Last updated on October 16th, 2023 at 07:49 pmReading Time: 2 minutes
I was having a conversation this morning, (Monday) on Twatter, with somebody who appears to be a serving officer. I have no intention of identifying this person, their identity is not important, but how did we come to this? was the topic of discussion.
Specifically I was bemoaning the fact that initial investigations at burglaries no longer happen. We can all have an opinion as to why that might be, but nevertheless they don’t happen any more. Victims are lucky to even get a visit, just report it by phone and get a Crime Number for the insurance.
In 1900 and frozen to death, it went without saying that every allegation of burglary was visited as soon as possible. Local enquiries would be made in an attempt to identify potential witnesses, the scene would be examined for tool marks, footprints or shoe marks, which side of a window the broken glass was etc etc. As soon as possible (probably that afternoon or the following day) a Scenes of Crime Officer would routinely attend and attempt to find some fingerprints.
A Crime Report would be created, the reporting officer would include all actions taken by himself/herself and, depending upon local policy, the crime would be investigated by the local CID or Burglary Squad.
In the event of a suspect being arrested for an offence of burglary they would be interviewed with the intention of linking them to further offences.
Today I was told that these initial enquiries are ‘pointless’ and of little value. I can concede that they might prove fruitless, but by no means pointless.
The response from the officer was that they mean the same thing and in a world of competing resources there are more important things to allocate valuable resources to.
I can see the point being made, but find it very difficult, if not impossible, to agree with.
We all know how these cuts came about, and a few politicians should, in my opinion, be held personally liable for the effects these cuts have had on the Police, Policing and the Public.
The size of the population is constantly increasing, whilst Policing was viciously cut back. Even if Boris is successful in recruiting his 20,000 new officers by next March they still don’t take into account the increase in population and demand for Police action. It will only put us back, more or less, to the position we were in in 2010 before the cuts began.
Conversations like the one I had this morning bring it home, the real effect, on ordinary people (the Public) that these cuts have had.
That doesn’t even begin to take into account the effect of pay stagnation, scandalous pension arrangements and demands on policing by other bodies that somehow think they can offload their responsibilities onto the Police.
In addition to all of that, as an outsider, it appears to me that the fibre and morale of Policing is being systematically destroyed also.
The government, the College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs Council should all be careful what they wish for, as they, and we, might all be worse off if they get it.