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Avon & Somerset Police Federation

Government's levelling up plans dump more responsibility onto under-resourced and overworked police service

4 February 2022

The Government’s ‘levelling up’ plans include giving police the power to deal with noise nuisance, but this is just “dumping more responsibilities” onto officers, Avon and Somerset Police Federation said.

The proposal was announced by Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove, who under the headline ‘restoring national pride’, suggested that police officers could soon be asked to deal with noise nuisance – a job traditionally in the remit of local councils.

Avon and Somerset Police Federation Chair Mark Loker said the plan was ill-conceived and he doubted there had been any consultation with the police.

Mark said: “There is no doubt that noise nuisance is horrendous for those who are subject to it, but the answer is not to create a new law and expect the police to pick it up in among all their other priorities. If other public services fail to deal with issues, the answer is not to simply dump their responsibilities onto the police.”

He continued: “Policing is under-resourced, overworked and underfunded, and we already have to spend more time completing labour-intensive tasks such as disclosure for the CPS, and recording data for data collection’s sake. There is little time left for what the public expects from their police service.

“There are only so many hours in a day and only so many cops to go around – while the country ‘levels up’, more seems to ‘level down’ to the police to deal with. This has all been announced at a time when the police service already struggles to keep up with its current demand, through no fault of our own.

“My colleagues work harder than ever, and ill-conceived plans will lead to further demand, but ultimately disappointment for the public when we are already having to prioritise demand at the detriment of victims of crime and the prevention and detection of crime.”

Mark added that there was not enough investment in policing as it was, and the service was currently trying to fill the roles that were taken away during years of austerity.

He said: “The Government should be looking at ways to reduce the pressure on the service and my colleagues. We have seen the police expected to enforce COVID laws that were then reversed; this will be no different and will only add straws to the already straining camel’s back.”