Pressure of budget cuts coupled with negative press is adversely impacting the service â€“ but chief praises officersâ€™ strong motivation.
The sweeping cuts to forcesâ€™ budgets along with constant negative headlines has left the Police Service â€œin an awful placeâ€, according to a chief constable.
Jon Murphy (pictured) of Merseyside Police said that the service was taking a battering from all angles over budgets and the need to match community policing demands with resources along with â€œdailyâ€ bad news stories in the press.
He said chief officers faced difficult decisions over where to best deploy their officers as they lose even more of their resources. He asserted that having a uniformed presence to reassure communities would not be possible in the future.
In an interview with PoliceOracle.com, the national policing lead for the Crime Business Area, said that the â€œpolitical and public obsessionâ€ with police visibility would be difficult to sustain with the threats forces needed to deal with.
He said: â€œWe have to police the threats and risks along with issues including domestic violence and sexual exploitation reports as well as investigations around domestic violence, gang crime and cyber crime.
â€œWe have all these risks that we need to manage and it is going to become more and more difficult to sustain visible policing. I can understand why something like neighbourhood policing has gone in some forces because the smaller the force the less resilience it has.â€
Additionally, the ACPO officer said that actions of a few individuals in the service were overshadowing the excellent work by the vast majority of officers and staff.
â€œNationally the Police Service is in an awful place and we are seeing daily headlines and other bad news stories but locally most are doing a great job,â€ he said.
â€œSome of our colleagues have not covered themselves in glory.â€
â€œThe overwhelming number of officers put themselves at risk and are motivated every day to work in the service.
â€œThey are being let down by a few individuals.â€
Following the latest Comprehensive Spending Review in June, all forces are facing a second round of difficult budget cuts, with many being forced to reduce their workforce and remove or streamline departments.
CC Murphy, who is facing an additional Â£11.4 million budget reduction in his force, said that chiefs would need to seriously examine all areas of their force to identify savings.
He added: â€œWe have to start again and in Merseyside we are looking at collaboration. When you have cuts of this size all things have to be on the table but you need to have a common sense approach and think everything through.
â€œI can think back many years to period where there have been poor budget settlements and then where there have been periods of growth. We are in the middle of a very difficult period.â€
Chief: Police Service â€˜in an awful placeâ€™