Now that the euphoria following Gidiot’s Spending Review and Autumn Statement has subsided, I thought it was a good time to remind ourselves of a few stark facts.
Osborne announced on Wednesday that there would be no further cuts to the Police Service, and don’t get me wrong, that is undoubtedly good news, I don’t think anybody saw that one coming.
We have already lost 17,500 Police Officers, and a similar number of Police Staff, many of whom are facing the real spectre of Redundancy.
We will not be getting those 17,500 back, so we are already depleted, and whatever your view of your average working day is today, it ain’t going to get much better any time soon, it just won’t get much worse hopefully.
Your pension scheme has been right royally screwed, these is no evidence that that will improve in the foreseeable future.
I haven’t got the full figures yet, but more than 500 Police Stations have closed across the country. We won’t be getting those back. It takes a long time to finance, plan, build a new Police Station, we may get some back in the coming years but only on a drip feed basis at best.
As for the 100 or so Police Stations that have been earmarked for closure over the next 5 years, who knows what will happen with them, but we shouldn’t be surprised if some, or all, of those close anyway.
I read on Saturday night of a Traffic Officer who had a 42 mile ‘run’ to get to the scene of an accident. I won’t name the Force, but many know who they are, and they should be totally ashamed of themselves. No Force should have so few Traffic Officers on duty that one of them (quite possibly the only one, I don’t know) should have to endure a 42 mile ‘run’ to get to an accident scene. I don’t know the circumstances of this particular accident but people could have been trapped, the road may have needed to be closed to protect casualties or preserve evidence, other Emergency Services might have needed to be called, and Force Policy builds in an unacceptable delay. To be fair this policy is born out of the previous cuts to Police Budgets, but it’s simply not acceptable. “No further cuts” will not improve this situation alone.
Finally, for today, I go back to my mate Dai from the Welsh Police who points out that when he’s single crewed on Night Duty he is often the only uniformed cop on duty in 400 square miles (might even be more, my memory fades with age). You tell me, is that acceptable?
Nobody to back him up and protect him.
Nobody to deal with your burglary/robbery while he’s busy dealing with the latest outbreak of cow pat flinging after a Stag Do.
Nobody to help him search for suspects after a serious assault etc.
Is that acceptable? That is a reality for Rural Policing.
None of these issues are going to be improved by Osborne’s belated generosity. Too much damage has already been, don’t be fooled by back-slapping politicians, we need to start reversing the cuts to make Policing work again. Let’s see how many Police Chiefs and PCCs agree with me.
Whatever you do, just be careful not to be taken in by a slimy politician with more than one eye on the top job. No more cuts is great news but #CutsHaveAlreadyHadConsequences
This what I wrote back in February, Who You Gonna Call? Ghostbusters? http://retiredandangry.thisistap.com/2015/02/06/who-you-gonna-call-ghostbusters/ and nothing I’ve heard or read in the last few days makes me think it’s going to get better. We have what we have now, hopefully it won’t get worse