Fedster + 1,307 Posted July 4, 2019 Share Posted July 4, 2019 Chiefs react to watchdog report warning public safety at risk without 'profound and far-reaching reforms' to police. The numbers game: The College says 'investment' in policing is not just just about funding thousands of new officers Date - 4th July 2019 By - Nick Hudson - Police Oracle 4 Comments Big-spending political promises to fund thousands more frontline officers may not be the “most effective” investment despite watchdog demands for the urgent introduction of "profound and far-reaching" reforms for policing. Tory leadership frontrunner Boris Johnson’s £1.1 billion pledge today to augment the service by 20,000 new recruits by 2022 is “not enough” as chiefs believe a development-throughout-career structure will lead to a more consistent national standard of policing across the country. In his annual assessment of policing in England and Wales, Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Tom Winsor said, if changes are not made, forces "face unacceptable compromises in quality of service levels of public safety". In his report for Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, published on Thursday, he called on police chiefs and politicians to make "bold and long-term decisions" to improve policing. He said: "There are indications that some forces are straining under significant pressure as they try to meet growing complex and high-risk demand with weakened resources." Responding to the State of Policing: The Annual Assessment of Policing in England and Wales 2018, the National Police Chiefs’ Council said Sir Tom’s findings make a “compelling case” for long-term sustainable funding. And it warned that only a joined-up criminal justice system – branded "dysfunctional and defective" in the assessment – will deliver effective results for all sides. In the report, which looks at the state of policing between April 2018 and May 2019, Sir Tom said: "I believe some profound and far-reaching aspects of police reforms are called for. "For these reforms to take place, leaders in central government, police and crime commissioners and chief constables will all need to make bold, long-term decisions. "If they don't the windspeed of police reform will fall to a flutter, leaving the police service increasingly unable to meet the demands it faces. "The inevitable legacy of such an approach would be unacceptable compromises in both the quality of service the police can offer the public and the level of public safety and security the police can uphold." Sir Tom, when asked whether he welcomed the pledge, said: "Yes. High risk, high harm crimes are on the increase. Street violence is a very significant problem. "Police are having to cope with new patterns of crime and complexity." But asked if it was too simplistic a proposal, he said: "It's certainly simple but it may not be the most effective way of spending on policing. "I'm not for a moment saying we don't need more cops and police staff. "I'm sure Boris Johnson doesn't expect people to believe there will be 20,000 police officers on the streets by Christmas." Sir Tom said an average of £1.1 billion would be needed to cover the cost of hiring that number of officers but that was just the start of the funding required. "You can't recruit them all that quickly and they take 18 months to two years to train," he explained. Officers become "steadily more expensive" as they gain seniority and learn more skills so would expect annual salary increases, he said, adding: "It is an increasing cost every year. "He is talking about quite a significant financial contribution. "Police don't just need a lot more people. Undoubtedly they do need more people. "They need to be recruited, trained, supervised and led in the most effective and efficient way. "You have to invest to be more efficient and that will cost more money. Not all of that money should be spent on hiring people. "Some of that money should be spent on technology." There has been a 19 per cent drop in police funding since 2010-11. In 2018-19, police funding amounted to £12.3 billion with a workforce of around 122,000 officers and 68,000 police staff, according to the report. In his findings Sir Tom said saw the criminal justice system as "dysfunctional and defective" as he said prison rehabilitation plans and support for inmates once they were released needed to improve. He said there would be "major improvements in police effectiveness and efficiency" if the recommendations he made were carried out "competently, comprehensively and with resolve." The proposals include considerable investment in technology to keep up with and get ahead of emerging online offending and introducing mandatory standards to prevent inefficiency and ineffectiveness in policing. Policing has undergone more reforms in the last eight or nine years since 1829 when the Met Police was established, Sir Tom said. College of Policing CEO Mike Cunningham said: “Today’s report is testament to the dedication of officers and police staff across England and Wales who have performed well overall despite reduced resources and increasing and changing demands. “But an investment in police numbers alone will not be enough to meet the future demands we