SOLIHULL’s police chief has defended a new style of uniform for his officers.
This week, Coun Peter Hogarth (Con, Silhill) criticised the money being spent on new outfits.
He suggested that with public-spending cuts on the horizon, the cash would be better used to drive down crime levels.
But Chief Supt Carl Foulkes said that the uniforms were introduced because the old style was no longer “fit for purpose”.
A police spokesman added that the new black design was being phased in over the coming months and wasn’t a new expenditure as such.
Chief Supt Foulkes was speaking at this week’s Full Council meeting and answered questions about the changes to local policing introduced this month.
Other issues raised included the desire to see more officers on bikes, instead of patrol cars, and the need to tackle anti social behaviour.
Coun Len Creswell (Lib Dem, Blythe) said that he wanted to see changes to police phone numbers - which he thought were overly-complicated.
The police commander said that the force had taken criticisms on board and was looking to change the current system.
Leader of the council Ken Meeson praised the neighbourhood team in his ward (Dorridge and Hockley Heath).
“We have had great support from the local team and that’s gone down extremely well with residents,” he said.
There was also enthusiasm for the drive to get more officers on the streets.
At the presentation Chief Supt Foulkes said that the number of victims in Solihull had fallen to a record low - with 220 less burglaries and 385 fewer cases of vehicle crime.
But he added that there was still work to be done in certain areas - under the new structure, neighbourhood officers are allocated according to the needs of a ward.