The first duty of a government is to protect its citizens. Both at home and abroad.
On Saturday 14/1/12 the Times is talking about the army being at its smallest level since 1838.
Whichever set of figures one uses for police officer numbers (4 different sets produced by force / HMIC since late 2010 ) it is clear that there will be over 300 less cops than in 2007 and that the levels will be on a par with the 1970s whilst police staff numbers even after a very painful redundancy programme will remain at 21st century levels.
And now the Selby Times is erroneously referring to PCSOs as bobbies. One thing all sides of any debate must agree on is they are definitely NOT bobbies.
We see daily both locally and nationally figures showing increasing crime in a number of areas – metal theft seems to be the one attracting most attention.
And now we see reports around the future of CCTV.
All these things impact on each other along with drugs,mental health, terrorism, immigration, whiplash and all the other hot topics of 2012 thus far to make policing the complex but extremely professional and valuable service it is. Changes to one may impact on another and therefore need considering holistically.
The British police service has been admired and respected across the world. It has constantly evolved and changed. But now it appears to be the subject of ideologically driven cuts dressed up as reform which will change the face of policing in the uk forever. And which don’t appear to take heed of other cuts / reforms / changes with things that have the potential to impact on policing.
Some may say the cuts / changes are being driven by those who know the price of everything but the value of nothing.
That is why we have been calling for a Royal Commission on Policing. We urge people to engage with the work being done by Lord Stevens.
After all with less police officers and less soldiers the protection of the public could be under threat. Unless – the big society takes off and think tankers and those with free time fill the void on a voluntary basis for no remuneration.
That’s not a prospect many will want – so Lord Stevens must deliver.