The True Cost of Cruella’s Cuts

I used to serve in the Met, I used to work for the MPA. I don’t do either of those things any more I have retreated to Angry Towers in DeadBadgerShire.

But that did not stop me feeling very sad and just a little bit angry when my old buck sent me a link to the Knight Frank website.

Listed on this page here are 29 (count them, yes TWENTY NINE) Police Stations in the Metropolitan Police District that are up for sale to the highest bidder.

Police budgets are being slashed by 20% with the promise of more cuts to come. Almost every Force in the land is having to shed officers one way or another, even if only by Natural Wastage, they won’t be replaced. Hair Brained Scheme follows Hair Brained Scheme to get the remaining loyal, hard-working officers to work longer, with less, for less. It would not surprise me one bit to see an increase in officers being burned out, as it is the nature of the beast that they just keep on giving until they can give no more. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of officers I have EVER met who truly didn’t give a shit, no matter what they said, they did care really.

Forget the officers as people just for a minute.  They are Resources. Their numbers are being decimated. In London alone 29 Police Stations ( a very important Tool of the Trade) are being sold off. Police Dogs and Horses are being cut back as well I’m told. Whoever thought that one up simply needs sacking.  The savings achieved by decimating the Dog and Horse Sections wouldn’t even keep Sir Ian Blair in Donuts.

So we have Resources – Slashed. Buildings – Sold Off, Budgets – Slashed.  I’m no politician (you can probably tell that), I have no Inside Information, but I do not expect to see these cutbacks reversed – ever!

My personal vision is that we are heading towards Fire Brigade Policing, with PCSOs and Specials dealing with the mundane and Community matters and warranted officers being held back to react to, and deal with, Emergency Calls and Investigations.  Will we see a National Police Force (sorry, Service)? I don’t know but it wouldn’t surprise me. Mutual Aid is already on the increase I would think. Who would have thought that the Met would have needed Mutual Aid in 2011? I wouldn’t have put much money it then, but now?  Worth a Tenner each way.

And now I see that Hampshire are bringing in The Hampshire Horsewatch scheme which will see 12 civilian horse riders in branded uniforms looking out for suspicious activity and reporting to the police.

So if you truly are opposed to #CruellasCuts, and most right-minded folk should be, you’d better start getting used to them, cos they’re here to stay and 29 Police Stations in London are NOT going to be rebuilt, or re-purchased in the future, they are HISTORY, or probably pubs by now.  This is the true cost of the Tory Slash and Burn, not just £, but YOUR local Police Station sold off and its occupants relocated. How do you feel about that?

Cut Price ‘Tecs

Once again I am indebted, this time I owe my gratitude to @LaptopCop for bringing this latest farce to my attention.

Avon and Somerset Police are advertising to recruit what they describe as a Priority Crime Support Officer.  There is currently one post advertised, I know not if others already exist or whether this is a pilot scheme.  It is advertised as a permanent position, 37 hours per week and paying £23,799 – £25,449 per annum.

As for a Job Description, I quote from the advert;

“Priority crimes are those which cause the most harm to the community – burglary, robbery, violence, theft of and from motor vehicles.

We are seeking to recruit a member of staff who can complete full enquiries in the course of an investigation of an offence for which a person is detained. You will interview the detained persons (including those in prison), prepare prosecution files and obtain additional statements. You will also obtain and execute search warrants, seize evidence and carry out searches.

You must have experience of preparing prosecution files, gathering information and producing statements as well as be prepared to attend court to give evidence as required. You will need to hold a full current driving licence and be prepared to transport detainees around the force area. Knowledge of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 would be advantageous.”

Sorry, couldn’t resist that last bit of ‘bolding’.

The Job Spec then goes on to usefully tell me what the ‘Shortlisting Criteria’ are;

  • Hold a full current driving licence and prepared to transport detainees around the force area
  • Computer literate
  • Experience of interviewing in a range of situations
  • Experience of preparing prosecution files
  • Experience of producing statements
  • Experience of gathering information
  • Prepared to attend court to give evidence

Additionally, the following qualities/skills would be USEFUL;

  • Experience of interviewing witnesses and /or suspects
  • Knowledge of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984

The successful applicant will report to the PS/DS in charge.

Now call me old fashioned but this sounds very much like an advert for a DC/PC/TI, but without a Warrant Card, and the advert states that this is post-arrest.  Get your applications in quick, interviewing is on the 18th of this month.

I fully accept that this is only one post within the whole force, but who knows what’s behind it. Can any of our Avon & Somerset colleagues enlighten us?

A cynical person might think that this was a Force dipping a toe in the water to see if they can investigate Major Crime on the cheap.