Over a couple of years ago a post her “The UK Police ‘underfunded’ and ‘under resourced’ – what the heck has happened here?” January 16, 2016 by dadman007 outlined the downward spiral the force has suffered for nearly a decade, primarily due to our government financial cutbacks under Theresa May, it has to be said?
Well, the problems have got even worse, unbelievably worse, haven’t they? Yep, so this week for example London’s Met Police [covering 32 London boroughs], the icon of the overall force perhaps, announced that the 99th murder had occurred in their city this year [and we are only just three quarters of the way through] – some thirty percent rise in murders and just part of the dreadful upsurge in violence that is devastating our societies around Britain. That is accompanied by widespread gang crime, drug abuse, and anti-social behaviour.
Now, while our forty-five police forces in England & Wales may well be at the front-end of law enforcement around the UK, they are NOT of course the sole part of the criminal justice system here, are they?
No, nevertheless, there can be no doubt that they are failing to do the job required of them for regional law enforcement [keeping the peace and enforcing the criminal law], but on the other hand, NOR is the bulk of the justice system behind them that they rely on to actually deliver justice to those who commit crimes – and that is of course the:
- Government & Parliament [including PM, Ministry of Justice, Lord Chancellor, Prison Minister, Attorney General]
- Law [set by parliament, EU, ECJ]
- Courts [Judges, Magistrates, Prosecution and Defence lawyers, Crown Prosecution Service, Appeal system, sentences & fines]
- Prisons [containment, detention, punishment and rehabilitation(!)
- Probation service [suspended sentences, community service, electronic tags, enforcing prohibitions & curfews]
ALL that though has become a totally dysfunctional can of worms, which has left our esteemed Police up the creek without a paddle, as the saying goes. The do-gooders have succeeded in destroying any effectiveness of the justice system in this Country, so criminals (even dangerous ones) don’t get banged-up, jails have become drug palaces, mobile phone havens, and cushy places of rest & training in criminality, whence criminals outside abound and regularly get away with their vile activities [like 9 out of 10 car thieves are NOT caught amidst increasing numbers of vehicles stolen] – not least because the hands of the Police are often tied behind their backs, eh?
Just one example is the do-gooder’s success in discouraging Police stop & search, through their argument that knifes, weapons or guns regularly weren’t found – the silly billies missed the point that it was that very deterrent that had the desired result – when the London Police cut-back on stop & search the gangs simply tooled-up and knife crime rocketed as did drug dealing, didn’t it?
On top of that, the Force has been decimated in terms of numbers, resources, budgets, and facilities, which puts the general public at increasing risk, doesn’t it? So many crimes, even IF reported [up by some 15%], they aren’t investigated by the cash-strapped Police [two thirds of them (including burglary & break-ins)?], let alone solved, nor somebody charged, or a conviction in Court achieved [zero tolerance has gone by the board these days and the criminals are having a field-day, aren’t they?].
Not only do we no longer see uniformed beat bobbies who know their communities on our streets [a third have been axed in the past 3 years], but police station closures to save running costs are endemic [over 600 shut down in the past 8 years (100 in London alone), while many others aren’t now open to the walk-in public], whereby many many towns and even some cities simply don’t have a single police station anywhere these days. Scandalous?
In the not so distant past, any reasonably large town certainly had not only a decent police station, but it contained barred cells where the scoundrels could immediately be locked-up out of harm’s way for a little while – instead of nowadays them simply being released on police bail to carry-on their criminal behaviours unchecked.
The Police [like nurses] are one of the caring professions, so the Government can walk all over them with impunity and that is exactly what has been happening when we see Police numbers at the lowest level for three decades, despite a massively higher population ([ncluding immigrants (some convicted criminals)]), rising crime and higher terrorist threat – is it any wonder that crime is rampant?
Moreover, the Police are prevented by law from striking, so basically, they have zero power to defend themselves against the Government’s crass actions, despite themselves feeling undervalued, being overworked, and consequently failing miserably, so morale is plummeting. Pay is another debilitating factor because as public sector workers their pay since 2010 was pegged for 2 years, then rose by just 1% annual rise, then this year only 2% (with half of that a ‘one-off’ bonus payment that doesn’t continue next year and is excluded from pension – in breach of the independent review award!), so all more than wiped-out by excessive inflation [the BoE have failed to keep inflation down to 2% for 6 years of the last 9 years], so in reality their pay has been cut over 8 years – fair or not, eh?
All of that naturally will cause a problem for ‘recruitment’ because even with a lower headcount some officers will retire, while others move or leave altogether. Police work is both challenging and requires taking pride in the work of law enforcement, so the Force here needs to attract the best talent from well-educated men and women [many with higher education qualifications] and from all sections of the community as well – those who have the special talents needed to serve the public, give confidence to it, and to tackle crime at all levels in what is these days a highly technological world.
Indeed the pay for new recruits is only getting worse by going backwards, as the starting salaries for police constables has fallen in real terms every year since 2009. A new PC starting out in 2009 was earning the equivalent of £27,400 in today’s prices, and that figure dropped by £3,000 by last year – is that the best way of bringing-in the top talent, do you think?
Many of our most responsible young people are keen to contribute in full to their society, so nevertheless of cuts are minded to join the Police force – there is still time for the Government to do the right thing, turn back the clock, and give Police the resources and encouragement that’s needed].