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.

Are Theresa May’s Policies The Real Reason Behind Our Children Being Killed By Knives?

Yes……….in a word.

Why do I say that so positively?

This won’t take long, but here is why I think that.

After their election victory in 2010 David Camoron appointed Theresa May as Home Secretary and she in turn engaged Tom Winsor to write an ‘Independent’ review on Policing, which came remarkably close to mirroring one of David Camoron’s speech from 2006.

Tom, as we know, later went on to become Head Fred at Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, despite never having served in the Police Service at any rank. I wonder what Her Majesty made of that. Even later he became Sir Tom, for reasons that elude me.

Whilst the Police Service was still reeling from the recommendations of Winsor’s ‘Independent’ Reviews they were hit by two sledgehammers from Theresa May.

1. Police budgets will be cut due to #Austerity (yeah, right) which, to date, has resulted in the loss of approx 21,000 warranted Police Officers with a lower number of PCSOs and Police Support Staff, and the closing of approx 650 Police Stations.

2. In her 2014 speech to the Police Federation Theresa May issued an edict that Stop and Search must be curtailed, or there would be ‘consequences’, because certain members of the population were unhappy about it.

Please note the two charts below. I will deliberately NOT claim that there is any correlation between the datasets, I merely present the facts. After the lashing I got from Dr Ben this week I must bow to his undeniable superior intelligence so I will leave it to him and the other Academics to explain them.

Fig 1

Figure 1 shows the total number of Stop/Searches conducted in England and Wales against the total number of Knife-Related Murders.

Fig 2

Figure 2 shows the total number of Police Officers in England and Wales against the total number of Knife-Related Murders.

Three FACTS are apparent from these two diagrams. Two of the FACTS are directly related to Theresa May’s policies.

  1. Stop and Search has REDUCED
  1. Police numbers have REDUCED
  1. Knife-Related Murders have INCREASED.

With facts like these staring them in the face, the College of Policing, UK Home Office and anybody else who can actually achieve anything should get off their arses, stop having nice chatty meetings and actually commission some proper research to

a) Establish if there is any correlation between all three of the FACTS

b) Identify, and put into action, a proactive, multi-agency plan to put an end to the carnage on our streets. We have had too many young people slaughtered already, we don’t need any more. I will say it again, I don’t give a stuff what colour or ethnicity these young people are, the killing simply has to stop.

In conclusion, do I think that the Tory and Coalition governments have blood on their hands? Yes I do, and Theresa May was the worst offender. I really don’t know how her, and all the politicians and Police Chiefs who sat by and said nothing can sleep at night.

In my opinion Theresa May’s policies have been directly responsible for many young lives being lost on our streets.

London – Murder Capital

Over time we get drip fed stories and so-called facts to such an extent that you miss the point entirely over time or you become immune and apathetic to what is happening around you. I am aware that Murder in the capital seems to going stratospheric so I thought I’d take a simple look back and try to establish the true situation.

The overall picture looks like this

It seems blatantly obvious to me that the Met had a handle on the problem and the numbers were steadily reducing year on year until 2014, after that they were, and seemingly still are, increasing year on year, back up again.  Not quite as bad as they were in 2006, but we must not be complacent.

By Borough, the problem looks like this;

Seems like the best place to live is Heathrow, but I’d give Lambeth, Newham and Southwark a swerve definitely.

Whatever could have happened in 2014 to make the number of Murders go back up again, and reverse a successful trend? This happened.

And I am determined that the use of stop and search must come down, become more targeted and lead to more arrests.

Theresa May’s speech to the Police Federation in 2014 is what happened. I accept that numbers were already reducing due to pressure from Police Management mainly, but it certainly went down after her speech, at a time when Murders and Stabbings were on the ascendent again.

No wonder really that Murders and Knife Crime are going through the roof. Personally (and you don’t have to agree) I hold Mrs May personally responsible for young kids, black and white, but mainly black, being slaughtered on our streets over the past few years. I am NOT an Academic but Stop/Search comes down and Murder and Crime in General go up. If there is not a direct correlation please explain it to me.

One last thought for the day, what else has happened since Theresa May’s speech in 2014? This has happened

The picture is no diffeent outside London either

2014 was a year to remember inside and outside of London.

