January 27th, 2011

Downhill from here

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Official figures out this week show that police officer numbers have dropped nationally by 2,500 in the last year. This is largely as a  result of a freeze on recruitment which took effect in most forces long before the current 20% cuts were even a glint in the government’s eye.

Rather unfortunately – for everyone who previously said the more officers the less crime – crime fell over the same period by 5%. Clearly, current thought is therefore that less officers means less crime, statistically.

It will be interesting to see what the number of officers looks like in a year or two’s time. It’s OK though because the Chief Cionstable of GMP, Peter Fahy, has his finger on the pulse. He says: “This has to be a debate not about officer numbers but about what officers spend their time doing and the overall impact of funding reductions on public confidence in policing. The way policing is organised and delivered will have to change significantly as this reduction in officers takes hold.” So nicely falling in to line there then.

I predict that we will de less & less (some people already ask if that is possible, the amount of stuff we don’t do any more, like provide any sort of access to open police stations). And the real reason we won’t be able to deal with anti-social behaviour won’t be because we are too scared to go into dark places, but because we haven’t got anyone to send.

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  1. Renoir says:

    Long may this continue!
    Less recorded crime is good for everyone, right?

    Of course, take to it’s logical extreme, we’ll have 0 officers and 0 recorded crime.

    January 28th, 2011 at 06:48

  2. jaded says:

    Another story came out today that the shortfall in regular officers is almost exactly the amount of extra Specials being taken on. Our borough commander can then announce to the local paper that we have more police officers than before.So the chap that comes in once a fortnight and isn’t very good is now counted as permanent staff.

    January 28th, 2011 at 12:09

  3. joe says:

    Don’t knock specials, they are MOP’s who are at least showing support for the police. I don’t believe any special would regard themselves as a replacement for a regular officer but they are putting themselves on the line with regular officers and, in some cases being injured or killed in support of their colleagues. As to them coming in once a fortnight and not being very good – well (apart from those who clearly can’t hack it and that is not some thing exclusive to specials; I’m sure we all know of certain members of the regular force who fit that bill) how much of that is down to the regular force cold shouldering them. You work with and encourage specials and you get a better class of special who can make a valuable contribution.

    The Met and possibly other farces policy (as I understand it) of now only recruiting from candidates who have served as specials for two years probably accounts for the increase in numbers. Actually, I don’t see this as a bad thing. It at least shows some dedication to joining the job and gives both sides and opportunity to assess if the individual is up to snuff. The only change I’d make is an exemption for ex forces applicants.

    On the broader issue I’m still not convinced it is a simple numbers game. Free the police from a lot of the PC and targets crap they now have to wade through and put more of the chair polishers on response and we might actually be able to do more with (nominally) less.

    January 28th, 2011 at 21:32

  4. jaded says:

    Dear Joe,I hope you didn’t misunderstand my post about Specials.I actually mentor four of them and they are nice people.My complaint is that they are being used by my force to boost numbers when they are not experienced enough to be counted as regular officers.
    My force have frozen recruiting like the others.The only way in is to be a special.They think that this is guaranteed entry but all it does is guarantee an interview at some unspecified time in the future.

    January 31st, 2011 at 12:01

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