THE number of police officers working on the frontline in Lincolnshire has decreased by almost 50 over the past two years – but the force claims this has not had a negative impact on its work.
Figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show that the number of police constables on patrol in the county has dropped by 49 since April 2010 from 1,041 to 992.
However, according to senior officers within Lincolnshire Police the change has not been detrimental to services, and crime has actually fallen over that period.
Asst Chief Constable Keith Smy, who is the chief officer responsible for local policing, told The Standard: “When the cuts were announced Lincolnshire Police already had a high percentage of its officers operating on frontline duties and as a result cuts overall would inevitably impact on frontline officer numbers.
“The changes have not been to the detriment of service. In fact our latest performance figures suggest that over the last year crime has fallen, the proportion of crime that we solve has increased and the speed of our response to emergencies and crimes has improved too.”
He added that the change had meant that around 90 per cent of officers were now working in the frontline, but warned that further cuts would be ‘inevitable’ in the next few years. However, the officer said this would not affect the ability to respond to emergencies.
During the same two-year period the number of Pcsos has increased by six, but Asst Chief Constable Smy said these officers had not been brought in to replace their Pc counterparts.
He added: “Their role and function, constrained by limited powers and training, although complimenting police officers work is very different from a fully-trained and warranted constable and as such are not replacements for police officers.”
Recently, Boston’s Chief Insp Paul Timmins offered further reassurance to people by saying that crime was on the decline in the town, and said that more would be done to beat anti-social behaviour and crime in the area.