BRITISH CRIME SURVEY – UNISON RESPONSE
UNISON, the UK’s largest union, is warning that Government plans to make
drastic cuts to policing, threatens to undo the progress being made in the
fight against crime. New crime statistics out today (19 July), show that the
hard work and dedication of police and police staff is paying off with crime
rates continuing to fall. But UNISON says that the gains may be short-lived
as police cuts bite and private companies are set to take on more police
The most recent figures from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary
(HMIC) revealed that, hit with £2.4bn worth of cuts by 2015 – equivalent to
a 20% cut - police forces across the country will shed 32,400 jobs by 2015.
This will see 15,000 uniformed officers, and more than 17,000 police staff
lose their jobs.
HMIC has already warned that three forces may not be able to provide an
effective and efficient service in the future – UNISON is warning that this
will spread to other forces unless the government takes action to protect
Ben Priestley, UNISON national officer for police and justice, said:
“The progress being made in cutting crime rates is a credit to the hard
work, skill and dedication of police officers and staff. However, the
Government’s plans to drastically cut police numbers, coupled with the
over-reliance on private companies such as discredited G4S, threatens to
reverse that trend.
“Police forces across the country are set to lose 32,400 jobs and that loss
will hit the public hard. Becoming a victim of crime can have long-term,
tragic consequences for people and their families. The government’s actions
will allow criminals to profit from the recession, whilst hardworking
families pay the price."
The government does have other choices that it could and should be making.
Instead of drastic cuts, a pro-growth, anti-austerity alternative would help
maintain the vital services that help to keep our communities safe. The
Tory-led coalition should tackle the banks, and bonuses, take action on tax
avoidance and tax havens. Putting the breaks on public spending cuts would help fuel the growth that our economy so desperately needs.
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