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 Ã‚Â 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 hisÃ‚Â fingerÃ‚Â 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.