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
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 YOURlegacy, 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?
We were NOT crying Wolf (and at the end of that fable there was actually a wolf)
The answer to this, I think, very much depends on your opinion of Stop and Search. It is controversial, undoubtedly, but is it legitimate? Is it effective? Is it necessary?
Once upon a time, in 2014, Theresa May, as Home Secretary, instructed the Police Service of England and Wales to reduce their use of Stop and Search stating that it was disproportionate towards certain sectors of the community.
Home Secretary Theresa May said:
Nobody wins when stop and search is misapplied. It is a waste of police time. It is unfair, especially to young black men. It is bad for public confidence in the police.
The proposals I have outlined today amount to a comprehensive package of reform. I believe that they should contribute to a significant reduction in the overall use of stop and search, better and more intelligence-led stop and search and improved stop-to-arrest ratios.
But I want to make myself absolutely clear: if the numbers do not come down, if stop and search does not become more targeted, if those stop-to-arrest ratios do not improve considerably, the government will return with primary legislation to make these things happen.
No such instruction was issued to Police Scotland, or Police Service of Northern Ireland.
As early as 2013 Mrs May had decided upon a reform of Stop and Search, and most definitely let everybody know her intentions.
She had been ‘informed’ that young black men were seven times more likely to be ‘targeted’ than whites.
Mrs May launched a consultation on her proposals in July 2013 and told MPs she wanted to make sure stop-and-search was used fairly and only when it is needed.
In answer to a couple of points in the last paragraph in the extract above, have the numbers come down?
Have they ever.
The above pretty chart is based on figures obtained by me from the 43 Forces in England and Wales, and may not align with figures quoted by our beloved media.
So, the first answer is an unambiguous YES.
Has the stops-to-arrest ratio improved?
The chart below represents the stops-to-arrest ratio for a rolling 12 month period in London in about 2016
At the beginning of his graph 8.3% of 533,427 people stopped were getting arrested. This means that 44,274 people stopped were getting arrested. Fast Forward to 19% of 160,694 people arrested as a result of “better”, “more intelligence led” application of Stop and Search. It seems like we’re doing SOOOOOOO much better.
In a 12 month period the stops-to-arrest rate has increased from 8.3% to an impressive 19%, by doing fewer Stop/Searches more effectively.
In reality those figures show that the Met arrested only 30,532 people, almost 33% FEWER. The total number of people paying a visit to Custody Suites across London as a direct result of being Stopped and Searched was about one third less.
In the meantime, Knife Crime in London soared. Once again, don’t be bamboozled by some of the huge figures quoted by our media, they include Knife-Enabled Crime, a Robbery for example where a knife was produced but not used to injure anybody. I am referring to Deaths and Non-Fatal stabbings.
Sadly I don’t have Knife Crime data dating back to 2012 as this is not the post I anticipated writing and events have overtaken me.
What can’t speak can’t lie. Force figures provided under FOIA and replicated without ‘massage’. As Stop and Search declined over the three years, Knife Crime rose.
In London the pretty chart looks like this
The increase in Knife Crime is very much of the same order as nationally, but the reduction in Stop and Search has been much steeper.
As a faux-academic I am not qualified to proclaim that there is a relationship between decreased Stop and Search and increased Knife Crime, although a) It looks like there might be and b) Every weapon is carried through the streets at some point and the deterrent effect diminishes with reduced Stop and Search.
If you are a regular reader you will know that I strongly support the lawful use of Stop and Search i.e. complying with the requirements of s1 of PACE and not conducting random searches for the hell of it. Nothing here changes my view on that, but in my opinion it should be considered as a perfectly valid tactic if used properly againt the surge in Knife Crime.
Ordinarily that would have been the end of it. Here’s the problem, this is what I think of it, you might like to try this……the end.
Oh no, nothing so simple this time. Since writing my previous articles on Knife Crime and/or Stop and Search I have found this article in The Spectator.
Written by Alasdair Palmer, a former speech writer at the Home Office, one assumes that he writes with a degree of authority.
He was allegedly informed by one of Theresa May’s Special Advisers that stop and search was a policy which consistently alienates members of the black community. He was told, allegedly, that it would help the Home Secretary’s standing with Afro-Caribbeans if she made a statement that was critical of the police’s use of stop and search.
