Jump to content
Notice Board
  • Great Deals
  • To post a recruitment query in the "Recruitment Areas" or in the "Force Specific Areas" you will require a Recruitment Pass or a Membership Package. Click HERE to read more.
  • Get your very own website designed by our in-house team at RAW Digital Media. Get 25% off all quotes using reference "RAW25" Prices start at just £199 Click HERE to read more.
  • Website hosting packages start from just £59 p/year Click HERE to read more.
Sign in to follow this  
Chief Bakes

BBC: Devon and Cornwall police officer quits over safety fears

Recommended Posts

Chief Bakes

Devon and Cornwall police officer quits over safety fears

  • 2 March 2017
  • From the section Devon
Laura Beal on the cover of a Devon and Cornwall police annual reportImage copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Laura Beal - who featured in a force advertising campaign and on marketing materials - says she has 'lost all faith in the job she loved'

A police officer has published a damning resignation letter on social media criticising police for "putting their employees last".

Laura Beal has served with the Devon and Cornwall force for 13 years as a police constable and even featured in a force advertising campaign.

In her letter she says inadequate staffing has made it "impossible to do her job to the best of her ability".

It comes as inspectors warn police cuts are putting the public at risk.

Speaking to the BBC, Ms Beal said she was prompted to put her resignation letter on Facebook after her sergeant told her it was unlikely to be seen by the Chief Constable, Sean Sawyer.

More on the policing story and other Devon and Cornwall news

She said she followed her father into the police when she was 19 and had always been proud to say she was a PC, but now felt "embarrassed at the way everyone is being treated".

Image copyright Laura Beal
Image caption Laura Beal said it was 'impossible to do her job' as a police officer

In her letter she claims she was expected to go on patrol covering Mid Devon with one other officer most days.

"This is meant to be adequate and safe. How this can be acceptable is beyond belief", she wrote.

Ms Beal's letter comes as the police standards watchdog warned some forces are putting the public at risk by rationing responses as they struggle with cutbacks.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary said some forces had "downgraded" 999 calls, in order to justify responding to them more slowly.

Its report found most of the 43 forces in England and Wales were providing a good service. But that others have let victims down.

'Buck stops'

Ms Beale said the job had left her suffering from stress and anxiety in her letter.

"Your staff are not coping, and are suffering because there is no one looking out for them.

"Front line response is where you need to focus your time and money. This is where the buck stops", she added.

Chf Supt Jim Colwell said: "I would like to formally thank PC Beal for her loyal service, hearing of an officer resigning is sad, particularly when this is done so publically.

"We do hear concerns from officers and staff and recognise where they are feeling the strain.

"Being a police officer is not easy. It requires skills and personal resilience which are often unique to the role. We are a supportive force and will always assist an officer needing help or guidance."

Last month Devon and Cornwall Police announced it would be employing nearly 100 additional police officers into local policing in an effort to relieve pressure on front line staff.

View the full article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements

Policey_Man

What a shame. She's completely right. I can only think that we're going to see more officers and Chiefs speaking out over the next few years, until Government start to invest again in policing. Until then, everyone is going to suffer... police officers and victims alike.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements

Zulu 22

The Conservatives have, traditionally, been the supporters of the Police until David Cameron, and Mrs May doing as she was instructed.  As the Federation told her at Conference "You cannot get more with less"

The rot, of course, started with Jack Straw and his invention of PCSO's, toothless tigers to replace the Police as a cost cutting measure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements

Jeebs
18 minutes ago, Zulu 22 said:

The rot, of course, started with Jack Straw and his invention of PCSO's, toothless tigers to replace the Police as a cost cutting measure.

Was it not David Blunkett, hence the nickname "Blunketts bobbies"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements

Cathedral Bobby

Dare I say this officer will be one of many. Officer safety is not a priority for the Government. I cannot believe what the so called party of "law and order" have done to the service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements

David

Well, I was only an SC and my reasons for stepping down were manifold, but everything she says resonates with me completely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements

HazRat
4 hours ago, Jeebs said:

Was it not David Blunkett, hence the nickname "Blunketts bobbies"?

I think Straw was HS when the PRA2002 was going through the various parliamentary stages. Blunkett was HS when they were implemented.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements

Zulu 22

I will re phrase my original comment. The rot set in when Labour introduced PCSO's to save money.   "The rot, of course, started with the Labour party and the invention of PCSO's, toothless tigers to replace the Police as a cost cutting measure."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements

Cathedral Bobby

The biggest savaging of the police has taken place in the last seven years. The PM was certainly no critical friend to the police service, critical certainly, but no friend. I am shocked by the state of affairs now. I do not see the rise of PCSOs as the beginning of the rot. Actually at the time of their introduction police numbers were at record levels, they were introduced as a support and not replacement to officers. I do agree however that times have changed and they do substitute for officers in some areas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements

Cathedral Bobby

The sad thing about this case is that the job isn't just a risk to health, we all understand that, but also the ever increasing risk to your career for those who joined to see out their working life in the job.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements

Policey_Man

I think PCSOs can have their place to do the community engagement side of things, where the police constable's powers aren't needed and sometimes, for high visibility things. If they retained their original purpose of what they were brought in for then no issues and this would help PCs focus on their core duties. The problem is that because of shortages, PCSOs are often now used in place of police officers. I also have an issue with PCSOs pay scales offering higher pay than police officers, which I think isn't fair and doesn't reflect the responsibilities of either role. I know of many PCSOs who have previously considered moving over to Constable - and some would be really good PCs - but they say now, "why would I become a PC, they earn less then me?"

