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Guest article by Mike Speakman
The British Police service has been politicised and rendered largely impotent by successive governments to the point where today, it is barely, if at all, fit for purpose.
This process started over 50 years ago with a series of acts of parliament that not only made it harder to deal with Juvenile offenders but also took decisions about prosecuting away from the police. Hitherto, police forces employed their own prosecuting solicitors who were accountable locally. They were replaced with a national Crown Prosecution Service, accountable to central government. Thus, the whole of the Justice system started to move away from being accountable to their local public and became of an arm of central government, dominated by political correctness and appeasement of minority groups.
The Tories had long sought control of the police service and a number of reforms were attempted in the 1980s and 1990s but were thwarted by some astute lobbying by professional police associations.
However, the Tories won in the long run with the appointment of Theresa May as Home Secretary, Police numbers have been cut by over 20,000 and further cuts are planned. The senior professional police body, The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) was abolished by Mrs. May. Police Authorities which were all-party committees have been replaced by political Police and Crime Commissioners. These positions have meant that the police are subverted for political ends and have been subject to political influence in a way that was hitherto considered unacceptable. Blatant attempts were made by government use of the media to label the service as incompetent and in need of reform. The MacPherson report, branding the police as institutionally racist, was one such example. While numbers were being decreased, a number of useful policing laws were repealed and the use of stop and search severely curtailed by making it an administrative and bureaucratic nightmare. The police complaints authority was also encouraged to take a quite aggressive stance against firearms officers involved in shooting. Also, in that time, the police have been tasked with policing the use of nasty words on social media even investigating hate crimes where no substantive crimes have been committed. Priorities have been perverted to the point where the police will not even turn up to or investigate some domestic burglaries. Governments have created numerous opportunities to avoid sending villains to prison and today many repeat offenders are loose on the streets.
About 80% of police budgets are accounted for by staff costs. Consequently, this is where savings are mostly made. The other 20% are buildings, vehicles and IT. We are now in the situation where the police have pretty well surrendered control of the streets to thugs, mobs, drug dealers and knife crime.
The power vacuum left by the police abandoning the streets will inevitably be filled by vigilante groups deciding that they will do what the police will not. It is a recipe for civil disorder and I do not believe the police have the capability or will to take on the major civil disorders of the last decades. The veneer of civilisation in this country is thin and getting thinner by the day.
We are not all equal under the law, the law is applied differentially, and minority groups are appeased with less severe sentencing and enforcement. The Labour party have played their part in this process, discouraging police from investigating grooming gangs.
Officers are burnt out, demoralised and looking for alternative employment. Train driving is more lucrative and attractive.
So, we are in a mess. Policing is in crisis. The government appears to not care. Many observers believe the government want to privatise policing and I also believe this to be true. A demoralised and ineffective service will be used as an excuse to allow the private sector to take over what would be considered core roles. Like the law, policing will not be provided equally to all. Rich communities will pay for their own policing. Poorer communities will be left to suffer a second-rate service.
What is the answer?
Police funding and numbers must be restored to at least 2010 levels. The independence of police forces must be restored by abolishing the office of Police and Crime Commissioners and making police accountable to local boards. Attempts to nationalise policing should be resisted. Above all policing is a local service, it cannot afford to be remote from its public and retain their confidence. The police service must not be responsible for policing social media, their role is on the streets. The concept of Hate crime must be abolished, and everybody treated equally. Minority groups who may provide block votes to certain political groups must not get favourable treatment. Existing laws must be enforced, and we must stop immigration from incompatible cultures.
All the above are policies of The For Britain Movement
Mike Speakman is policing spokesman for The For Britain Movement
He is a former Deputy Chief constable who started as a beat bobby in Liverpool in the 1960s.