Last Updated on January 24, 2020 by RetiredAndAngry
Before I get carried away and rant TOO much I would just like to say that I actually hope that I am wrong.
Following the downfall of the disastrous Theresa May and her infamous Cuts we inherited Boris Johnson as PM, almost by default as nobody else seemed very willing to challenge him.
In he came, full of promises and “Let’s Get Brexit Done” (that’s Boris for Strong and Stable) and quicky won over the public with all his rash promises. First he promised 20,000 ‘extra’ Police Officers. This is something that would appeal to all right-minded people. Why would we not want more Police Persons?
Following swiftly on the heels of the 20k pledge we had a promise to build 40 ‘new hospitals’, well, maybe 6 if we’re lucky.
Hold your breath, here comes another one. 50,000 ‘extra’ Nurses.
We currently ‘lose’ about 7-8,000 Police Officers per annum due to Natural Wastage, so are these 20,000 ‘extra’ officers ‘extra’ to what we currently have, effectively replacing those who will leave in the coming 3 years, or are they truly additional, in which case how the hell can we recruit and train more officers in 3 years than we ever have done before? 40,000 recruited and trained over a three year period when Cruella and co have already been instrumental in dismantling our training infrastructure.
The above chart clearly shows that never, since 2005 if at all, have we ever recruited more than approx 9,000 officers in a single year, so how will we cope with circa 40,000 across 3 years with a reduced capability?
40 new hospitals? Where is the money coming from for those? We can’t even get the two hospitals that Carillion left half-built finished. How will we pay for them, who will build them?
50,000 extra Nurses? Boris has now backtracked and that has been downgraded to 31,000. I don’t know enough about the NHS but I suspect that they will also struggle to recruit an extra 31,000 Nurses in short order.
Fast Forward, we have now had another General Election and Boris and the Conservatives now have a workable majority in Parliament.
Call me cynical, but maybe now the mask has slipped.
I’ll leave it for someone better qualified to commentate on the NHS promises, but I will address the Policing issues.
The government recently announced an increase in expenditure on Policing of up to £15 Billion. Gosh, that’s a lot, where is it going?
Is it just me or has the word ‘extra’ been omitted from the first item? And I do assume that all of these officers, 20,000 or 40,000, ‘extra’ or not, will have to either be graduates or sign up to an Apprenticeship programme?
If you want to know where the remainder of the £15 Billion is coming from, look no further than your Council Tax Precept. PCCs have been invited to raise the Policing Precept to pay for extra officers. Not such a generous government offer after all maybe?
But at least the new look government hasn’t put any conditions on the increased funding.
Kit Malthouse, Policing Minister, said the public “need to see results” for the £1.1 billion extra that police have been awarded for 2020/21. He said that they must slash their backroom staff to put more officers on the frontline and improve their use of technology to combat the surge in violent crime.
This will be tricky as those cuts have already been made.
“Lives are being lost. Families are being devastated. Communities are being torn apart. We must bring an end to this violence. This is the public’s money and they need to see results for their investment,” said Mr Malthouse.
“So it’s only right the Government holds them to account and we expect to see measurable outcomes from this generous settlement.”
This view is totally right and proper but does he not realise that is what the Police WANT to do? They certianly don’t need League Tables and Powerpoint Charts.
With Blair Gibbs, that well known Horseman of the Policing Apocalypse, inside Number 10 as one of Boris Johnson’s SPADs it will only be a matter of time before numerical targets are reintroduced into Policing.
The Times has already reported, on 5th January, that the Government are planning on bringing in a Target Culture again.
My opinion on that is predictable
Policing is not an activity that realistically lends itself to numerical targets. They encourage malpractice, corruption and provide nothing beneficial whatsoever except a warm glow in the occasional OCU Commander (but not all)— Alan Wright (@Alanw47) January 5, 2020
All in all it seems that this version of a Conservative government hasn’t really changed much from Cruella’s regime, just a few more platitudes and empty promises.
Finally, NONE of Boris’ promises regarding Policing even begin to address the dwindling numbers of PCSOs and Support Staff, both culled under Theresa May.
Every person who voted Tory in 2019 did so knowing full well what the Conservatives had done under Theresa May. Most of Boris’ current Cabinet voted IN FAVOUR of those cuts and even cheered at the results of some of the votes.
Empty words and vote-winning rhetoric or truly the beginning of better times? We shall see.