Primary Objects

According to Sir Richard Mayne 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. … The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions

According to the House of Lords (Lord Hope of Craighead) It is the first responsibility of government in a democratic society to protect and safeguard the lives of its citizens. That is where the public interest lies. It is essential to the preservation of democracy

In 2010 the British government broke away from both of the above Primary Objects by drastically and recklessly slashing the number of Police Officers available within England and Wales to actually protect the public. Since 2010 we have lost approx 21,000 warranted Police Officers, approximately 7,000 Police Community Support Officers, about 12,000 Police Staff (I have seen a much higher figure quoted elsewhere), approximately 4,500 Special Constables and up to 650 Police Stations (plus ancilliary buildings) have been sold off

Crime Under The Tories
Knife crime vs Reduced Manpower

What happens to Knife-Related Murders with a (2014) government diktat to reduce the number of Stop/Searches conducted?

I have plenty more delightful charts that I won’t bother you with, but I think that the point has been made. The UK government has demonstrably abandoned its primary responsibility to protect its citizens. Why? For my money it stems back to Theresa May’s time as Home Secretary when the Police Federation showed their disaproval of her and her approach to Policing. She took it personally and seemed to set about an agenda based more on Revenge than Reform, but hey, that’s just my opinion.

The first responsibility of government in a democratic society to protect and safeguard the lives of its citizens

Has Theresa May and Government UK achieved that single ideal?

NO.

Instead Theresa May and her government have engineered a situation whereby the Police Service is unable to achieve Sir Richard Mayne’s Primary Object, and seemingly made sure that the Police Service got blamed for it. Fortunately (I hope) there are sufficient right-minded folk who can see through her Smoke and Mirrors

Her time is up now fortunately but vanity and arrogance seem to be the trademarks of her various positions within government. In my opinion she has failed at everything she has sought to achieve. EVERYTHING. Time will tell me if I am right.

Whoever her successor turns out to be, regardless of their support-seeking rhetoric, will have a huge problem on their hands in trying to undo the untold damage that has been wrought at the hands of a Home Secretary and latterly Prime Minister that does not seem to have succeeded at anything.

More Smoke And Mirrors

Knife Crime.

Who is to blame?

Certainly anyone carrying or wielding a knife without a reasonable excuse or lawful authority is to blame.

Government silliness might make you think that Teachers or the NHS are to blame for failing to report crimes or suspicions to the Police. What a load of cobblers. You can agree or disagree with me, that is our right, but in my opinion it is quite clear.

There are TWO groups of people directly responsible for the stabbings and knife crime in general.

The first are the children, young people and adults that are carrying knives about our streets. Whether they be for offence or self-defence it is unlawful and must STOP. We do, however, have to agree a method of making it stop, the politicians just seem to want a series of meetings about it.

It is quite obvious from newsreel footage that many of the knives being carried for self-defence are quite capable of inflicting a lethal injury.

The other group of people directly responsible is Theresa May and all of the members of Parliament who voted in support of her ‘Reforms’. I hold Theresa May personally responsible, because she made it personal with her vitriolic attacks on Police.

The first thing she did was to appoint Tom Winsor to carry out ‘independent’ reviews of the Police Service. This resulted in a report with recommendations that so closely resembled a previous speech by David Camoron that the Reviews could not possibly have been truly independent in my opinion.

She then set about a series of cuts in the name of #Austerity that saw the Police Service reduced from 143,734 officers in March 2010 to 122,395 in September 2018. Not forgetting of course equally savage cuts to Police Staff and PCSOs. Even the unpaid Special Constabulary has shrunk.

Copyright Home Office

Cuts of this magnitude cannot possibly be carried out without consequences. In my opinion the consequences in relation to total crime are quite clear.

To my way of thinking it is quite obvious that once the cuts began to bite total crime levels rose. It was slowly reducing until about 2012/13 when it began to go back up again.

The second unforgivable act by Theresa May personally was her insistence that Stop and Search is in some way wicked and must be reduced. In a speech to the Federation in 2014 she said

And I am determined that the use of stop and search must come down, become more targeted and lead to more arrests.

Well it did come down. What happened to Knife Crime?

