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By Betting And Gaming Council

Police Federation: No time for hot air

Police Federation of England and Wales

2 min read Partner content

Steve White, Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales said:

“We’re pleased that HMIC recognises that the majority of forces are doing a good job. But this report also illustrates what we have been saying for years – we have run out of time for hot air. Instead we need a proper debate asking the public what they want from their police service and how much they want to spend on it.

“What we’re seeing is a service that is only being driven by cost constraints – we just cannot continue to deliver the service we have always delivered with our reduced resources.

“This is what Sir Tom Winsor recognised at our conference in May. Forces are trying very hard to keep the wheels on but since 2010, the central budget for policing has been slashed by over 20%, resulting in a 14% fall in officer numbers - the equivalent of over 19,000 officers.

“So we need to ask the public and Government,  which bits of the police service do you want us to keep delivering, because we cannot do it all?

“As the report clearly also demonstrates, forces are trying so hard to do everything with less in the tank that officers are now struggling and their welfare and wellbeing is being affected.

“Forces are trying collaboration and implementing large-scale change programmes to save costs and maximise existing resources – with varying success. One thing that never changes, however, are police IT systems, which largely remain unfit for purpose. More worrying are the welfare issues - as HMIC notes, ‘even short-term changes can have lasting effects on staff wellbeing’. This comes as no surprise to us – both the PFEW Welfare survey and our Pay and Morale Survey this year highlighted the punishing toll the current climate is wreaking on our officers - so we welcome HMIC’s intention to pay closer scrutiny to this area in future inspections.”


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