13 September 2023
There needs to be a significant reduction in bureaucracy and continued investment in policing to enable officers to achieve the Government’s ‘back to basics’ strategy, Cumbria Police Federation has said.
The Home Secretary has said that the police must investigate every theft and follow all reasonable leads to catch offenders. Speaking during the Government’s recent ‘crime week’, Suella Braverman pledged that officers would no longer dismiss certain crimes as unimportant or minor and that “criminals must have no place to hide”.
But the Police Federation of England and Wales said that forces were already "stretched beyond human limits" and Cumbria Police Federation added that its officers were “overwhelmed with paperwork”.
Ed Russell, Chair of Cumbria Police Federation, said: “We welcome the Home Secretary’s requirement to investigate all crimes to the fullest, and we look forward to engaging both locally and nationally in the meaningful conversations that will be needed to make this happen.
“But since 2010 there has been a 25% increase in crime recording and a population increase of 4 million, compared to a real-terms increase in police numbers of just over 1,000 (not 20,000) due to the legacy of austerity imposed by the current Government. There will need to be significant reductions in bureaucracy, non-policing functions and continued investment in driving efficiency changes to enable the police to address this.
“After all, this is what police officers joined to do. Officers are currently overwhelmed with paperwork that can take up an entire shift, so we look for any positive moves to reduce this and allow us to do our job, keeping people safe and preventing and detecting crime. I look forward to updates from the Government as to how this will be achieved as, I am sure, do police officers up and down the country.”