Policing Experience – Is There Another Crisis Waiting To Happen?

We’ve heard plenty about #CrisisInPolicing and I’m not going to convince you that there isn’t one. I have said before that there is, caused directly and personally by David Camoron and Theresa May. They were both arrogant and refused to listen to those who knew what they were talking about. Instead they preferred to accuse their critics of ‘Crying Wolf’. It’s obviously one of The Tories’ favourite sayings, only days ago Jacob Rees-Mogg accused the Remain supporting MPs of ‘Crying Wolf’.

The Tory #Cuts have left their mark, but does anybody really know what they look like? 31st March 2012 saw 136,339 oficers. I have studied the Length of Service of officers in all 43 Forces in England & Wales (NOT BTP) and the length of service in 2012 looked like this:-

A good wedge of experience in the 5-10 year service band and the remainder, more or less, even, albeit with fewer officers in each band. It makes Future Planning much more simple when the bands are roughly equal in size, Natural Wastage at the latter stages being compensated by Recruitment at the other end.

Fast Forward to 2019, what does the Service look like now?

The total number at 31st March 2019 has reduced to 125,114. The 5-10 year band is much smaller, there are way more officers with 5 years or less service and the 10-15 and 15-20 year bands have closed up and got bigger. At first glance this looks good, but what happens in 15-20 years time when the 10-20 year officers of today have retired or will soon do so?

Is this another crisis lurking, waiting to hit us when it’s too late to do anything about it? It might be easier to work out if I superimpose one set of data on the other, that shows some stark differences.

Just take a look at the 5-10 year service point. 24,000 fewer officers. More than the total of the Tory cuts. 10,000 more in the 15-20 year bracket, so a short-term gain there. From 20 years onward the downward curves more or less tally with other. BUT the huge difference at the 5-10 year mark MUST be making a difference NOW, possibly with Response and SNTs, probably less so with specialist postings, but does not bode well for the next 20 years or so, to whatever the government decide will be the appropriate time/age to hang up your boots.

Is there a further crisis coming? Yes, I certainly think so. Boris’s 20,000 will be nowhere near enough, and besides, 20,000 new recruits do not fill the experience gap.

Last Updated on

The Answer To Everything Is NOT 42

Like many others of a certain age I grew up believing that the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42. It took Supercomputer Deep Thought 7½ million years to compute and check the answer, which turns out to be 42.

It took me less than 30 years to discover that this is wrong, very wrong. The actual answer is 1, Teapot 1 to be precise.

Over the course of the last month or so I have heard several tales of officers being deployed ‘on Aid’ for long hours without even sufficient water to keep them fit and alert. I even heard of PSU Sergeants buying their troops bottles of water out of their own pockets. Hugely admirable but it simply shouldn’t have been necessary.

During the course of my illustrious 30 year career I was fed and watered literally all over England, at various times of the day and night, but the most important part of that was that we always knew it would happen.

One of my funniest experiences of Force Feeding’ that I can actually remember was back in my youth in 1976 or so, on the picket line of Grunwicks. We were ‘fed’ (breakfast) with a frozen pork pie, a cold Granny Smith and a cup of something brown, wet and steaming. But fed we were.

During the course of my career I experienced the highs and lows of ‘Force Feeding’ or Operational Feeding as they preferred to call it. Grunwicks was undoubtedly the lowlight, but there are two contenders for the #1 spot. On balance I think that Greenham Common probably takes it (until Met Police Catering Service took over) being fed in the restaurant at Newbury Racecourse. A very close second was RAF Newton during the Miners’ Strike. RAF catering was superb, sorry lads the Army Barracks at Ripon did not make the top 3.

For events in Central London (almost a daily occurrence) the Met had a huge Feeding Centre at Buckingham Gate where you could always rely on the Catering Staff to greet you with a warm smile, good humour and a hot mail, regardless of the time of day or night. The lease has been relinquished and is now, a training establishment for Vidal Sassoon.

Buckingham Gate Feeding Centre

However, returning to the bottles of water. This situation would NEVER have arisen if we still had Teapot 1. I’m not going to pretend that every time I went on Aid someone popped up at regular intervals and gave us bottles of water, no, that did not happen. What did happen was that we had sufficient troops on the event that we could always be relieved and sent off for a Main Meal or Snacks. No longer does the Police Service have the resilience to allow for such essentials. Not a luxury, an essential.

For smaller events, or for short-notice events that did not allow for planning of Operational Feeding we had Teapot 1 that would turn up with an assortment of Sarnies and drinks so that we didn’t go without anything at all.