Copyright Alan Wright Copyright Alan Wright

As Stop and Search came down then both Knife-related homicides and Knife Crime in general went up. 2014 she made her speech to the Federation demanding a reduction in Stop and Search. 2014 the number of Stop/Searches began reducing drastically. 2014 Knife Crime started to go back up again.

I know Gavin doesn’t necessarily agree with me (I haven’t changed my mind Gavin) but looking at the two charts above I am compelled to believe that there is a link between the two ‘curves’. I have yet to see a set of data that suggests putting more officers on the streets or increasing Stop and Search causes the crime rate to increase.

It is an absolute requirement of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act that officers have ‘grounds’ for conducting a search under s1 of the Act. s60 Stops are very different and can currently be authorised by an officer of Superintendent rank or above. No innocent person should fear being stopped by Police. It should be carried out courteously, with dignity and the officer should have a valid reason for carrying it out. You are always entitled to receive a written copy of the official record of that Stop/Search. In my experience people who object to being stopped and searched either have something to hide or are being whipped up by one or more of the professional agitators who pop their heads up every so often.

I have heard it stated by people who really should know better that the Met has a 20% ‘hit rate’ for Stops and Searches, i.e. a Target to be achieved. To my mind this is what they ‘hope’ to achieve, to make it a hard ‘Target’ would be both unethical and unlawful, but people still claim that is the case, but I don’t actually believe it.

One ‘Target’ we should be aiming for is 100%. We should aspire to remove 100% of those illegal weapons off of our streets. Every life that has been lost (vis a vis knife crime) and every injury inflicted has been caused by a knife unlawfully carried through the streets. More Police Officers on our streets making more use of Stop and Search has the ability to detect those knives, arrest the person(s) in possession of them, possibly act as a deterrent,  and simply save lives. Compared to a life lost is it really a huge inconvenience to be erroneously Stopped and Searched? Provided that the grounds exist (or a s60 Order) of course.

The same applies to firearms although I do accept that there are other factors at play there.

To implicate the teaching profession or the NHS as somehow being at fault is totally unbelievable and inappropriate. Add into the mix cuts in Youth Services, Local Authority budgets, Teaching and Probation and it must be very close to a ‘Perfect Storm’.

There is one primary person at fault here, the person who said this:-

Any attempt to divert the blame to anybody else is just more Smoke and Mirrors, but we’ve come to expect that from her.

Knife Crime vs Stop And Search (Plus a Few Ideas)

You’ll be pleased to know that I’m not going to regurgitate much of what I have previously written about Stop/Search or Knife Crime. Any or all of that is available in previous posts.

This really concerns the views of the Twitterati on the subject.

I posted a Poll on Twitter seeking people’s views on Stop/Search in relation to Knife Crime. I had no control over who responded to the poll and I requested that people retweeted it, so that it wasn’t solely my followers who responded and it became as random as possible.

It was set to run for just three days. Now the results are in.

Quite a comprehensive result, only 3% think that Stop and Search doesn’t have a part to play and should not be increased in some way. HOWEVER, that is just the beginning. The majority of people who responded to the poll don’t seem to have a problem with Stop/Search within the context of Knife Crime. We have just seen the whole of Birmingham subject to a s60 PACE order for a few consecutive days. Did we have any significant complaints against that decision? No, I don’t think so. Did we see rioting on the streets of Birmingham in protest against it? No we did not. Therefore, I assume, that under the current crisis the majority of the public are broadly in favour of the tactic. The modern Police Service should be trusted to carry out Stop/Search ethically and lawfully, and they should be supported in so doing, not threatened like Theresa May did in 2014.

There are some people who think that I am promoting Stop/Search as some kind of silver bullet. I am not, but before I leave the topic I thought it would be useful to examine the long-term correlation between Stop/Search and Knife Crime.

Stop/Search data relates to s1 PACE only

Knife = Knife, Bladed Implement, Pointed Article

Stop/Search data relates to s1 PACE only

Knife = Knife, Bladed Implement, Pointed Article

I cannot state from pure data that there is a direct correlation between certain crimes and Police Numbers, but there is a distinct upturn in Knife-Related violence following Theresa May’s edict about Stop and Search in 2014, that is simply a FACT.

