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Surrey Police


Surrey Police

Surrey Police is the territorial police force responsible for policing the county of Surrey in South East England.

The force is currently led by Chief Constable, Lynne Owens, Surrey's first female chief constable.[1] The force has its headquarters at Mount Browne, Guildford, Surrey.


  • History 1
  • Today 2
  • Police and Crime Commissioner 3
    • Referendum proposal for increasing police precept 3.1
  • Air Operations Unit 4
  • Surrey Police Museum 5
  • Training of new recruits 6
  • Complaints 7
  • Proposed merger with Sussex Police 8
  • Crime and detection rates 9
  • Future of Surrey Police 10
  • Stations, and former stations, with borough divisions 11
  • Notable cases 12
  • Breakdown of officer numbers 13
  • Motor vehicles 14
  • Road casualties in Surrey 15
  • Criticism by the IPCC 16
  • See also 17
    • Other Surrey emergency services 17.1
  • References 18
  • External links 19
    • Video clips 19.1


On 1 January 1851, the Surrey Constabulary began its policing of the county with a total of 70 officers, the youngest of whom was 14 years old. The first Chief Constable was H. C. Hastings, who served in this capacity for 48 years. Originally Guildford, Reigate and Godalming had separate borough police forces. The Reigate and Guildford forces were merged into Surrey's in 1943.


Part of the present force area was originally part of the Metropolitan Police District, and was only transferred to the control of Surrey Police from the Metropolitan Police in 2000. This includes the boroughs of Epsom and Ewell, Spelthorne and part of Reigate and Banstead and Elmbridge. Surrey Police was divided into three divisions but since 2010 has become a single division, and as of March 2014 is policed by 1,938 regular police officers, in addition to 182 Special Constables and 153 Police Community Support Officers (see table below for more information). Surrey has one of the lowest crime rates in England and Wales.

For 2013/14 Surrey Police has total expenditure of £221.9m, of which £181.7m goes on employee costs, £27.2m on supplies and services, £8m on premises, and £5m on transport.[2]

Surrey Police has three main command structures throughout the county.
Response Command (Targeted Patrol Team and other related response teams)
Investigation Command (CID and Prisoner Handling)
Neighbourhood Command (Safer Neighbourhood Team and Community Teams)

Surrey Police employee numbers:
2007/08[3] 2008/09[4] 2009/10[5] 2010/11[6] 2011/12[7] 2012/13[8]!! 2013/14[9]!! 2014/15[10]
Police Officers 1,944 1,872 1,890 1,885 1,974 1,970 1,938 1,863
PCSOs 211 206 224 229 228 210 153 123
Police Staff 1,808 1,732 1,829 1,805 1,715 1,690 1,592 1,497
Designated Officers 179 338 263 287 306 295 247 197
Total FTE personnel 4,142 4,148 4,206 4,206 4,223 4,165 3,930 3,680
Special Constables 278 314 327 337 345 273 182 122

1. All figures are official Home Office figures.
2. All figures are full-time equivalents apart from for special constables which are a headcount.
3. Figures apply to 31 March of that year, e.g., 2008/09 figures are for 31 March 2009.
4. Designated Officers that are not PCSOs have one of three roles: investigation officer, detention officer or escort officer.

Police and Crime Commissioner

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey Police is Kevin Hurley (independent, stood under the label Zero Tolerance Policing ex Chief), who is a retired Metropolitan Police Borough Commander. His appointment followed the first elections on 15 November 2012. The other candidates (by alphabetical order of surname) were:[11][12] Robert Evans, Labour; Julie Iles, Conservative; Nick O'Shea, Liberal Democrat; Robert Shatwell, UKIP; Peter Williams, independent.

Referendum proposal for increasing police precept

In November 2014, the PCC started a consultation period on a proposal to hold a referendum in Surrey which, if it went ahead, would offer Surrey voters the choice of whether they wanted the council tax police precept to increase by 24% or the maximum that is otherwise allowed by the Government of 1.99%. This is "in order to avoid cutting police numbers due to budget cuts, and instead increase police numbers by up to 400".[13]

In a YouGov poll carried out in November 2014, 73% of respondents said they would support a referendum being held; 32% said that they would vote in favour of the increase, 47% against, 18% didn't know and 4% wouldn't vote.[14]

On 30 January 2015, the PCC announced that the referendum would not go ahead and that the police precept would increase by 1.99%.[15]

Air Operations Unit

Surrey, like most British Police Forces, has Air Operations covered by the National Police Air Service. The helicopter callsign NPAS15 which predominately covers the Surrey Policing area is based at Redhill Aerodrome and also covers the Sussex, West Hampshire and Essex Area.

Surrey Police Museum

To help celebrate its 150th anniversary, a museum portraying the history of the Force was opened at Mount Browne, the Surrey Police's headquarters in Guildford. Surrey resident Sir Michael Caine, CBE, opened the museum on 22 October 2001. Displays include artefacts and touch-screen technology, all tracing the history of the Force up to the present day.