face as a service. “Investment is needed in how officers and staff are developed throughout their careers to create a consistent national standard of policing across the country. “The public will benefit by receiving the same level of service regardless of where they live and officers and staff can be confident that they are trained to the same standard as their colleagues elsewhere in the country. “The challenges set out in the report reinforce the requirement for a continued and determined approach to officer and staff wellbeing. “There is a clear need for greater collaboration and coherence across the system, with everyone fulfilling their responsibilities to prevent crime and protect the public.” The NPCC said the “broad report” raised many of the significant issues facing the police service in 2019. NPCC chairman Martin Hewitt said: “It recognises the hard work and dedication of our officers but also the enormous strain they are under and the gap between our resources and the mission we’re asked to fulfil. “The findings make clear that we can only deliver effective justice if all of the criminal justice system works together. “To do that, all those with a part to play must be properly resourced, and as the report points out, that isn’t currently the case.” The NPCC chief said the rise in violent crime has been well documented, leading to an increase in the volume of other crimes and non-crime incidents like mental ill health. Mr Hewitt added: “That pressure, coupled with the increase in complex, time and resource consuming investigations, is having a tangible impact on the wellbeing of our staff and we’re working hard to support them. “We need to build our ability to operate at a local, regional and national level whilst keeping accountability with the public we seek to protect.” KEY POINTS More crime Crime rates are no longer falling and some of the most complex crimes are on the rise; The Novichok attack in Salisbury, the drone incident at Gatwick Airport and the environmental protests were examples of "extraordinary" and challenging cases which officers have handled in the last year; Street violence is rising with several forces seeing a higher demand to tackle knife crime; and Police in poorer areas are "more financially stretched" and the public in those areas are "less safe", he said as he called for the funding formula to be revised. Technology "Considerable" investment in technology is needed in the bid to tackle and get ahead of emerging trends of online offending; Police are "overwhelmed" by data from digital devices when investigating crimes; A household typically has six devices and the average iPhone can produce 5,000 pages of data which a police officer would need to read through and review; Backed calls to bring in criminal liability for technology company bosses who allow harmful material on their websites; and Supported the campaign for Sammy's Law, giving people a defence to crimes their abusers force them to commit, adding: "Most children are now more at risk in their own bedrooms than they are on the streets. This type of offending is not just about child sexual abuse and fraud, but radicalisation, harassment and stalking too." Efficiency National mandatory standards should be brought in to put a stop to ineffective and inefficient work practices and spending. Uniform approach Recommended all police forces should enter into a binding agreement to establish national standards for work practices with decisions voted on and then it would become mandatory for all police forces to adopt if supported by a majority. Performance Most forces are performing well despite having to tackle fresh challenges over the last year. Criminal justice system The system is "failing", placing extra burden on police; and Malfunctioning in “too many respects" with "severe inefficiencies in prosecutions to the detriment of victims, witnesses and the accused" as well as delays and disclosure failures leaving people struggling to get legal representation and justice. Prisons "Appalling" prison conditions are "brutalising" people which in turn causes people to "become brutal"; Rehabilitation is "sparse and ineffective" in too many cases and offenders are leaving prison without adequate support; and Places an "unnecessary burden on police and perpetuates and intensifies the circle of re-offending”. REPORT FACTFILE According to the HMICFRS report: The homicide rate is at its highest in 10 years; Police recorded nearly 600,000 domestic abuse-related crimes last year, an increase of 23 per cent year-on-year; There has been a 19 per cent drop in police funding since 2010/11; In 2018/19, police funding amounted to £12.3 billion with a workforce of around 122,000 police officers and 68,000 police staff; This was around one police officer for every 480 people; Police spending in England and Wales made up two per cent of public expenditure; Since 2010 the number of career criminals, offenders with more than 15 previous convictions or cautions, has risen; and In 2018 37 per cent of offenders were described as career criminals – an increase of 10 per cent since 2008. View On Police Oracle Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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