Record levels of police on the way to Bridlington

Chief Supt Phil Ward says Bridlingto police numbers could reach record levels by September.
Chief Supt Phil Ward says Bridlingto police numbers could reach record levels by September.

Bridlington could have more police officers than ever within a year.

That is the promise from the new man in charge of policing the East Riding, who wants to increase staffing levels in the town by around a third by next September.

Our front page from the end of July

Our front page from the end of July

Chief Supt Phil Ward told the Free Press he is hoping he will get the go-ahead to significantly bolster numbers in Bridlington within days.

Humberside Police is looking to recruit around 230 new officers and more than half will be based on the North bank of the Humber.

“That’s above and beyond all the people who retire, because they will still be replaced,” said Chief Supt Ward.

“Between now and September, a new intake will be landing pretty much every other month, so we will see a gradual increase on the ground in Bridlington.

Chief Supt Phil Ward

This would see levels as high as they have ever have been.

“That has already started.

“We can’t have all new, student officers in one area, so we will look at what skills Bridlington’s staff needs and the shift patterns which may be need to be different to elsewhere.

“We are working on the detail but in line with demand I hope to increase staffing in Bridlington by more than a third.

“This would see levels as high as they have ever have been.

Chief Supt Phil Ward

Chief Supt Phil Ward

“I have a model for for Bridlington which I have put forward to the chief constable. It would see an increase in staffing of more than a third.

“That would see levels as high as they have ever been, and it is based on demand.

“Bridlington South has the second highest demand in the force area, after Myton in Hull, so it deserves a level of policing to reflect that.”

In July, the Free Press reported on public concerns about the rise in crime – with social media awash with reports of break-ins and car crimes seemingly every day.

Bridlington Police Station

Bridlington Police Station

The mayor, Cllr Cyril Marsburg, said he felt police were ‘thin on the ground’ and that the non-emergency 101 number was not being answered.

But these new measures will be on top of those already implemented in Bridlington in recent years, Chief Supt Ward said.

“Bridlington has already had a significant increase with £500,000 of additional resource through the Early Intervention team, who are working to get on the front foot with people identified as being likely to become offenders in the future.”

The aim of adding to police numbers goes against the policies in other parts of the country.

Norfolk Police announced it was getting rid of all of its PCSOs last week, but Chief Supt Ward said Humberside Police was taking a different strategy.

“The Police and Crime Commissioner and the chief constable have not done what other forces have done, he said.
“A successful police force has officers on the ground who know the community, that’s the model the chief wants us to get back to.

“Seventy per cent of what we do is not crime-related. We do a significant volume of work around mental health, drug and alcohol addiction and the elderly.”

It is not just the number of bobbies on the beat in Bridlington which will increase. Extra resources will be ploughed into the CID team.

Chief Supt Ward, who is the new commander of the North Bank, said: “We are also doubling the number of constables in investigations in the East Riding and a cluster of those will be in Bridlington.

“Chief Insp Ian Dixon is based at Bridlington full time since three weeks ago and there is a new, extra Detective Inspector in the East Riding. It is positive and this is a really good opportunity.

“We have listened to the public and this is a good news story for Bridlington.”