Do I think Stop/Search alone is the solution? Most definitely not. It is a complex problem and will require a bit of joined-up thinking before it is resolved. Dare I suggest a holistic, and multi-agency approach?

What has caused this problem? It didn’t used to be like this.

In my opinion, in 2010, something very significant happened. David Camoron became Prime Minister with Theresa May as his Home Secretary. Between them they dreamt up ‘Police Reform’. They engaged a man with no experience whatsoever of Policing to conduct a number of ‘independent’ reviews and come up with the cure. In tandem with this we conveniently had #Austerity. Just one result of that policy was the culling of approx 21,000 Police Officers. However, that is not the end of the problem. Alongside the cuts to Policing we witnessed cuts in Education, Justice, Probation, NHS and probably many others. We saw blind allegiance to the principle of privatisation in as much of the Public Sector as possible. Were sound, experienced, knowledgeable voices listened to when they spoke up against it? No they were not. The Tories were on a roll and not about to listen to anyone.

In short, all of these cuts and reductions of services has created a void, a ‘Perfect Storm’ which means that no single agency can tackle the problem alone.

Stop/Search has two main benefits, properly and lawfully conducted. It can increase the detections of these weapons. They are all carried through the streets and are ‘in play’ to be found. Secondly, the mere fact that Stop/Search is being conducted should act as a deterrent to youths carrying these lethal weapons. We should see a return of ‘fear’ on the streets. Not fear of being given a kicking by some bullyish Police Officer, but a fear of the consequences of being caught.

Sentencing is woeful. Long, strong sentences just for merely carrying a knife should be introduced and enforced. If you actually use a knife the sentence should be doubled, at least.

What has happened to Youth Clubs, After School Clubs and similar? Gone, another lamented victim of ‘the cuts’.

More and more kids are being excluded from school because the kids get frustrated and the schools don’t have the resources to adequately deal with them.

An absolute eternity ago, when I was a Community Bobby, we had any number of ways of engaging with the local youths. I worked in Brent at the time. It doesn’t get more multi-racial and multi-cultural than Brent. Did we have a problem with youths stabbing and killing each other? No we did not. Why not? Possibly because we engaged with the children at an early age. We were invited into schools and gave talks, and showed videos on the perils of playing near water, playing on railway lines, and other such dangerous pursuits.  Were we laying down the law and forcing them to “do as I say”? No. I spent a week at a Teacher Training College learning how to talk to children. This was followed by an attachment to a school. We were not trying go bully them we were trying to educate them and save their lives.

Was I lefty, liberal officer that let the kids get away with everything? No. Ask anyone who knew me or worked with me. There was a line and if you crossed it you got nicked. I would happily hold my performance up against any other officer of my era, confidently. There is nothing wrong with being ‘busy’ but at the same time caring about the safety and well-being of the kids on your patch. Whatever their ethnicity, who knows what they will grow up to be, and become? They deserve to be taught how to stay safe and not to kill or injure others. We invested time, often our own, in the youths. In the main it paid off. Some invariably strayed from the path, the majority (from all cultures and backgrounds) did not. I am not aware that any of the youths I or my colleagues were involved with went on to kill or maim anyone. Knife fights and stabbings in general were almost non-existent, and it most certainly was NOT the norm to carry a ‘blade’.

Their parents supported us too. When the politics of the local council changed we were no longer invited into the schools as the ruling councillors had a problem with that. Was that the end of the programme? No it was not. The parents clubbed together and hired the local church hall for a session outside of school hours. Were those children resentful? No. Some of our number played football with them or coached them. In the streets it was “good morning Mr Smith” or whatever. They had respect, for us, and more importantly, for each other.

I was even invited to join the Board of Governors of the local Secondary School, so somebody outside of the Police Service must have thought we were doing something right.

Can we reintroduce this policy/practice? No we can not. Not any time soon. Even if there is a political and social will to do it, we can’t because we have lost 21,000 officers. We don’t have enough officers available to function at that level any more.

In short, the government have caused this. Specifically David Camoron and Theresa May. They have created all the factors that have led to the Knife Crime Crisis. Government policies have created a hole, a void, a vacuum that we cannot now fill. No, or little, intelligence now comes out of the communities to tell us who are responsible for these horrific crimes.

