1 September 2022
Policing is living with the consequences of austerity, says the Police Federation’s deputy chair as she hit back at claims that the service has lost its way.
Tiff Lynch was interviewed on national radio following a report by the Policy Exchange think tank that claimed officers were “more interested in being woke than solving crimes”.
Speaking on TalkRadio, Tiff Lynch rejected the claims and said the service had been hit by a decade of cuts and underinvestment.
Tiff said: “We’re seeing the consequences of the actions of 2011. We were depleted in our numbers, and that’s not just frontline, that’s office staff as well.
“We told the Government of the day what would happen, that the cuts would have consequences. We’re not increasing our frontline. We’re making up the numbers that we lost in 2011.
“Times have changed. The population has increased drastically, and more is being asked of us, and our officers can’t cope.”
The report, written by former Metropolitan Police officer David Spencer, said police must “get the basics right” on crime and review training.
But Tiff highlighted the impact that the loss of experienced officers has had on policing and said those being recruited in the ongoing Uplift Programme would take years “to learn their trade”.
She said: “To be a police officer is a fantastic occupation – I will still say that now – but we’re struggling to recruit, and once you’re into the police service you’ve got two years of probation.
“You’re learning your trade up until at least five years. And 75 per cent of workforce at the moment are five years and below.
“We’re losing experience hand over fist – and it’s very concerning.”
Tiff was asked by host Ian Collins if a separate police service should be set up to tackle cyber-crime and online crimes.
She said that the existing service with its specialist and skilled officers needed properly funding to be able to do the job effectively.
“We definitely need those specialisms because at the root of cyber-crime we’ve got people trafficking, we’ve got money laundering and other criminality,” she said. “It’s one big cycle that moulds into each other.
“Do we need a separate police force? No.
“What we actually need are the numbers in the police forces that we’ve already got to bolster it up so we can get the intelligence and actually go out there and get these people put behind bars.”
Listen to Tiff’s interview on TalkRadio.