The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) John Campion has expressed concerns over community-based police officers being frequently diverted from their local duties to attend emergency calls. Recent data from West Mercia Police reveals that Herefordshire has fewer Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT) officers than Telford & Wrekin, yet it often witnesses nearly double the number of officers being reassigned to emergencies and additional patrols.
PCC John Campion’s Safer West Mercia Plan emphasises the importance of community-based officers dedicating ample time to serve their local areas. Supported by feedback from communities, PCC Campion has questioned Chief Constable Pippa Mills about the current model of frontline policing. He seeks clarity on why SNT officers are frequently pulled from their community roles, whether alternative resources are considered before deploying SNT officers, and if the force truly comprehends when these officers should be offering assistance.
PCC Campion commented on the matter, stating, “With a significant increase in officer numbers in recent years, it’s crucial that these officers spend more time embedded in their communities, understanding and addressing local issues, and serving as a dependable point of contact for residents. I’m deeply concerned that they’re being redirected from their primary roles, especially when our capacity is at historic levels due to my investment.”
He further added, “While I fully support Chief Constable Mills’ commitment to ensuring emergency coverage, it’s essential to have strategies in place so that SNT officers aren’t neglecting their core responsibilities.”