CHESHIRE Constabulary is still planning to take on extra officers despite its recent financial uncertainty.
Back in February county police authority chairman Peter Nurse pledged the force would deploy 54 more bobbies on frontline duties.
This was one of the service enhancements which would be made possible by a big increase in its budget, he pointed out.
Soon afterwards the authority ran into trouble with the Government for the affect this would have on Council Tax bills.
Ministers have since ruled the 17% rise can go ahead this year – but capped Cheshire to spending just 3% extra in each of the following two financial years.
In view of the uncertainty, there has been some concern about whether the 54 extra officers would still be employed.
But a spokesman for the police authority said: “We haven’t yet done the maths on how many officers we can actually take on. We know it won’t be the full number but we believe it won’t be far off.
“We promised people that the extra money in the budget would mean taking on extra officers and it is only right and proper we do this.”
Moira Chapman, the police authority member of the customer satisfaction scrutiny group, said: “The authority decided to spend more money on introducing customer service desks to keep victims of crime and antisocial behaviour fully informed.
“I am delighted to learn after a settling in period, the staff working on the desks now contact about 400 victims and callers every day.”
She added: “Historically, the police would take action in response to an incident but not necessarily let the callers or victims know.
“These call-backs have given the police the opportunity to change this, which gives the caller more confidence that action is taken where appropriate.
“The latest survey of people contacted by the desks reported satisfaction levels of 90%, with 20% being extremely satisfied.”