When The Politicians Are In Charge

Strange things happen.

We used to have Police Authorities, even the Met had one eventually.  Then some bright spark at a well known Think Tank came up with PCCs.  Needless to say, most of the elected PCCs represent one political party or another, the Independents have a particularly hard time of it.

My old friends at Policy Exchange actually conducted a poll, and far and away what the public want is someone who is ex Police or ex Military, but what did we end up with.

Kevin Hurley, and others, seem to be doing an excellent job as Independents but I feel like the government regard them as a real irritant.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the should ALL be Independent.  Politics and Policing should not mix.  What we now have is a generation of politicians, embroiled in Policing (no other Public Services too) and simply refusing yo listen to those who actually know what they are talking about.

Home Secretary, Policing Minister etc. What did they KNOW about Policing prior to their appointment? What experience did they bring yo the post.  It’s very much like me bring elected as an MP and given the job of Chancellor of the Exchequer.  I would be an unmitigated disaster because I know nothing of Economics beyond a Household Budget.  Having a Health Minister with no background in the NHS.  SON of a Naval Admiral, educated at Charterhouse and Oxford, degree in Philosophy, Politics and Education. Where is his relevant experience for steering our NHS?

I digress.

All around us are politicians of similar background forming our current government.  Arrogant Oxbridge Graduates who do absolutely nothing that their electorate actually WANT.  Do the great British Public WANT the Police Service slashed? Do they WANT the Armed Forces cut?  Do they WANT their NHS sold off to the highest (or maybe not) bidder?

We have a bunch of toffs with no relevant experience who seem to truly believe that they don’t need to listen to the practitioners who actually know what they’re talking about.  Instead they embark upon a media campaign to discredit whichever Public Service is in their sights this week.

If they listened do you think we would be having discussions about terrorists sneaking in amongst the refugees?  We could have predicted that.  Border Force emasculated, I’m perfectly sure that there are many of us who have crossed the Channel via the Tunnel and witnessed a TOTAL LACK of any form of security checks on either ride of the Channel.  When I lived in France I made the journey from London to the South of France, by road, without ever once being stopped and checked, on several occasions the booths were simply not manned.  We might just as wel have signed up to Schengen for all the good the checkpoints were.  I just hope that it is better now.

Any function that includes Crime, Public Safety or Terrorism etc should not be left in the hands of politicians.  They have proved time and time again that all they are interested in is that their spreadsheet balances.  Bean counters the lot of them.

Policing, along with other Public Services, is not a business.  It does not make anything that can be sold. It cannot be expected to show a profit.  If the politicians get their way and chunks of it are sold off to G4$ or $ERCO then profit will be everything.  THEIR Primary Objective is to make a profit for their shareholders, the Clear Up Rate for example is of far less importance than that.

Many things have changed in the world over the last 10-15 years and yes, the Police Service does have to change the way things are done in order to keep, but that does not mean that it has to have change forced upon it by arrogant (young) politicians with no life experience, never done a proper job, and have no idea of the subject they are changing.

If we are to make Regorm a success maybe we simply need a few panels of experts to work things out and report back to the government with their recommendations, a clear debate in Parliament and accompanied by a permanent record (Hansard) of why the recommendations were or were not accepted.

Some things cannot be fun on a shoestring.

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The Policing Debate 4th November 2015

The Motion:-

That this House notes with concern the loss of 17,000 police officers in the last five years; further notes the most recent Police Recorded Crime statistics, which show sharp rises in some of the more serious crimes including knife crime and sexual assault and that, alongside evidence that some crime is rising, there is evidence that crime is changing and moving away from traditional forms such as burglary and car theft and is being increasingly replaced by cybercrime; is concerned by reports that the police budget could face between 25 and 40 per cent spending reductions in the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review; notes warnings from senior police figures that this could result in over 20,000 further reductions in frontline staff, the effective end of neighbourhood policing and much of the public being exposed to much greater risk; accepts that further efficiencies can be made in the police budget for England and Wales but believes that budget reductions over 10 per cent would be dangerous; further notes the ongoing concern surrounding the Scottish Government’s oversight of Police Scotland and the findings of the recent staff survey which found only 30 per cent of staff thought they had the resources necessary to do their job properly; and calls on the Government to secure a funding settlement for the police that maintains frontline services and does not compromise public safety.

The Debate

The Result

Ayes 214, Noes 343

So the motion was defeated by 120 votes, that’s how our government values the Police.

How your MP voted:-

Rather than reproduce a long list here, you can check out your MP and how he/she voted here on Hansard.

Looking at the photo, I assume that it’s possible to vote without actually being there, or maybe it’s simply necessary to merely pass through.  I accept that the picture doesn’t show the full House but 550 votes presumably represents more people than are visible, but equally there are more MPs than represented by the total votes, so many don’t seem to have voted.

I am disgusted.  Andy Burnham’s motion was perfectly reasonable and was, I believe, what the PUBLIC want. However the vast majority of our politicians are NOT concerned by the cuts to the Police Service, the results of the debate do not lie.

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