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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 October 2006, 11:19 GMT 12:19 UK
Security guards protect police HQ
Surrey Police sign
Police believe the strategy will free up more officers to serve the public
The Surrey police force has been branded as "crazy" for hiring security guards to protect its headquarters.

Four guards are based at its Mount Browne HQ in Guildford where about 900 constabulary employees work, including the Chief Constable, Robert Quick.

Councillor and ex-member of the Surrey Police Authority, Terry Dicks, said it was "absolutely crackers" for security guards to guard policemen at work.

The police authority said it was following official security guidelines.

A spokeswoman said the guards were being employed to "enable officers not to be distracted from their general policing duties" in line with guidance issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers.

Can't they [the police] protect themselves? It's crazy
Councillor Terry Dicks

"The guards are being employed to ensure the safety of visitors to Mount Browne as well as that of officers and staff," she added.

The police force believes the strategy will free up more officers to serve the public.

But Tory councillor Mr Dicks said it was a sign of the "stupidity" of the Chief Constable and the members of the police authority who supported him.

"Can't they [the police] protect themselves? It's crazy.

"This tells us all we need to know about how Surrey Police is run," he said.

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