Cuts at what cost?

18 March 2015

The public are being called upon to join and inform the policing debate as cuts to the service continue to bite.

The public can find out information about their police areas using the info map:

Will Riches, vice-chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “Crime and demand for service is changing and officers are not able to help in the same way they once would.

“Recorded crime statistics are used as a way to measure the performance of police but this is too simplistic. We need a wider debate around what the police do, particularly at a time of pressure on all public services.”

Countering terrorists; managing sex offenders in the community; preventing child sexual exploitation; looking for missing persons; dealing with people with mental health problems; policing football matches; policing pubs and clubs; house to house inquiries and taking statements are just some of the key areas of police work not covered in crime statistics.

“Forces have been able to respond to all sorts of issues of concern, but what is most important to our communities? What is it they want their officers to do? It is vital that we keep the public safe but what call for help is going to be turned down? Which is more important than another? Forces are trying to manage severe cuts of budgets and make very difficult decisions about who they won’t be helping in their areas,” added Mr Riches.

“The police service has frequently stepped in to help where others could not and that just won’t be happening any more. Officers will of course be trying their best to help but the way communities are being policed will have to change and the public need to be prepared that where once we were, we will no longer be as we simply can’t do everything. Nearly 17,000 fewer officers and 17,000 fewer support staff nationally has to impact on delivery of services somewhere.”

Join the policing debate. You can find out information about your police areas using the info map: 

Tweet your concerns and join the debate to help shape the future of policing. #policingmatters #cutshaveconsequences

Notes to Editor:

Research by the College of Policing into the demands on forces found that 83 per cent of calls to forces did not concern incidents of crime. The analysis showed the incoming and ongoing work of the police with an increasing amount of police time directed towards public protection work such as managing high-risk offenders and protecting victims who are at risk and often vulnerable.

The Federation’s own #truepicture day highlighted the range of incidents officers get called to deal with in a typical day.

The figures within the map have been taken from the workforce statistics data 2014 (attached)