…………being kept in the dark and fed Bullshit.
That august body the National Audit Office has pronounced that Government Ministers don’t actually have enough information to assess the impact of Austerity cuts on Policing. However, that does not stop Theresa May and Mike Penning repeating the clearly incorrect mantra that the Police are well-equipped to deal with the effects of past and proposed cuts.
The NAO said that ministers lacked information to know when a police force was at risk of being “unable to deliver services”. Still they don’t listen.
Returning all the way back to Sir Thomas Winsor’s infamous Independent Review (he was only a Mr then though) the Home Office have previously admitted that no Risk Assessments or Impact Assessments were carried out on Winsor’s recommendations, they have just been endorsed and adopted anyway.
I fail to see how any right-minded person can fail to agree with National Audit Office on that matter, how CAN government know if they have carried out NO assessments. Caught out, spouting ill-informed bollocks purely to get their own way and emasculate the Police Service, treating the Public with total contempt along the way.
The tide is beginning to turn. It is not only the Police that are pointing out that #CutsHaveConsequences, but there is still much work to be done, as illustrated in yesterday’s post.
Policing Minister Mike Penning claims that forces still have sufficient funds “to do their important work”, but does not actually specify what that “important work” consists of.
The NAO report said central government funding to police and crime commissioners – who receive and allocate police funds – was reduced by £2.3bn between 2010-11 and 2015-16.
It said this was a real-terms reduction of 25% – or an 18% cut once local council tax funding was taken into account.
The NAO said the Home Office needed to be “better informed” to properly oversee forces and distribute funding.
“The department has insufficient information to determine how much further it can reduce funding without degrading services, or when it may need to support individual forces,” the report said.
But it said new assessments by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) should give “assurance on the financial sustainability and the performance of forces”.
The report also said:
■ police forces “successfully reduced costs” since 2010-11 and crime fell – but this was an “incomplete picture” because statistics do not capture all crime and there is limited information on “financial or service stress”
■ forces have “insufficient understanding of the demand” for their services, and it is therefore “difficult for them to transform services intelligently”
■ much cost-cutting so far has been “efficiency savings rather than service transformation”
■ the total police workforce dropped by 36,3672 (15%) between March 2010 and September 2014, and officer numbers dropped by 16,659 (12%) to 127,075
For some reason it seems that only HMIC are competent to make assurances of this kind. Government I can understand, a collection of “here today, gone tomorrow” politicians. The Police Service themselves however have been around for nearly 200 years, why aren’t they competent to assess the situation and inform people? To be fair HMIC have been around for nearly as long but are led by a Sir with absolutely no Policing experience, just a nice pretty uniform.
Listen to the Police Service.
In the meantime the Daily Mail have waded in with a different take on the NAO report
Police are sitting on £1.85billion of public money – while complaining bitterly about ‘Cuts’
Most of this money has been raised by selling off the family silver and is sitting in the bank in anticipation of the swingeing cuts still to come. Not that I approve of selling off the Police Estate but having done so it makes perfect budgetary sense to keep it in the bank in anticipation of a future demand. I’m sure the Mail would be quick to point out if the Forces recklessly spent their reserves after all.
Never before has “Lions Led By Donkeys” been more fitting. Every time the lions roar the donkeys play the Crime Is Down tape one more time, it must be close to wearing out and tangling by now.
Come on Mushrooms, throw off the Compost and add your voices. You truly can only Do Less With Less. In what sector can anybody do More With Less?