Cutbacks to the Police – Front line officers face the axe

Nearly 6,000 frontline officers will be removed in the next three years the Government’s latest budget cuts have shown. A long with this loss of  officers, 179 police stations will be removed and one in five will lose their front counters according to a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

What is worrying is that Britain’s biggest police force i.e. the Metropolitan Police may not be able to provide enough officers for effective policing (i.e. what their job is). The figures that have come out are truly frightening. More than 15, 000 officers will be lost as the police have to cut back their staff by more than 30,000 by March 2015 (according to the report)

The report also said that  some 137 police access counters will be set up in libraries and supermarkets. I’m sure that’ll help keep the murder rates down. 

A quote from Sir Denis O’Connor is rather telling with regards to cut backs. He argued that forces were “protecting but not preserving the frontline”.

The Policing Minister Nick Herbert has tried to defend the figures claiming that : “This report makes it clear that the frontline of policing is being protected overall and that the service to the public has largely been maintained.”

Not unsurprisingly Yvette Cooper , the shadow home secretary has emphasised  “thousands of officers being lost from emergency response and neighbourhood teams” will result in emergency and local response teams being badly hit.

Even  the Association of Chief Police Officers has said that policing is going to be very difficult in the next few years.

It makes one wonder whether these policies have been thought through at all. While one can understand the need for cut backs, this government’s cutbacks seem to be ideologically rather than economically based. The public sector is under heavy scrutiny and large businesses and private health care are protected. While organisations like the police are attacked and hacked apart to the point of making them useless to the public.

Many of the others problems could become worse if we don’t have decently funded police force i.e. the main one obviously being crime. When you have high sections of the population with little to do, no job and no hope it is not very surprising.

When crimes rise in the next few years, when more riots happen the government will blame the police-they will say we need to privatise them. There will be no mention of lack of funds or officers, it will be the police’s fault and that is how the story will be spun.

The full version of the report can be found here.

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