A fur­ther 100 Kent po­lice of­fi­cers could leave the pay­roll Po­lice chief says iPads can re­place lost bob­bies

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Shedding The Pounds - By Paul Fran­cis

Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor pfran­cis@thek­m­group.co.uk

Mr Pugh­s­ley said: “The £20m will not all be a re­duc­tion in po­lice staff. We will take as much of that sav­ing as we can out of the non-peo­ple part of the busi­ness. But the re­al­ity is that some of that will be po­lice of­fi­cers.

“If I was guess­ing, it could be any­thing up to 100 of­fi­cers off the books over the next cou­ple of years. Of course that could have some im­pact if we don’t do things dif­fer­ently.”

In­vest­ment in new tech­nolol­ogy would mean of­fi­cers be­ing able to re­main on the streets rather than re­turn­ing to the sta­tion to deal with pa­per­work, he said.

He added that pro­pos­als to have at least four neigh­bour­hood of­fi­cers in each of the county’s dis­tricts meant there would be “true vis­i­bil­ity and en­gage­ment” rather than of­fi­cers “driv­ing around in cars and not get­ting out and en­gag­ing with the com­mu­nity”.

Mr Pugh­s­ley said: “The changes in the way we do things will keep vis­i­ble polic­ing at what it is to­day. Of­fi­cers won’t be com­ing back to the sta­tion as much.”

He down­played con­cerns over the an­tic­i­pated ar­rival of a new wave of mi­grants from Ro­ma­nia and Bul­garia, say­ing they were as likely to be vic­tims of crime as much as crim­i­nals.

“I have not seen any­thing that con­cerns me,” he saidl “It is not some­thing we are miss­ing. We have to en­gage with all emerg­ing com­mu­ni­ties.…Those new com­mu­ni­ties have be­come vic­tims of crime as well as com­mit­ing crime them­selves.

“Are there risks we should be keep­ing abreast of and a care­ful eye on? Of course there are. But all of that is to make sure that, whether it is new com­mu­ni­ties set­tling in or cur­rent com­mu­ni­ties al­ready here, they can en­joy life to the full and be free of anti-so­cial be­hav­iour.”

Mr Pugh­s­ley, who has a five-year con­tract, suc­ceeds Ian Lear­month who re­tired in De­cem­ber.

New Kent Chief Con­sta­ble Alan Pugh­s­ley

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.