Tragically there have been way too many major incidents in the UK over the past few weeks. Without exception the Emergency Services have been magnificent, all of them. People who know me, or read my posts, know where my allegiances lie, but I’m not going to differentiate today, they have all performed brilliantly and all have suffered broadly similar cuts.
I have heard comments to the effect of “I thought we were supposed to be short of Policemen/Firemen/Ambulance crews, there’s loads of them “.
Please be assured that ALL of our Emergency Services will ALWAYS pitch up and do their very best whatever they are faced with. It’s what they do, it’s in their DNA, they are hardwired to run the ‘wrong’ way.
When they run out, ‘Mutual Aid’ kicks in and more Police Officers , Firefighters and appliances or Ambulance crews and paramedics will be drawn in from other parts of the countty. This happened at Kensington when a specialist appliance was ‘borrowed ‘ from Surrey together with some of their Firefighters . This will always be the case when it is necessary.
The real drama is where you are NOT looking. The government are very good at praising the Emergency Services who are actually dealing with the major incident. But if you look at where they’ve come from, there’s hardly anybody left.
Those that are there are working 12 or 16 hour shifts, have had their Leaves cancelled, have dozens of outdtanding calls queueing up waiting to be allocated and dealt with. This is sort of invisible, misunderstood.
With all due respect to those working their nuts off at the Major Incident I would dare to suggest that the real story is in the opposite direction. Police Officers,Firefighters and Nurses & Doctors are working heaven knows how many extended shifts without a day off as the draconian cuts imposed by the Tory (and coalition) government since 2010 have decimated our resilience. Picture the swan, all serene on the surface, peddling like **** under the surface. That’s our Emergency Services today, swans.
If you haven’t seen it before I prepared a graphic a few years ago showing what England and Wales might look like with 17,000 fewer Police Officers.
I have updated it to show what 21,000 fewer might look like, the equivalent of the whole of South and South West England, not a single cop for 100s of miles,
Now tell me that these cuts don’t have consequences snd that there are plenty of cops.
Next time the government glibly tell us that Emergency Services have all the resources they need, don’t look at the Major Incident, look the other way at your local Police Station, Fire Station or hospital and ask yourself how are they coping.
I tried to get an interview with a serving Police Officer but he was too busy to comment;