DESPITE proposed increases in the amount we will each pay, in the coming year, for policing and its allied services which include the communications element we find that comms element is to suffer cut backs. That very element which should allow us to report, quickly, incidents that can be passed to the policemen on the front line, is to have staffing cuts.

We are told that the extra we pay will provide more policemen in several roles - firearm officers, traffic officers and, the one most people will appreciate and welcome - the 'Bobby' on the beat. This is all great news but, if we are unable to swiftly inform them of problem events, they will, in part, become ineffectual and their benefit lost.

Meanwhile, our police commissioner Angus McPherson is seeking an assistant - this, although worrying, is not so worrisome as considering how many staff he will need to assist him. I note that our esteemed commissioner has, within his establishment, a chief executive of the office of the police commissioner. How many other staff are needed to warrant a chief executive, I wonder ? The assistant commissioner will surely need his own staffing and at this point the chief executive will want his assistant.

While this happens three call handlers are to be 'axed' so that a £250,000 loan (borrowed to improve call handling time) can be repaid. Honestly, I didn't make it up !

Brian Ford

Bemerton Heath