I don’t mean to be condescending to anybody, we can all do the maths, but this is absolutely disgusting.
Hidden within an article about Performance Related Pay within Policing is the little gem that Staffordshire Constabulary have, over a period of years, been reduced from 2,400 officers to 1,600.
Please forgive me for “stating the bleeding obvious” but that is a reduction of 800 officers, or exactly ONE THIRD of their previous establishment.
How on earth are they expected to achieve anything with a whole third of their officers culled?
Figures like these above make it abundantly clear that this is NOT about efficiency, or professionalism. This is setting the Police Service up to fail, nothing less.
There can be no possible justification for cuts of this magnitude and it is time for Theresa May, Amber Rudd and Sajid Javid to finally be honest, threat the British Public with some respect and be honest about what they have done, instead of insisting that “Crime is Down, Police Reform is Working”. This is not Reform, it is Annihilation.
Well, I do, but I’m not sure that our politicians really do care.
It will come as no surprise to most of you that I care about it, and my chosen vehicle for heightening awareness is the Knife Angel. I ‘dug’ into it, found out what it was all about, went to see it (stunning) and met the ‘owner’ and creator of the Knife Angel. I spoke to both of them at length over many cups of coffee, and their passion and belief in the project is absolutely blindingly clear.
Clive Knowles, the ‘owner’ has invested thousands (probably 10s of thousands, I was too polite to ask him) of pounds in creating the Angel. He has fabricated secure Knife Bins, more than enough for each Force to conduct a Knife Amnesty and securely store the knives surrendered. He has footed the bill for delivering the Knife Banks and collecting them when full and transportation back to his business premises.
Nobody can say that Clive is not fully committed to tackling the epidemic of Knife Crime across the country. Once the Angel was made he started a campaign to get the Knife Angel installed on the 4th Plinth of Trafalgar Square. He has even named the Knife Angel the National Monument Against Violence And Aggression.
Clive Knowles is the gent on the right.
I have also spent some time with Alfie Bradley, the brilliant young sculptor who created the Knife Angel. In order to do this he had to take 100,000 knives, and other bladed instruments, blunt each and every one of them and then form them into the Knife Angel. Some of the blades even have personal messages engraved on them from victims of Knife Crime or their families. His passion and commitment are blindingly apparent, but he is possibly better known for making a huge gorilla out of spoons for Uri Geller, but that’s another story.
Alfie is the chap on the ladder.
Then we come to our politicians. At various times, in an assortment of ways, the following politicians have proclaimed their abhorrence of the current flood of Knife Crimes and their desire to do something about it.
There may be others that I have overlooked, if that is the case please forgive me.
I have tweeted to Theresa May and Amber Rudd, and emailed both of them personally. No response from either except for an ‘Out of Office’ response from Amber Rudd that if I was not a constituent of hers I would not get a reply, and I didn’t.
Sajid Javid has only recently joined the Home Office but he has still failed to respond in any way to tweets to him about Knife Crime and the #KnifeAngel.
Louise Haigh, Holly Lynch and Jeremy Corbyn have not once responded in any way to numerous tweets addressed to them on the matter.
Nick Hurd has failed to respond to tweets or emails.
Finally, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. I have tweeted him dozens of times, to both his official and personal accounts. I have sent him emails. No reply to anything. Sadiq Khan is also responsible for deciding what exactly is shown on top of the 4th Plinth in Trafalgar Square. I have emailed the 4th Plinth Commissioning Group. No reply, but I have seen a photo of Sadiq Khan posing in front of the latest piece of art atop the 4th Plinth.
A big ‘Thumbs Up’. London is in the grip of an immense wave of Knife Crime and a ‘Thumbs Up’ is more appropriate than the Knife Angel.
I also emailed the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, but all I got back from them was a bland rejection by ‘James’ her Staff Officer, whoever ‘James’ may be.
So, sadly, the answer seems to be that I give a toss, Clive Knowles and Alfie Bradley give a toss. Not one of the above-mentioned politicians has demonstrated any positive action towards the Knife Angel campaign. However, I do believe that Sadiq Khan has contacted Clive Knowles direct and informed him why the Knife Angel is not a suitable exhibit for the 4th plinth. In my opinion he offered a pathetic, jobsworth, reason, but that is entirely his affair, I have the right to reject it.
If the politicians want to convince us that they do actually give a toss then it’s time for them to adopt more than snappy soundbites. Get behind the Knife Angel. If not Trafalgar Square then suggest somewhere else that’s suitable. Make it happen. This is not about me. It isn’t even about Clive and Alfie. It’s about the thousands of people being stabbed and murdered on our streets every year, and Clive’s campaign to draw attention to it, and begin a reduction in Knife Crime. Don’t support me, #SupportTheKnifeAngel. Especially if you want people to vote for you next time round, whichever party you are. This is not about politics, it’s about young people dying on our streets.
PLEASE take the time to watch all three videos below, particularly the second one. The Knife Angel suddenly becomes very real.