a reply to: Kester
The very reason that one should complain about police forces and individual officers alike, is to highlight the issues caused by an understaffed
front line, private contractors being placed inside police stations on front desks, underfunded basic infrastructure, and an overfunded NCA.
The creation of the NCA, a British take on the FBI structure, has been a real drain on the coffers of the law enforcement budget, and the recent cuts
to beat policing, the closure of stations, including three in my borough alone, can largely be attributed to the creation of the aforementioned
agency, and wider cuts to the budget in general.
Rank and file police officers require certain support at the back of them, in order to be able to do their jobs effectively, and in a manner which
suits the public. Without calling attention to the various failings of this underfunded, and therefore sub par front line policing effort, the cuts
will not be corrected, and the people will be under a false impression on two key points.
First, they will be expecting service that they will not be receiving. Managing expectations is important, and our expectations, given the lack of
funding available to fulfil those expectations, are far too high at the moment. Second, the people will be under the impression that the individual
officer, or individual towns force, or counties force, or the police service in general, are responsible for the problems with policing in this
country. This is a false impression of massive scale.
I would say that the best coppers I know, are more than aware of the problems being seen at the front line of policing these days, and that those
issues begin not with individual members of the forces involved, but to do with the support those officers receive in doing their jobs, from
government. Those officers know what you and I know all too well. There are not enough officers on the beat, and too many private organisations
involved in policing. Because there are too few officers around, it is less likely that those who prove their inadequacy as officers will be ejected
from the force. Police officers who value their work and know the importance of their position, are in disarray at the moment, because they know, much
better than we do, exactly how flawed the service is, when compared to what it ought to be.
No one is more upset by the failure of government to provide the sort of policing that the people want, with the sort of controls upon quality that
people need, and with the sort of comprehensive and rigorous investigative skill that is expected, than the officers who have joined for the right
reasons, and found that the service on the whole is sub par.
We need to get this on board. The police service IS crap, but it is NOT the fault of frontline officers, because it is cuts and budgetary paucity
which have lead to the core of this parlous state of affairs.