An old Tranny Van suitably modified with a crew of 2 Catering Service staff does not cost a fortune. It is a cost-effective method of getting the ‘bottles of water’ to the troops on the ground. Getting rid of it was a huge step backwards, great for morale as well.

The answer to everything is Teapot 1Last Updated on

Scandalous Reduction in Police Officer Numbers

I am thankful to my friend @ConstableChaos for bringing this to my attention

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.Last Updated on

Who Co-Ordinates The Co-Ordinators?

Mustn’t swear, honestly, but yesterday provided me with a  true WTF moment.

Following the recent visit of that nice Mr Trump to the UK, it became obvious via news and Social Media, plus personal observations on the M40, that many Police Officers had been deployed on Mutual Aid to assist with the Policing and Security for the visit.  Nosey old me wondered just how many cops had been disrupted by Mutual Aid.  It allegedly cost Police Sotland £5 Million for Mr Trump to enjoy a round of golf.  Even my local Golf Club isn’t that expensive.

Who co-ordinates Mutual Aid in England and Wales. Answer:- The National Police Co-Ordination Centre, part of the National Police Chiefs Council.

So, I fired them off a Freedom of Information request thus;

1. How many Mutual Aid deployments have there been in England and Wales?
2. For each deployment, which force received the Mutual Aid?
3. How many officers were sent on Mutual Aid?

To be helpful I even added the foillowing rider;

“I specifically DO NOT REQUIRE any details concerning the nature of the deployment”

To be fair I never expected an actual answer, I always anticipated a Refusal.  Over the cost limit is normally a good one, or we don’t comment on operational matters for security reasons.  Either of those would have done.  However, they broke new ground.  Yesterday I got my eagerly awaited response

NPCC Response:
The NPCC does not hold information captured by your request. NPoCC coordinates national assistance only. They do not record all mutual aid, for example, if forces within a region send resources to each other.
A consideration may be to make a request with individual forces. On this occasion, I am unable to assist you.

That was it, in its entirety.  Not a single word have I omitted.

So, for the biggest Policing operation for quite a while the NPoCC knew NOTHING about the Mutual Aid.  A whoie world of stink was being kicked up about some of the sleeping accommodation.  Leaves were cancelled in many Forces.  Mutual Aid was certainly provided froom somewhere.

So I ask you, readers of mine, did your Force send Mutual Aid to the Met for Trumpy’s visit? Are you outside of the ‘Region’?  Who the hell does monitor Mutual Aid and co-ordinate it if not the National Police Co-Ordination Centre?

To the National Police Chiefs Council I say this, many, many people think that you are nothing more than servants of this government.  Certainly not enough opposition has been voiced to the stringent cuts to Policing Levels and Budgets, just “we must work harder or smarter within our new budgets”.  We all KNOW that the loss of approx 21,000 Police Officers, and many of them are from the Front Line, can only impact adversley on Law and Order.  I suspect that many areas are being Policed at dangerously low levels, particulary in Ruralshire and at night.  The first duty of the government is to protect its citizens.  They are failing in their duty if their cuts and policies are seeing rises in murders, assaults, Knife Crime etc etc.

“The primary object of an efficient police is the prevention of crime: the next that of detection and punishment of offenders if crime is committed. To these ends all the efforts of police must be directed. The protection of life and property, the preservation of public tranquillity, and the absence of crime, will alone prove whether those efforts have been successful and whether the objects for which the police were appointed have been attained.”

Please, NPCC, please tell me how the Police Service of 2018 is fullfilling its Primary Objective?

I may well challenge your response to my FOI request, but far more important than that, PLEASE answer my question above.Last Updated on

The State of Policing 2018

Fortuitously there has just been a release of Police Manpower (sorry, I still call it that, no offence intended) and the latest Crime Data for England and Wales.

Much has been made of these latest figures both in the Press and on Social Media.  This Crime has gone up by this percentage and all that sort of stuff.  Very useful, it really is, but if you want to look at more than just the big, bold headlines your head will soon be spinning.

Well, I still have some crayons left, none of the real academics have tried to disable my abacus or nick my pencil box, so I thought I’d try and make sense of the bigger picture and how it affects both Policing and the Populus in 2018.

Firstly, how many Police Officers are there in England and Wales since the disastrous election of 2010?

Not including the British Transport Police (for no particular reason other than they are shown separetely in the stats) it looks like this

It’s all well and good producing a pretty chart I hear you cry, what does that actually LOOK like?  It’s a tad worse after this week’s figures release but basically it looks like all the areas coloured pink having NO Police Officers whatsoever, not a single one.

