New vision for policing strategy fails to deal with declining workforce, says UNISON

UNISON Police staff - station sign

A ten-year strategy launched today (Wednesday) to transform policing does not address the serious decline in staff numbers, according to UNISON.

Police Vision 2025, drawn up by police chiefs and commissioners, will fail unless the government pays for more officers to patrol the streets, says the union.

Community policing has become much harder to carry out because of cutbacks. Official government figures show that police officer numbers have been cut by 15,000 in the past six years, and police community support officer (PCSO) jobs have been reduced by nearly a third (30%) on average across England and Wales over the same timeframe.

The lack of uniformed police on the beat of any description including PCSOs is putting the public at risk by triggering a rise in violent crime and sexual offences, says UNISON.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Local policing needs a visible presence on the streets.

“Years of unremitting cuts to police staff have meant fewer PCSO’s on the beat and it’s frustrating that police staff are increasingly being asked to do more with ever diminishing resources.

“We want to see neighbourhood policing rebuilt and will work with the National Police Chiefs Council and Association of Police and Crime Commissioners to do so. However, the funding gap that has caused the collapse of local policing must be closed for progress to be made.”

Notes to editors:

– The Office for National Statistics crime figures show recorded crime increased between September 2014 and 2015.

– The police funding and staffing figures are based on Home Office and NAO reports.

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