We’re snap­ping the thin blue line

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - Comment -

HOME Sec­re­tary Sa­jid Javid last week again promised he would get the po­lice more money.

Re­port­ing for ITV News, I spend a lot of time work­ing with forces around the coun­try and most of­fi­cers I know ac­cept that the early cuts were right, but say they’ve now gone too far.

The sit­u­a­tion’s made worse be­cause po­lice are too of­ten do­ing jobs they shouldn’t. On Tues­day, I went film­ing with the West Mid­lands force. As is fre­quently the case when I visit, they had fewer of­fi­cers on duty than they deem safe.

But that morn­ing, no fewer than eight of­fi­cers were tied up at hospi­tal. Overnight four cars – two of­fi­cers each – had taken four pris­on­ers who had at­tempted sui­cide into hospi­tal. The rules dic­tate they then had to stay and mon­i­tor them to make sure they didn’t dis­charge them­selves.

As one ex­as­per­ated of­fi­cer asked me: ‘Why should eight of­fi­cers on £30,000 each be do­ing that when G4S could do it for cheaper?’

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