Anyone with a modicum of interest in the government document ‘Policing in the 21st Century: Reconnecting police and the people’ has been eagerly awaiting a response from the Association of Police Authorities (APA) and the National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA).
Well we’ve waited, they’ve probably had meeting after meeting and the comments have been published but what have they offered? In my opinion, a great deal of nothing… At a great deal of expense!
They immediately set out in their summary that apparently there are; “low levels of public awareness of the proposed changes to policing and its governance, and little appetite or desire for it”. They also say their analysis ‘suggests’ “significant cuts to the police service” and “what is required is an evolutionary approach to governance change and improvement, rather than a revolutionary one”. Could the ‘low levels of public awareness’ not be attributed to the fact that APA (and ACPO) have actually ‘chosen’ not to ‘alarm’ their public?
After all, both bodies have previous convictions for the (mistaken) belief they know what the public wants more than the public actually do. The “little appetite or desire” from the public is also due to the fact both bodies have continuously misled the public. They have systematically indoctrinated them into believing they are going to ‘lose local control’. It does not have to be that way and is further evidence of attempts to manipulate public belief for self-protection reasons.
There may have to be some cuts but they do not have to be front line. This is another scare tactic employed by APA/ACPO in an attempt to divert attention from the biggest savings that could be made. The ones the hierarchy of governance actually have no stomach for. And finally, to suggest there should be an ‘evolutionary’ approach is nonsensical given the urgency of the situation.
After reading the NPIA summary I am somewhat bemused but hardly surprised; it doesn’t appear to offer a great deal to the predicament, save for some eloquent rhetoric which basically says; “look how good we were, it’ll be your loss when we go but if you need some help, our staff are looking for new jobs”.