Crime Is Down, Reform Is Working.
How many times have we heard that?
Is Crime down?
Not according to figures released a few days ago, massively up when you include Fraud and CyberCrime, and just becasue we have never counted them before does not mean that donâ€™t impact upon our resources.
Is Reform working?
That was the subject of a very heated debate on Twitter last night between some of our beter-known Twitterati, and I have to be honest I gave in and went to bed before the combatants reached an agreement I think.
However, my meagre contribution to the debate was this;
Returning to Mrs Mayâ€™s speech to the Federation Conference earlier this year;
â€œSo police reform is working. By cutting bureaucracy and central targets, we have saved up to 4.5 million police hours â€“ the equivalent of 2,100 full-time officers.
The frontline service has been maintained and the proportion of officers in frontline roles has gone up to 91%.â€
Frontline roles filled to a level of 91%> Â Really? Â In your Force are they?
4 and a half million hours freed up, 2,100 officers. Â Sounds impressive. Â Except that we have already lost 17,500 officers due to â€˜Reformâ€™, so thatâ€™s -15,400 in my book, working? Â Really?
What do the Chief Constables think about it all? Â Theyâ€™ve joined in a bit late for my liking, they should have been banging their drums alongside the rank and file 4-5 years ago, but that doesnâ€™t mean that what they have to say isnâ€™t valid.
So what have they said?
The Chief Constable of Lancashire has said that his Force â€œwill not be viable after 2020â€ Â MrÂ Finnigan said the county faced the harshest budget cuts in England, which could potentially see the force becoming a â€œblue lightâ€ service, responding to emergencies only. Â Â Mounted and dog sections along with road policing units could be lost and community policing cut. Â Lancashireâ€™s PCC called the cuts â€˜Savageâ€™ and predicted that they would have a â€˜devastating effectâ€™ on policing in Lancashire.
Jerry Graham, Chief Constable of Cumbria Constabulary, had thisa to say
Simon Bailey, Chief Constable of Norfolk Constabulary says that his Force is in a â€˜Critical Conditionâ€™ due to the cuts.
Chief Constable Simon Bailey said the public needs to â€œthink differentlyâ€ about how the area is likely to be policed in future.
He said: â€œThe scale and pace of cuts to the policing budget, taken together with unparalleled growth in complex crime and new demand, means the service has reached a critical point.
â€œThe next round of public sector budget reductions will be a game-changer for policing in Norfolk
Even Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Met Commissioner, believes thatÂ London will be put at risk by proposed police cuts that would see up to 8,000 officers axed.
London put at risk? Â Arenâ€™t the Police supposed to protect the Public?
I could go on, but I wonâ€™t. Iâ€™m sure youâ€™ve got the message. Â Not Theresaâ€™s message, but the truer message.
How IS Police reform working? Â If I have missed it, or the discussion on Twitter has solved the riddle please let me know.
In the meantime exactly when IS Theresa May going to listen to the people who know. Â The people on the front line doing the job. The Chief Constables and PCCs in charge of them all.
Just in case that never happens Iâ€™m off to lie down in a darkened room and do my homework.
Crime is down, Reform is working, Â Crime is down, Reform is working, crime is down, Reform is working.