Surrey’s police and crime commissioner is hiring a new communications officer at the same time as the cash-strapped Surrey Police is losing 22 PCSOs, because “residents don’t know what the police and crime commissioner does”. Surrey’s Conservative PCC Lisa Townsend, who was elected last May and sets the budget for Surrey Police as well as her own office, is increasing her office's operational budget this year by 30 per cent, from £1.12m to £1.45m.

This is just to fund running costs, not to commission services to prevent crime or support victims and witnesses. That is a separate budget of £3.19m, a rise of just 3.7 per cent on last year.

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