Cuts to British Policing – What’s the Truth?
Mike Pannett – Police Commentator will be on BBC Look North at 6:30pm tonight (3/7/11) to discuss these issues. Join in by adding your comments below.
Today we learn that 60 (sixty) G4S Staff jobs are in the balance as further cuts to Lincolnshire Police are debated.
G4S were the preferred option of Government to replace Police Officer and Staff redundancies.
In its latest report the Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary said Lincolnshire might not provide a “sufficiently efficient or effective service” by 2015 when cuts take effect.
As Lincolnshire Police needs to save £21m over the next four years they released a joint press statement with their Police Authority saying: “Lincolnshire is a force and a police authority committed to a modernising agenda that will continue to deliver excellent public service and good value for taxpayers’ money.
In Lincolnshire, crime rose by 3% between December 2010 and 2011, bucking the national trend of a 3% reduction but this has allegedly been down to just an increase in metal theft in the County but is this a 6% overall increase in crime given the national trend was a 3% reduction? They said “At the end of December 2011 the county suffered a spate of metal thefts and austerity crimes that led to an overall crime increase of 2.9% in that period”
In the Lincolnshire Force statement they said: “We can tell the public that, of the 1,114 officers we currently have; only 23, including the chief constable and deputy chief constable, do not have a significant crime fighting component to their work.
But we ask what have they done away with to make this figure? What are Lincolnshire Police not providing?
They said further: “There is simply no pool of officers spending their time at HQ who could be better employed on the streets.”
October 14th 2010 in the Lincolnite
Chief Richard Crompton said “Through efficiency savings and working in closer collaboration with partners [...] we have actually been able to increase the police officer headcount [to 1,225].”
Yet on December 13th 2010 in the Lincolnite
Lincolnshire Police’s Chief Constable Richard Crompton “felt the cuts were not as bad as they could have been. As we have already stated, our priorities are and will continue to be to protect people in Lincolnshire; keep the County safe and continue to provide an excellent front line service.”
But how can they be?
Source BBC News Website
Today Chief Constable Tim Hollis said savings had been made by replacing police officers with civilian staff.
The Humberside Chief Constable said he was confident the cuts could be made without a “detriment to performance”.
However, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary for the Northern Region Roger Baker said the reductions would leave the force with “a lower proportion of its police officers in frontline policing than in most other forces”.
He added: “The force should consider how it can improve its crime fighting capacity to help keep the public in Humberside safe.”
So whilst the Humberside Chief says business as usual the HMIC says cuts will leave a lower proportion of its Police Officers in frontline Policing than in most other forces?
Rank and file Police Officers and Staff run around at the beck and call of statistics whilst Chief Officers clash over Officer numbers.
On the 3rd July 2011 Chief Tim Hollis said ‘Anyone who suggests that you can take 20% out of the police budget without making an impact on operational policing is not being frank with the public,’
These Chief Officers would give you that they can provide the same frontline services by using a flexible level of G4S staff.
But if they are so successful why are the Chiefs not working at the Bank of England to sort out the Countries austerity problems because they appear very good at playing with numbers?
Now Police Authorities are publishing how well they are doing with governing the finances of the Police Service.
You really have to ask yourself ‘IF’ our Chief Constables (ACPO Ltd) and our Police Authorities are doing so well now making huge savings but still providing an effecient Police Service WHY did they not make these cuts before now? Surely you would expect these high flying financial gate keepers to run at their most effecient thus providing a good economically run Police Service?
Should we therefore suggest that these gate keepers have been negligent in providing a value for money service before 2010?
Its an interesting analogy!
GREATER MANCHESTER POLICE
We are now learning GMP are cutting more than a 1500 Police Officers further to meet the 20% demands from Government. Their Federation Chair Ian Hanson sighting real concerns if large scale public order situations similar to that of last years riots are seen again. Remeber nationaly 16,000 Police Officers were used to quell the violence last year bizarely the same number Government are happy to loose.
Deputy Chief Constable Ian Hopkins pointed out GMP has more riot-trained officers now than it did last August. But even so if deployed to disturbances such as last year how many will be left behind to Police local communities? Source Source2
We heard over the last few days that the Metropolitan Police are set to loose a further 6000 Police Officers following the Olympics. A further loss of some 2000 Police Staff also set to put a further burden on an over stretched service. Source Source2
WEST MIDLANS POLICE
West Mids Police set to loose a further 620 Police Officers. The new report shows that the number of Police working on the front line – defined as “those who are in everyday contact with the public and who directly intervene to keep people safe and enforce the law” will also fall. But reading this definition is that not the majority of Police Departments, CID, Mounted Sections, Police Dogs, Intelligence Units ect . . . Source
News now coming in of further cuts to Dorset Police. Despite crime rising in the area a further 310 Police Officers are to be lost. ACC James Vaughan described the crime rate rise year ending December 2011 as a ‘Blip’ Source
WALES POLICE SERVICES
More than 600 police officer roles will be cut in Wales by 2015 as a result of the Government’s budget cuts, figures released today show.
Of those, 300 are frontline police officers, the report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found. Source
John Apter confirmed on twitter that a further 450 Police Officers will be cut in Hampshire between now and 2015.
News is now reaching the US as British Policing faces the worst cuts in its history. Source
What is the answer though? Who forms part of the solution?
It is interesting that the Police Service is taking a huge 20% cut whilst the HMIC warned that just 12% would leave British Police at a significant risk yet Government proceeded with the 20%.
But remember the Police Service is just part of a bigger system, the Criminal Justice System. What cuts have been made to other parts of the system helping to make savings?
Taking 20% of Policing away there has to be cuts elsewhere to compensate for the void left behind? We do not advocate but up for discussion are Courts for instance giving lengthier sentences to criminals to keep them from reoffending whilst the Police Service is overstretched? Is the Probation Service providing a suitable service of monitoring offenders at risk of reoffending?
Are expensive Judges being reduced in number?
And what of a socio economic policy to prevent vulnerable families committing offences? We have seen Government suggesting cuts to housing benefits of those under 25 years?
What is you’re solution to make saving?
Please post below your ideas in our comments section or tell us on Twitter using the hash tag #Pol20%cuts:
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