Crime tsar hits out at report

A police office on the beat.
A police office on the beat.

DERBYSHIRE’S crime tsar has moved to reassure High Peak residents after a report revealed only ten per cent of the county’s bobbies patrol the streets.

National campaign group the Taxpayers’ Alliance found just 10.2 per cent of Derbyshire Constabulary’s officers are “visible and available” to the public.

The group said the force had one of the lowest percentages of visible police personnel in the country.

Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said police chiefs needed to do more to get extra officers out on the frontline fighting crime.

But Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Alan Charles, hit back at the report – and said the Taxpayers’ Alliance was being “mischievous”.

He added: “Policing is a complex operation – it’s not just about officers on the streets anymore.

“Criminals are becoming a lot more sophisticated so we’ve got to have specialist officers behind the scenes stamping down on things like child pornography and internet fraud.

“The Taxpayers’ Alliance report doesn’t take into account these important officers.”

Mr Charles added that grassroots groups like Buxton Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team were “very important”.

The Taxpayers’ Alliance report was compiled using Home Office figures.

Derbyshire’s figure of 10.2 per cent is below the national average of 11.8 per cent.