More police officers as town does not have enough

PUBLISHED: 09:40 19 June 2014 | UPDATED: 11:42 19 June 2014

Chief Inspector Alex Cohen.

Chief Inspector Alex Cohen.

Archant

MORE police officers are going to be deployed in Weston after Avon and Somerset Constabulary admitted there are not enough.

A forcewide review by the police has concluded that Weston needs a greater police presence, despite a reduction in reported crime.

Chief Inspector Alex Cohen is pleased by the decision, which will come into effect over the coming months.

He said: “The review showed us where our resources were at different times of the day and whether they tallied with the high demand areas and times.

“It was found that Weston was under-resourced and we are therefore increasing officer numbers in Weston, which will include both police constables and PCSOs.”

The news will be welcomed in the town following a number of high-profile incidents in recent weeks and some public concern over plans to close Weston’s police station in favour of a hub near the M5.

Three people were stabbed on the seafront over the May Day bank holiday weekend.

Then at the end of last month, the Business Improvement District employed street wardens to cover the town on the Sunday of May’s second bank holiday, amid concerns there were not enough police officers on duty.

Chief Insp Cohen said: “This is really positive for the town and will mean more of a visible presence from the public’s point of view and obviously provide us with additional resources and support for both day-to-day and targeted policing activities in Weston.”

John Penrose, Weston’s MP, said he was happy with the force’s decision.

He said: “I’ve been discussing this with Weston’s police chief for some time, so I’m delighted by these plans.

“The number of police officers on the beat in Weston’s streets will go up by over a quarter, and the number of support officers will almost double too.

“Top marks to the local force for the way they’ve reacted to the Government’s reforms, even though money is tight, they’ve managed to make savings elsewhere so they can increase resources on the frontline where they’re most needed.

“Crime is already falling in Weston, and this can only push it down even further.”

Here are the changes that are planned by Avon and Somerset Constabulary which will be completed by March 2015:

* A fourth sergeant will be based in Weston.

* Police constables will rise from 17 to 22.

* Another 11 police community support officers will be employed, taking the total to 26.

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