Her statement would include the fact that the Police’s use of Stop and Search was racist and that one was 7 times more likely to be stopped and searched if one was from an ethnic background. The reality was that the Home Office had conducted research in the reent past and that the statistics produced did not actually support this proposal.
If you want to know if the police are stopping and searching members of particular ethnic groups in a biased and possibly racist way, then what you need to know is who is available to be stopped and searched on the streets at the times that the police are stopping and searching people.……….
The team of Home Office researchers felt it was important to know the ethnic composition of the population available to be stopped and searched in the places and at the times the police were implementing that tactic. So they went out and counted it: they identified the percentage of the street population made up by each ethnic group. They then compared that with the percentage of stop and searches that were made up by each ethnic group. They discovered that, when you looked at who was available to be stopped and searched when the police were actually stopping and searching on the streets, the ethnic bias disappeared.
The Home Office research actually indicated to them that the Police did NOT seemingly target any section of the community in particular, but actually conducted their Stops and Searches in areas of high crime.
Many years later it appears as though that piece of research has been ‘buried’. Nobody at the Home Office knows about it or can find any trace of it.
Much has been made of Disclosure recently, but it seems that at least one piece of work was totally ignored when Thersa May made her politically inspired diktat on Stop and Search. SOMEBODY within the Home Office knew the truth (allegedly). Was it her SPAD? Did she herself know and choose to ignore this inconvenient piece of research?
My last quote for The Spectator (I hope they don’t mind, all acknowledgemnts given) is this
The special adviser re-wrote the statement in the way he wanted it, with the misleading statistic, and she gave the statement to parliament as he had written it on 2 July 2013. And the rest is history.
At the time in question I am informed that she only had two SPADs, one was female, the other was (allegedly) Nick Timothy. I presume the female was Fiona Hill.
All of this leaves me with one question really. Does Theresa May have the blood of untold youths on her hands, or is she totally innocent of all blame?
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.
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?
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.
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?
It was a day like any other. Not much happened. Well not much of any importance anyway. Except that two official reports were published on exactly the same date. The 25th January 2018.
Maybe we were never supposed to read them. Maybe our elected government thought that we couldn’t read them, or maybe they just thought that we wouldn’t understand some of the big words.
But we can read, and we did read them, and we even understood what some of the words meant.
In 2010 the Conservatives were elected to power (sort of) in the form of a coalition. That gave David Camoron just the platform he needed to instigate some major ‘reforms’ of the public sector. The ‘reform’ that peeves me the most is, unsurprisingly given my background, that of the Police Service, once regarded as the best in the world.
One of Camoron’s first acts as Prime Minister was to appoint Theresa May as Home Secretary. and set her loose. I have no doubt that she was tasked by her leader to set about ‘reforming’ the Police Service, a task she carried out with indecent zeal.
To help her, she enlisted the help of the ex Railway Regulator, Tom Winsor, a solicitor with a big London firm but no experience of Policing whatsoever. With the help of an academic and a former Chief Constable, he carried out his now famous ‘Independent Reviews’ of many aspects of the Police Service. We must never forget that he decided, for reasons best known to himself, not to claim his fee for this piece of work. Must unusual compared with most solicitors I know.
Whilst there is absolutely no connection whatsoever he was subsequently appointed Chief Inspector of Constabulary at HMIC (a post normally occupied by former Chief Constables). Oh, and he received a Knighthood too.
Again, there is no connection but Winsor’s Reviews bore a remarkable resemblance to the bullet points of a Camoron speech some years previously.
Since the day they were published a government mantra was born
Crime Is Down, Police Reform Is Working
Which brings us back to the 25th January.
Firstly the Office National Statistics released the latest batch of official Crime Statistics.
Figures based on the Crime Survey of England and Wales (more of that later) broadly showed that crime in general was continuing to fall.
The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) shows that many of the high-volume crimes, such as lower harm violent crime, criminal damage and most types of theft, were either estimated to be at levels similar to the previous year or to have fallen. It also shows that crime is not a common experience for most people, with 8 in 10 adults surveyed by the CSEW not being a victim of any of the crimes asked about in the survey.
As somewhat of an afterthought they conceded that Police Recorded Crime indicated that many categories of crime had in fact risen. Police crime stats quite rightly came in for some flak a few years ago when the manipulation of those figures, to make the picture look brighter than it was, was made public.
The SEW figures, when it comes to the more violent types of crime, are downplayed somewhat and the true significance of the figures is very much obscured.