It doesn’t look very good does it,  but we keep hearing that Crime is Down and Police Reform is working, so how are the much-reduced Police Officers coping with crime and stuff?

My word, it looks to me like a few years after Theresa May’s cuts started to bite, Overall Crime started to increase.

Violent Crime, we’ve heard a lot about that recently, how does that look?

The reason for the bizarre drop in the middle of the graph of that the Home OPffice keep changing exactly which crimes they want to list, and a lot of the lesser asssaults, whilst recorded by the Police, did not feature in the Home Office stats, but now they do again.  And they complain about the Police fudging stats eh?

So, we have had 8 years now of #Austerity and #PoliceReform.  What does that look like? How do the numbers stack up after 8 years?

Apologies if you find the chart above a bit ‘busy’ but basically Police Numbers down, Stop and Search down has resulted in Total Crime and Violent Crime going up.  Where will it all end?  Theresa May and her colleagues must be really proud of themselves. There you have it encapsulated in one chart, the state of (Crime and) Policing in 2018.Last Updated on

We Were NOT Crying Wolf Prime Minister

I’m sure you can all remember back in 2015 when the then Home Secretary told the Police Federation to “stop crying wolf”.

She said nearly every year the Federation warned that the public was at risk or that the force would be destroyed but it had not happened.

She told officers: “This kind of scare-mongering does no one any good.” And she added: “This crying wolf has to stop.”

Mrs May gave them an ultimatum, telling them: “You can choose protest and continue to shout from the sidelines for the next five years or choose partnership.”

Fast Forward 3 years and where are we?  I think almost everyone apart from the most hardened lunatic Tories will admit that crimes of all types have risen by various degrees.  More importantly though, Murders in the capital, and beyond, are rocketing.  Knife Attacks, Acid Attacks, they are all getting out of control.

Even the Tories’ favourite newspaper is carrying unprecedented headlines

Shire towns face unprecedented 140 per cent surge in robberies and violent crime with rise blamed on police cuts and ‘county lines’ drug gangs

Since Theresa May first came to ‘power’ in 2010 she has stedfastly refused to listen to us old codgers, the Police Lobbyists, she has ignored Academics, Pracademics, the Federation and that species the NPCC officer who dares to speak out.  She very recently managed to stick in a leopard-print boot to the majority of Public Services by promising the NHS £20 billiom.  Yes, they do deserve it, but they are not alone in that.   She has chosen the NHS to be the sole beneficiary.  The #MagicMoneyTree only bore a few fruits obviously. Wait a moment, maybe this was just a cynical vote-winner.  What other Public Service is likely to provide as many votes as rescuing a floundering NHS?

Well Mrs May, let me tell yo now that the #MagicBobbyTree is dead, killed off by some over-zealous pruning by a ‘lady’ gardener.

Sadly though, it doesn’t even end there.  The skills and experience that have been lost over the past 10 years, frivolously discarded in some arrogant crusade, will take decades to replace, EVEN IF, the cuts were reversed tomorrow.  The damage has been done.  It can NOT be simply reversed, not even by some fancy-pants Graduate Entrry Folly dreamt up by the College.  That scheme, flawed as it is, does not touch the problem of dwindling PCSOs and Specials, alongsisde the Regulars.

Mrs May you have broken the morale, fibre and being of the Police Service.  You personally are responsible with your flawed policies and abject refusal to listen to reasoned argument.  This is YOUR legacy, young kids’ blood on your hands.  Oh no, you must stop that wicked Stop and Search immediately, it does no good and it is racist.  Really?  Ask the families oif the dead children (yes, children) that you pretend to care about.  What have YOU actually DONE to stem the tide of knife-related murders, attmpted murders and assaults on our streets in broad daylight?

NOTHING

We were NOT crying Wolf (and at the end of that fable there was actually a wolf)Last Updated on

Policing In The 21st Century

Ten years ago there were 141,859 Police Officers (all ranks) in the 43 Forces that traditionally make up England and Wales, 108,884 of that total were Constables. By 2010, when David Cameron and Theresa May came to power, there was a total of 143,734 officers in total. 109,669 were Constables. By 31st March 2017 after nearly 7 years of attrition we were reduced to 123,142 in total, of which only 95,840 were Constables. Seven years of Tory/Coalition rule had reduced the Police Service of England and Wales by almost 20,600, nearly 14.5%. Constables, the rank most members of the public will encounter, or interact with most frequently, were reduced by 13,044 or 12%.

