Child sex crimes prioritised as Surrey Police cut £25m

Surrey Police Chief Constable Lynne Owens Image copyright Surrey Police
Image caption Chief Constable Lynne Owens said the force needed to respond to changes in crime

Priority will be given to tackling sexual offences against children as Surrey Police adapts to cope with £25m budget cuts, the force has said.

Up to 400 jobs, including 32 police officers, will go over four years but Chief Constable Lynne Owens said the changes were not just about money.

"This is primarily about the changing nature of crime," she said.

"We are seeing significant rises in sexual offending, domestic abuse, cyber crime and child sexual exploitation."

She said: "I have an absolute responsibility to ensure that we can service the most vulnerable - those children that are being targeted online and children subject to child sexual exploitation.

"There is a requirement to make sure we respond to those rises in demand."

Changes in crime over the last three years

  • Reports of rape up 153%
  • Reports of sexual offences up 122%
  • Reports of domestic violence up 34%
  • House burglaries down by 24%
  • Theft from cars down 32%

The force said it would be working with big businesses to encourage crime prevention, for example by installing pre-pay pumps at petrol stations.

It said the public also needed to take crime prevention measures such as protecting computers from online crime and helping vulnerable neighbours.

The 400 job cuts represent about 10% of the Surrey Police workforce.

Ms Owens said Surrey Police had already cut spending by collaborating with other forces in the region and cutting spending on areas such as HR and IT.

"What we are able to do is retain our dedicated local neighbourhood inspectors and our dedicated PCSOs and they are going to be supported by bigger uniformed teams," she said.

"Additionally we are equipping officers with technology so they do not need to waste time by going back to base."

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites