Po­lice cuts will im­pact on vic­tims

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Notice To Benefits Claimants -

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.

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