“While overall levels of violent crime were not increasing, there is evidence of rises having occurred in some of the low incidence but more harmful categories such as knife and gun crime”.
Hidden away and not immediately obvious are the following stats relating to some of the more worrying crime trends, revealed by Police Recorded Crime.
Gun crime up 20%
Knife crime up 21%
Robbery up 29%
Vehicle theft up 18%
Domestic burglary up 32%
Stalking up 36%
Overall crime up 14%
The significance of these figures is explained away as though it didn’t matter;
Police recorded crime statistics must be interpreted with caution. The police can only record crimes that are brought to their attention and for many types of offence these data cannot provide a reliable measure of levels or trends.
Which brings me neatly back to the CSEW figures.
The sample size for the Crime Survey is 34,400 households out of the, approximately, 24 million households in England and Wales. With such a small sample size (0.15%) it is hardly surprising that the people conducting the survey don’t meet many people who have been the victim of gun or knife crime etc. No wonder their figures are so low.
Whereas the Office for National Statistics show the problem more like this
So that’s the first part of the lie. Is crime really down? I suspect that it is not. Ask any serving officer and I am confident they will tell you it is up. Seriously increased.
Published on the same date was the latest report from the Home Office outlining Police Strength in England and Wales (we mustn’t say Manpower any more).
Police Officers down a further 0.8%, but what is also shocking is PCSOs down nearly 5% and Specials down a massive 15%. A small increase in Police Staff is a minor compensation, and, as we shall see, is temporary.
Almost 1,000 more officers GONE. Who would think that was a good idea at a time of rising crime and Terrorist Threat Levels, not to mention actual Terrorist Attacks. But ‘Police Reform is Working’, the government are constantly telling us. So, a little while ago now, I looked up the word ‘Reform’ in the dictionary.
Reform – Make changes in (something, especially an institution or practice) in order to improve it.
So where exactly are the improvements? A few Efficiency Savings I agree, but what exactly has improved in leaps and bounds?
With crime up, and increasing at an alarming rate surely now is the time to reverse the cuts? The problem with that is that more than 600 Police Stations have been sold off to help offset the cuts, plus to recruit and train 20,000+ officers would take an eternity. It could possibly take decades to put right the damage.
Police Reform? Is it working? Has it improved anything? Is the Police Service staffed at an appropriate level for the challenges of the coming years? Is that the second part of the Great Lie?
Then, just when I thought it was safe to put my quill down, that man Winsor reared his ugly head again.
i made the mistake of looking at the PEEL Inspection Report for the Metropolitan Police, and I wish I hadn’t. Even MORE cuts are planned up to 2021.
Just over 5,000 Police Staff by 2021? Really? That few?
A look at 3 other, not quite random, Forces shows the following
and West Midlands
It seems that further cuts to Police Officers over the next four years is not inevitable for all Forces, but certainly for some, and Police Staff are at risk of becoming an Endangered Species in some, or possibly even all.
Finally, and just for the giggles, the Met has come up with something called the One Met Model. The Met have produced a lovely 44 page booklet, and you don’t have to go very far into it before the Buzzword Bingo begins
The Met is committed to ensuring all of our people have the information technology
they need to do their jobs. Citizens will be able to use a variety of digital channels to
communicate with us, report crime and carry out routine transactions.
But rest asssured
In all of this, the technology will be intuitive, easy to use and user focused. When buying
new systems, the user will be at the heart of everything.
With that I’ll call it a day. I for one don’t believe that Crime is Down, I don’t believe that Police Reform is working and for certain Forces, at least, the road ahead remains rocky. There is a #CrisisInPolicing and Police reform is an unmitigated disaster. You are of course allowed to think differently, but my mind is made up. Camoron, May and Winsor have done a hatchet job on the finest Police Service in the world.
Much has been made in recent months of Acid Attacks and Moped Crime, not exclusively, but mainly, in London. The media have (rightly in my opinion) made much of it, but nobody seemed to be putting any numbers to the problems. Never one to shirk away from numbers I did some digging.
Acid attacks across London are on the increase, from 259 in 2011 to 431 in 2016 with the London Borough of Newham consistently top of the League Table.
For the 2017 Calendar Year there were 149 offences recorded up to 31st May.
