On May 10th 2012, over 30,000 people, police and public alike, marched through the streets of London to say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Policing budgets were being cut by 20% and jobs were being lost.
Since then, cuts to policing budgets have got bigger, and they will continue to do so for some years to come. Approximately 17,000 police officer posts have gone already. Some sources say numbers may ultimately drop to around 80,000 – and at a time when the UK is facing some of it’s biggest threats in a generation.
On top of this, thousands upon thousands more Support Staff roles have vanished to save money – jobs now being done by police officers, paid a higher wage than those who were doing the role before, but as a result keeping them off the streets where they should be; fighting crime and keeping the public safe.
Lately, I’ve been getting a number of emails and Twitter DM’s asking if I ever thought the police would march against to protest about the latest round of budget cuts.
Initially I,like many others no doubt, said ‘No. what’s the point, it’ll never change anything, minds are made up and that’s that !’
And then I thought, what a defeatist attitude that is. Whether or not anything actually changes is somewhat irrelevant. it matters not so much what effect a march has of policy change as it does the awareness created for the general public.
It is they who will suffer most when more police officer, PCSO and support staff jobs go.
It is they who will suffer most when they call 999 and there is simply no one to respond to their call.
It is they who will suffer when their elderly vulnerable relative goes missing in the cold dead of the night and there is no one to go and look for them.
It is they who will suffer most when having been burgled; their homes violated; their possessions stolen or vandalised, they don’t see an police or forensic officer for days
It is they who will suffer most when as a victim of crime, they do not see justice done for many months because the officer dealing with their case has dozens more like it vying for his or her attention.
It is they who will suffer most when the cost of their shopping or car insurance rises steeply to compensate for the losses incurred through higher crime levels.
The list goes on and on and on …..
So, the question is, IF THE OPPORTUNITY AROSE AGAIN, WOULD YOU MARCH IN LONDON TO SAY ‘#CUTSHAVECONSEQUENCES’ ??
This has nothing whatsoever to do with pay or pensions.
It matters not what change we could ever hope to achieve.
What is important is that the public are aware of the increased dangers they face if there aren’t enough police out there to protect them.
Answer this simple poll YES or NO and feel free to comment below.
The ONLY group capable of organising a second march, with all the planning and logistics involved, is the Police Federation and they are not me. At this time, this is purely hypothetical.
What I will guarantee is that they will be made aware of everyone’s answers and thoughts. Maybe it’s a question for officers to also ask of their Fed Reps ???