in the week that sees the Annual Police Federation Conference in Bournemouth I was reading Chris Hobbs’ powerful letter to Theresa May
After exchanging a bit of banter with Clive Chamberlain it hit me. It has often been quoted that cuts to the Police Service have already amount to losing the equivalent of Devon&Cornwall, Dorset, Hampshire, Sussex, Kent and Wiltshire Forces, 6 Constabularies that would include Bournemouth if it were that simple. Imagine seeing no Police at all around the town of Bournemouth and beyond. 6 Constabularies that will be more by 2020 if nothing is done to stop the cuts.
In years gone by when Forces have been stretched they have had the Plan B of Mutual Aid to fall back on, asking surrounding Forces to supply some PSUs to help out in the short term, normally just a few days.
We have already lost 17,000 warranted officers under the coalition, Cameron’s new Tory government seems certain to continue the threatened cuts into the next 5 years. Horrendous further cuts are only just over the horizon.
So where does that leave Mutual Aid? Your Force can’t cope so you ask your neighbours to pitch in for a few days and help out. Only those neighbours are all suffering the same cuts and might not be able to send Mutual Aid without leaving themselves vulnerable back home.
2011 saw the Met ask for Mutual Aid for the riots in London. It took Mutual Aid of 16,000 to quell the disquiet in London in 2011, we’ve lost 17,000 since then with more horrendous cuts to come. What’s your answer to that Mrs May?
Somebody please tell me, how the hell is Mutual Aid going to work under the Tories?