90 days from today is Sun, 02 June 2024
10 April 2018
“I have seen police officers in tears because they are so frustrated that they simply don’t have the time to do the job properly anymore”
Keeping people safe is not about Police Numbers?
Ian Hanson, Chairman of Greater Manchester Police Federation, begs to differ with Home Secretary Amber Rudd… and outlines how she has now lost the confidence of police officers and victims of crime up and down the country.
Ian says: “In GMP we have lost some 2,000 police officers and 3,000 support staff and this has left a gaping hole in what we can do - and it just seems to be getting worse.
“Violent crime is going through the roof with gun crime up 20% and knife crime up 21% and we have to remember that these are not just statistics - behind these figures are real victims, people’s loved ones left dying on the pavement on this Government's watch.
“The politicians tell us it’s not about Police numbers… yet the response to the crisis in our capital this week is to draft in 300 additional police officers from across London - they can’t have it both ways.
“And make no mistake those additional cops haven’t suddenly appeared from nowhere, they will have been taken from other areas in the constant game of robbing Peter to pay Paul that our political masters have reduced us to.
“And these are just the high-profile incidents that are being reported in the media. Behind them all day every day countless victims of crimes’ lives are being made a misery because of our wholesale inability to provide an effective response to the lower level crime that plagues our communities.
“I have seen police officers in tears because they are so frustrated that they simply don’t have the time to do the job properly any more.
“And, at the same time, I have seen those same officers show astounding humanity by coming into work early in their own time to go out and have a cup of tea with an elderly victim of crime, doing so because they knew that the numbers on the streets were so low they would never get chance to once their shift began proper.
“Recent times have seen terrible terrorist atrocities, including in Manchester, yet our ability to effectively prevent against such attacks has been eroded beyond sensible comprehension.
“The bedrock of preventing attacks is intelligence and that intelligence is provided by our communities, yet our numbers have fallen to such lows that we can barely put enough police officers out to respond to 999 incidents let alone properly resource community policing teams to develop effectively relationships which be in no doubt have saved lives over the years.
“Yet still our Home Secretary tells the public that there are enough police and spiralling levels of crime are nothing to do with the fact that this Government have presided over the biggest reduction in police numbers in history and the effective dismantling of the British Police Service.
“As the final curtain starts to draw on my policing career after 31 years I find it absolutely astounding that a Home Secretary can treat the public with such utter contempt.
“It is clearly an established and accepted fact within the Home Office that the drop in numbers is a cause for rising crime because their leaked internal report this week very much stated that it was.
“And the disquiet of at least one of her Home Office officials in leaking that very document to the media in an attempt to get the truth out to the public has been laid bare for all to see.
“Yet still Ms Rudd persists in peddling the deceit that all is rosy in the garden.
"Ms Rudd take yourself away from the Palace of Westminster or the leafy lanes of your constituency of Hasting Upon Rye and come up north and see what is happening in our inner cities and poor communities to real people on your watch.
“In reality I think it’s gone too far for that now – Ms Rudd is too embedded with her head in the sand and to the mantra that all is well. And she has demonstrated over the past few days that her eyes are firmly closed to the realities of what is taking place in 2018.
“The only other possible explanation is that she genuinely believes what she is saying and she is so out of touch with our communities that she can never understand it.
“She has lost the confidence of police officers and victims of crime up and down the country – look how the usual media and newspapers that support the Tory Party are even turning against her policies.
“If Ms Rudd does not swiftly join the rest of the country in realising the consequences of continued cuts to policing then perhaps she should step aside and allow someone who does to take control of the Home Office.
“Someone who acknowledges the problem, gives policing the investment it needs and has a plan to set us and our communities on the road to recovery.”
Ian Hanson QPM