Like any other Western nation this country can show examples of both good policing and bad policing. There are forces that perform poorly and forces that perform well. There are forces with a questionable recent history and those whose recent history is mostly positive. There are individuals who give the force a bad name then there are those who will risk life and limb to protect you if they were required to.
If you wanted to see an example of inherently brutal and corrupt policing then a country like Egypt would make our lot seem like angels. I do have a degree of empathy with police. I’d hate to deal with the low-lives they are required to deal with, day in and day out. Then all the admin on the back end of it. And when a bust is made and child abuse material found who do you think is tasked with having to view the material? Police officers, albeit officers that undergo special training. No amount of training ever makes it a breeze though. You might think they get used to it and to an extent they probably do. But I bet that sense of revulsion never goes away.
There are times when they have gone to a great deal of trouble to convict some sadist or predator and the courts (as you know) just let the person walk. How demoralising do you think it must be to think you’ve taken down a dangerous sicko only for some hand-wringing magistrate to let them off with a wee summer home detention? No wonder morale is low among many forces when they often put in all that serious work and for what? A punishment of being made to be home by 8pm?
It doesn’t end there though. Morale is low because the central government cut budgets for the police which means less officers recruited. More work and pressure is then placed on a force without the numbers to fully cope. This leads to officers doing their job less well and it means that to a large extent the streets are lost to degenerates, thugs and drug dealers. On top of all of that any officer who signed up in recent years had a whole new responsibility and problem to worry about- The very real threat of acts of terrorism.
If this government really cared about public confidence and police morale then they’d give forces the budget to bring their numbers up and do their jobs better. Instead they are happy to cut budgets and numbers to the bone which makes towns and cities less safe and places many forces under unreasonable pressure. That situation is untenable for the public and police alike and once again it is poor governance that’s the cause. Public confidence and police moral could easily be restored if the government did not constantly cut budgets and numbers and resources. That’s why I’d take an opposite position to this Prime Minister. She and the previous chancellor were all about massive cuts to their budgets. I would advocate a restoration of the pre-cut budgets and with priority given to police units that deal in particular classes of crime.
I have an interest in officers who work with dogs in their job. I admire the relationship they have with that dog, whether it’s a Cadaver dog or one performing some other vital role. The dog responds to the training because it believes it’s a game and in order to encourage the required behaviour lots of rewards, treats and care is needed. In other words the exact opposite of the relationship Frankish has with dogs.
Dogs that work with officers very often live at home and are also like a family pet. This is something that any police dog handler should think about the next time they work or play with their dog. They should stop and consider that our community is also their community and that people like Frankish are a threat to all of the community – them also. Most will be family men with children. They should take a good look at their children and decide who is doing their best to secure a safer future for them – is it people like Frankish or is it Operation Frankish through our endeavours to force some radical legal changes?
What has happened to police budgets?
Central government contribution to police expenditure was cut by one quarter in real terms. Although this was slightly offset by local increases in council tax, it still resulted in an overall 18% reduction in police budgets in real terms.
How has the police workforce changed?
In the five years from March 2010, police officer numbers declined by close to 12% – a loss of almost 17,000. The decline in the workforce was even greater, with a loss of 15,877 support staff and 4,587 police community support officers (PCSOs).