Bridlington’s thin blue line is set to get even thinner when a number of the town’s police officers are redeployed elsewhere in the East Riding.
Following a “review of resources”, an undisclosed number of officers will leave for bases in Beverley and Withernsea, and the Free Press understands Bridlington will be left with just two beat managers.
The town will, however, see an increase in the number of community support officers who will be redeployed from Hornsea.
Detective Inspector Robert Cocker told the full meeting of Bridlington Town Council on Wednesday (January 20), he “can’t say that a reduction in police officers is all good news”.
“I think we all agree there are difficult financial constrictions,” he added.
“I have not been part of the decision making process, and I will ensure that whatever staff I have deliver the best service. The plus side is Bridlington will see an increase in PCSOs,”
A spokesman for the force declined to provide further details on the number of staff leaving Bridlington Station, but added: “We have reviewed resources across the force area in order to ensure we have the correct numbers of officers and staff where and when we need them most.
“Community Policing Teams will be dedicated to their local area, including Bridlington, visible to local people and part of the community. They will not routinely deal with emergency calls which take them away from their foot beat.
“Patrol Officers will respond to emergency calls supported by investigative and specialist colleagues.”
Humberside Police began its biggest restructure in history last April, and will see 200 police officers and nearly 500 civilian employees leave their posts by 2019.
In October last year the force became the only one in the country to be slammed ‘inadequate’ by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of constabulary.
The watchdog criticised Humberside for a “limited understanding” of demand for its services and raised “serious concerns” over the organisation.
But Inspector Cocker said the new PCSOs - who possess substantially fewer powers than regulars - would still be up to the task of policing Bridlington.
“I wouldn’t say it’s all bad news, we weren’t running off full capacity before. The type of work they are expected to do, in most situations, the PCSOs can deal with those.”
It comes after home secretary Theresa May called for a greater emphasis on the role of civilians in the police.
However shadow home secretary Andy Burnham described the move as a “back-door means” of filling cut posts and “could lead to policing on the cheap”.
Paul Bennett, who runs Marine Bar at North Marine Drive, said he is concerned about the impact taking regular police officers off the streets will have on the town and in particular, the night-time economy.
He said: “I think, to be fair, there is not enough police around as there is - it would be a shame for Bridlington.
“We tend to see a lot down here because sometimes on the night there’s a lot of joy riders racing up and down.
“It would be good to see more PCSOs, but what authorities do they have?”
Community support officers have the power to request names and addresses, as well as confiscate alcohol and issued fixed penalty notice - but they are unable to arrest criminals - only regular officers can.
Humberside Police would not confirm when the officers will be redeployed.