Police and crime commissioner Kevin Hurley and Chief Constable Lynne Owens
EVEN before taking office this week, Surrey’s new police and crime commissioner had exerted his influence by ordering an urgent review into the sale of police stations, but also said there would be no more officers hired.
Last weekâ€™s election put Kevin Hurley at the head of policing in the county. Known for his â€˜zero toleranceâ€™ policy, the former Fulham and Hammersmith police chief arrived at Surrey Policeâ€™s Mount Browne headquarters on Thursday to begin work.
However, he had already met with Chief Constable Lynne Owens and ordered a review of the disposal of police stations.
Mr Hurley said: â€œI want to be satisfied that firstly this makes sound operational sense in terms of police visibility, and secondly that it makes sound economic sense in this climate.â€
He will have responsibility for setting the budget for the force and fears that a 20% cut, which will be passed down from central government, will make it impossible to hire new police officers.
â€œOne of the things I actually campaigned on is [that] I am the reality candidate,” Mr Hurley said.
“Letâ€™s be absolutely clear â€“ there are not going to be any more police officers, or certainly large numbers of police officers, coming to Surrey Police.
â€œWith 20% budget cuts itâ€™s simply not going to happen. Weâ€™re going to be looking at routes of sharing various functions with Sussex or Hampshire, Kent or the Met.â€
He has also promised to ensure that public opinion is heard. Meetings will be held in each borough and district, starting in the new year, and Mr Hurley will be present with a senior officer and council representatives.
Police commissioner steps into role