Police chief commits to more bobbies on the beat

Shetland’s new police chief wants to see more “bobbies on the beat”.

Chief Inspector Stuart Clemenson told Thursday’s community safety and resilience board that police officers would be moved from behind their desks out on to the streets.

Mr Clemenson, who was appointed as Shetland’s area commander last month, said: “Our focus will be to get as many police officers out there as we possibly can.”

He was responding to a question from the board’s vice-chairman Allison Duncan who asked whether officers would be deployed to areas such as the main streets of Lerwick.

Mr Clemenson said that while there was a “finite amount of resources on the island” that would “absolutely” be a priority.

He noted new “action plans” including having double shifts on duty at peak periods, such as Friday and Saturday night. 

Mr Clemenson said this would provide opportunities for “proactive policing” such as visiting licensed premises and stopping vehicles.

In the foreword of his report to the board, Mr Clemenson said the pandemic had put “unique and challenging demands” on policing in Shetland.

However, he said officers had manged despite “significant levels of absence”.

He told the meeting there had also been recruitment and retention challenges, though he was confident resources were sufficient to deal with the task in hand.


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