The latest round of budgetary and finance meetings at the CTCC appear to have generated more fervour over the need to slash all district and department budgets as well the really big budget with nothing being too radical for the bean counters to ensure that they hit their targets of cutting costs…………………making efficiency savings……………….making Policing affordable…………………ensuring greater value for money………………….or any other of the trendy buzz words or phrases that mean that severe savings will be made during the next few years.
As is the trend, when we show that we can operate within the new, tighter fiscal constraints it will be accepted that this will be the norm and the relevant mouth-pieces will claim how much more efficient and affordable Policing has become under their watch. Target achieving bonuses could be the order of the day.
The CTCC will start by stopping recruitment to give an early boost to the projected efficiency figures. Reduction in fleet and fleet maintenance could help offer more to the coffers and consideration to the removal of the PCSO scheme provides a huge savings. With less PCSO’s out there there will be less need for Police officers to sort out the mess and deal with whatever can’t be dealt with straight away. In the long run this will be cheaper than all that extra training and just think about what could be done with those extra vehicles.
As many skilled, dedicated and experienced officers retire from CID, traffic, specialist support units, dogs sections, etc etc etc and are not replaced or continue with lesser numbers to limit the damage done to response teams, the real issues over how we deal with core response and specialist support response business will raise their heads and the political statements will be made to claim how much better everything is.
Every facet of the service delivery has been measured by the CTCC and its leadership legions, converted into whatever is the current in-vogue of business case comparisons that allow the time and motion multipliers or the business models to evaluate performance figures and show what is worthy of selection to score the most short-term political gain and the most positive headlines.
All this against the latest list of crackdowns that are promoted at every short-term headline generated problem. All this against the constant illusion the is portrayed that everything is somehow alright. All this against the never-ending workload that continues 24/7 to overpower the reducing numbers of officers available to keep the ship afloat. All this against the backdrop of layers of accountability and micro-management by people who really should know better and have long since forgotten how difficult the job can be on occasions.
Add all this and multiply into the public sector pot of education, medication, incarceration and local council services and there will be trouble ahead. The layers of corporate accountability will continue to make positive noises as if nothing has happened and everything is under control. No dancing, no moonlight or time for romance. Just who will face the music will probably be those at the bottom of the food chain because they are the ones who get put firmly in the limelight by those who manage and administrate.
On a wider point, for all this financial mess that no-one appears to have become accountable for (despite government claims of transparency and accountability) yet almost everyone will suffer by. The road network which appears to be totally under maintained in far too many places despite the amounts of money collected by car tax and tax on petrol. Where has all our money gone ? I suppose that something must support those non-contributers and scroungers who are supported care of the benefits system.
Come to think of it, just about everything is taxed, including motoring and fuel. What is not will soon be under the keen telescopic sight of whichever colour claims to have the electoral mandate.
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