More time on the beat for police

BOBBIES' time on the beat is set to increase, now that they will have to walk the streets for a minimum of eight hours every month.The Foot Patrol Initiative introduced across Suffolk this month has been designed to increase the time spent by officers patrolling on foot.

By Tracey Sparling

BOBBIES' time on the beat is set to increase, now that they will have to walk the streets for a minimum of eight hours every month.

The Foot Patrol Initiative introduced across Suffolk this month has been designed to increase the time spent by officers patrolling on foot.

The times and locations where foot patrols are carried out will be recorded in a log book, being distributed to all constables.

Suffolk Police Authority acting chief constable Gillian Parker said the information will be used to monitor the performance of police areas and sectors.

The patrol strategy was being discussed today at a meeting of the authority's Best Value Committee.

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A police spokesman said: "What we are trying to do is make sure more police officers walk the streets so that Suffolk is the safest county in the country, and people feel safe.

"This initiative will lead to an increase in the number of man hours spent on foot patrol."

But he added: "Some officers do a great deal more than eight hours.

"Such patrols are the whole raison d'etre of the town centre unit in Ipswich for example, which provides high performance, high visibility policing.

"For community police officers in parishes across Suffolk, foot patrols are one of their primary roles enabling them to get out and meet local people."

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