After listening to this morning’s BBC Surrey Breakfast show with Nick Wallis I began to think about the role of the police in the community.
I have had little experience with the police and although they constantly seem to tell us that they are increasing frontline officers I fail to see more patrolling the streets.
I went to town this morning and saw none anywhere in town. Waterloo station on the other hand is a different matter and I know that at night there are more officers on the streets but I can’t see a noticeable increase in the number of officers around Guildford.
I think that the move to close stations is perhaps not the most desired move but listening to the figures Chief Superintendent Gavin Stephens was giving I think that it may be nesseccary.
There is no point in keeping something open which is draining police resources when the money can be used to improve other areas.
If Surrey Police are able to increase numbers of front line officers I think that they will be able to reduce crime rates because it is inevitable that the presence of a police officer will prevent people from conducting crimes. But personally, I want to see this increase.
It’s not good enough saying yes we are going to add an additional 200 frontline officers to the streets of Surrey if it is not noticeable and therefore will not prevent criminals from conducting crimes.
However, I do understand that it would be impossible to have a frontline officer in every place all the time. It would be unfeasible given financial and body resources.
Therefore crimes will still take place and it is important for stations to remain open, no matter how large or small, in order for officers to take charge of a situation, track down and punish those who have been accused of crimes.
These days, a large amount of paperwork has become a reality for police officers and former Surrey Police Inspector, Mike Legwick, talking to Wallis this morning on BBC Surrey was right in questioning where this will be able to take place if stations are shut.
And although Stephens said that important secure information would not be held at libraries, council offices, supermarkets etc but in central police buildings will this not make it more difficult for the police to formulate a case if information is scattered across the county?
Only time will tell if these measures become successful but it is important to realise that more police does mean less crime.
Yet we can’t forget that crime will always happenned. There is no way of getting rid of it completely, try as we might. And even with a strong prevention and response team patrolling the streets we still need those offices where teams can investigate crimes that have already happened, to find the perpetrator and enforce justice.