17th Oct, 2017

Police on the beat becoming 'endangered species'

Solihull Editorial 12th Feb, 2015 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

BOBBIES on the beat in the West Midlands are becoming an endangered species as a result of devastating multi-million pound cuts to policing budgets, it has been warned.

The Federation’s ‘#CutsHaveConsequences’ campaign was launched earlier this week in response to the loss of a staggering 1,338 police officer posts since 2010.

The two-month initiative will highlight the consequences of reductions to policing budgets and try to show what it means for the taxpaying public.

West Midlands Police is being faced with unprecedented cuts to its policing budget and has seen budgets slashed by more than £146m in the last four years.

The Chairman of West Midlands Police Federation, Ian Edwards, has outlined his fears for public safety with neighbourhood policing teams already drastically reduced.

He said: “Our hard working neighbourhood police officers are the first port of call for many people – whether it is preventing crime, gathering intelligence or safeguarding the vulnerable.

“Yet in some areas neighbourhood officers are rarely seen.

“We risk missing vital intelligence to tackle crime – including terrorism.

“Communities are being left vulnerable because of the cuts and the public are being put at risk.”

The force has already set out plans to cut officer numbers by a further 546 by 2016-17.

Mr Edwards also highlighted the recent decision to close 27 out of 41 front desks by the end of the year to save cash.

He added: “Our members have continued to be as dedicated as possible to still provide the communities of the West Midlands with the best possible service – and it is an absolute credit to all that we have been able to do this under so much pressure.

“But which organisation can provide the same output with 17% fewer members of staff?”

“The well is drying up.

“You can only paper over the cracks before the damage becomes irreparable.

“Please stop any further damage, to your police service – because it is your police service – before it is too late.”

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