Just for a bit context, I served in the Met Police (on-and-off) for 10 years and spent my entire time in on a 999 response team in east London.
I was in disbelief yesterday when a saw an interview that Mrs May gave to Sky News, during which she said that there was ‘no direct correlation between certain crimes and police numbers’.
Whilst we are not sure which crimes Mrs May was referring to, one can make an educated guess that knife crime, being as bad as it is at the moment, is within her broad category of ‘certain crimes’.
Now, I do not have anything against the Prime Minister, just as I do not have anything against anyone who I have not met in person.
I am also apolitical as there is no political party that I feel I can support, that operates according to the principles of general decency and common sense.
However, to suggest that there is no correlation between police numbers and crime, blatantly is wrong.
When I served in the Met there were enough officers to go out on shift and be proactive.
We did not have to carry our own cases to court meaning that we could arrest someone, do all of the initial evidence gathering and then hand the case over to a dedicated team, the Case Progression Unit, who would then work on the case.
As a result of ‘austerity’ the Case Progression Unit was disbanded and now all response team officers have to deal with their own cases meaning that what used to take 4 hours, could now take several months.
I remember that my oppos and I used to be able to arrest up to four people in a single shift. Not any more.
By being proactive, I mean that we would target known gang areas and gang members.
We used to have dedicated teams, such as the Robbery Task Force (RTF), who was phenomenal in disrupting violent criminals. They knew every single prolific offender on the borough and would target them every shift.
Guess what? The RTF was disbanded due to cuts.
We, as response team officers, would stop and search suspected gang members and those suspected of carrying knives, and we would get a lot of arrests as a result of this work.
Of course, this was before people like the current Mayor of London made it his mission to try and curb police stop and search.
And now, it would appear, ‘we’ are paying the price.
It is, quite frankly, shocking that anyone would seek to ‘cut’ stop and search, as anyone with an ounce of common sense and anyone who understands policing will confirm that stop and search is a vital tool in the fight against crime.
Stop and search fell, and crime went up.
So all those who DID call for a reduction of stop and search should shoulder some of the responsibility for what is happening in the capital.
We have politicians, from both of the major parties not only denying that lower police numbers lead to an increase in crime, but we had, in the past, politicians publically admitting to the fact that they would do ‘everything’ in their power to cut stop and search.
I cannot understand why anyone with an ounce of common sense would think that cutting police numbers would NOT lead to an increase in crime.
If you reduce something that is preventing another thing from happening, then the reduction will lead to an increase in what is being prevented by the numbers being there in the first place!
It really is just common sense. It’s also basic maths.
If you have fewer officers on the streets, then you will have MORE crime because criminals won’t just think ‘as there are fewer police officers, then I should stop committing crime’.
It’s almost as if some politicians have read a handbook on ‘how to be a politician’ and in chapter one, paragraph one it says:
‘Never accept responsibility for anything, even when 99% of people will know that you have made a mistake’.
Whilst this might have worked prior to the dawn of social media, this kind of hoodwinking is no longer effective.
The public knows what’s going on. The people who are still on the front line have voices which they never had before.
I am sure that, at a time when faith in our politicians is at an all-time low, then honesty would go a long, long way.
The emergency services are sick-and-tired of being kicked around like a political football.
Politics MUST be taken out of policing. Politicians should not be allowed to interfere with something they clearly understand so little about.
We owe it to the victims of crime to do everything in our power to leave policing to the professionals and to undue the harm that was casued to our emergency services by ‘austerity’.
Canning HS2 and using the money for our emergency services and NHS would be a good start.
I am sure that more people would want £55 billion to be spent on our emergency services and NHS than would want to shave 20 minutes off of a journey from London to Birmingham….
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