THE Chamber of Commerce has repeated its call for an improved visible police presence despite assurances from the RGP that additional patrols had already been put in place in answer to the recent terrorist activities in Europe.
The RGP had accused the Chamber of issuing a false statement to the public and in so doing being “totally unprofessional and irresponsible”.
The RGP say that it is false to suggest that there has been a failure to increase police presence and that because of terrorist events elsewhere in Europe police officers have been re-deployed from other duties to ensure increased patrols where people congregated.
They pointed out that redeployment of officers has an impact on other policing demands. They also claim that the Chamber’s data regarding historical year on year budget increases are ‘misleading’ and not reported in true context.
They further took the opportunity to remind the Chamber of recent increased demands on resources with the uplift in security, the threats of terrorism, day-to-day policing and the demands with the multitude public events in the build up to National Week.
But the Chamber appeared unmoved by the RGP response, saying that it was disappointed with “the disparaging manner in which the RGP has responded to its legitimate expression of concern”
They argued that they have a right to highlight their members concerns and that to do so publicly is a response to a lack of action when addressing directly with the RGP in the past.
The Chamber said: “The fact remains that, whether the RGP chooses to admit it or not, there is a real concern by the business community and the public generally of lack of visible police presence in areas where large amounts of pedestrians congregate, a sentiment that has been echoed both privately and publicly by former senior police officers and commissioners of police.”
The Chamber adds that they remain ready to engage in a positive way with the RGP and trusts the RGP will take positive action in response to the concerns of the public.