I was very encouraged by yesterday’s announcement that Surrey Police will receive an extra £5.4m from the government next year (2021/22). This is a 4.8% increase compared to this year, taking government funding for the police from £112.2m to £117.6m.
This investment will mean more police officers on the streets, tackling local priorities like burglaries and anti-social behaviour. Surrey Police have already recruited 47 additional officers this year, and are on track to meet their target of 78 by the end of March. Yesterday’s settlement includes funding for Surrey Police to recruit a further 76 officers next year, all counting towards the government’s target of 20,000 additional officers across England and Wales by April 2023.
More funding and more officers are just two of the ways in which the government is backing the police. We’re also reinforcing stop and search powers to target those carrying knives, and doubling the maximum sentence for assaulting an emergency worker to two years. Earlier this year, the government also allocated Surrey Police almost £390,000 to support the enforcement of Coronavirus rules.
The local policing team in Elmbridge has been doing a great job during the pandemic. I’m looking forward to being out and about with them in the New Year (Coronavirus rules permitting), to get a first-hand look at the issues they face.