More pain, no gain as police face up to yet more austerity

Police are still facing cuts

Police are still facing cuts

First published in News

THAMES Valley Police chiefs have achieved what many would consider the impossible – cutting crime and reducing the annual budget by millions of pounds at the same time.

Like forces across the UK, Thames Valley Police have been told that funding from central government is being slashed by 20 per cent in the four years to 2015.

After facing strict instructions to save £59m during that period, they have managed to reduce recorded crime by 25 per cent over the past three years.

However, the cutbacks have not yet been concluded and Chief Constable Sara Thornton is warning that the force still needs to make further cuts over the next three years.

She has pledged that services to the public will be protected, but it is difficult to see how the same level of service can be maintained if significant budget reductions are being made year-on-year.

Some staff have lost their jobs and the number of special constables – volunteers – is being increased, so it is not surprising that staff morale has suffered.

It’s reassuring to hear that recorded crime is down, and that the Chief Constable will do everything she can to ensure the service to the public is protected, despite ongoing cutbacks.

But the force needs to ensure they do not put too much pressure on the staff who remain, as further cutbacks are made, otherwise morale could suffer further.

A more detailed explanation from the Chief Constable on how the savings have been made at the same time as cutting crime would be welcome.

Comments (3)

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10:19am Tue 22 Jul 14

oafie says...

After facing strict instructions to save £59m during that period, they have managed to reduce recorded crime by 25 per cent over the past three years.


Yes, by reclassifying what they deem to be criminal offences, by ignoring the public and simply not recording what they are told and taking no action, as these days they like to work in partnership with the criminals.
After facing strict instructions to save £59m during that period, they have managed to reduce recorded crime by 25 per cent over the past three years. Yes, by reclassifying what they deem to be criminal offences, by ignoring the public and simply not recording what they are told and taking no action, as these days they like to work in partnership with the criminals. oafie
  • Score: 1

8:22am Wed 23 Jul 14

Geoff Roberts says...

I do not find the fact that recorded crime is down, reassuring. Quite the opposite, it suggests failure.

The police are dysfunctional in general. They have poor processes, they don't speak to each other, there's little flow of information. Police officers, including community police but more importantly, regular police, do not spend enough time in communities, they are detached. The preference should be for people (not just police) to work within the communities they live in, that is the way to make the police more efficient. Cycling down a road a few times a day, isn't enough. Police at best, get a snapshot of what's happening, at worst (which I suspect is normal), it's not even that. Some officers are clearly so demotivated that they avoid dealing with some crimes. The argument is that they don't have time and have more important things to deal with. Whilst this is true on that level, what this attitude is doing, is covering problems up and covering up the need for more resources. If police ignore crimes (which they do) then it will look like the crimes aren't happening and therefore the police are managing and so the police will not get more money or resources. It's the same in any business.

So, we need some new rules for police or for rules to be enforced, which is police need to be aware of what is going on around them and if they see a crime or suspect one is under way, deal with it, no matter how small. Then ensure it's properly recorded. Unless police do that there will be no justification for more resources and the police will look like they are doing better than they are.

The Oxford Mail and others could also do with ceasing to mislead the public by claiming such things as "crime is down" when it's reported crime.
I do not find the fact that recorded crime is down, reassuring. Quite the opposite, it suggests failure. The police are dysfunctional in general. They have poor processes, they don't speak to each other, there's little flow of information. Police officers, including community police but more importantly, regular police, do not spend enough time in communities, they are detached. The preference should be for people (not just police) to work within the communities they live in, that is the way to make the police more efficient. Cycling down a road a few times a day, isn't enough. Police at best, get a snapshot of what's happening, at worst (which I suspect is normal), it's not even that. Some officers are clearly so demotivated that they avoid dealing with some crimes. The argument is that they don't have time and have more important things to deal with. Whilst this is true on that level, what this attitude is doing, is covering problems up and covering up the need for more resources. If police ignore crimes (which they do) then it will look like the crimes aren't happening and therefore the police are managing and so the police will not get more money or resources. It's the same in any business. So, we need some new rules for police or for rules to be enforced, which is police need to be aware of what is going on around them and if they see a crime or suspect one is under way, deal with it, no matter how small. Then ensure it's properly recorded. Unless police do that there will be no justification for more resources and the police will look like they are doing better than they are. The Oxford Mail and others could also do with ceasing to mislead the public by claiming such things as "crime is down" when it's reported crime. Geoff Roberts
  • Score: 0

8:27am Wed 23 Jul 14

Geoff Roberts says...

"Why did person die?"
"I was too busy dealing with some small crime elsewhere"

So, stop dealing with the small crimes?

No.

The fault lies with those provisioning resources, whilst it is true that a small crime is relatively insignificant, it is the sheer amount of small crimes that eat away at society and lead to larger problems.

Deal with it.
"Why did person die?" "I was too busy dealing with some small crime elsewhere" So, stop dealing with the small crimes? No. The fault lies with those provisioning resources, whilst it is true that a small crime is relatively insignificant, it is the sheer amount of small crimes that eat away at society and lead to larger problems. Deal with it. Geoff Roberts
  • Score: 0

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