Training of new recruits

Surrey Police now operates the PLC (police, law & community) course method of training and recruitment. This course ensures that potential recruits already possess knowledge of police law before applying to join Surrey Police. The course is run by several colleges in Surrey, as well as the University of Portsmouth. Although the PLC certificate can be obtained with a pass mark of 40% in the final examination, Surrey Police require a pass mark of 60% to become eligible to reach the application stage of the recruitment process.

The course allows the training phase of a police officer to be reduced by 15 weeks.


There were 710 complaint cases for Surrey Police in 2009/10. This is a 206% change on the 2003/04 figure. This is the second highest increase (after Northamptonshire) of all 43 forces in England and Wales. For comparison, the average change across forces in England and Wales over the same period was 113%.[16]

In 2012, an incident arose with a farmer confronting poachers and being shot at with a .22 rifle. After phoning the police, it took an hour for them to arrive. Furthermore, only two unarmed police turned up to deal with the incident. Surrey Police claimed that they followed the correct protocol.[17] Surrey said that the delay was due to the call being relayed to another force. They also claimed that the phone call said only one shot had been fired. Apparently this meant they did not have to make it such a high priority.[17]

Proposed merger with Sussex Police

Under controversial merger plans announced by then Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, in 2006, the number of police forces in England and Wales would have been cut from 43 to 24. Proposals put forward on 20 March 2006 would have seen the Surrey force merged with Sussex Police to form a single strategic police force for the area.[18]

Police authorities had until 7 April 2006 to respond to the plans; the Home Secretary then announced on 11 April 2006 that Surrey Police and Sussex Police would merge by 2008. However, on 12 July 2006, a Government minister announced that all proposed police merger plans in England and Wales were on hold.[19]

Crime and detection rates

Surrey has the joint seventh lowest crime rate (with one other force) of the 43 force areas in England and Wales, with 55 crimes per 1,000 population. In the year to the end of March 2012 there were 61,757 crimes recorded in Surrey, according to Office for National Statistics figures published in July 2012. This is a 5.2% drop on 2010/11 when there were 65,125 crimes recorded in Surrey.[20][21]

Despite having the joint seventh lowest crime rate, the detection rate for offences was the joint second lowest (with one other force) of the 43 forces in England and Wales, with a rate of 20 percent. The average for England and Wales was 27 percent.

Detection rates by offence group, percentages[22][23]
Total Violence against the person Sexual offences Robbery Burglary Offences against vehicles Other theft offences Fraud and forgery Criminal damage Drug offences Other offences
Surrey (2011/12) 20 27 27 21 10 6 17 15 8 92 54
Surrey (2010/11) 20 28 26 25 10 6 17 22 9 91 48
England and Wales (2011/12) 27 44 30 21 13 11 21 22 13 92 68
England and Wales (2010/11) 28 44 30 21 13 11 22 24 14 94 69

Future of Surrey Police

In a report published by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in July 2011,[24] the impact on the number of police officers and staff partly due to the reduction to Surrey Police's budget following the comprehensive spending review is as follows:

Police officers Police staff PCSOs Total
31 March 2010 (actual) 1,890 2,092 224 4,206
31 March 2015 (proposed) 1,959 2,184 222 4,365

Stations, and former stations, with borough divisions

Notable cases

Breakdown of officer numbers

Surrey Police officer numbers by rank and division as at 31 December 2013:[26]
Division Police Constables Det Constables Sergeants Inspectors Ch Inspectors Supt Ch Supt ACPO Total
Specialist Crime 182 139 100 24 7 4 1 0 457
Western 346 31 59 11 2 2 1 0 452
Eastern 254 32 42 11 2 2 1 0 344
Northern 228 28 34 12 2 2 1 0 307
Operations 193 0 30 5 1 1 0 0 230
HR 81 2 6 1 0 0 0 0 90
Support Units 7 5 4 5 1 3 0 4 29
Central Units 5 0 7 11 2 1 0 0 26
DCC Portfolio 1 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 4
Total 1,297 237 282 81 19 15 4 4 1,939

Note: totals may not sum due to rounding.

Motor vehicles

Surrey Police use many types of car for the diverse categories of response vehicles required by the modern Police officer. The force uses many different vehicles. Some of them are listed below with principal uses.

Road casualties in Surrey

As well as preventing and detecting crime, Surrey Police say that "dealing with road accidents forms a large part of our job, or at least taking measures to try and prevent them".[29] The following table shows the number of casualties, grouped by severity, on Surrey's roads over recent years.[30][31]

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Fatal 45 41 32 28 18 18 38
Serious 483 530 488 554 556 581 697
Total 528 571 520 582 574 599 735
Slight 5,411 5,184 4,811 5,173 4,991 4,624 4,673
Grand total 5,939 5,755 5,331 5,755 5,565 5,223 5,408

Criticism by the IPCC

In criticism widely reported in the media,[32][33][34][35] Deborah Glass, Deputy Chair of the IPCC, said in a six-page report[36][37] regarding the hacking in 2002 of the phone of the murdered Milly Dowler:

"It is apparent from the evidence that there was knowledge of this at all levels within the investigation team.