Increase Stop/Search? Yes, but that will not cure it alone.

Recruit xx000 more Police Officers? Yes, but they will not hit the streets for approx 6 months and then need to get up to speed on the streets, so that won’t be a quick fix. To replace the experience already lost will take literally years.

Give the Police £xx Million? Yes, but again, that will pay for certain things, but it certainly won’t cure the epidemic overnight.

Bring back Youth Clubs and After School Clubs etc? Yes, but where are the resources to allow it, and that won’t change children’s mentality/culture overnight.

Education? Vitally important to educate the children about the consequences of Knife Crime. Not “this is illegal, you must not do it” but a bit of a shock with graphic, if necessary, examples of Knife Crime, addresses from the various charities set up to help the victims of Knife Crime etc.

The government have starved many different services of resources. Some joined-up thinking needs to happen to identify how these shortages can be reversed. However this will not happen until Theresa May stands up and says “Sorry Britain, we got it wrong”. Can you see that happening?

This is not a quick fix problem. This is not a single agency solution. Anybody who thinks I was ever suggesting otherwise doesn’t know me very well. It shouldn’t really be a political football. Our children are being massacred, and the people who created the circumstances in which that crisis thrives are saying and doing precious little about it. I don’t care what ethic origin the kids are, neither the offenders nor the victims. The majority of them are children or young people and whatever they may have done, they do not deserve to die.

I am quite clear in my mind who is responsible for this disaster, and I have a reasonable idea what it will take to begin to end it, a combination of education, robust Policing, tougher sentencing and an appropriate level of resourcing, what I don’t know is how the hell we’re ever going to achieve it, and if we do, how long it will take.

ADDENDUM

The story of Stop and Search under all legislations since 2001

The chart above tells the tale of Stop and Search across the 21st Century. I have my views but I’m sure that others more highly qualified than me will tell us that all is well.

No Direct Link Between Certain Crimes & Police Numbers

“I have to tell you that this kind of scaremongering does nobody any good”

“This crying wolf has to stop.”

“No direct correlation between certain crimes and police numbers”

All of these quotes come from Theresa May. Since her disastrous time at the Home Office she has clearly no intention of changing her views. For years she has bashed the Police Service and now she is Prime Minister, no subsequent Home Secretary has been very successful at doing right by the Police Service.

No direct correlation? I’m not totally sure what she means exactly by ‘direct’ or what evidence she has to support this claim, but lets’s take a look at some lovely figures.

Total Knife Crimes in England and Wales have risen slowly from 2014, and then more steeply after 2016. Anything significant happen in 2014?

“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 those things happen,”

Theresa May addressing the House of Commons in April 2014

Let’s take a look at what happened after that cracking little speech

It is possibly no surprise that the reduction in Stop & Search steepened after Mrs May’s 2014 diktat. Police Reform so far has Stop/Search declining and Knife Crime rising. How do mortalities look?

Initially peaking around 2008, then a steady decline until 2014 when the figure rises to its highest since 1977.

Let us not forget that all of these offences are reported and investigated by Front Line Officers, how have they fared?

Not very well perhaps.

Thanks to Theresa May’s ‘Police Reform’ it is incontrovertible that Police numbers have shrunk dreadfully. I believe that there is a direct correlation between Theresa May and Police numbers. Stop and Search numbers have fallen off the cliff, but don’t be fooled by the ‘better arrest ratio’ argument, a higher percentage of a much smaller number equates to less prisoners in the bin, and that is NOT an improvement. In parallel with this Knife Crimes are at some kind of record high. All those knives are carried through the streets, and even if there are no deterrents left, fewer Stop/Searches means a reduced opportunity to seize the weapon and arrest the offender. I heard a Professor from Loughborough University state that increased Stop/Search did not work, it merely criminalised more people. Carrying knives through the streets makes them a criminal before they ever get stopped. For these reason I believe there is a direct correlation between reduced Stop/Search and increased Knife Crime (but I’m no professor).

Just before I close this post, in an attempt to inject some context and corroboration into my piece, a few more (final) charts.

Stop/Search down, Knife Crime up, albeit only a 3 year study.

Total Crime also started to increase after 2014

Police Strength down, total crime up.

The population is steadily rising.

