……..but what your country can do for you. No, that’s not a misprint, it’s how I meant it.
The 20th July 2017 was a dark day in the middle of a dark era.
In no particular order as they say
Parliament broke for it’s Summer Recess. No run of the mill business, discussions, debates. How very convenient.
The Office of National Statistics released the latest ‘official’ crime statistics.
Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) showed there were 5.9 million incidents of crime covered by the survey, a 7% reduction compared with the previous year’s survey.
The police recorded nearly 5 million offences in the year ending March 2017, which represented an annual rise of 10%; this increase is likely to reflect a range of factors, which vary by crime type, including continuing improvements to recording processes and practices, expanded offence coverage and also genuine increases in some crime types.
One set says ‘Higher’, the other set says ‘Lower’ and I have seen many arguments and reasons why one should be more reliable than the other, but, even if, the Police Recorded Crime figures are discredited and dismissed, the Crime Survey of England and Wales figures are still HIGHER than Recorded Crime, regardless of the direction of climb or fall. So Recorded Crime should surely be regarded as a MINIMUM when resources are being allocated?
The Home Office released the latest set of Police Workforce figures, showing yet another loss of officers and Police Staff.
There were 198,684 workers employed by the 43 police forces in England and Wales on 31 March 2017, a decrease of 2,237 or 1% compared with a year earlier. This is the lowest number in the police workforce since 31 March 2003 (198,375 workers).
Similarly, police officer numbers have decreased in the last year, to 123,142 officers as at 31 March 2017. This is the lowest number of police officers at the end of a financial year3 since comparable records began in 1996. Records earlier than this are not directly comparable; however, they indicate that this is the lowest number of officers since 1985.
The number of officers in frontline roles has fallen, from 106,411 as at 31 March 2016 to 105,571 as at 31 March 2017, a fall of 840 officers (1%). Over the same time period the proportion of officers in frontline roles has remained stable at 93%.
The number of officers in local policing roles fell by 1.7% in the latest year, to 56,430. The proportion of officers in these roles remained stable, at 50%.
The most telling way I have seen to portray the Police Cuts is this, you may have seen it before, but it bears repeating
As a little bit of fun, if anyone is curious as to how today compares with the ‘Gene Hunt era’ the long term history looks like this, fire up the Quattro
I couldn’t find any figures earlier than 1979, and heaven only knows how accurate these are.
Between 2010 and 2016 the population of the United Kingdom increased by approx 2.5 Million. I don’t have the figures for just England and Wales but I suspect that they account for more than half of that figure.
In short the Police are expected to deal with more crimes, more people with approx 21,000 fewer officers.
Apart from the obvious, one of the hidden problems with this is that the officers are burning out.
Returning to the title, what can your country do for you? The government can reverse the cuts and reinstate the 21,000 or so ‘lost’ officers. Even if they agreed to do this without reservation, reallistically nothing can change for at least a year and possibly much, much longer.
First you have to find 21,000 Graduates (more than that really) who want to join the Police for as little as £19k.
Then you have to paper sift the applications and interview the Short List candidates.
Then train them for about 4 months to get them ready for basic Street Duty.
2 years later they will hopefully be fully fledged Constables. Even Police Now couldn’t do it quicker than that.
The government need to realise that they are jeopardising Public Safety in breach of their public duty.
If Violent Crime is UP and Police Numbers are DOWN, the Population is UP, then I would say that the government, by virtue of their policy of Police Cuts, is failing in their absolute duty to ensure Public Safety.
I am in no way an authority on the subject, but I wou have thought that More People + More Crimes + Fewer Police = Government failing in its duty, but what do I know Theresa?
It is well known that the first duty of government is to protect the citizens to whom they are answerable. Few will disagree with this