Foot patrol minimum defended by police

POLICE have defended controversial new guidelines stating officers must spend a minimum of just eight hours a month on foot patrol.But an MP in the county has described the figure as "ridiculously low", and claimed the police authority had "derisively low ambitions".

POLICE have defended controversial new guidelines stating officers must spend a minimum of just eight hours a month on foot patrol.

But an MP in the county has described the figure as "ridiculously low", and claimed the police authority had "derisively low ambitions".

Christine Laverock, chairman of Suffolk Police Authority said: "We have some officers who currently spend a huge amount of time on foot patrol, such as community officers and those in the town centres. This strategy is targeting officers who are not specifically designated in that way.

"Although eight hours a month does not seem much it is increasing overall the amount of time that officers will be spending on foot and reassuring the public," she added.

David Ruffley, Conservative MP for Bury St Edmunds, said: "The eight hour minimum seems ridiculously low. The police authority have derisively low ambitions in getting constables on the beat with this, which is where officers I have spoken to want to be."