It has recently been reported that many cowering residents of Frinton-on-Sea, a quiet and genteel seaside retirement town in Essex, have clubbed together to hire burly private security guards to patrol the streets. This is because, apparently, Essex police have had to drastically cut services because of ever present ‘funding cuts’ and can no longer afford the visible deterrent of bobbies on the beat.
This means that the residents who are coughing up the extra readies are in effect paying twice for policing and clearly are quite happy to do so. I don’t know how many times in recent years I’ve seen this sort of craven ‘Oh well, if that’s the way it has to be’ attitude from the British public and yet my gast continues to be flabbered.
For pity’s sake Frinton folk, man up. You already pay for a police service and you have a right to expect that you get your money’s worth. Lambast the council; nag at your MP – he’s the one that is supposed to be representing your views and I typed that without even laughing derisively.
Senior officers around the country have warned that they may have to resort to desperate measures to fill the coffers and one of those chosen methods – and this will bear out what we motorists have always known – would be to boost revenue from speeding fines. So it was all about the money then? Another is to get rid of many PCSO’s who by and large have done a grand job supporting the thin blue line.
These career coppers say the demands of modern policing – terrorism, child exploitation, cyber crime – take up all the time and finances of the five cops left so they have no time to attend to you and your burgled house or prevent local vandalism and general yobbery. Basically, when it comes to local crime, you’re on your own. Yes, of course there are many demands upon police time. The solution is simple: more police. Many more police. Obviously that requires a lot more cash, but what price civilian safety? How much is Joe Public’s life worth, Chancellor?
They believe that insurance will cover loss but money does not compensate for the very personal belongings and family memories lifted by scumbags or indeed for the fear that is subsequently engendered. It simply is not the solution and in any event another consequence will be increased premiums.
I have every sympathy with the rank and file coppers who have to take the flak for this desertion of public rights. It’s not their fault. They work hard and by and large do their job well often in mortally dangerous conditions. It is the fault of their bosses who will not stand up to Westminster and say enough is enough, although, to be fair, there does now seem to be some sort of a fightback. It is also your fault, reader, because you are acquiescing to this. Sure, saving public money is a good thing and a cash surplus is what we would all like both in the country and in our own lives, but this unseemly rush to do it in a few short years has resulted in merciless cuts across the board.
Right now everybody seems to be in thrall to the odious Osborne who, you’ll understand, has all the personal protection he needs. He has no conception of what the streets are like away from his privileged life. It’s about time voters stood up to these people and demanded a police force we can be proud of with the added benefit of safer streets for all. You’ve got an MP – get on his case now and be heard. Geoff Maxted