Surrey's burglary response waiting times have doubled under the Conservatives

9 Apr 2024
Paul Kennedy with Lib Dem stake board

The average waiting time for police to respond to burglary calls in Surrey more than doubled during the first two years of the current Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner, new figures from the Liberal Democrats have revealed.

The average waiting time in 2020-21, the year before the last Police and Crime Commissioner elections, was just 1 hour 14 minutes. But by 2022-23, the average waiting time had increased by 121% to over 2 hours 43 minutes.

At the same time, the number of police community support officers (PCSOs) across Surrey fell by half, and average call answering times also deteriorated, to nearly 12 minutes for 101 calls last year. This resulted in an 'Inadequate' rating for responding to the public in the most recent PEEL inspection report.

During those two years, Surrey Police were forced to slow staff recruitment to save costs while the Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner increased her own office budget by nearly 70%.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for a return to proper community policing, where officers are visible, trusted and able to respond to neighbourhood crimes like burglaries.

Paul Kennedy, the Liberal Democrat candidate to replace the current Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner, commented,

“Having your home burgled is a traumatic experience, and victims deserve a swift response from the police. Yet under the Conservatives, this is increasingly out of reach.

“People in Surrey deserve to feel safe in their own homes. The fact that traumatised burglary victims have been left waiting for hours, wondering if the police will even arrive, is unacceptable. To think that crucial evidence may be lost in the process too is unforgivable.

“It’s time to finally restore proper community policing, so people can be confident that if they do fall victim to crime, the police will turn up and investigate properly.”

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