It was with alarm that on, Sunday 24th November, I heard announced on the television news channel that the government plans, yet again, to strike at the police service and reduce it by a further 10,000 officers.
This crass action will deny the ability of the service to properly serve the public in accordance to the founder of the service - Sir Robert Peel. He decreed that the duties of a police officer are:
Firstly and foremost, the protection of life.
Secondly, the protection of property.
Thirdly, the prevention of crime.
Fourthly, the detection of crime.
Finally, the prosecution of offenders against the Sovereign’s peace.
With a depleted service none of the above can be observed, indeed even today one gets the impression that the police can only react when the crime is a ‘fait accompli’.
Something that I have experienced first hand when I walked into a small supermarket only seconds after it had been the subject of a robbery with violence.
The staff were traumatised and I tried to reassure them and informed them that I was a retired police officer and would remain with them until the police arrived. It was with shame for my former service that I finally left the store when the police did not arrive.
Having joined the police service in 1962 and serving for 31 years, I cringe now when I see what is being done to hard working, sincere officers who must be close to their breaking points.
This government must think that the public are gullible if they are expected to believe that the crime rate is diminishing.
A once famous politician once said in a speech, ‘There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics’.
I rest my case in dismay.
Roffey Corner, Horsham