The number of officers per 100,000 head of population is steadily decreasing. Not to worry, we’re Great Britain, we’re still OK, surely? Really?

24th out of the 27 European countries studied in 2016, and since then the population has increased and Police numbers have shrunk further.

IN CONCLUSION

I have heard Theresa May described as ‘deluded’ or ‘delusional’. I don’t think she is. She is intelligent enough to know that she has caused this crisis, and she is arrogant enough to never say “Sorry, I screwed that one up”.  She has got many things wrong during her political career, but I have never heard her once own up to it and set about putting it right.

I have no idea if there is a direct correlation between certain crimes and Police numbers, but I believe that there is. I also believe that there is a direct correlation between Theresa May’s policies and increased Knife Crime (and crime generally).

I would now like to see Theresa May personally address a conference hall full of Knife Crime survivors and the families of deceased victims. Would she dare to accuse them of ‘Crying Wolf’ and ‘scaremongering’? I suspect that they would rip her to shreds, metaphorically speaking.

In the meantime the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, is having an urgent meeting today with some NPCC types. I bet there isn’t one single practitioner in the room. Way to go.

Just What Have The Tories Done To Policing?

It’s a question I’ve been asking myself since 2010 to be honest. My opinions have never been favourable to the Tories, but apart from the constant, ongoing, reduction in officers I’ve never really put many numbers to it.

I fear that is about to change, but to be easy you, I hope to achieve most of what I have to say with some pretty pictures.

The whole of this project was sparked off by the finding of a government briefing paper on Police Service Strength, dated October 2018, so relatively up to date.

The first item that really boiled my piss was when I saw how well the Tories had truly protected the Front Line, as they have constantly claimed to have done.

Really? Protected the Front Line? We know that this government and previous administrations since 2010, have culled about 22,000 Police Officers from the overall strength. How does that look nationally? Post Code Policing I would call it.

In numbers, it looks like this. How does your Force fare?

How do we fare against our European counterparts? We must be in a quite healthy position surely?

 

European Police Officers per 100,000 head of population

24th out of 27? Is that where we want to be? Is that where we ought to be? Why are we so close to the bottom?

How are we faring at home?

The population of England and Wales is rising, as you may expect

Population of England and Wales 2003-2018
Officers per 100k head of population

So, as we can see, as one goes up the other goes down, quite markedly. Not very good really.

Well, that’s not looking too good so far, the Front Line has clearly NOT been protected, the population increases every year, with the number of Police Officers having been slashed by about 22,000 it is no surprise to see that the number of officers per 100,000 head of population is falling. What is absolutely staggering, and unforgivable is where we stand in comparison to our European neighbours.

How have we come to be in this situation? What is going on in the Police Service? Somebody on Twitter posed the question about crimes per 100,000 head of population. I can’t show that information on a map but I’ll do what I can.

Crimes per 100,000 Head of Population 2002-2017

As I see it, the crime rate was steadily falling until about 2011 and then it has more or less continued to rise ever since. At the same time as the number of Police Officers per 100,000 head of population has been steadily falling. Could there be a connection?

So where have all our Police Officers gone? What has befallen them and who is left behind?

Police Service Age Bands 2007-2018

The youngest age band (under 26) took a bit of a dip but then started to come back in about 2015. The most significant change is in the reduction in the 26-40 band, where, arguably, most of the experience is located. That started to decline in about 2010 and hasn’t really recovered. The Police Service is hemorrhaging experience and the numbers are really only slightly offset by the resurgence in younger officers, with less experience. Numbers are down 22,000 and those left behind have less experience.

Anything else going on with the ‘Leavers’ of note or interest?

Police Service – Routes Out 2006-2018

A bit busy and memuddled this one but one thing is clear that after an initial drop, numbers of officers leaving began to climb again from about 2010 onwards with 2015-2018 seeing record numbers leaving the Service.

In an attempt to inject some clarity I have separated the different exit routes to see more clearly what is going on.