It’s all well and good me being flippant, but what does this really look like in the real world?

A stark visualisation would be this.

All the areas coloured pink add up to equal the 20,600 officers that no longer exist. It is the equivalent of almost all of Wales and a large chunk of England not having a single Police Officer available, at any time of the day or night.

Personally I see no outrage from National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) about the cuts. The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) do not appear to have been able to persuade the government to halt, or reverse, the cuts. In fact more have taken place in the last 12 months and more are planned. The most recent published, September 2017, shows that the total strength is down to 121,929 officers.

It must also be remembered that Police Officers are not the only casualty. Police Staff (civilian support workers) have been slashed by a similar amount. Police and Community Officers slashed, Special Constables, relied upon to take up some of the duties when there are insufficient Regulars, their numbers initially rose, but know they are falling too. The total Police Workforce has been culled from 244,497 in 2010 to 198,388 in September 2017. That is more than 46,000 fewer in the workforce. How are they possibly expected to maintain standards at the same level, or improve?

All you get for less is less.

The Police Service as a whole cannot possibly sustain losses of this magnitude and continue to protect the public.

Each Operational Command Unit (OCU) should have a safe minimum set, below which they should not drop without risking public safety. I have attempted to identify what that number is for England and Wales in total. Unsurprisingly nobody wants to reveal what that number is.

I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that this government will not listen to Police Officers or their Federation. NPCC seems unwilling, or unable, to speak out. A few individual Chief Constables speak out, but we need to hear the combined voices of ALL NPCC members telling government of the crisis that Police across England and Wales faces. Interestingly Police Scotland and Police Service of Northern Ireland have not suffered the same problems.

The time has come for the public, or at least the majority that quietly support the Police, should write to, or email, their local MP demanding that the cuts are halted and reversed. I truly believe that nothing will happen until the public get involved. The Police are the Public, and the Public are the Police, and now the Police desperately need the help of the Public.

You can find the contact details, including email address and phone number, here.

If that doesn’t work the future is grim.Last Updated on

It IS All About The Numbers

I never thought I would be writing a post about the snow. However it has served to highlight the effect on Policing of factors outside of Crime. For the second time in a few months it is snowing. Some parts of the country are getting it bad.

The thing that has attracted my attention and focused my thinking was a message from a serving Police Officer re the weather.

Basically his Division has 5 times as many I (Immediate) calls on their system than they have officers to deal them. Most of the calls relate to collisions in the snow with persons being injured.

Another perfect example of the total absence of resilience in the modern day Police Service, courtesy of Theresa May. “It isn’t all about the numbers” “It is all about crime”. Yet today we see a situation, no doubt repeated across the country, where numbers WOULD make a difference and it’s absolutely nothing to do with snow.

This is totally down to May and Cameron, with a bit of help from Winsor and total acquiescence from ACPO/NPCC.

I have been asking for literally years, but now Insee senior Police Officers asking the same question

Just how low CAN we go?

It’s pretty much like shrinking the Army, crossing your fingers, and hoping we never have to go to war.

You have been caught out Mrs May. Admit you were wrong, stop this ridiculous vendetta, and get back to protecting and serving our population. Reverse your damaging, vindictive cuts as a matter of total priority. Acknowledge the #CrisisInPolicing and put everything right before it is too late and the system becomes irretrievable.Last Updated on

The Streets Are Lost – Will We EVER Get Them Back?

The Police have lost control of the streets. There, I’ve said it.

Not everywhere, of course, but cities mainly, London definitely, but it could apply literally anywhere.

It has been obvious for a while now but the government have just sat quietly and said nothing. Only that isn’t quite true is it? The government have said something. In 2014, i think it was, the then Home Secretary Theresa May instructed the Police to cut down on Stop and Search. Instructed. That must rank as the biggest political interference in Policing in modern times.

Various pretty graphs have been drawn over the years to try and make it look like the policy was working, but in reality Stop and Search fell off the cliff after 2014. Fewer people were getting stopped (all reasons) and fewer people were getting arrested as a result of those Stops. Mayor Khan’s office tried to make it look like the policy was working and that more people were being arrested, but they were just playing with percentages.

 

Knife crime up 21%

Robbery up 29%

Vehicle theft up 18%

With figures like these how can you pretend that we have control of our streets.? Are these are NATIONAL figures, not just London.

