17 November 2022
Cumbria Police Federation Chair Paul Williams has backed a call from chiefs to maintain officer numbers.
Martin Hewitt, Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, urged the Government to continue investing in policing and maintain the uplift in the number of officers at a conference earlier this month.
The Chancellor’s Autumn statement is today.
Mr Hewitt said: “If the uplift in police officers is not maintained, the benefits of the growth since 2019 will be lost. More pressure on other public services means more pressure on the core policing mission. We all know that under-funded public services are not reforming public services and good performance is built on certain and sustainable funding.
“I urge the Government to factor this into their decisions. A cash starved police service and criminal justice system will struggle to make necessary changes and improve public and victim satisfaction.”
Paul backed the comments, adding that the Police Federation has been making these warnings for years.
Paul said: “I have to agree with Mr Hewitt. Policing has been suffering a kicking for the last 12 years and the evidence speaks for itself. Public sector cuts and demands have placed extra pressure on policing without a doubt. Many years ago we warned of these consequences and were accused of ‘crying wolf’.”
Speaking ahead of the Autumn budget, Paul called on the Government to “deliver” and “demonstrate that policing is a priority.”
He added: “This hasn’t just been damage it has been decimation with recovery I would say would take at least a generation if steps are taken in the right direction. That though starts with the Government. Police forces are trying their best to accommodate uplift and deal with the problems surrounding this. Abstractions of staff due to training, trying to plug gaps in experience and manage attrition is a mammoth task and we’re taking the hit of cuts in other sectors.”