So much more than just job losses!

North Yorkshire Police

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The public sector cut backs resulting from government austerity measures are now starting to filter through, finally. The obvious hardships of looming redundancies are starting to bite. Individuals (and their families), previously reliant upon salaries from the public sector, are facing bleak futures. That said, it’s not just the employees being made redundant that will suffer, the knock-on effects are going to have a profound and negative impact upon everyone in our society.

Although we all face a period of ‘survival’ with greatly reduced public services across the board, my concern is that of policing and in particular, the effects that will be seen throughout the county of North Yorkshire. It’s not because I don’t care about other areas, I do, it’s simply because I have a greater knowledge about the likely impact on the one that I actually live in.

The police redundancy measures being implemented up and down the country have, as recently as today (see here), gained greater impetus in North Yorkshire Police as they commenced a 90 day compulsory redundancy consultation processes. This is on the back of voluntary redundancy measures already being implemented.

Last week, CIVITAS the Institute for the Study of Civil Society asked; is 2011 the start of a great decade for criminals? (See press release)

Obviously all the mainstream media have jumped at the chance of spreading a little more of their brand of sensational doom and gloom across the nation. The local regional newspaper was no different…

Northern Echo: VIOLENT crime will rise when up to 20,000 police jobs are axed because of savage spending cuts, MPs were warned today (11012011). The Police Federation pointed to the example of New York City – more “rapes, murders and robberies” – as evidence of the frightening impact of taking officers off the streets… (Read more)

As I have said previously (see 21st Century Policing); it really doesn’t have to be that way, or at least not as bad as the tabloid press would have us believe. However, the turkeys continue to side-step the real issues. For some time now the police (along with other public sector agencies), have suffered from the exponential growth of mediocre management and the negative impacts born out of poor leadership and their ludicrous back office bureaucratic processes.

Meanwhile (see here); residents of North Yorkshire are being asked to “inform on drink drivers” in a bid to “reduce the number of road deaths caused by the offenders.” You must understand (tongue in cheek), this is nothing to do with the fact there are (already) far less uniformed police resources available. The officers that used to influence driver behaviour and place miscreants before the courts.

Perhaps the government (and the police) actually expect us to police ourselves? Will this mean we see a raft of Charles Bronson types coming to the fore with a Death Wish? I expect that our inherent trait for social apathy will prevent this. The only saving grace amongst all this (if there was one), is that despite any actual increase in crime, you can bet your bottom dollar that; the politicians and ACPO will continue to manipulate the crime figures to preserve their own self-worth. We’ll all just have to take solace in the fact; things won’t look as bad as they actually are!

The CIVITAS Conclusion: “Establishing firm causal relationships is notoriously difficult in criminology. However, crime rates have been consistently negatively correlated with key measures of police effectiveness. Therefore, it is plausible to suggest that police resources play an essential role in tackling crime. While police numbers and resources are far from the only contributor to police effectiveness, it seems highly unlikely that the swinging cuts now being enacted will be made without significantly decreasing detection rates. The result will be that offenders will be able to engage in criminal acts with a reduced risk of being caught and sanctioned, making criminal acts less risky and more attractive for potential offenders. As a result, it is possible that recent falls in crime will be halted or even reversed. Members of the public are at greater risk of crime in the coming year.”

I have to agree with Simon Reed, Vice-Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, who said:-

“The first duty of government is the protection of its citizens. We trust today’s stark announcement will act as a wake-up call and moves are urgently undertaken to protect policing. There is still time to prevent turning the clock-back and seeing crime levels rise.“

These concerns, and the proposals impacting upon the officers and community of North Yorkshire, have also been echoed and raised by Mark Botham, the Chairman of the local Police Federation branch (see here).

To many people, in particular rural communities like North Yorkshire, job losses are not the only impact upon their society!

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About Dave Hasney

National Coordinator for UK SMART Recovery - Previously a Recovery Worker and prior to that a Management Consultant and H&S Practitioner - Kept sane by Angling, Good Food, Real Ale & Wine - Cynical thoughts sometimes developed from others.

Posted on 13-01-2011, in Leadership & Management, Police, Public Service Babble and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

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