This blog is mainly about the governance and future of policing and crime services. (Police & Crime Commissioners feature quite a lot.) But there are also posts about the wider justice system. And because I am town councillor and political activist, local & national issues are covered a little, as well.

Friday, May 11, 2012

10 May 2012: Big Day Out

Today I joined at least 35,000* off-duty police officers and staff on a walk around London. I went support of their massive concerns about what I call the triple threat of

  • Cuts to core services (as the badges said: Cutting police by 20% is criminal)
  • Privatisation and the introduction of the profit motive to policing
  • Draconian changes to their working conditions 

It takes a rare Government and Home Secretary to rouse such anger, concern and dismay amongst so many police workers. I spoke to many and their stories were all broadly similar: they want to do the very best for the communities they serve... but Government action is really getting in the way.

As the placards said they believe that policing is vocation not an opportunity to make a fast buck. They feel stretched to near breaking point and feel desperately sad about the people they can't help quite as much as they want to. They are stoic but feel gloomy about a future where private security guards will patrol our streets while core policing is cut still further. And they are perplexed: they thought this Government would be on their side and now they feel betrayed.

If selected and then elected as PCC for Thames Valley, I will make this promiseI will use every smidgeon of my powers and every drop of my leadership influence to ensure that Thames Police officers and staff are honoured, respected, supported, resourced, empowered and liberated to serve the communities and people of Thames Valley so that there is less crime, less fear of crime and more community safety for all.

And a day out would not be complete without souvenir photos. You can see mine here.

*some reliable sources from the Met put the figure nearer 70,000

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