Back to the news story, perhaps a mod could amend the article and include a poll for us.... something like:

In light of the current level of officers and resources available...

A) I'm a urban officer - I don't have fears for mine or my colleagues safety

B) I'm a rural officer - I don't have fears for mine or my colleagues safety

C) I'm a urban officer - I do have fears for mine or my colleagues safety

D) I'm a rural officer - I do have fears for mine or my colleagues safety

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements

obsidian_eclipse

The thing is.. (made up statistics but the sentiment is genuine) 95% of a police officers powers aren't needed at all times either. I could do a shift and not exercise a single one of them, it has happened. This doesn't mean the job should be done by someone who doesn't, as it's just as possible the power which is required at a particular time doesn't have the right person! There's no method of efficiency or planning which says for the next 24 hours there aren't going to be any violent arrests.

Labour brought in PCSOs, if I remember rightly, as a supplement to police numbers at a time they were busy emptying the quoffers and pretending everything was rosy by throwing money at it and lining quangos pockets (possibly setting themselves up for post government positions).

Ever since the role was introduced there's been a gradual creep in powers and responsibilities. It is somewhat undeniable it is necessary now as there are inadequate numbers of warranted officers. Where it ends up however is predictable as a result.

I love PCSOs and the work they do. We couldn't function without them now. I would however welcome immediately the notion of swapping them from their current role to fully warranted officers. There is no logical reason why they couldn't be and still ring fenced to specific areas or responsibilities.

Sent from my D2303 using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements


Policey_Man
3 hours ago, obsidian_eclipse said:

The thing is.. (made up statistics but the sentiment is genuine) 95% of a police officers powers aren't needed at all times either. I could do a shift and not exercise a single one of them, it has happened. This doesn't mean the job should be done by someone who doesn't, as it's just as possible the power which is required at a particular time doesn't have the right person! There's no method of efficiency or planning which says for the next 24 hours there aren't going to be any violent arrests.

Labour brought in PCSOs, if I remember rightly, as a supplement to police numbers at a time they were busy emptying the quoffers and pretending everything was rosy by throwing money at it and lining quangos pockets (possibly setting themselves up for post government positions).

Ever since the role was introduced there's been a gradual creep in powers and responsibilities. It is somewhat undeniable it is necessary now as there are inadequate numbers of warranted officers. Where it ends up however is predictable as a result.

I love PCSOs and the work they do. We couldn't function without them now. I would however welcome immediately the notion of swapping them from their current role to fully warranted officers. There is no logical reason why they couldn't be and still ring fenced to specific areas or responsibilities.
 

Oh the whole, I agree with your post, but it's a terrible idea to suggest transitioning PCSOs into PCs. You may have some very good PCSOs where you are, but I'd struggle to trust some of the ones in my organisation to photocopy something correctly for me.

If a PCSO wants to become a PC, then they need to pass the SEARCH assessment centre just like every other PC. No short cuts.

But, let's be realistic. If PCSOs did become fully warranted, they wouldn't be ring fenced. Some would deliberately have mission creep or do whatever they wanted, whilst in other instances, management would see and use them as 'just another resource'.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements

Zulu 22

You do are unlikely, ever, to use your powers all of the time. However it is essential and vital that you have that power when needed for 100% of your time..

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements

obsidian_eclipse
You do are unlikely, ever, to use your powers all of the time. However it is essential and vital that you have that power when needed for 100% of your time..

I know we don't always see eye to eye on various subjects (as we are all entitled to our own opinions) but i wholeheartedly agree.

Sent from my D2303 using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

About us

Police Community was originally founded in 2014 by two serving Police Officers.

In 2016 it was incorporated as a limited company called RAW Digital Media Limited and then purchased 3 other forums; Police Specials, UK Police Online and Police UK to form the largest policing discussion forum network in the UK.

Get in touch

  • 20-22 Wenlock Road, London N1 7GU
  • contact@rawdigitalmedia.co.uk
  • 0844 357 0111
  • Forums In Our Group - Police.Community - UKPoliceOnline.CO.UK - PoliceSpecials.COM - PoliceUK.COM

Twitter

Facebook

    Meet The Team

  • Chief Bakes
    Chief Bakes Management
  • Chief Rat
    Chief Rat Management
  • Chief Cheetah
    Chief Cheetah Management
  • Rocket
    Rocket Global Moderators
  • David
    David Global Moderators
  • Devil
    Devil Global Moderators
  • MindTheGap
    MindTheGap Global Moderators
  • Sir Penguin
    Sir Penguin Global Moderators
  • Remmy
    Remmy Global Moderators
  • Fedster
    Fedster Global Moderators
×