Guildford town centre crime prevention role threatened

A crime prevention scheme in Guildford could fold because Surrey Police have proposed withdrawing their support for a key role, organisers have claimed.

Guildsafe is a communication network which links 50 shops to a central CCTV control centre.

It is run by a part-time business crime manager, who is employed by Surrey Police but funded by the retailers.

Ch Supt Gavin Stephens said he hoped the retailers would take responsibility for the role.

Cathy Wiles, who chairs Guildsafe, said it was frustrating.

'Surprised and disappointed'

She said: "We fully cover the cost of the actual role including pension and national insurance.

"Because the person is a police employee, there has been certain training that they've had to undertake. But we have suggested we could cover any costs that they feel are not being covered currently."

Mr Stephens said: "I am surprised and disappointed that the steering group has decided to release a statement whilst we are in the middle of a consultation on the future of this scheme.

"I hope that one of the members, which includes some very large organisations, is able to step forward and take responsibility for the employment of the manager role."

Surrey Police has been ordered to cut costs after the government said funding would fall by 20% over the next four years.

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