#Prime Minister Cameron
Sixteen thousand police posts have been but, according to the Prime Minister this is perfectly fine because crime has fallen all across the country. Eleven hundred jobs are to be let go in 2016, but this is perfectly fine because, crime has fallen all across the country.
Hampshire Police Federation chairman John Apter, and Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes, say the cuts could see the end of bobbies on the beat as police officer numbers are reduced. The Police and Crime Commissioner says he is committed to the future of neighbourhood policing, but says he fears the continued level of cuts nationwide will impact police presence on the streets and hence the safety of Hampshire’s electorate. Combine these concerns with the austerity cuts leading to reduced street lighting, and you have credible concerns. Not so says our Prime Minister, and how is this proven? Crime is falling all across the country.
Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Thomas Winsor has said a “smaller service” would have to “work smarter” I’m still trying to figure that one out. Meanwhile,Sir Hugh Orde, the Association of Chief Police Officers’ president, has also warned that police forces are struggling to deal with reductions in funding. Whilst Neil Rhodes has claimed Lincolnshire Police will effectively go out of business if the latest round of cuts takes place. According to him the force would be ‘unsustainable’ by 2018, with a shortfall of £10.4million, meaning a fifth of frontline officers would have to be axed. But why are we scaremongering? After all,‘Crime has fallen right across the country’.
In a letter to Home Secretary Theresa May, Police Chief Constable Rhodes said he would have to scrap neighbourhood policing, with bobbies on the beat replaced by ‘just a few’ community support officers. Response times to 999 calls would rise and the ‘range of offences where a meaningful investigation will be possible will reduce’, Mr Rhodes added.Crimes such as theft would have to be largely ignored, and investigations into historic sex abuse and cyber-crime could not be pursued. The officer, who has more than 28 years’ experience, said he would not have spare staff to help at major events or emergencies outside his area.
‘If we were a business, then it would be being funded at below the cost of being in business,’ he said. ‘The cupboard is bare and it is likely that we will be the first force in the country to fall over.’ (Daily Mail December 2014)
Last month Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary warned the ability of six forces, including Lincolnshire, Dorset and Suffolk, to provide an effective service would be at risk after cuts left a ‘very thin blue line’. Lincolnshire Police is particularly vulnerable as it covers the third largest area in England and Wales – 2,292 square miles – and has one of the smallest forces, due to the county’s few cities and relatively low population. What have we, the general public, got to worry about? Has not our Prime Minister reassured us that crime has fallen right across the country?
Poorly lit streets, reduced crime statistics and next to no properly trained and experienced police officers on our streets (not even in those gang crime besieged neighbourhoods) even the Met’s Trident gang unit has had the heart torn out of it. But we should feel reassured, after all, crime has fallen right across the country!