Death In Service 2006-2018
Dismissal From Police Service 2006-2018
Medical Retirement 2006-2018
Normal Retirement 2006-2018
Voluntary Resignation 2006-2018

You’ll be pleased to know that’s the last chart/infographic for today. What do these last 5 tell us about officers leaving the Service? Fortunately the incidence of Death in Service seems to be falling and hopefully will continue to do so. Voluntary Resignations were falling but began to climb again about 2012 and seemingly continue to do so. Worryingly Dismissals began to rise steeply about 2012/13 and remain high. Is this a coincidence or an indication that IOPC/IPCC/DPS/PSD have been complicit in reducing numbers to satisfy the Home Office? I don’t know, but I don’t like the graph. Medical Retirement also shot up after about 2010, is this another way of getting rid of officers who would otherwise have been kept on, to appease the Home Office? Again, I don’t know, but I’ll ask the question. Bizarrely Normal Retirement is all over the shop, I have no explanation for that whatsoever, maybe you can suggest one.

In conclusion, to answer my own question, I believe that, put together, all of the statistics demonstrated above indicate a systematic running down of the Police Service that started under David Camoron and Theresa May and continued under the current Prime Minister and assorted Home Secretaries. Crie is Down, Police Reform is Working clearly doesn’t wash. Police numbers are down, crime, however you measure it is up, and the public have a very much thinned-out and depleted Police Service. The Primary Duty of any government is to ensure the safety of its citizens. I dare to suggest that the combination of charts above categorically demonstrates that this government are NOT ensuring the safety of its citizens. I haven’t even touched on Knife Crime this time round, but that is at horrendous levels at the moment with no support from Central Government for the support and tactics that the practitioners believe will be effective and work.

Since Camoron and subsequently May came to power in 2010 we have lost


  • approximately 15% of our Police Officers
  • approximately 40% of our Police and Community Support Officers
  • approximately 25% of our Special Constabulary
  • approximately 21% of our Police Support Staff
  • approximately 650 Police Stations or Public-facing Front Counters
  • An unknown number of miscellaneous buildings and vehicles

Can we really expect our Police Service (or any other Public Sector organisation) to continue to function at the highest levels in the face of such stringent cuts? There is no capacity for proactivity any more. Theresa May, as Home Secretary, initiated these cuts and then issued a diktat demanding less Stop and Search. Crime is rising, we have fewer officers and our politicians are interfering making sure that we are less effective in maintaining Law and Order. Officers are getting burnt out, many have committed or contemplated suicide or self-harm, almost every Force in the UK owes its officers thousands of hours in overtime and re-rostered Rest Days. This is simply neither sustainable nor good for the health of the workforce. NPCC and government try to convince us that they are concerned about Mental Health, but I see no practical evidence of that fact, just words.

That it is my idea of what the Tories have done to the Police Service. It is my belief that the government cannot even begin to challenge my figures above as, with the exception of SOME population statistics, every single one has been lifted from official Home Office publications or government briefing documents compiled by the Office for National Statistics. You, the reader, can agree with me, or disagree, I don’t mind either, but the argument is certainly worthy of discussion. If not challenged, where will it all end?

Reversing the cuts since 2010 is just the beginning. Crime has risen, demand for Police has risen, numbers have been reduced and those that are left behind have arguably less experience (absolutely no disrespect intended). We need to get back to a situation that is better than 2010 but recruitment and training are not achieved overnight. The government, and others, seem to think that Direct Entry, Police Now and a ‘Healthy Churn’ are the answer to this crisis. I beg to differ. It will take years, and for that I blame David Camoron, Theresa May and any Conservative MP that has voted for these cuts and failed to challenge them. It is a National Disgrace.

That is what the Conservatives have done to our Police Service, once the finest in the world, but sadly no longer.

Conspiracy Theories R Us

I shall no doubt be labelled a ‘Conspiracy Theorist’ but so what? I’ve been called worse, but, unlike some, I haven’t made a fuss about it.

The unthinkable occurred to me this morning, a semi-flippant comment of mine actually got me thinking. A whole host of things have changed since 2010, and maybe they’re all linked. I know full well that I’m not going to get any support from MSM for today’s blog, but hey, what’s new?

In 2010 the face of British Policing, in England and Wales at least, changed forever when David Camoron became Prime Minister and Theresa May his 1st lieutenant as Home Secretary.

Forgive me if my chronology is a bit out, or if I miss out a step, but my grey cells are quite fatigued these days.