Moped Enabled Crime
It’s fair to say that there has been an absolute explosion of ‘Moped Crime’ across London. In 2011 there were a ‘mere’ 365 offences recorded in the Calendar Year, rising dramatically to more than 17,600 in the first 9 months of 2017.
The London Borough of Newham has had a reprieve but the new ‘Super Borough’ of Camden and Islington has taken a right hammering this year.
Two questions immediately come to mind.
How has this crime flourished so dramatically this year without the Home Office getting involved and insisting that something is done, with extra funding being being made available to tackle this extraordinary rise in crime?
Why is it that whenever the Metropolitan Police use clearly defined, and approved, tactics to try and deal with the problem they are lambasted by Press, Armchair Experts and even the occasional politician? Talk about a No Win Situation.
In the background we have the omni-present Tory Mantra so beloved of Theresa May, Amber Rudd and Damian Wassisname telling us that Crime Is Down.
Well, is it?
Don’t just take the word of a dinosaur, the figures above have been extracted from the Met’s Crime Recording system, CRIS. I haven’t even retyped them. Official figures.
And this monstrous explosion of certain crimes has all taken place under the guardianship of the Conservative Party.
They have no right to call themselves the Party of Law and Order. They are a disgrace, spouting out that same old cracked record trying to assure us that all is well.
If any other Party had presided over a ‘decrease’ in crime from 365 to (probably) almost 20,000 annually the Tories would be baying for blood.
Surely it is time for the gloves to come off the Metropolitan Police Service and witness the rebirth of the Metropolitan Police Force? The Met is full of lads and lasses perfectly willing to tackle this explosion, but their morale has been shattered by the Cuts, threatened job losses, and fear that the IPCC will be on their backs if poor Johnny were to fall off his moped.
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.
How can that possibly be anything other than deliberate?
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 blogpostThe 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
The date is March 2010. David Cameron has yet to win the General Election and form his ‘victorious’ coalition government. What does the State of Policing look like?
Firstly, and, easiest to answer, we have a full compliment of Police Stations, Canteens, Helicopters, Dogs and Horses etc etc. Nobody has yet started to sell them off in the name of #Austerity or reduce their numbers and effectiveness.
England and Wales can boast 143,734 Police Officers.
There were 16,918 PCSOs and 15,505 Specials.
79,596 members of the Civil Staff were available to assist and back up the Police Officers etc with their Admin tasks.
The total number of crimes according to the Crime Survey of England and Wales was 5,900,760. (Due to lack of reliable data for 2010 this is a ‘guestimate based on data that is available). For the Calendar Year 2011 CSEW records 6,878,190 crimes in total.*
Police will attempt to apprehend anyone suspected of being involved in crime, whatever their method and behaviour.
There are no accurate figures available online for Stop and Search in 2010/2011 due to the passing of time, but there were 1,009,126 in 2012.
The population of England and Wales was approx 55.6 Million.
Direct government funding to the Police was £9,022 Million.
David Cameron was the Leader of the Opposition.
Theresa May was ‘just’ the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
Tom Winsor was ‘just’ a solicitor.
Fast Forward to 2017
There are now123,142Police Officers keeping us safe.
They are assisted and supported by 10,213 PCSOs and 13,503 Specials.
There are now 61,063 members of the Civil Staff.
Police no longer pursue criminals on motor bikes or mopeds as their bosses have banned the practice in case the poor things come off their bikes and get hurt. They could, of course, just stop, but why would they when they know they can get away with it?
For the Calendar Year 2016 the Crime Survey of England and Wales records a total of 6,040,726 crimes.*
The latest official figures (mid 2016) give the population of England and Wales as 58.3 Million, an increase of almost 3 Million, or nearly 5%.
Direct government funding to the Police last year was £6,727 Million, reduced by about 25%.
By the end of 2015 615 Police Stations or Front Offices had been closed and a further 125 were earmarked for closure by 2020.
Police Dogs, Horses and Helicopters had all been cut back as being ‘too expensive’ with scarcely a thought to how effective they can be.
David Cameron has been Prime Minister and has now quit politics for good.
Theresa May has been Home Secretary and is now Prime Minister
Sir Thomas Winsor is now Chief Inspector of Constabulary, HMIC, despite never having been a Police Officer at any rank.
ACPO has been wound up and replaced by the National Police Chiefs Council.
College of Policing and Police Now have come into being to ‘transform’ the Police Recruitment and Training processes.
