100 extra police officers for Nottinghamshire could be on the beat in a year
ONE hundred new police officers which have been promised for Notts could be recruited as quickly as within a year.
Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping pledged a total of 150 new officers over four years before his election in November.
He is due to announce when the first will arrive after finalising his first budget for Notts Police later this month.
But the Post understands work on the budget has shown cash to pay for them could be freed up fast enough to recruit the first 100 within the next 12 months.
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The officers would be for neighbourhood policing teams across Notts.
Mr Tipping declined to comment on the exact timeline for recruitment yesterday. But, when asked about the 100 within a year figure, he said: "I have said what I want is to get more officers in to neighbourhood teams – and that is in the plan.
"We'll announce the numbers when we put the budget out at the end of this month."
He added: "We need them because neighbourhood policing is important – all of us want safer and more secure streets for our homes and our families.
"I recognise the public want to see a greater involvement of neighbourhood officers in their areas."
He said his office was looking at "substantial savings" elsewhere in the force to pay for the extra officers.
Part of this would come from more collaborative schemes, which would involve Notts Police sharing support services with neighbouring forces.
Mr Tipping also wants to recruit 100 more community support officers.
The promises are in his first draft police and crime plan for Notts, which was published this week and outlines how he wants the force to plan to fight crime and spend its money up to 2018.
It follows ongoing cuts to force budgets from central Government, which have led to Notts losing nearly 300 police officers and 450 support staff, according to the document.
The 53-page plan was put before the Police and Crime Panel, the new body which monitors Mr Tipping, on Wednesday for consideration before a formal meeting next Tuesday.
It also includes:
A plan to introduce a "mystery shopper" scheme involving volunteers who call the 101 non-emergency number and visit police stations to test how good the force is at things such as telling people how they can contact local beat officers.
A pledge to recruit more officers and staff from ethnic minority backgrounds and a focus on better support for victims, including introducing antisocial behaviour case workers alongside Victim Support.
Figures in the plan also suggest the force on average pays more for each full-time employee than the national average.
It says this could be because of the ratio of sergeants, inspectors and other higher ranking officers to constables.
Mr Tipping said these figures could lead to workforce changes, with the number of sergeants and inspectors reduced over time through "natural wastage" – as they retire or leave the force.
Glynn Gilfoyle, a former vice-chairman of Notts Police Authority, which was scrapped in favour of Mr Tipping's new post, welcomed the plan.
Mr Gilfoyle, also chairman of the Notts arm of Crimestoppers, said: "I think it's building on what was already there and I think it's a realistic plan.
"It's still going in the right direction in relation to reducing crime and addressing the areas of concern. In particular, I like the emphasis on victims and young people."
Susan Davis, a member of Old Basford Neighbourhood Watch, said the extra officers would be "fantastic".
She said: "I'm so pleased. To have more of them will be good news – it reminds you of the olden days."
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