The Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey David Munro has written to the Home Secretary asking for Surrey to receive its fair share of the extra 20,000 police officers promised by government.
The PCC said whilst he is very pleased to see the uplift in resources – he doesn’t want to see the allocation process based on the current central government grant system. This would disadvantage Surrey Police which has the lowest percentage grant of any force in the country.
In the letter, the PCC also calls for the amount of general reserves forces have to be part of the equation and says national agencies such as the National Crime Agency should have an allocation from the outset.
He also outlines how in the last decade the priority has rightly been to protect warranted police officer numbers in Surrey at all costs. However the effect has been that police staff numbers have been reduced disproportionately.
In addition, unallocated reserves have been used to shore up revenue budgets meaning the Force has no general reserves beyond the safe minimum.
Surrey Police has already launched its own recruitment drive in recent months to fill a number of roles which includes the uplift of 104 officers and operational staff created by PCC’s increased council tax precept.
Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro said: “Like every PCC in the country, I was pleased to see the government pledge around adding 20,000 new officers nationwide which reverses a long period of decline in resources.
“Initial indications are that Surrey Police will benefit in particular from increases in neighbourhood policing, more capacity for proactive work and an uplift in detective numbers. My own priorities on top of these would be more resource to tackle fraud including cybercrime, and traffic policing.
“A key part of my role as Commissioner for this county is to fight for fair funding for Surrey Police so they can provide the best service possible for our residents.
“I am concerned that if the current grant system is used as the basis for allocation then we will be at an unfair disadvantage.
“We have estimated this would mean at least 40 officers less over the life of the proposed three-year programme. In my strong view, a more equitable distribution should be on total net revenue budget.
“This will put Surrey Police on a fair level with other forces of a similar nature and I have asked that the distribution principles are reviewed as a matter of urgency.”
To view the letter in full – click here