BBC News ran an item on Knife Crime in Tuesday’s evening News


I would go so far as to say that the government in general, and Theresa May in particular, are directly responsible for this state of affairs.

in 2010, under the direction of Theresa May, the Home Office embarked upon a systematic culling of the Police Service in the name of ‘Austerity’. I don’t think that anybody outside of the Palace of Westminster believes that one any more.

Theresa May cannot claim to be unaware of the effects of her vicious cuts, she has been told, often. However in 2015 she responded to this enlightenment like this

you warned that the police – and the public – were being put in danger in 2001, 2004 and 2007. The truth is that crime fell in each of those years, it’s fallen further since – and our country is safer than it has ever been…………

……….for your sake and for the thousands of police officers who work so hard every day – this crying wolf has to stop.

The country is safer than it has ever been? Try telling that to the parents of our dead children Mrs May. And many of them were just that, children. Crying Wolf? Safer? 4 young people in London lost their lives to knives on New Years Eve/Day alone.

How can you say such things? How can you now remain quiet?

Stop and Search in London 2008 to 2016

A 12 Month Snapshot of Knife Crime in London

 

 

 

Before I leave Knives and Stop & Search, a senior officer at Scotland Yard received a Knighthood this year on the back of a 70% reduction in Stop & Search. How is that justified in the light of the slaughter around us?

Moped Crime and Pursuits – before I make any comment all, I fully realise that pursuits in particular are a highly contentious, and current, topic. Any collision where an innocent member of the public is injured or, worse, killed is highly regrettable, and preferably avoided. However, the Police still have a job to do and sometimes that will involve pursuing vehicles. More often than not the officers will be unclear on why the driver has decided to make off from Police until it is stopped. Sometimes a collision will occur. Some times the driver of the car being pursued will exceed his/her capabilities and crash. Hopefully no innocent parties will be injured. HOWEVER, the driver of the car/moped etc being pursued ALWAYS has the option to STOP. This would result in him/her being arrested in a dignified manner with full recognition of the driver’s rights. Surely this outcome is preferable to risking death or injury? Many seem to think not.

Moped crime in London has absolutely rocketed although it is not an offence restricted to London alone. Once again, how can we claim to have control of the streets with crimes at these levels? I’m sure that somebody will let me know what the latest instructions are, but I’m absolutely certain that the Police Drivers dread being faced with the dilemma of stopping a moped.

 

 

 

 

Gun Crime – up 20%. Wether it be for an Armed Robbery, a Terrorist Attack or a simple Murder all of those firearms are carried through the streets at some point. Once again, how can we claim to be controlling the streets with a 20% increase in Gun Crime nationally?

Acid Attack – these also appear to be on the rise with a further 300 (approx) being reported in the first 6 months of 2017. Like firearms, these acid attacks are either committed in the street, or the acid is carried through the streets, once again casting doubt on our ability to claim control.

County Lines – A brief and basic description of how County Lines work is contained within the very short video below.  Violence between gang members can be extreme, a recent dispute saw one male have his hand chopped off with a machete and both legs broken.  Young children are used as Mules or Dealers including one young chap who operated in the vicinity of a school miles from his home but was wearing the school uniform of the school where he was operating.

Racism – an easy claim for observers and community ‘leaders’ such as Lee Jasper is that the Police are Racist.  Maybe some are.  I wouldn’t be surprised to find that out of 122,000 officers a few bad apples were Racist, but I am absolutely certain that the number is not large.  According to Sir Robert Peel “The people are the Police and the Police are the people” (see below).  This almost guarantees that in any given Police Force you will have some of everything, because the Police are drawn from the public, and the public consists of all types.

Peelian Principles

The seventh Peelian Principle is the one I refer to above, it simply states

7 – To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

So, no different to anybody else then.

The first Peelian Principle is the one we were all given to remember and repeat ‘parrot fashion’ during Initial Training.  Paraphrased it says “The primary objective of an efficient Police is the prevention of crime………”, or as Peel had it

1 To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.

Which brings me to the end of this tome, which I hope you have found useful and not too dry.  Number One – “To prevent Crime and Disorder”.  With crime, or least certain types of crime undisputably rising, and Police Numbers undisputably falling, and the population constantly growing;

How do the Police Prevent Crime and Protect the Public?

Answers on a postcard please.  There is a #CrisisInPolicing but there is NOT a #BottomlessBobbyBox.  I heard tell recently of a Sergeant, in a large urban Force, who paraded 4 Constables (yes 4) and had 3 pages of Incidents to assign.  What should he have done?Last Updated on

Why Theresa May’s Cuts To Policing Are Far WORSE Than They Appear

Since 2010 when the Cameron-led coalition came to power Theresa May has overseen the draconian emasculation of the Police Service.

