Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 03:42 pmReading Time: 2 minutes
When Theresa May was Home Secretary she famously said that it was not about the numbers of police but about the quality of the policing. Despite a variety of attempts by government I honestly believe that we still have some of the best Police Officers in the world. I’m not sure how much longer that will remain the case, but I honestly believe it at the moment. So quality of the officers shouldn’t really be an issue. Quality of the policing? Theoretically our finest are capable of, and willing to, perform policing of the highest order. That is actually what they want to do. Unfortunately reality does not always match up with potential, and in my view the main reason for that is SHORTAGE OF NUMBERS.
To reference one Jeremy Corbyn :- it is not possible to police on the cheap, and I don’t only mean cheap, inferior kit, IT and vehicles
However, after 7 years, a small number of Chief Constables are beginning to break cover and face up to the realities in their Forces.
In no particular order, in the past week or so, I have seen Shaun Sawyer, Chief Constable Devon and Cornwall, tweeting about the need for increased resources.
Despite initially claiming that she had sufficient resources, Cressida Dick, the new Commissioner of the Met, together with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is now admitting that more resources are necessary.
The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police has recently gone on record highlighting the dwindling number of officers in his Force, due to the cuts, and explaining how he actually needs more.
Merseyside Chief Constable, Andy Cooke, claims that his force is facing unprecedented challenge following the “draconian cuts‘
In his recent General Election campaign, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn vowed to increase Police numbers by 10,000.
Lib Dem leader, Tim Farron, said police and security services were suffering from a lack of resources, rather than a lack of powers, during a BBC Question Time programme in which he was challenged over his party’s plans to roll back surveillance.
Four Chief Constables, two leading politicians and untold numbers of retired and former Police Officers telling, basically, the same story. It most definitely IS about the numbers. I am not naive enough to think that increased numbers are a universal panacea for all problems, but with increased numbers comes increased resilience, increased flexibilty, increased options, increased opportunities. Corbyn was right. Policing can not be done on the cheap and it’s time that Theresa May, Amber Rudd and our brand new Policing Minister, Nick Hurd, realised that, chewed a parge portion of Humble Pie and put the situation right. It will take years so the sooner they start the better.