I’m a bit late in reporting the outcome of the meeting of Surrey Heath’s External Partnership Select Committee meeting last week. There we two important presentations to the committee – from Police Borough Commander – Inspector Martin Goodwin, giving a Crime and Disorder update, and Rob Mills – Regional Housing Director of the Accent Group on local housing.
This report is about the Crime and Disorder update.
Inspector Martin Goodwin has been away from Surrey Heath for seven months doing a Neighbourhood Policing Review. He reported that changes to Surrey Police, having reduced their PCSO’s by 60 and increasing police officers by 60. In Surrey Heath this has meant losing three PCSO’s, but gaining three police officers. Martin reported that Surrey Heath is the second safest borough in Surrey, after Mole Valley.
Martin stated that, for Surrey Heath, the police will focus on reducing public violent crime, dwelling burglaries, and drug activity.
In an honest appraisal of the inhibitors to crime reduction in the borough Martin said that changes in the organisation of Surrey Police has reduced his autonomy, fewer support staff, maintaining leadership stability, and managing the crime workload.
There are however positive factors helping the police locally, having a strong policing team, being co-located with the Council improves co-ordination, and improving relationships with partyers such as Accent Peerless..
I asked Martin to explain more about his focus on controlling drug activity, and learned from him that crystal meth is becoming the drug of choice. Martin also said that Operation Swarm is an effective way to reduce criminal activity. This means ‘swarming’ around a suspect, using all means to reduce the suspect’s ability to operate criminally.
Pleasingly, soon after the meeting Surrey Police reported Four arrests following drugs warrants across Surrey Heath, demonstrating Martin’s focus on drugs. Here’s the police report on the arrests, Continue reading