesting to hear that many people we met said they would be prepared to accept an increase in council tax if it could be guaranteed that’s where the money is spent.
“That’s very important as we are the ones who will have find the extra money as the Government has decided none of it will come from central funds for the next couple of years at least.
“People feel more secure when the police are visible in their community, and I get that. But the Chief Constable has to balance what is desirable with what is practical. My job is to hold him to account to ensure he makes the most of the resources at his disposal”.
So far, the PCC and his deputy have held surgeries in Cirencester, Stroud, Lydney, Moreton in Marsh and Gloucester. This week you can meet them from 4pm-7pm at:
- 30 July – Bishops Cleeve, Parish Council car park
- 31 July - Dursley, opposite Sainsburys
- 1 Aug –Cheltenham, outside Marks & Spencer
- 2 Aug - Newent, Market Place
- 3 Aug - Tewkesbury, Priors Park
Members of the public will be able to have one-to-one conversations with the PCC and his deputy, meet local officers and complete a survey on how their neighbourhood is policed. Please click here to take survey
Further details on the Constabulary’s neighbourhood policing strategy can be found via the link below: