I was minding my own business, enjoying the solitude of Mrs Angry being on babysitting duties somewhere in the frozen north, and I became disturbed by some of the facts, figures and anecdotes I was reading.
The first one to grab my attention was this
One in 5, 20%, that’s appalling. Angry Junior lives in Dorset so I’m unashamedly biased, but it’s still an awful figure.
The equivalent of 7 (admittedly the smaller ones) Police Forces being lost thanks to Camoron, Gollum and Cruella is stunning, nothing short of criminal.
Then I made the mistake of reading the results of the ITV poll of Police Officers across the country. About 500 of them responded apparently, and contributed the following, depressing, nuggets;
- Our main priority is now servicing 999 calls. We spend no time on responses, on actually targeting criminals- we are just responding to calls
- Not enough police cars to go around. Most officers seen out on foot are doing this as they have lost the scramble for the car keys.
- As back office staff are reduced the work they did has not diminished. It is now officers who are having to complete the bureaucracy.
- It is regularly impossible to get access to computers or vehicles.
- Unable to attend community meetings due to further areas of responsibility which take precedence at the last minute and members of the community believe we don’t care.
- As a Detective many of the rape cases take some time to investigate. I am dealing with some cases which are in excess of 6 months old. Due to lack of trained staff we have problems getting video interviews conducted.
- Incidents such as attempted rapes would have previously been investigated by crime departments. these are now routinely being allocated to uniformed 24/7 officers who don’t have the time to ensure a quality investigation is carried out unless they are taken off response duties thereby reducing the number of officers available.
- Having to decide which rape will be investigated today and which one we will investigate tomorrow as there was not enough staff to do both.
- Police officer assaults are more frequent as all officers are now singled crewed
- Due to lack of frontline officers, we are regularly being single crewed and sent to violent incidents, putting our personal safety in jeopardy. Also, due to lack of officers, there have been lack of resources to assist when officers have called for emergency assistance.
- Unarmed officers having to attend armed incident because armed officers are too far away.
- I have recently uncovered keeping detainees in custody too long as there are no staff to deal with them.
- We have closed so many police stations and are now all based in “super” police stations miles from our communities. We have officers who do not know the areas, the criminals, the community contacts or the problems. I think this is a massive retrograde step.
- Inexperienced call-takers, who are under pressure to answer an unrealistic volume of calls, are creating jobs for matters that are not in the police remit, mainly so they can move onto the next call, rather than dealing with the call effectively. In the last month I have been sent to incidents where callers should have been referred to Social Services, the Ambulance Service, the RSPCA, the Fire Brigade, Action Fraud, Environmental Health, the Dog Warden and the Taxi Licencing Authority.
- Officers are spending up to an hour waiting to process prisoners booking into custody at peak times.
- We have serious crimes waiting to be allocated but there aren’t enough people to allocate the work to, as officers are inundated.
- On nights we have only 6 officers, 5 sometimes, to cover a population of a quarter of a million.
- There just isn’t enough of us to cope.
- Burglary victim has waited three days for a visit.
- Every major incident has an affect, be it policing sporting events to murders, resources are stretched to breaking point.
- Prisoners being bailed out without being questioned…due to insufficient officers available to interview them.
- Significant investigation into vehicle crime had to be suspended as there were not enough officers to investigate.
So there you have it, not my words, not my interpretation, but the actual words of some of the 500 who responded.
This is EXACTLY how the cuts are having consequences on YOUR communities, and those cynical bar stewards at Westminster couldn’t give a stuff, or those that do are shouted down.
Then just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, ACPO predicted this;
The possibility/probability of 34,000 MORE losses yet to come.
#CutsHaveConsequences at ALL levels and in ALL communities.
Tell your MP, tell your local paper, tell ANYBODY who will listen, or the future is truly bleak