The Tom Winsor Independent Reviews of Police Officers and Staff Remuneration and Conditions. Many front line troops believe that this report was poorly researched, deeply flawed in certain areas and not subject of any meaningful consultation or negotiation. It was more a sort of a diktat that bore all the hallmarks of a David Camoron speech.

“David Cameron clearly stipulated back in 2006 that we needed reforming for reform’s sake and now he has conned the police service and the public by masking his reform package and selling them as independent recommendations

Just the beginning, the Police Service has been unsettled, and, rightly or wrongly, their anger is directed towards Tom Winsor and away from Camoron, where it rightly belonged.

Austerity. Under the guise of a now discredited Austerity programme Theresa May announced that it was NECESSARY to reduce Police Budgets. The Institute of Fiscal Studies released a report into the #Cuts which, entirely coincidentally, was co-authored by Professor Richard Disney who assisted Tom Winsor to produce his Independent Reviews.

Since 2010 Police Officer numbers in England and Wales have been slashed by >21,000 officers, thousands of Support Staff, PCSOs and even Specials have declined. Yet with so many fewer officers they are expected to deliver a world-class service in the face of increasing demands. In short, those left behind are burning out, expected to deliver an unattainable level of service.

Appointment of Tom Winsor as Chief Inspector HMIC, a role previously reserved for ex Chief Constables. A man with no previous experience of Policing, a former Rail Regulator, is now head of the Inspectorate of all things Policing. If it was not predicted that would cause unrest amongst the troops it well should have been.

Stop and Search curtailed. Theresa May, as Home Secretary, made it abundantly clear that Stop and Search needed to be curtailed or she would introduce legislation to curtail it. Political interference in operational policing at the highest level. The result?

Astronomical levels of knife crime and knife-related murders as people carrying knives recognise that there is much less chance of those weapons being detected.

Direct Entry Inspectors and Superintendents. A controversial subject and has caused much heated debate on Twitter over the past few days. Members of the DE Scheme should not really be openly abused on Social Media, after all they did not invent the scheme but they have taken advantage of it. However, when they claim that after a mere year they are equally well-qualified as traditional Inspectors and Superintendents, but surely this simply cannot be true. Like it or not they are interfering with the career aspirations of serving Sergeants and Chief Inspectors who have worked hard to get where they are. It is hardly surprising that DE Entrants are regarded with suspicion and hostility.

Police Now. Another seemingly pointless, alternative, method of recruitment. I have yet to engage with anyone who fully understands why this scheme exists and why it needs to be a Registered Charity.

Aims & activities

Police Now’s mission is to transform communities, reduce crime and increase the public’s confidence in policing, by recruiting and developing outstanding and diverse individuals to be leaders in society and on the policing front line. Police Now, an innovative scheme aiming to transform challenged communities and develop a new generation of inspiring leaders from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Who the charity helps

The general public/mankind

One more thing seemingly designed to unsettle, or divide, the Police Workforce.

Direct Entry Detectives. The slashing of 21,000 officers has had serious knock-on effects further down the line and there is now a serious shortage of Detectives.

In a first for UK policing, Londoners will now have the opportunity to join the Metropolitan Police Service directly as a detective constable, working in investigative policing immediately after initial training.

Once again we see the potential for turning officer against officer. There will be hard-working officers wanting to become tecs but being held back by a shortage of Response Officers meaning they can’t be released. Resentment will undoubtedly surface sooner rather than later.

Throw items like cutting Police Dogs and Horses, plus the unfathomable decisions regarding the Police National Air Service into the mix and you have a deeply troubled workforce. Criminals are not stupid. They know full well there are 21,000 fewer officers on the streets. That, plus the curtailing of Stop and Search greatly improves their chances of ‘getting away with it’.

I could go on, but my quill is getting weary.

The greatest wrong-doing in all of this is the total reluctance of the majority of NPCC officers speaking out against any of it, some even going as far as promoting parts of it as good practice.

Congratulations are due to Theresa May. It has every appearance that she has perfected the art of ‘Divide and Conquer’ Way too much resentment and in-fighting now exists within the dysfunctional Police Family. Instead of pulling together, good, loyal, well-meaning officers are being distracted by the results of political interference.

Just my opinion of course.

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.