"There is equally no doubt that Surrey Police did nothing to investigate it; nobody was arrested or charged in relation to the alleged interception of those messages either in 2002 or subsequently, until the Operation Weeting arrests in 2011.

"Phone hacking was a crime in 2002 and it should have been investigated. Our investigation has heard from officers and former officers at Surrey Police who have expressed surprise and dismay that this was not done. We have not been able to uncover any evidence, in documentation or witness statements, of why and by whom that decision was made: former senior officers in particular appear to have been afflicted by a form of collective amnesia about this. That is perhaps not surprising, given the events of 2011 and the public outcry that the hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone produced."

She also said:

"In view of the widespread knowledge uncovered in this investigation, we consider that it is scarcely credible that no one connected to the Milly Dowler investigation recognised the relevance and importance of the knowledge that Surrey Police had in 2002, before this information was disclosed by Operation Weeting."

The conduct of two specific officers was referred to the IPCC: Detective Superintendent Maria Woodall, who was a detective sergeant at the time, was found by the investigation to have no case to answer for misconduct; and Deputy Chief Constable Craig Denholm, who was a Detective Chief Superintendent at the time, the investigation concluded that "there was insufficient evidence to support a finding of a case to answer for gross misconduct".

See also

Other Surrey emergency services


  1. ^ Lynne Owens named Surrey's Chief Constable, BBC News
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Home Office (18 July 2013). Tables for 'Police workforce, England and Wales, 31 March 2013'.
  9. ^ Home Office (17 July 2014). Tables for 'Police workforce, England and Wales, 31 March 2014'.
  10. ^ Home Office (16 July 2015). Police workforce, England and Wales: 31 March 2015: data tables.
  11. ^ Police Foundation. PCC candidates list. Last retrieved on 21 October 2012.
  12. ^ Police Elections. PCC candidate guide. Last retrieved on 21 October 2012.
  13. ^ "Safer Surrey". Home page. Retrieved on 18 December 2014.
  14. ^ BBC News (8 January 2015). "Two thirds reject tax increase for Surrey Police, survey suggests".
  15. ^ Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey (30 January 2015). "Surrey Police & Crime Commissioner puts forward 1.99% Council Tax Rise following Referendum Surveys". Retrieved on 11 March 2015.
  16. ^
  17. ^ a b
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ Home Office (July 2011). Crime in England and Wales 2010/11. See Excel file for "Police force area data tables".
  21. ^ Office for National Statistics (July 2012). Crime Statistics, Period Ending March 2012. See "Crime statistics: Police force area data tables 2011-12 - Crime in England and Wales, Quarterly First Release to March 2012".
  22. ^ Home Office (July 2011). Crimes detected in England and Wales 2010/11. See Excel file for "Police force area tables".
  23. ^ Home Office (July 2012). Crimes detected in England and Wales 2011 to 2012. See Excel file for "Police force area tables".
  24. ^ HMIC (July 2011). Valuing the Police: Preparedness Inspection - Surrey Police.
  25. ^
  26. ^ (18 June 2014). FoI request: "Police officers and staff members by rank/grade and department"
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ Surrey County Council (updated: 26 Nov 2014). Road accidents facts and figures.
  31. ^ BBC (23 September 2015). Serious road casualties in Surrey reaches 10-year high.
  32. ^ The Independent (24 April 2013). Surrey police officers accused of 'collective amnesia' over failure to check 2002 report that Milly Dowler's phone was hacked.
  33. ^ Daily Mail (24 April 2013). Surrey police accused of 'collective amnesia' over hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone as report reveals force knew of claims TEN years ago but failed to act.
  34. ^ The Guardian (24 April 2013). Police did nothing about Dowler phone hacking for a decade, says IPCC.
  35. ^ BBC (24 April 2013). Milly Dowler police 'amnesia' over phone hack claims.
  36. ^ IPCC (24 April 2013). IPCC issues findings from investigation into Surrey Police and the knowledge that Milly Dowler’s mobile phone was hacked.
  37. ^ IPCC (24 April 2013). IPCC independent investigation into Surrey Police’s knowledge of the alleged illegal accessing of Amanda (Milly) Dowler’s mobile phone in 2002.

External links

  • Surrey Police
  • Office of the PCC (includes contact details)
  • Video of meeting between PCC and Chief Constable, plus others (audio starts after 50 seconds)
  • Video of second recorded meeting between PCC and Chief Constable, plus others
  • Chief Constables of Surrey Police

Video clips

  • Surrey YouTube channel
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