June 29th, 2011

Where we lead GMP follow

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Greater Manchester Police have announced that they intend to close 34 police station enquiry offices in it’s efforts to save £134 million.

We closed most of our ages ago. It’s nice to see one of the biggest forces in the country following suit.

GMP Chief Constable, Peter Fahy said that this was OK because nobody ever uses them and they cost too much money. My force used this same line when they wanted to do away with night shifts in one of the divisions, except it was total bollocks. I have no idea whether what Fahy says is also total bollocks as I don’t work in GMP, but being as he’s a chief officer, I’ll err on the side of total bollocks until proved otherwise.

I often get to speak to members of the public in my role in the control room, far too often, if I’m honest. And whilst they have been quite vocal on their thoughts about how the constabulary is performing, I’ve never spoken to one who said they were thankful that their local police station closed and they could take the opportunity for a lovely 15 to 20 mile drive to the nearest town with a front desk.

Doubtless, somehere in the chief’s spin will be something about ‘improving the service to the public’.

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4 comments

  1. jaded says:

    If we close all the front offices and refuse to answer the phone then crime will plummet.

    June 30th, 2011 at 17:16

  2. Civ_In_The_City says:

    It`s o.k. to close all the police stations because nobody uses them?

    Hmmm.

    There might be a clue there somewhere.

    Every town in the country has at least one Sainsburys, Tesco, Morrisons, Co-Operative, ASDA, Budgens, Waitrose. Some towns have one of each, some have multiples.

    Obviously supermarkets sell food and stuff that everybody wants and needs, so they`ll get lots of people popping in every day. They know they can go into any one of them, often 24 hours a day and they`ll get exactly what they want.

    (They said the same thing about Post Offices of course, but that wasn`t a good enough justification to keep them open (I heard they closed because of E.U. competition rules said they had to).)

    But if nobody is using police stations, to the point they can be closed, when the police ‘service’ has spent the last 20 years becoming a ‘service’ that ‘serves’ the widest possible range of ‘communities’ without excluding anyone, doing everything they can for them. And being SEEN to be doing everything they can for everybody.

    And STILL nobody is coming in to visit.

    Maybe…just maybe, whisper it now….

    YOU`RE NOT PROVIDING THE FACKING SERVICE PEOPLE WANT OR NEED.

    June 30th, 2011 at 17:27

  3. Kev says:

    Civ….it’s not that people don’t want or use our “services”, quite the opposite. All our diverse “service users” now have mobile phones (and have had for several years) so now they call us about any old crap and we come to them. These people rarely use front counter services because they are lazy and entitled and we just can’t say “no”.
    The people who will suffer are, as usual Mr and Mrs Average who may have had a minor crash and need a collision number “for the insurance”, Mrs Very Respectable who has a a problem with an ex and wants to discuss this but doesn’t want the “shame” of the neighbours seeing a police car outside her house and the parents of a six year old who has had a mega tantrum and his parents have taken him to the local station so the “The Police can tell him what will happen to him if he keeps being naughty”. These people and millions like them will now have to travel twenty miles so see a police officer.

    June 30th, 2011 at 18:51

  4. Stonehead says:

    Kev, or people like my wife and I. We saw two carloads of youths racing on an A-road. Mobile phone reception out in the boonies where we live is crap, it wouldn’t have been a 999 call anyway, and the non-emergency number gets you through to a call centre where all they do is try to persuade you that nothing happened that’s worthy of police time. So we drove to the nearest town and went to the police station to report the incident. Needless to say, the station was closed to the public. However, as we were leaving an officer who was visiting the station noticed us and took the details we had. Two years later, one of the drivers was convicted of traffic offences.

    We couldn’t have done it in our village as the police house—with cells—was sold off some years ago and is now a des-res. The police office at the railway station closed about two years ago. The nearest 24-hour police station is now 35 minutes away—in good weather—and I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes to restricted hours in the near future. After that, the nearest 24-hour police station would be an hour away.

    But never mind, nothing much happens in rural areas…

    July 2nd, 2011 at 08:50

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