Posted on 24 Feb 2011
According to new research published today the British public say they would be worried if the police stopped providing the current range of services, as a result of budget cuts by this government.
In a survey, commissioned by the Police Federation of England and Wales and undertaken by Ipsos MORI, 86 percent of the general public said they would be worried if the police stopped providing the range of services outlined by interviewers; 44 percent say they would be very worried.
The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has made clear on a number of occasions that the government view is that police officers should just fight crime, but the reality is that police officers do a whole lot more. The findings from the survey published today show that the public think the police are responsible for a number of services which are not fighting crime, with 84 percent saying they believe the police are responsible for intervening in domestic rows and disputes; 23 percent saying they believe the police are responsible for arranging for vulnerable children to be taken in to care; and 39 percent saying the police are responsible for monitoring offenders who have been released from prison.
Indeed, the public feel the police should continue to be responsible for providing a wide range of non-crime fighting related services such as caring for victims and witnesses of crime (57 percent); monitoring offenders who have been released from prison (52 percent); intervening in domestic rows and disputes (48 percent); and arranging for vulnerable children to be taken in to care (34 percent).
Paul McKeever, Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, says:
“This is the reality of the ill-planned and drastic cut to the policing budget imposed by this coalition government. It clearly demonstrates that the public have a very different view about what they want and expect of their police service, compared to the government’s blinkered view that policing should be purely fighting crime.
“The Home Secretary needs to take heed of today’s findings. If the police service is able to do all that the public expects of it, it will need the shackles of financial restraint urgently removed. A cut of 20 per cent over the next four years will inevitably lead to a poorer service, increased crime rates and will seriously jeopardise public safety and the security of the nation.”
Mark Botham, Chairman of North Yorkshire Police Federation says:
“The reality of the ill-planned and drastic cut to the policing budget imposed by this coalition government is that if the proposed reductions go ahead, the ratio of police officers to residents of North Yorkshire and the City of York will fall from 211 police officers to 100,000 residents in 2007 to just 148 police officers to 100,000 residents in 2013. This will be the lowest ratio of police officers to residents since North Yorkshire Police was formed in 1974.
Notes to Editors
Please click here to view the report.
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