Tuesday 29 March 2011

Tough on crime ... ?

I thought the Tories were going to sythe through the bureaucracy and red tape strangling the police force and get the police out from behind the desk, and back out on the street, collaring criminals and helping little old ladies across the street.

It would appear otherwise:
Serving police officers are being taken out of frontline roles and moved to cover the "back-office" functions of civilian staff who have been made redundant, according to leaked memos which show the perverse side-effects of budget cuts.

The decision by Warwickshire police authority – one of the smaller forces in England and Wales with 1,800 officers and staff – to draft up to 150 frontline officers into civilian desk jobs is expected to be followed by other forces grappling with a 20% cut in their Whitehall funding.

Police officers are Crown-appointed warrant holders and cannot be made redundant. They can only be "compulsorily retired" through an obscure regulation after more than 30 years' service, but civilian support staff do not enjoy such job security. (1)
Were soaring crime rates, slower response times and inadequate manpower in the coalition agreement? But it gets better:
Ministers have vowed to protect frontline policing from the impact of the cuts and a report by Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary to be published on Wednesday is expected to clear up the confusion over where the "frontline" can be drawn in the battle against crime.
I love, just love, the idea that the 'frontline' is actually behind a desk, filling in forms. It sounds like something out of Blackadder Goes Fourth - General 'Insanity' Melchett boldly leading his troops from the front, fifty miles behind the lines.

Even Labour at there worst were never so cynically disingenuous.
1 - "Frontline police moved into office jobs as part of cuts," by Alan Travis. Published in The Guardian, 28th of March, 2011. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/mar/28/frontline-police-moved-into-office-jobs)

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