POLICE reveal plans for more bobbies on the beat.

I have just read the above article in the February 22 edition of the SNJ and whilst I accept that the article is a précis of the plan there are a few points I would like to make.

It mentions the public raising concerns about the lack of police officers on the beat in their communities and that police management aims to resolve this.

I seem to recall a short while reading about how there was now a recruitment drive under way to increase police numbers.

However, I would say to the citizens of Stonehouse and Nailsworth – to name but two places – if you think this will result in a better police presence in your respective towns, think again.

A few years ago, I wrote in the SNJ about the calamitous decision to close down the police stations in these two towns and sell them off instead of renting them until the time they could be reinstated as police stations.

I did not see any mention in the article of plans to put police stations back into these towns.

Doubtless, those who manage the police will say cover will be provided from Stroud but it does not take much to realise that there is no substitute for having police officers walking out of the front door of a police station situated on the High Street of your town on order to carry out foot patrol in your area.

Travelling from Stroud does not provide the same service.

I mentioned the towns of Stonehouse and Nailsworth but this has been replicated across the county.

The article also mentioned various other things such as electrification of the police fleet and possibly four more mounted units.

I would suggest that a rather more important thing to deal with is the plummeting morale of the Gloucestershire Constabulary – both police officers and civilian workers.

Occasionally, I manage to speak to people who work in the Constabulary – both officers and civilians – and it never ceases to shock me how low morale is and that it continues to sink ever lower.

It does not take much to realise that a demoralised workforce does not make for a good and efficient workforce which is exactly what we need in this county.

Huw Niland