Commissioner’s plans for more police and frontline staff backed by Police and Crime Panel
Published: 4 February 2022
Cheshire will have the highest number of police officers it has ever had on its current boundaries, as well as more frontline support staff in the Constabulary’s call centre and investigation teams.
Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer attended Friday’s (4 February) meeting of Cheshire’s Police and Crime Panel, where he presented his proposal to fund the improvements he wants to see in the county’s police service over the coming year.
120 extra officers will be recruited over the next year, taking the total in Cheshire to 2,347 – the highest in modern times.
The budget also includes funding for more call handlers in the Force Control Centre. This means that the Commissioner and Chief Constable will be able to put more resources into improving 101 and 999 call response times, following an earlier investment in the second half of last year that has already seen positive results.
John Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, said:
“I want to thank the Police and Crime Panel for their backing. I will now work with Chief Constable Mark Roberts to implement the measures outlined in the budget and realise the aim we share with the Panel: To make Cheshire an even safer place to live, work and visit.”
The Panel, which has the power to veto the Commissioner’s precept plan if it wishes, supported the Commissioner’s proposal to raise the policing precept – the part of council tax that goes towards Cheshire Constabulary – by approximately 83p per month (for the average Band D property) in order to support the budget.
The Commissioner’s proposal was informed by a survey on police funding carried out last month in which 70 per cent of 3,738 respondents – the largest ever response to a police budget consultation in Cheshire – said they would be willing to pay more via their council tax in order for the Constabulary to have more resources.
As well as allowing Cheshire Constabulary to recruit an additional 120 officers, the budget will also enable:
The recruitment of 63 more front line staff – Including more for the Force Control Centre, force intelligence, serious and organised crime, major investigations and local policing teams. These staff together will bring down call response times and strengthen the Constabulary’s ability to investigate and take down serious organised criminals.
Funding for more road safety initiatives – Increasing the use of average speed cameras across the county to prevent deaths and serious injuries.
Action against anti-social behaviour and repeat offending – Tackling low-level crime that can make communities feel unsafe and preventing young people from going on to commit more serious crimes.
John Dwyer added:
“This budget would not be possible without the support of the public and I’m grateful to everyone who has shared their feedback and priorities with me, whether that’s via my Autumn Survey, in my budget consultation, or by simply getting in touch with me.
“People told me they wanted more officers, better call response times, and more action against speeding and anti-social behaviour across the county. With this budget now secured, I’m eager to get right down to work with the Chief Constable and deliver on these priorities for residents in every community in Cheshire."