MP David Drew's column:

I SPENT time this weekend out with our police around Dursley which was a chance to get a clearer picture of life ‘on the beat’ as well as see firsthand the dedication and skill of officers.

My Friday evening was spent with deputy police and crime commissioner, Chris Brierley, Chief Inspector, Special Constabulary Steve Lindsay MBE, road safety campaigner Charles Pedrick and Ben Keene, Hamfallow parish councillor.

We joined the traffic patrol monitoring speeding drivers and I know that speeding has a real impact on communities.

I also had time to talk about the reality of the Government’s apparent commitments to recruit thousands of new officers.

There is no doubt that we desperately need more police, Gloucestershire police force has lost 254 officers, almost 20 per cent since 2010.

Indeed, I learned that on Saturday night it was likely there would only be one PCS0 on duty, covering the whole of the south of our constituency, a large rural area, which includes Cam and Dursley, Berkeley and the surrounding villages.

With staffing at this level, it’s little wonder that constituents tell me that they don’t always receive the response they expect from the police.

Recent Government recruitment pledges won’t even bring police numbers back to the levels of March 2010 and there is a real need for greater investment in technology, as well as boosting staff retention and recognizing the increased complexity of police work.

One of the last meetings I had in parliament before it was shut down for five weeks was with GWR’s senior team and I was able to raise some key issues for rail user.

I’m pleased to see some additional train services introduced on their timetable but I know that Sunday services remain a real issue for many train travellers, due to a shortage of drivers.

I also spoke about improving accessibility at our stations.

Please get in touch with me at to let me know how timetable changes will affect you.