David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

Friday, January 23, 2015

Cuts have consequences !

As the nation gears up for the General Election in May, Royston Martis of www.policeoracle.com, examines how those in policing are increasingly speaking out about the devastating impact cuts are having.

You cannot cut £2.5 billion from the policing budget in England and Wales – as has happened during this Parliament - without there being consequences.

The main consequence to date has been a huge fall in police numbers. In March 2010, there were 244,497 people working in policing. There are now 209,362, down more than 35,135.

As we know, there are 16,000 fewer police officers.

Another consequence has been the detrimental changes to police officer pay and conditions for those that have remained in the job.

As we start a General Election year - what is next when it comes to policing?

Just before Christmas, we heard that the policing budget was going to be slashed by another £300 million in 2015/16 with the promise of more cuts to come.

With predictions from HM Inspectorate of Constabulary that the service will have to save the same again – so another £2.5 billion – between now and 2019 there is going to be much more pain.

This time the public – as well as police officers – will feel it.

Will police officers be able to deal with mental health issues? Cyber-crime and reports of child sexual exploitation? Human trafficking?

The list could go on.

Representatives from the Police Federation of England and Wales across the country have long been trying to get this message across.

The efforts of Essex Police Federation and their #CutsHaveConsequences campaign – of which I must declare an interest – will hopefully make a difference and raise public awareness of the devastating cuts to policing.

Helping this will be the fact chief officers have now vocally joined the debate.

ACPO has estimated that 34,000 police jobs will disappear over the next three years. “The deepest cuts to policing I have ever known,” said Sir Hugh Orde, outgoing president of the organisation.

Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe wrote in the Guardian: “There’s a bigger risk to public safety if we don’t take radical action.

“We’ve saved hundreds of millions already, but from 2016 onwards it will be much harder.”

Lynne Owens, Chief Constable of Surrey Police, also added her voice to the growing chorus by questioning what functions policing would have to abandon with continuing cuts in an interview with a national newspaper.

"It’s inevitable that cuts will have operational consequences,” she said.

Sadly, as has often been stated, the current government has long displayed no desire to listen to policing professionals. But MPs of all colours will listen to the public.

Particularly in a General Election year when they are relying on people to vote for them.

Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld said: “The public is not being asked whether policing should be run down to the dangerous level that is currently planned. It is high time it was.”

Let’s hope the public start listening - and then let politicians of all parties know how they feel on policing.

And that they all realise that cuts have consequences.

Article courtesy of Royston Martis - www.policeoracle.com


Old Plod said...

I like this post by Anonymous;

And yet the Government cannot spend all it's 0•7% of GDP of foreign aid quick enough as they have run out of 'good projects'to invest in.We you consider that the policing budget is only 0•2% if GDP you can only really conclude that keeping the public safe in the UK is not a priority for the Government.This I believe needs to be the message hammered home to the public- your Government would rather burn it's money than invest in keeping you safe!

Old Plod said...

Another post by an Anonymous commentator which rings true to me;
The rank and file at the Sharp End are on a hiding to nothing, less officers, single crewing, reduced pay and pension rights. The government were hell bent on portraying the so called golden plated pension of officers in 2010 with Tom Winsor as the hatchet man but conveniently forgot to mention that all officers had 11% taken every month (in my case circa £300pm) for which I was taxed and then taxed again on retirement.

Old Plod said...

And yet another post by an Anonymous contributor with whom I can empathize. I presume most of the anonimity is because those posting the comments are serving officers who must therefore protect themselves from resentful recriminations from their senior officers.
The number of undetected murders in my force has been grossly spiking where insufficient officers are left to investigate them. The ones who are investigating then are working on 4 or 5 other cases and being ran like headless chickens, the results are becoming tangible of these cuts and this is high end police investigation, you can only imagine how lower end investigation is going right now.

Unknown said...

The way this government has behaved with our police force is disgusting,cuts, cuts, cuts,
Thats all we hear, but it does not work in reality.
Us mops don't feel as safe as we did because of less police officers.
All these cuts,
it's got to stop.