Tag Archives: budget cuts

Budget Cuts and Priorities: Derbyshire and Durham Police Won’t Target Pot Smokers

Two police commissioners have said they no longer expect officers to chase people growing cannabis for personal use.

Alan Charles, the police and crime commissioner for Derbyshire, and Ron Hogg, his counterpart in Durham, have said their forces have more important priorities than investigating small-scale growers.

But they come amid a government crackdown on drug use. A new bill was recently introduced that would ban all psychoactive drugs, except those specifically exempted.

Charles told the Guardian on Wednesday that austerity cuts to police budgets had forced the Derbyshire force to reassess its priorities. “Our top priority must be those people at risk [of abuse or violence],” he said.

Read more in The Guardian.

Source: www.theguardian.com

Police Stress Costs Thousands of Working Days In Scotland

More than 53,000 working days at Police Scotland were lost to stress in the past two years, according to figures released on Sunday as the scale of the crisis engulfing the force’s call-handling operation became increasingly apparent.

The figures, obtained from Police Scotland through a freedom of information request by Scottish Labour, also show that between January and March this year over 10,000 working days were lost due to stress, an increase of 84% compared with the same period last year.

Read more in The Guardian.

Source: www.theguardian.com

Chancellor Osborne Announces 40 Per Cent Cuts To Police, Council And Transport Budgets

George Osborne today ordered Cabinet ministers to prepare for 40 per cent cuts to their budgets in his scramble to find £20billion in savings.

The Chancellor launched the 2015 Spending Review with a promise to ‘deliver more with less’, with policing, councils and transport expected to bear the brunt.

While schools and the NHS will be protected, there will be a major inquiry into whether Britain’s foreign aid budget is getting ‘value for money’.

Mr Osborne used his Budget earlier this month to lay out plans to save £12billion in welfare and £5billion in tax avoidance a year by 2020. 

Today he confirmed that government departments will have produce £20billion of savings by the end of the decade.

Mr Osborne argues that with the UK economy growing faster than any major economy and employment at near-record highs, now is the time to make cuts.

Read more in Daily Mail (I know, I know, you can google for a better source).

Source: www.dailymail.co.uk

Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner Clashes With Reigate MP Over Amalgamation

A war of words has broken out between Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner and a senior Surrey MP.

Kevin Hurley clashed with Reigate MP, and former prisons minister, Crispin Blunt, during a radio debate last week on the issue of regionalising police forces.

Mr Hurley believes the current system of 43 separate police forces in England in Wales is nonsensical and Surrey and others should amalgamate to create larger regional organisations – a move he says will save £2 billion.

However, Mr Blunt – former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Prisons and Youth Justice – believes the size of the Surrey force is right, and has dismissed any prospect of regionalisation under this Government.
Cuts and enforced savings threaten 500 jobs at Surrey Police, have rendered prisons unable to deliver prisoner rehabilitation, and knocked morale in the probabation service to rock bottom, Mr Hurley said.

Source: www.dorkingandleatherheadadvertiser.co.uk

Greater Manchester Violent Crime Rockets As Cuts To Police Continue

Violent crime in Greater Manchester is rocketing, new figures show.

Greater Manchester Police recorded 41,176 violent crimes in the year up to the end of March, up by 40 per cent compared to the year before.

Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said: “This increase in recorded violent crimes is showing some worrying trends and placing huge demand and risk on a reducing number of staff. Many of these incidents are complex with vulnerable victims to be protected and dangerous offenders to be brought under control. We are bringing many more cases to court but keeping on top of this is getting more and more challenging.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd said “(…) I call on David Cameron to stop chipping away at the police service, invest in public safety and make sure that policing has the money and the means needed to keep us safe.”

Read more in the Manchester Evening News.

Source: www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk

One In Six Officers Want To Leave Within Two Years – Police Federation of England and Wales

One in six police officers are planning to leave the profession within two years, according to a new survey.

Almost 16 per cent, one in six respondents to a the survey of more than 30,000 police personnel admitted they intend to depart their roles within the next two years.

Whilst seven per cent questioned plan to leave within the next two years, seven per cent felt valued in the police, but 8.6 per cent are already looking for a new career.

The proportion was a slight increase on the same poll last year, when 14.6 per cent said they intend to leave.
The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), which conducted the research, seized on its findings as evidence of the “parlous” state of morale across the police force.

Other findings from the poll include:

  • Just under one in two (49.5 per cent) respondents intend to stay in the force until pension age.
  • More than 95 per cent of those who are planning to leave cited “how the police as a whole are treated” as having an effect on their decision, while a similar proportion said their morale was a factor.
  • More than three quarters (79.4 per cent) said their belief that there are better job opportunities outside the police had either some or a major effect on their decision, while 73 per cent cited their workload and responsibilities as a factor.
  • Overall 70.2 per cent of officers said their morale was low, compared to 59.1 per cent in the previous survey in 2014.
  • Nearly six in 10 said they feel proud to be in the police and 53.1 per cent said they are willing to “go the extra mile” for the service.
  • Just 7.2 per cent said they believe they are fairly paid considering the “stresses and strains” of their job, while only one in 10 would recommend joining the police to others.

PFEW chairman Steve White said: “This survey provides extremely strong evidence of the parlous state of officers’ morale across the service.

Read more in Wakefield Express.