Compare the two scenarios above. This is basically what the Tory Reforms of Policing have resulted in. How much good news is there? Anything that we can build on and improve for the future. Is the State of Policing looking secure and fit for future challenges?
Maybe there is somebody out there who could do a similar comparison for the NHS, Armed Forces, Prison Service, Education, Probation etc etc. All combined together in one place would make a mighty history of Tory Reform.
* Crime Figures quoted DO NOT include Anti Social Behaviour, Fraud or Cyber Crime
Or it was at least, and it gives me absolutely no pleasure to write these words.
When I joined the Met a million years ago in 1972 the old sweats took delight in telling me that I was now part of the finest Police Force in the world, they were referring to the Met of course, but a case could have been made for almost any UK Police Force. British Policing was a model for so many others across the world. You only had to spend a handful of days at Hendon to trip over any number of foreign students studying something there, if only how to drive and skid.
I wasn’t originally going to write this post, and if you inhabit the world of Twitter you will have seen much of it already in separate tweets, twats, whatever.
I have had much to say about “the cuts” over the years, and I take none of it back, but today it finally hit me how deep the Crisis In Policing truly is. However, I’m not going to mention money at all in this pcost, but there will be a few numbers. Grim numbers. I’m not even going to rant, this is way too serious for a rant.
Firstly, as I have referred to before, the latest official stats were released this week on the number of Police Officers in England and Wales. As expected numbers have gone down further and are at their lowest level for a long time.
The official government chart looks like this:-
If that isn’t bad enough, do you recall Mrs May saying this in 2011, when she was still Home Secretary?
“As I said earlier, we have to meet the challenge of police reform at the same time as we meet the challenge of reducing police spending. And we have to do that while protecting – indeed, improving – frontline police services”
This year Front Line Services look like this
Another official government chart. Does that look like something that is being protected or improved?
Mrs May and/or Amber Rudd has had no influence in Scotland. Their manpower chart (official government chart) looks quite different to ours
The overall numbers might be fewer (I shall come back to that later) and they are not without problems but the chart is trending in the right direction.
The Special Constabulary were meant to be our saviours in the May/Cameron vision. Look what has happened to them.
Yes, I know, another official government chart.
There is no pretty graph specifically for PCSOs, but they peaked at slightly under 17,000 in 2010 and had been reduced to 10,213 in March 2017
So, I made my own chart for PCSO numbers and it looks like this (my chart, official Home Office numbers)
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (Norn Iron apparently) fares no better
But look on the bright side, we must be doing better than some of those hard-to-point-at-on-a-map places in Europe? Right? WRONG
My last nice, official government chart shows that the Police Service of England and Wales has fewer officers per 100,000 head of population than Scotland and Northern Ireland. In fact even Liechtenstein (where’s that?) has more than we do.
In fact England and Wales is 7th from the BOTTOM
The only words I can think of to describe this whole situation are ‘Disgrace’ and ‘Travesty’. Theresa May you have done this, you and David Cameron. How can we possibly claim to be the finest in the world? How will we ever be able to claim that again? You proudly claim that “Police Reform is working”. How can you possibly say that faced with the above information, every piece of it found in a government Briefing Paper dated June 2107, so it is relatively current.
Don’t “shed a little tear”, just “dry your eyes” and get angry. Very angry. Please feel free to share this post, particularly if your MP is on Twitter. This is a National Disgrace that our Police Service has been dragged so low down. Let’s all make our MPs aware of what the picture looks like when the dots are joined up.
I, for one, don’tlike it. If you don’t like it feel free to give your MP some grief in his/her Summer Holiday.
On 22nd March, a brave Constable was murdered by a cowardly terrorist within the grounds of the Palace of Westminster. His name was Keith Palmer and he died protecting public and politicians alike from said terrorist.
On 3rd June 3 terrorists ran amok on London Bridge, and Borough Market. A young nurse ran towards the casualties and was brutally murdered by the terrorists. Her name was Kirsty Boden.
On 14th June many exceedingly brave Firefighters faced overwhelming odds and entered the inferno that was Grenfell Tower in an attempt to rescue survivors.
On 28th June a group of politicians cheered when they defeated a motion to lift the cap on pay rises for Nurses, Police Officers and Firefighters. They were led by someone called Theresa May.
That tells you everything you need to know about this current government.
To express your opinions you could write to your MP www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/