The Independent sub above makes the usual error of referring to ‘British’ before reporting on a survey of only England and Wales. The Guardian was more precise.
In the Guardian today, we read:
Police taking days to respond to 999 calls as budget cuts bite
Watchdog says fact that funding has fallen by a fifth since 2010 has put forces under stress
Almost a quarter of forces in England and Wales are struggling to deal with emergency calls in a timely way.
Britain’s police budgets to lose £700m by 2020, amid rising crime
Our Unionist media were unable to apply these concerns in a Scottish context despite their previous attempts to turn individual cases into a wider crisis for Police Scotland. There are good reasons for that. In Scotland, in the same period since 2010, police numbers increased. See this:
‘As at 30 June 2017, there were 17 249 full-time equivalent (FTE) police officers in Scotland. This is an increase of 1 015 police officers from the position at 31 March 2007 (+6.3 per cent). Police officer numbers have decreased by 7 FTE officers in the last quarter, since 31 March 2017, and increased by 7 FTE officers in the last year since 30 June 2016.’
What do these figures mean in terms of the ratio of police officers to members of the public? See this:
Population England and Wales in 56 million
Number of police officers in 2017 was 121 929
Population Scotland is 5.3 million
Number of police officers in 2017 was 17 249
Ratio of population to officers England and Wales: 459/1
Ratio of population to officers Scotland: 307/1
So, as with teachers, nurses, and GPs, Scotland has a much better ratio of police officers to members of the public and thus presumably more presence on the streets.
Of course, staffing numbers are only part, though an important part, of the picture and the success in reducing, especially, crime of violence, north of the border will have multiple causes. See these for more:
Police Scotland, world experts on violence reduction, are now to advise The Met after helping the NYPD and Canada Police. Scotland’s media ignore the story in favour of anything negative they can find.
As knife crime soars in England and Wales and police numbers fall, Police Scotland is staffed at 50% higher level
To compound things (in the South Yorkshire area anyway) the police are being increasingly used to bulldoze through unpopular local government policies – tree felling in Sheffield. Talk about mixed up priorities!
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Are people in England aware that it doesn’t have to be that way? It really seems like they are regressing into the the dark ages, and I can’t help but feel deep sympathy – but what can you do, when they refuse to help themselves?
You have to wonder at the media, and the people that work within it, are they deluding themselves, or do they do it with malicious aforethought? I suppose the imperialism mindset allows for ignoring a colony, and playing down anything that might be better there, but how can someone call themselves a journalist and not know the difference exists? What is it that makes journalists want to twist everything into a negative story, whatever the news might be, picking out the slightest fault and ignoring the rest, and if it isn’t a desire, why do they do it? I suppose that was mostly rhetorical! But, you know the image journalists like to convey about themselves, and it doesn’t stack up to the bile and distortions they all seem to copy off each other and spew out to the public.
Anyway, I can only see Scottish policing improving, there have been teething problems with the new system, but it’ll be better in the long run (no more parochial little fiefdoms?), and more police walking the streets is good for everybody. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to worry that the police couldn’t repond to a 999 call,,, but then, I live in Scotland, and I expect them to!
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Talking about crises in English services, today Mr Hunt has abolished the 4hour waiting time target for English NHS hospitals. Seems the Torres think by denying delays they will disappear…