Formerly as Home Secretary, and latterly as Prime Minister Mrs May has presided over the culling of thousands of Police Officers from England and Wales. From about 143,734 in 2010 she has systematically reduced that number to 123,142 FTE officers according to a 2017 Government Briefing Paper.

A mind boggling reduction of 20,592, and even more have gone since. The figures for September 2017 are not yet available.

Remarkably the Police Services in Scotland and Northern Ireland remained more or less untouched. I can’t begin to think why that might have been. Was it the haranguing Mrs May received at the hands of the Police Federation of England and Wales at Conference, or did it go back further to the arrest of Damian Green and the search of his office and home?

I don’t know the answer to that, but both events could have been influential. Either way, it is concentrated solely on England and Wales.

Much has been made about the Front Line. “We will always protect the Front Line”. In March 2017 there were 105,571 Police Officers in Front Line roles. In March 2010 there were about 125,000 in Front Line roles. The government admits that the total figure had fallen by 14.4%.

So much for Protecting the Front Line eh.

The Home Office and HMIC both like to include in their fancy reports the number of Police Officers per 100,000 head of population. That figure varies wildly between 382 in the Metropolitan Police and in 140 Wiltshire with the average being 186. If this number is important enough to be published, it made me wonder. For each Police Force, how low can that number go before the level becomes unsafe? Somebody must have done that Risk Assessment surely? So I asked the question, of Police and Home Office. Nobody answered me. So I cannot reassure anybody that your coverage is adequate for your safety.

So, if those are cuts that we know about, where are the hidden ones?

Firstly, major incidents such as the Terrorist attacks in London and Manchester create a large number of re-rostered Rest Days that have to be taken off further down the line, or vast amounts of normal overtime created by extended tours of duty. The already depleted Front Line is further thinned out by officers taking the Rest Day that is owed them or their time off in lieu. End result, even fewer officers on the Front Line for X number of days.

Sickness. The severity of the cuts combined with a demonstrably increased workload has increased the stress suffered by officers trying to cope with their allocated workload. Junior Detectives seem particularly vulnerable, but not exclusively. The increasing number of knife-related murders (amongst others) also means that the Major Incident Teams are being stretched to their limits.

Injury. The reduced numbers on the Front Line have led to a truly alarming increase in really violent assaults. Some of them have suffered some really nasty injuries that have resulted in them being off sick for extended periods, again reducing the resilience of the Front Line.

Whilst not directly attributable, I am hearing some horror stories about Fleet sizes being reduced. I fully agree that fewer officers need fewer vehicles but reductions should be in proportion. A reduced fleet means fewer ‘spare’ vehicles for when vehicles break down (and they do) or are damaged by the ‘bad guys’ (and they are). Fewer vehicles on patrol means increased response times when an officer requires assistance and increased risk of injury and subsequent absence from duty. Even time spent in A&E or waiting to be seen by a Police doctor is time that the officer is not fulfilling his/her duties. A problem made worse by the cuts.

Police Stations. Over 600 Police Stations have been closed and sold off. Custody Suites have been ‘rationalised’ (reduced) and officers now spend more time driving to Custody Suites that may no longer be in their own local Policing area. Is that efficiency? Really?

Police Staff. Whilst their role is not even remotely identical to the officers, it is just as vital. They too have suffered cuts resulting in some of the associated problems listed above.

Crime is down (no it isn’t). Police Reform is working (really? It is? I have yet to see proof of that).

Now we find ourselves at a stage where some Forces are recruiting unpaid, unqualified ‘volunteers’ to conduct some rôles. Direct Entry Detectives are being used in some places, bypassing the traditional route involving Probation after Initial Training until 2 years service. Now one can enter the CID immediately following basic training in some Forces. A good idea? Hmmmm.

Police Officers were #CryingWolf. No they weren’t, the problems are here, and visible to anybody who knows where to look. They have even been noticed by a few Conservative MPs who forgot what the script was and complained about lack of access to ‘the Police’ when they felt they needed it.

In short, there is a #CrisisInPolicing and collectively these cuts and ‘reforms’ will take generations to put right. Work harder, work smarter is no longer applicable. It has been worn out. There are only so many opportunities to work smarter.

The time is long overdue for all members of the National Police Chiefs Council to speak out with one voice, and make it abundantly clear what can no longer be done under the cuts.Last Updated on