Lack of policing resources 'unsustainable', conference to hear

4 Sep 17

Budget cuts, fewer officers and staff and increasing crime will create a “perfect storm” for the police, the Police Superintendents’ Association conference will hear today.

Chief superintendent Gavin Thomas, president of the association will tell the conference in Warwickshire that a lack of resources is creating an unsustainable position for the police force.

Thomas will outline his concerns to the new policing minister Nick Hurd, who is also speaking at the event.

“If the model for delivering policing services in the future is fewer people, working longer, each doing ever more, then I suggest that model is fundamentally flawed," he will say. 

“Events and the demands on the service have demonstrated a clear case for an open, honest and transparent debate and review with government, local authorities, Police and Crime Commissioners, and of course the public.”

He warned that the police were being forced to save money ahead of providing the best possible police service for the public.

A survey of the association’s members found only 27% had enough resources to do their job properly.

The association’s personal resilience survey found:

  • 50% are experiencing symptoms of anxiety and 27% symptoms of depression
  • 82% say their role has an excessive depth and breadth of responsibility, leading to excessive hours
  • 72% have not taken all their annual leave in the past year and 77% did not take all their rest days
  • 94% said they had worked or been contactable when on leave in the past 12 months.  

Thomas will conclude: “It is frankly unacceptable that the senior operational leaders in policing are under so much pressure that a quarter of them have signs of depression.

“These are people leading huge commands, some bigger than entire forces. These are people carrying responsibility for public safety, protecting the most vulnerable, for countering terrorism, for running firearms operations.”

Today’s comments follow a survey from the Police Federation of England and Wales, which was published on Friday and showed that dissatisfaction over pay and poor treatment was rife among police officers.

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