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Comprehensive Spending Review.

If anyone thinks that there will be any change or let up in relation to our pay for the future years then think again and have a look at these documents.  It seems clear that the way ahead is going to be difficult on the financial side and our pay settlements will continue to reflect the fact that this government will give us nothing. The decision to screw us on pay was, I believe, a forgone conclusion and another way of saving money. I apologise for going all political.

It-is not just the merging of large Government Departments to save money but the constant drive to save money in all areas because they are in a financial dilemma.

They want to talk up everything they do and make constant statements about how much MORE they spent on education, hospitals, the Armed Forces and the emergency services. The fact is that they are doing as much as they can to save money in every area that they can to avoid putting up income tax which they feel is electoral suicide.

Slowly but surely they are alienating every one of the major emergency services and failing in their support for hospitals, schools and our Armed Forces.

The results of the Comprehensive Spending Review for 2007  will determine the funding allocated to the police service for the years 2008-09 to 2010-11.  The same financial budgetary reins will apply to other areas, they are so keen to save money. This is what this about. Not providing a better service but saving money under the cover of efficiency and better use of current resources. Current resources that are struggling to cope with current demands.

There has been significant investment in the police service in recent years. Their short inquiry into police funding considered how this investment has been reflected in police performance and crime reduction, and the scale and implications of a possible tighter funding settlement for the CSR period.

Recent assessments by HM Treasury and the Audit Commission confirm that there is scope for significant further improvement in police use of resources. They consider it unacceptable that the significant recent investment in the police is not being used to maximum effect. They recommend that senior police leadership must demonstrate that they are making concerted and sustained efforts to target their resources effectively so as to achieve the Audit Commission’s level 4 ‘strong performance’ rating—which to date has not been achieved by any of the forces in England and Wales.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Association of Police Authorities identify a funding shortfall for the CSR years, which, they argue, will be substantial. Their police witnesses and the Government were in agreement that the settlement will, at least, see a lower rate of increase in the investment the police have enjoyed over the last few years. The precise scale of the settlement, and any related shortfall, remains unclear.

The Government maintains that any shortfall in the funding settlement will need to be met by increased efficiencies, either cash-releasing or capacity-building. They conclude that the Government must be specific and realistic about the scale and nature of efficiencies it expects the police to make.

They heard from the Police Federation that significant numbers of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) are being deployed inside police stations rather than on front-line duties. They were concerned to hear this as the intended purpose of PCSOs was to provide a more visible public policing presence, which requires that they should be out on the street for the maximum possible time. They recommend that the Government commission independent research into how PCSOs are being used, as a matter of priority.

They consider that the proportion of police officer time spent on paperwork in each of the last three years, at about 20%, remains unacceptably high. There has been insufficient progress in introducing personal digital assistants, and we recommend that Chief Constables should ensure this technology is introduced in all forces as a matter of urgency.

They want sustainable Policing. Sustainable by who exactly. Clearly there is and will continue to be a funding shortfall. No extra funds will be put in place for this. The easiest way for this to get a remedy is the continued drive to recruit more PCSOs at the expense of sworn officers. With lower salaries more money in the bank for other government hot topics.  Tea, medals and a slap on the back all round then.

I’m sorry for getting all political. I shall return to normal dog related stuff soon.

With Christmas on the way my annual bout of work related sadness looms and I will begin to see how lucky I am in other ways. I, like others, have ‘special’ anniversaries relating to things I have dealt with during my service. It-is a shame that the politicians do not understand these things, enough of us have written about them. But then again, we have something called a conscience, which is why we do this job and are not politicians.

One Response

  1. You’re right, we’re in for a rough ride. However – do you recall the bumper pay rise of 1989 ? I was a mere proby, and my pay went from under £8500 to a quid or two short of £10k, the best part of a 20% increase. That followed (to the best of my recollection) a two year pay freeze – so I guess there’s nothing new – under the allegedly police-loving St Margaret of Grantham.

    My pet theory is that Jacqui Smith is hoping to become the next female PM, so has chosen a soft target to pick on (us), to prove how hard she can be when it comes to financial decisions. Margaret Thatcher – Milk Snatcher was a catchy little nickname. I’m not sure that “What’s her name, that bird who docked the coppers’ back pay?” will have the same ring to it…

    Anyway, Merry Christmas – here’s my contemporary Carol (to the tune of Away in a Manger)..

    Away from all danger and safe in her bed,
    the Home Secretary lays down her soft head.
    The stars in the bright sky look down where she lay,
    all smug and contented from docking our pay.

    The Fed Reps are groaning and wringing their hands,
    as just under two percent won’t enhance our pay bands.
    But the Home Sec’s in full knowledge there’s no need for a guard,
    ’cause our old toothless tiger cannot bite her too hard.

    We won’t strike or down tools to gain public attention,
    ’cause a day without pay might affect our pension.
    We will bleat and we will moan until our throats are sore,
    but it won’t change a thing since we’re not truly poor.

    But the Home Secretary might want to reflect
    on our reduced motivation to serve and protect.
    God save and preserve Her, who slashed our pay bill,
    as one thing’s now for certain, no bugger else will !

    (and a Happy New Year !!)

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