Wednesday, 4 March 2009


Another guest blog today, this one is from Steve Ladyman MP:

“I know how important it is for people to feel like they can access the police when they need them and the pledge is about empowering people to know what service level they can expect.
It is also about ensuring all police forces across the country are offering the same high level of service.

Thanks to Labour’s investment the focus now is on police responding to local communities and individual police officers being able to tackle the issues that matter locally. It is important that we let people know what they can expect.

Since Labour came to power we have been committed to raising the levels of community policing with our introduction of dedicated Neighbourhood beat teams for every area. This is compared to the Tories whose £160 million Home Office budget cuts could see more than 3,500 police cuts across England and Wales meaning 93 less police officers in Kent.”

1. On Monday 5 January, the Conervatives announced that they intend to restrict the Home Office's budget of £160 million in just three months’ time. “…maintaining the government's spending plans for the NHS, schools, defence and International development, but restricting other departments to a 1 per cent increase in real terms.”
2. The last published data (Home Office Statistical Bulletin on Police Service Strength, sets out that as at 31 March 2008 there were 141859 full-time equivalent police officers serving in the 43 forces in England & Wales. Based on the relative strength of police forces in these figures, the effect of the £160m cut proposed by the Conservatives for 2009/10 would be the equivalent of reductions in officer numbers for Kent of 93 police officers."

3. There is a record level of police numbers in England, Scotland and Wales with 14,000 more since Labour came to power.


  1. Record numbers of police and record numbers of crimes.

    When are you going to learn - it's not what you spend that you'll be judged by.

    You have created a legal infrastructure that is completely out of touch with peoples expectations. Examples?

    We don't control our courts anymore so terrorists walk free and get compensation.
    When a Home -Secretary throws her hands up you know it's game-over

    Motorists are seen as soft touches and useful for getting targets met easily.

    A Kent Police service that seems more interested in 'diversity' than proper

    You might consider PCSO's as 'police' but we don't. Nor do the regular police force and most importantly, nor do criminals.

    This has all happened on YOUR watch.

    The solution?

    Visible policing from real 'hard bas***d' coppers.

    More prisons.

    Time to mean time. Bad behaviour inside sees your sentence doubled. And doubled. And...get the picture?

    Less failed 1970's thinking.

    Elected chief constables.

    Law Lords to be the final point of appeal.

    Deliver that lot and we'll start to feel empowered. Until then your claims are just so much white-noise.

  2. There is a big difference between Police - Man and Police - Officer, one serves the community one serves the corporations, unfortunately you can bet it will be less police men, than police officers if the above happens. Less stupid laws might help as well. But the terrorist will attack i hear you cry. this country has only had 2 terrorist attack in 20 years and we need more laws - i dont think so

  3. target driven policing is daft real criminals get away and as someone said soft touches are targeted. A law you bought in about driving with a Mobile phone is flougted every second of everyday. My son wants to be a policeman but they are not recruiting only PCSO's he wants to be a real copper not a cardboard cut out. We need more police ifthey have to continue to beat targets.

  4. We don't need a Police Service, what we want is a Police Force who can enforce the law.
    And get rid of the CPS & let the Police prosecute offenders.
    Why are police station car parks only full between 9 & 5 ? Why have all these so called police gone home?
    PCSO's, complete utter waste of resources, all round.

  5. Mark, I appear not to be the only reader who has highlighted the obfuscation by Steve Ladyman; he refers to police numbers not Police Officers!

    I think the public has not been impressed by the performance statistics that have highlighted the ineffectiveness of PCSOs up and down the land. 14,000 more in numbers in the past 10 years would have been better received if those 14,000 'extra' had been trained Constables placed on the streets and without the huge burden of form filling that this Government has heaped on Police Officers. It is not simply a case of 'numbers up' if in the meantime you have in effect reduced time on the street by more than 30% due to 'form filling'. One could argue that this has negated any real increase in 'proper' Police Officer numbers.

  6. On PCSOs I wonder how much experience people commenting have. I was a sceptic but as this posts shows
    I am absolutely clear they make a difference in Northwood. Dozens of constituents have confirmed this to me. Other councillors fight to get extra PCSOs in their wards so I think this confirms the difference PCSOs make.

    Crime? The figure I have is that it is down by over 30% since 1997. I expect it to rise now, it always does in recessions.

    Police numbers it is 93 police officers. Note 2 confirms that.

    Most of you argue for more police so the Conservative proposal to cut them is surely wrong?

  7. Ah, the line of "Tory cuts" is now an approved tactic for the next General Election campaign. We shall see more of this Im sure.

    Labour accuses the Tories of cuts when in fact the Tory policy is of restricting spending growth to 1% in real terms, that is 1% above inflation as it says in Note 1. Its obviously not a cut. Labour has used this tactic since 1997. Dont trust them. This is typical spin by Labour who know that the Tory policy on sound spending will be effective when the election inevitably comes.