As many police officers will know, this week sees the annual conference of the Police Federation of England and Wales (May 15th - 17th). This year, probably more so than any in living memory, the tried and tested British policing model faces unprecedented attacks from several quarters.
In addition to the day-to-day condemnation from their customers, an expected normality from those who have their criminal activities impeded, police officers are also subjected to the sensationalism, and often inaccurate reporting methods of much of our media. In addition we now see the Government joining this criminal assault on British Policing.
Like many I am worried about what the future will look like for policing in the UK. Not from personal interest - I'm now retired - and not even specifically for friends still serving. I'm concerned for our society, our communities and the service they will receive from their police. All the changes currently taking place, and in the pipeline, are creating a two tier policing model.
A service where unsworn, unwarranted and largely unaccountable staff deliver little more than a uniformed community watch system. Where as police officers, they are being reduced to carrying out only enforcement activities in confrontational situations. A paramilitary looking and largely politically deployed Sûreté Nationale type of organisation. Is this realy the type of police service we want?
The Police Federation are rightly concerned about the impact of current changes to British policing on their membership however; they are also trying to protect your service for your future and the future of your children. Unlike many politicians (and the media) we should all look at the wider picture, try to understand the policing process and indeed the wider criminal justice system.
The home secretary is “on the precipice of destroying” a police service admired throughout the world, she will be warned by rank-and-file officers…(bbc.co.uk)
The vast majority of police officers joined the job to serve and protect the public, unlike many politicians (and senior officers) whose methodology is often born out of self-serving and protecting their own self-importance and career prospects.
It's time for the public, the media and ultimately politicians to listen to and act upon the observations and advice of the 'rank & file' in British policing - Before it is too bloody late!
- Crime rates could rise as police cuts bite, warns Acpo chief (guardian.co.uk)
- Police chief: Budget cuts will lead to more crime (telegraph.co.uk)
- Our bobbies need to start marching to a different beat (telegraph.co.uk)
- Theresa May is ‘destroying police service’ , say officers (independent.co.uk)
- Theresa May ‘on precipice of destroying police service’ (guardian.co.uk)
- Theresa May ‘destroying police’ (bbc.co.uk)
- May’s police reforms to ‘fundamentally change service’ (itv.com)