David joins Stroud's police officers for a Friday shift
Police officers in Stroud were joined by their MP, David Drew, for their Friday evening shift this month.
“I was keen to find out more about their work and listen to police officers about any concerns.
“I very much enjoyed my evening with our police officers, and I saw for myself how they work incredibly hard to keep our communities safe and secure.”
Mr Drew added that he was very concerned about the reduction in the numbers of police officers, which have fallen by almost 20 per cent since 2010.
“The message that came back from all the officers, including PCSOs, is that they are really struggling with the reduction in numbers. This has meant that crimes have been more difficult to pursue.
“I understand that recruitment is underway but it takes months to get more people in post and years to be properly effective, and in any case will only restore police officers back to the minimum threshold.”
Mr Drew’s Friday evening shift saw him accompany officers as they travelled around the Stroud district.
“We went all over Stroud, and I met with the police specials in Dursley and got a sense of the kind of crimes that are going on. The message that kept coming up, is that the numbers of officers are making a huge difference.”
Mr Drew said that mental health also seemed to be increasingly an issue which police need to deal with.
“It seems to me that other support services for people with mental health issues are depleted, just as the incidence of mental ill health is rising, and that this is putting increasing pressure on our police services,” he said.
Last month Labour called on the Government to increase police officer numbers by 10,000 and put ‘community safety and public security first.’
Police officer numbers nationwide are now at their lowest level in three decades.
Since 2010 Gloucestershire police force has lost 254 officers, almost 20%.
“Cuts to our local police meaning there aren’t enough officers to keep our community safe and fight crime,” said Mr Drew.
Number of Police Officers in Gloucestershire
March 2010 – 1,309
September 2017 – 1,055
Down by 254 (19%)
Number of Police Community Support Officers (PCSO)
March 2010 – 148
September 2017 – 113
Down by 35, (24%)