Notts police chief: “I want to increase armed patrols to combat terrorists’

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping on a walkabout around Kirkby. Paddy is pictured with PCSO Madeleine Sefton.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping on a walkabout around Kirkby. Paddy is pictured with PCSO Madeleine Sefton.

Nottinghamshire’s crime chief says he is in talks with the Government to increase armed patrols in the county following the latest terrorist attacks in Brussels this week.

Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping said he was not looking at increasing the number of armed officers, but to increase armed units on active patrol around the county.

The former Labour MP made the revelation in the run-up to the police and crime commissioner elections for the county, set to take place in May.

“Terrorism has become a major issue for us and I am in talks with the Home Office to increase the number of armed response vehicles on patrol in light of the terror attacks in Brussels and Paris,” he said.

Mr Tipping, who has been in the post for the past three-and-a-half years and is standing again for a second term.

He has also pledged to ensure that a full public enquiry into historical child abuse in Nottinghamshire takes place, and to fight for a better service for the victims of crime.

Additionally, he has pledged to maintain neighbourhood policing around the county and to get tougher on domestic violence.

“The immediate problem is that we have to find another £12m in cuts from April 1,” Mr Tipping added.

“The budget reduction has also been the major issue since I was elected to the role, with Nottinghamshire Police facing unprecedented cuts.

“The majority of police funding comes in the form of Government grants, and we have had our budget cut by £54m, or 25 per cent over the past four years.

“But we have worked hard in Nottinghamshire to protect neighbourhood policing - we have reduced police numbers by around 100, although this is a lot less than in other counties.

“We have also lost PCSOs, but we still have more than any other East Midlands force, and double that of Derbyshire.”

Mr Tipping is also pledging to:

- Maintain neighbourhood policing teams

- Provide a better service for the victims of crime

- Ensure speedier passage of cases through the courts

- Increase the number of people reporting incidents of domestic violence and race crime.

“With online crime, this is something that was not known to us 20 years ago, and children are now more likely to be the victim of crime online than they are on the streets,” he said.

“I also want to carry on with the work we’ve done on domestic violence and race crime, and I actually want to see the number of reported incidents rise and the criminal justice system to be more efficient.

“If you are the victim of a sexual offence, for example, then at the moment it is an average of two years from the offence being committed to the perpetrator being sentenced. We really need to see fewer delays at the courts.”

Speaking about the role, Mr Tipping added: “I have done three-and-a-half years in the role and I have been privileged to have the job. I have spent a long time as a public servant and this is by far the best thing I have ever done.”