Policing in Britain is in a “potentially perious” state with tens of thousands of suspects of crime roaming free in the community, a damning report has found. The policing watchdog has issued an unprecedented warning about the shortage of detectives and investigators, saying it amounted to a “national crisis”.
HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) said victims are being let down and criminal cases shelved without proper investigation, as police fail to carry out basic functions. There are nearly 46,000 wanted suspects on the police database, including those being sought for murder, rape and terror offences, according to the latest figures from August last year. We are leading to a very serious conclusion regarding the potentially perilous state of British policing in this report
Inspectors found evidence of some emergency calls being downgraded in order to justify a slower response and failings in responding to vulnerable victims. Fewer arrests were made, a large number of crimes were effectively “written off”, suspects were not always pursued and inexperienced officers were left to carry out complex investigations, the review found.
There has been a debate on the radio this morning about the stress that police officers are under after a resignation letter of a female PC was read out and she was subsequently interviewed on the radio. The gist of her complaint was understaffing putting unreasonable pressure on officers with many suffering from stress related illnesses. This message seems to be coming from virtually every police force across the UK.
So I was a little surprised when I walked into Waterstones bookshop in the Kingsgate Centre in Huddersfield this morning to find two police constables from West Yorkshire Police conducting a reading lesson for a largish group of children with several teachers and teaching assistants stood at the back watching.
Now I am all for fostering community relations but it does seem rather incongruous that on the one hand forces are saying we don’t have enough staff, but on the other, they can spend time teaching kids rather than detecting crime.
On a personal note, I reported a large number of Yorkshire stone paving flags had been stolen from my garden, the person at the end of the telephone seemed only interested in giving me an incident number. A few days later a PCSO turned up to have a look at the garden and basically said “forget it” as we don’t have any manpower to investigate such minor crimes. He then informed me that he alone coved a good part of the Colne Valley and that it was an almost impossible task.
So West Yorkshire Police, you can provide two officers to conduct reading lessons but you can’t devote manpower to dealing with what I suppose you consider “low-level” crime.
And the police wonder why the general public often have so little confidence in them!
Source: Daily Telegraph / Personal Comment