Let’s be brutally honest and accept that nobody can be really sure whether there is a link between cutting the numbers of police officers from 143,000 to 123,000 is linked to recent increases in crime.
My best guess is that losing 20,000 officers is going to have some impact, especially when the burden being placed on officers is so much greater now, having also to deal with increased threats from things like cybercrime and terrorism.
My main point is the disconnect between what the public want and what is actually happening.
I don’t recall the conservatives ever announcing that if you voted for them they would adopt policies that meant early release of offenders (to help ease the overpopulated prisons issue) and that they would cut police numbers, do you?
It also shakes your confidence when a Government Home Office Minister, when on a radio show, is asked how many police officers there are in the UK, didn’t even know!
It’s the equivalent of a football Manager not knowing who his players are.
It’s said that the Tories might be in for a bit of a hiding when the local elections happen in some parts of the country in May, especially in London, where there has been a big increase in violent crime.
Here, in the New Forest, a lot of people are beginning to become concerned about the ability of the police to cope with all they have to do.
Tories claim none of this is “their fault” but they support a party that has implemented the cuts, instituted early prison release and imposed a useless and remote Police and Crime Commissioner upon us.
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I make no apology for telling Health Bosses this week that the plans they have for re-locating services won’t work unless people without their own transport are properly provided for.