3 January 2020
John Apter, National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), replies to today’s Daily Telegraph article by Charles Hymas.
The report claimed: “Police have given up” taking some crimes to court and a private police service run by former officers has established an alternative private prosecution service for “minor” crimes in wealthier areas.
John Apter, National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), said: “Police are being forced to make difficult decisions simply because there are no longer enough investigators and officers on the ground.
“The savage effects of austerity on policing has established a new marketplace for opportunistic entrepreneurs to profit from people’s vulnerability.
“Driven by profit, these companies fill the gap created by long-term funding cuts and even dress their staff like police officers.
“It is scandalous we now have a two-tier system for those with and without money, and as a result the public are being badly let down. However, I don’t blame people for seeking alternative solutions, as so-called low-level and anti-social crime is a real blight on people’s lives.
“Police officers are under unprecedented pressure and my colleagues are as frustrated as the public that some crimes are not being investigated and therefore some criminals unpunished. Police officers didn’t join the job to give a second-class service; sadly that’s what some members of the public feel they are getting and I understand why.
“We repeatedly warned policing was in grip of a crisis and this red flag moment confirms this. The Government simply must accept this damage is the effect of austerity, the promise of 20,000 more officers won’t fix this overnight, far from it. If the public are to get the service they demand and deserve from their police we need increased long-term funding and we need it now.”