Saturday 12 September 2015

The ‘Thin Blue Line’ gets ever thinner !


Article from the Mirror (online) – please click on the image of Theresa May to view the article and vote YES or NO

Cost-cutting Tory ministers want volunteers to investigate crimes and interview victims after axing thousands of police jobs.
Home Secretary Theresa May said volunteers have a “greater role” to play in the police service following years of Tory austerity.
More than 17,000 police officers have been axed since 2010, with a further 22,000 now facing the boot by the end of the decade.
Shadow Police Minister Jack Dromey raged: “The Tory Government has slashed police officer numbers. Vital Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) are also set to be a thing of the past.
“Now Theresa May has the cheek to suggest that these jobs may be done by volunteers.”
Launching a consultation, Mrs May said volunteers like ‘special constables’ already play a “vital role” in policing - but can do much more.
Shadow Police Minister Jack Dromey hit out at the plans, “This Government wants to encourage those with skills in particular demand, such as those with specialist IT or accountancy skills, to get involved and help the police to investigate cyber or financial crime and, as their experience grows, to enable them to play a greater part in investigations,” she said.
Her consultation paper published yesterday makes clear volunteers will have a wide-ranging role in the coming years.
A greater reliance on volunteers “should mean a greater availability of police personnel (i.e. the volunteers themselves) to interview victims, take witness statements etc in the evenings and weekends”, the Home Office paper states.
Will Riches, vice chairman of rank-and-file body the Police Federation of England and Wales, raged: “This Government’s proposal for a new tier of police volunteers sounds like a half-way house between paid PCSOs and specials.
Another 22,000 cops are set to go by the end of the decade
“Recruiting super-volunteers is no more a solution to the challenges of policing than a nurse putting a little plaster on a patient who is bleeding to death.”
Under the new rules, chief officers will be allowed to confer civilian staff with any of the powers of a police officer, apart from a list of core powers.
The list of includes making arrests, carrying out stop and searches and all powers under counter-terrorism legislation.
Labour warned giving more powers to civilian staff could also open the door to private firms like G4S taking a bigger role.
“The Tories must ask themselves if they are happy to preside over the hollowing out of our police force to the point where public protection on the frontline is being done by companies like G4S or untrained volunteers,” Mr Dromey blasted.

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