Campaign group slams police visibility
Kent's bobbies are only pounding the beat for less than 12% of
their day, a campaigning group has revealed.
A report gathered using official police data showed there were
3,843 police and PCSOs employed by the force in February this
But of those just 11.6% were "visible and available" at any one
The statistics, compiled by the TaxPayers' Alliance, showed
Warwickshire had the highest cost for every visible officer
outside London. There were 8.2 officers visible for every £10m.
That compares with Kent, where there are nearly 14% of officers
available for every £10m spent on policing. In total, Kent spends
more than £315m on keeping our streets safe.
Kent comes in around average for the country for the amount of
time officers are out and about and available.
In a statement, Kent Police said the county was one of the
safest places to live in the UK - with nearly 45,000 fewer
victims of crime in the last five years.
It said: "This so called `measure' of 'visibility' in the report
is a one-size-fits-all approach that does not take account of
nearly 1,000 uniformed Kent officers and staff engaged in highly
visible specialist functions.
"We have over 300 uniformed officers involved in ports policing
that are seen by over 30 million people from Kent and beyond that
are not counted in these statistics as 'visible'.
"It also takes no account of the 24/7 shift systems that police
officers work to keep people safe."
The spokesman also referred to the work of the Serious
Crime Directorate - the largest in the country.
The unit's work didn't count as 'visible' but their results
in taking criminals off the streets of Kent certainly were, she
She added: "Police visibility is certainly important, but it is
only one element of policing and there is much more all police
forces have to do - much of which cannot be visible - in order to
effectively fight crime."
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