Liberal Democrats condemn cuts to local policing

27 Nov 2023
Claire Malcomson

Last week Claire Malcomson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for East Surrey along with Caterham resident Robin Spencer attended the event with Surrey Police to meet the Crime Commissioner in Lingfield.  Residents have increasingly been raising issues of anti-social behaviour in our area and are seeing little action.

Robin says “as a Caterham resident I hear concerns from my neighbours, about the time it takes for the local Police to respond.  When they turn up the officers are great, but it seems there are just not enough of them.  I’d like to know how many officers we have in our area. There seem to be fewer.”

Robin goes on to say “I was shocked at the number of PCSOs that we now have in our area.  In 2017 I discovered we had 15 covering Tandridge and now we only have 6.  It’s no wonder residents are concerned and anti-social behaviour is becoming such a big issue”

Claire Malcomson says “It is shocking what we uncovered at this meeting.  Residents deserve better.  Whilst the Tory Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend diverts money from front line community policing to fund her office communications team and a deputy commissioner, remaining officers are increasingly overstretched and antisocial behaviour feels like it is out of control.

“All we get is bluster from Lisa Townsend, but residents here in East Surrey deserve better.  It’s hard to believe 6 PCSOs can make a difference given the area they now have to cover.  It must be awful for the remaining officers given how over stretched they are.”

In 2022/23 the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner spent £1.4m, which includes management of social media and a Tory appointee as Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, whilst front line PCSO numbers fell.