Last updated on June 6th, 2023 at 07:23 pmReading Time: 3 minutes
How much longer is it going to take you to get it into your stubborn head that Policing is NOT all about Crime?
Crime is Crime, everybody understands what a Crime is, the Police know how to deal with it and what priority they should allocate to it, but try as you may, you will never succeed in convincing folk that it’s as simple as that.
Are you seriously suggesting that the Police Services of England and Wales (PSNI & Police Scotland as well if you like) ONLY deal with Crime and some other Agency such as G4$ or $erco should sweep up everything else that isn’t tagged ‘Crime’?
I was shocked but not a little surprised to see the headlines in the Daily Mirror on Saturday
Shocking figures reveal police have no officers available for thousands of 999 calls
Maybe I shouldn’t have been, it’s been coming for a long time, but the sheer scale of the problem did take me by surprise. If it had only been the Met and maybe GMP or West Mids I wouldn’t have been surprised at all, but it seems like it’s affecting everyone.
A Freedom of Information request by the Mirror revealed some shocking results.
- No police car was available to answer emergency calls in Surrey on more than 1,200 occasions last year. (This does not mean that no officers attended but it may mean an emergency response was delayed while a unit became available.)
- Police in Durham were delayed in responding to emergency calls 261 times last year due to resource availability
- In Sussex, there were 141 emergency incidents last year where the 999 call was flagged as no resource available (NRA)
- Wiltshire Police said there were five immediate priority calls it was unable to attend in 2014
- In Essex, a total of 11,040 999 calls were flagged as having no unit to attend in 2014, however, there is no breakdown by call priority. This was 8% of all 999 calls in 2014, with a similar proportion, 1,627, similarly flagged in the first two months of 2015
But let’s be quite clear, I AM IN NO WAY BLAMING THE POLICE for this failing. The failing falls well and truly with Winsor, May and Camoron, the Unholiest of Trinities. By moronically quoting the mantra Crime Is Down and blindly following Winsor’s Independent Review (ha) we have arrived at a situation where resource allocation is completely and utterly skewed away from reality. Some enlightened PCCs and Chief Constables have seen through the crap and are trying their very best to manage the little they have left to its best effect, or find innovative ways to actually recruit a few more officers that are sorely needed. If the few can see through the smoke and mirrors, why can’t the rest? I suppose the answer to part of that question is the tag “Conservative” after some PCC’s names. There is no way that they are ever going to disagree with the all-powerful Home Secretary.
In 2013 an investigation found that Police Forces then were taking up to 30% longer to answer calls than they were in 2010, that figure MUST have got worse now;
- In some forces vital minutes have been added to the time it takes for a squad car to arrive at an accident or crime scene
- Just under a third of the police forces that collect response time information confirmed they reacted more slowly to emergency calls in 2012 than they did in 2010
- Some police force 999 emergency response times have increased by over 15%, with one force recording an increase of 30%
- Five police forces have changed their target times since 2010, giving themselves more time to respond to 999 call-outs
- A 23% increase between 2010 and 2012 in the number of calls not answered by the closest police force, but instead being bounced on to a neighbouring force
THIS IS SIMPLY NOT ACCEPTABLE
So, Mrs May, when exactly are you going to admit that you might just have got this wrong and try to put it right?
Or is the answer that the Public are simply Collateral Damage in your war with the Police?
Either way, it is NOT all about Crime
Police numbers are down, Backroom Staff are down, overall demand for Police is UP.
Even that revered organisation, the College of Policing, has concluded that demand overall is rising;
The College of Policing analysis indicates there are emerging pressures on police resilience – namely decreased levels of police visibility and increasing requests for mutual aid. It also shows that incidents involving people with mental health issues appear to be increasing.
In some forces, public safety and concern for welfare incidents now represent the largest category of recorded incidents.
Demand UP, Numbers DOWN
You do the Maths Home Secretary.
Finally, at the risk of being boring, I can only repeat that the failure of Tom Winsor, and the Home Office, to carry out ANY Risk and/or Impact Assessments on Winsor’s Independent Reviews tells me everything I need to know about your intentions. Had such assessments actually been commissioned and carried out, we might not be where we are today, hurtling headlong towards Policing disaster.
It is NOT all about Crime.