Police cuts will impact on victims
Kent’s new police chief was thrown in at the deep end of economic necessity as he held his first press conference this week. Chief Constable Alan Pughsley said providing his officers with tablets such as iPads would mean the public would see just as much of them on the streets – despite the possible loss of 100 more officers as a result of a £20m budget cut forced on Kent Police by the government.
Worryingly, he also confirmed the force would no longer be able to send officers to every victim of crime and low-level incidents would be dealt with over the phone.
Encouragingly, Mr Pughsley went on to reassure residents they would not see fewer officers on the beat, as supplying them with iPads or other devices to process paperwork meant they would not have to return to stations as often.
We were pleased to hear him say that cutting jobs of frontline officers would be a “last resort” and savings would be made elsewhere if possible. However, not sending officers to every victim is a definite worry.
The vast majority of people – however unrealistic it now is – still expect to speak face-to-face to an officer when they become a crime victim and getting a visit is extremely reassuring.
So, while cuts have to be made, it’s still very sad that seemingly will no longer be the case.