Source: www.wakefieldexpress.co.uk

Police Federation Asks Public To Support Local Police: The Great British Bobby

Spending cuts will spell the end of the traditional British bobby, the head of the Police Federation has warned.

While Britons would once have known the name and phone number of their local policeman, the next generation will grow up never seeing an officer unless they are unfortunate enough to experience a serious crime, Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation, said.

Budget cuts mean that police can now only afford to deal with crime when it has happened and can no longer be called on to intervene in neighbour disputes. As the Federation prepares to launch a major campaign this summer highlighting the value of neighbourhood policing, Mr White has called on the public to back the Great British Bobby, warning they will not know what they have lost until it has gone.

He said: “Our fears about the loss of neighbourhood policing are not just driven by our members, who say they are at breaking point and are unable to provide the service that they feel they should be able to provide, it is also driven by our deep concerns that the public will all of a sudden realise and appreciate what they once had when it has already gone.”

He also attacked Government claims that crime had fallen since the cuts began in 2010, suggesting it was simply because people were no longer bothering to report it.

Mr White said: “You have the traditional story of waking up in the morning and finding your lawnmower stolen, what do you do? Well, many people don’t do anything. People are saying what is the point in recording it? The police are stretched, what are they actually going to do?”

Read more in The Express.

Source: www.express.co.uk

Tory MP Ridiculed for Demanding Police Action Amid Cuts By Her Government

One of David Cameron’s promising government figures of the future has sparked an embarrassing Twitter spat after demanding more police patrols in her constituency.

Priti Patel, the Tory MP for Witham in Essex said she was “shocked” to hear of criminal incidents in the Essex town and demanded police did more.

One man needed plastic surgery to his eye and another beaten up by a gang of thugs in her constituency, leading to her demanding an increased police presence in Witham.

But the support for her constituency soon backfired on her, after she was bombarded with tweets with the hashtag #cutshaveconsequences.

Essex Police is having to save £46million over the next three years after its budget was slashed by the Theresa May.

The force has already had to find £47.3million in savings over four years.

Already 400 front line officers have been lost from the force, with about 600 more facing redundancy in the new wave of cuts.

The hashtag has been used by the Police Federation in a campaign demanding the government protects forces across the country from cuts.

Read more in Sunday Express.

Source: www.express.co.uk

Historic Fettes And Portobello Police Stations At Risk Of Sale Amid Cuts

The historic Fettes police building is at risk of being sold after it emerged Police Scotland was looking to get rid of old stations as part of a cost-cutting drive.

Stations across the Capital could be at risk of closure under proposals in an “estate strategy” report set to be approved by the Scottish Police Authority today.

And one prime candidate for sale is the former Lothian and Borders police headquarters at Fettes.

A source said Fettes was an obvious target since its previous role as force headquarters was now redundant and it was a prime site.

The former HQ appears to meet the criteria listed for buildings which would be replaced – “property not in the right location, or properties in poor condition that cannot provide for future needs”.

The Fettes building, created in 1973, has previously been criticised as “not fit for purpose” and plans in 2007 to upgrade the site were knocked back due to the cost.

The new Police Scotland estate strategy has proposed to reduce the total floor space of garages, offices and other premises by up to a quarter, with a saving of between £5m and £18m a year.

Police Scotland says it inherited the property of the eight former forces and in some cases it no longer meets the demands of 2015 or the needs of communities.

There is already concern that Portobello police station is at risk, with speculation the building could be sold to Wetherspoon. The source said West End police station was another large, old building in a key location which the force might be able to dispose of. Leith could fall into the same category.

In 2013/14, the Evening News campaigned against cost-saving plans to close a swathe of police station counters in Lothian. Over 18,000 people signed petitions in protest and the police eventually reversed the proposals on three stations, but counters at seven others still shut.

Lothian Labour MSP Sarah Boyack said coming hard on the heels of the counter closures, the latest plans were “deeply worrying”. She said: “It is clear there is a real financial pressure on the police. I will be raising concerns about any proposal to reduce access to police stations. And we need to know what the future is for Fettes, which is a major resource for Police Scotland.”

City council Tory group leader and former policeman Cameron Rose also voiced concerns about potential closures.

“There will be cases where we can get rid of old buildings or reduce the floor space and therefore cut costs, but it’s not always the answer. Police buildings still need to be distributed so officers are close to where they are needed. I have some concern there might not be enough attention given to the need for a quick response.”

A spokesman said extensive consultation would be carried out before any change and the decision would be made by the local police commander.

Relocating a police station to shared premises with the local council, as has already happened in Livingston, is a model Police Scotland is keen to purse where possible. The spokesman said alternative provision would be put in place before any closure.

Police Scotland Superintendent Gary Ritchie said there were “currently no plans” for any station closures in Edinburgh.

Source: www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com

Met Police Taking More Time Off Work With Stress-Related Illnesses

The number of days taken off work by Met police officers owing to stress-related illness has increased by 43% over the last five years, according to figures released by the London force.

The number of resignations has also increased dramatically from 289 officers in 2009-10 to 506 in 2013-14, although the figures do not record the reasons for quitting.

John Tully, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation (MPF), which represents rank and file officers, said the figures reflected the “human cost” of government cuts and increased workloads. The data showed “a workforce on their knees whilst upholding the finest traditions of the Metropolitan police and maintaining a professional service to the public”, he said.

Read more in The Guardian.

Source: www.theguardian.com