Posted on 11th August 2011
Cutting police funding is looking increasingly risky after the blue line has been put to the test during one of the most challenging weeks faced by the police on a national basis.
Echoing the words of the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, Cllr Philip Hickson, Chair of Derbyshire Police Authority, said: “This is not a time to think about making substantial cuts in police numbers. If nothing else, I hope that the events of this week will cause those determined to reduce police funding to think again.
“The Police Service has carried out a difficult and dangerous task over the last few days. The lawlessness on the streets is of the kind we have not seen in this country and hope never to see again and we have all turned to the Police to deal with the problem. Cuts to police numbers as a result of the funding reductions will inevitably mean that Forces will not have the same number of officers. Indeed, it is estimated that there will be 16,000 fewer police officers, the same number needed to police the Capital’s streets.”
There have also been fresh calls for the plans to abolish police authorities in favour of directly elected police and crime commissioners to be discarded. Opponents, including senior Liberal Democrats, say that members of the public will not understand why millions of pounds should be spent on the new system at this time.
Cllr Hickson, who has long voiced his concerns at the plans, said: “Surely now is the time to pause for breath and reconsider. We need to invest every possible penny into keeping our officers and staff who are the ones who are expected to deal with the horrific troubles that took place this week. Instead, the Government plans to spend £130million on setting up the new system and the elections will cost £50million – every four years. In Derbyshire alone the elections will cost £1 million which I would far rather see invested in recruiting new police officers. This is a much better way to spend taxpayers’ money.
“It is time to call a halt to this American inspired, untried and untested, model of policing governance and consider what is really important – the safety of our communities – and how we can use our united experience to achieve that.”
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