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West Midlands Police Federation

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Cuts blamed for public losing faith in criminal justice system

11 March 2020

West Midlands Police Federation chair Jon Nott has blamed funding cuts after a new police watchdog report highlighted people are losing faith in the criminal justice system.

The report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) said victims of crime were experiencing ‘stark differences’ in the investigation they received depending on their force area.

Matt Parr, HMIC inspector, author of the report Diverging Under Pressure, said victims have given up reporting some crimes because the police do not have the capacity to investigate.

He concluded that members of the public are losing faith in the criminal justice system because the chances of offenders being brought to justice are so slim, with a suspect being charged in just 7.8 per cent of recorded crimes last year in England and Wales, down from 9.1 per cent the year before.

“The number of crimes recorded by police has risen, the complexity of many crimes is increasing, and there are fewer officers and staff to investigate,” he said.

But Jon explained: “What Mr Parr describes is a perfect storm of fewer officers and staff to investigate increasing numbers of offences and increasingly complex criminality.

“And with fewer resources available to pursue investigations after a decade of devastating cuts, is it any wonder that people are beginning to lose faith? It is horrible to hear and but not necessarily surprising.

“Our communities quite rightly expect to have a properly resourced and properly funded police service that can investigate, prevent and deter criminals. And with that will come the public’s trust.”


October 2020