Wow, that is some headline. Do I really mean it? On reflection I believe that I do. Isn’t it a bit OTT? No, I don’t think it is. I actually believe that this government, driven by Cameron and May initially, and now May and Rudd have systematically plotted the destruction of the British Police Service as we know it.
I really have no idea. There have been numerous suggestions why put forward over the past seven years and I’m really not sure which ones I favour.
Winsor’s Independent Reviews of the Police Service. Nothing much ‘Independent’ about them. Not one single Risk or Impact Assessment carried out to produce two volumes closely mimicking David Cameron’s speech of 2006. Does anybody really think they were ‘Independent’? Are we really expected to swallow that the author (Winsor) never claimed his fee? Yeah right.
Why else do I think it’s a deliberate strategy by government?
Since 2010 approx 21,000 Police Officer posts have been shed from England and Wales alone.
Include reductions to PCSOs, Police Staff, Specials etc and the picture looks like this for England and Wales
I only currently have the data for Police Officers but including Scotland and Northern Ireland doesn’t really improve the picture much, they have, broadly speaking, stood still, neither gaining nor losing significant numbers
Surely it is not possible to manipulate the loss of Police Officers and their various support staff on such a scale without it being a deliberate act, and #Austerity is pretty much discredited now. So what is the reason?
One of the Tory lies is that they have protected the Front Line, well would dispute that promise most vehemently, the government’s own data disproves that one
So, what makes me certain that it’s a deliberate act by government? Firstly, losses on this scale can hardly be an accident or a mistake. Even Tory MPs have occasionally gone off-script and complained that there were insufficient officers to deal with incidents that had arisen in their constituencies. Having been reminded that their party had caused it they mysteriously went quiet. Head Office had presumably reminded them of the script.
Police Forces across the land have been forced to sell “the family silver” in order to reduce the worst effects of the cuts. Real Estate that will never be replaced. Over 600 Police Stations or Front Counters closed, over 100 more earmarked for closure. Housing stock, training facilities and Feeding Centres etc sold off. How and when will they be replaced? Simple, they won’t be.
Traditionally Mutual Aid has been used by Forces in need of urgent, short-term assistance with a serious Policing problem. Move a few dozen officers on loan to anotherForce for a day or two. Only with constantly shrinking numbers that isn’t as simple as it used to be, as there are no longer an adequate number left behind.
Current losses of Officers alone are the equivalent of the areas shaded in pink having NOT ONE SINGLE POLICE OFFICER OF ANY RANK ON THE FORCE.
Slowly, Some Chief Officers are waking up and complaining that their officer strength is not sustainable. Too little, too late and by many, no action whatsoever. Even recently some Chief Officers have claimed to have sufficient resources to Police their communities. How can that possibly be true? Are they really saying that they have been over-staffed for years? I don’t want to believe it but are ACPO/NPCC in cahoots with government, quietly standing by whilst their Police Forces are dismantled?
Modern recruitment regimes also affect the makeup of Police Forces. Schemes that recruit ‘top graduates’ are guaranteed to change the face of the Force. Regarding it as a job for about 5 years instead of a dedicated devotion for 30 years or more will quickly make a difference. Adopting the MOD regime of dispensing withtheir expensive, experienced workforce and replacing thhem with cheap recruits also has an inevitable impact. Again, I can only believe that it’s part of a deliberate plan.
The final thing to convince me was reading GrahamWettone’s excellent blogpost The Policing Crisis express has left the station. It made me realise that I’m not the only person thinking this way.
I can but agree with Graham. This #CrisisInPolicing has been going on long enough that David Cameron (before he stood down) or Theresa May, maybe even Amber Rudd could actually acknowledge this crisis and set plans in motion to save the Police Service. They have done no such thing.
You can call me a Conspiracy Theorist, I really don’t care. What I am is passionate about my former career and the ‘colleagues’ still ‘on duty’. Pay frozen, Pension increased, pay more for longer, receive less. This Mrs May just does not care.
Meanwhile the shrinkage just goes on.
If you are not already aware another former officer Peter Kirkham (@PeterKirkham) is doing a fine job highlighting the #CrisisInPolicing. Find out more here