Monday, June 17, 2024
HomePolicingPolice don't have enough resources to investigate every crime, Police Federation said...

Police don’t have enough resources to investigate every crime, Police Federation said in response to Home Secretary

Ministers cannot ignore the “huge costs” facing police forces amid a new crackdown on crime, the head of the Police Federation of England and Wales has said.

Steve Hartshorn has challenged the government’s insistence that forces have enough resources to investigate all “reasonable lines of inquiry”.

Suella Braverman, the home secretary, said it was “unacceptable” that shoplifting and phone and car theft have been treated as “less than important”. Officers have been told to analyse phone data, CCTV, doorbell and dashcam footage to find stolen property.

Hartshorn, chairman of the federation, which represents 130,000 officers, said: “There’s an ageing police vehicle fleet, communications systems that need upgrading, a lack of IT and more. There must always be sufficient funding to cope with business as usual, as well as peak demand.

“With the vehicle fleet, one manufacturer has left the market and there are only a certain number of others. Forces want electric vehicles but they’re not there. You can’t charge a vehicle in a 45-minute rest period. And police stations will need the high-speed electric charging boxes. That’s a huge upgrade — you can’t just plug in the electric system,” he told Public Finance magazine.

Hartshorn spoke out after Crime Week, a government policy initiative during which chief constables were given more powers to sack rogue officers.

He said that his members were holding themselves to a higher standard than politicians and business leaders, adding: “People have affairs in other professions. Police officers have to disclose them. If you want a standard to adhere to, I would challenge anyone in the private sector to adhere to that. We’re not the moral and ethical police. Yes, we have to bear down on corruption and wrongdoing, but at what cost?”

The policy announcements came four months after the government announced it had met its 2019 manifesto pledge to recruit 20,000 new police officers in England and Wales.

“The police have a record number of men and women working on their front line,” Braverman told the BBC last week.

“This is about ensuring that those resources are properly diverted to what I call commonsense policing, back-to-basics policing, that they don’t dismiss certain crimes as unimportant or minor. It’s about ensuring that they are freed up from doing other time-consuming tasks.”

(Source: The Times)

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