“Police forces are ‘failing the public’ due to cuts, Police Federation chief warns”

“The British public are being “failed” because huge demand and stretched resources mean police are not responding to crimes they would have dealt with in the past, the new head of the Police Federation has warned.

John Apter, who has been a police officer for 26 years, told The Independent that policing in some areas was “broken” and said that government cuts had created a “crisis”.

“We are moving into an area where some crimes will not be investigated, whereas two to five years ago they were,” he said. …

HM Inspectorate of Constabulary’s annual report found that forces are failing to respond to low-priority crimes because of “significant stress” caused by budget cuts and rising demand, saying that prioritisation assessments can sometimes “be misapplied or poorly managed” and put people at risk.

Inspectors also warned that if a victim’s first experience with police is not positive, they may not report crimes in the future.

Research published exclusively by The Independent earlier this month showed that confidence in the criminal justice system is declining among victims, with one woman saying her experience left her wondering “what is the point in ringing” the police.

Police forces have been working to improve their technology and procedures, but many cite the impact of “unprecedented” demand driven by factors including increasing 999 calls, rising violent crime and complex sexual offence cases and fraud. …”


“Local council plans for Brexit disruption and unrest revealed”

Owl wonders what EDDC and DCC (and our Local Enterprise Partnership) have arranged for us.

“Councils around the UK have begun preparing for possible repercussions of various forms of Brexit, ranging from potential difficulties with farming and delivering services to concerns about civil unrest.

Planning documents gathered by Sky News via freedom of information requests show a number of councils are finding it difficult to plan because they are not clear about the path the government in pursuing.

The responses, from 30 councils around the UK, follow the publication of details of Kent council’s no-deal planning, which suggests thatparts of the M20 might have to be used as a lorry park to deal with port queues until at least 2023.

Bristol council’s documents flag up a potential “top-line threat” from “social unrest or disillusionment during/after negotiations as neither leave nor remain voters feel their concerns are being met”.

One of the fullest responses came from Pembrokeshire council, which released a Brexit risk register detailing 19 ways it believes leaving the EU could affect the area.

Eighteen are seen as negative, of which seven are deemed potentially high impact, including the “ready availability of vital supplies” such as food and medicines.

The one positive impact was that Brexit may drive people to move away from the UK, which could reduce demand on council services.

A number of councils, including East Sussex, are worried about the provision of social care after Brexit because of the potential fall in the number of EU nationals working in the sector.

According to Sky, East Sussex’s report says: “There has already been a fall in the number of EU nationals taking jobs in the care sector and the county council has great concerns that the end of freedom of movement will put further pressure on the sector that is already stretched and struggling to deliver the level of care required for our ageing elderly population.”

A number of councils have expressed concern about the disappearance of various EU funding streams and whether thethe Treasury would step in to replace them.

The local authority in the Shetlands released a document saying that tariffs on lamb exports under a no-deal Brexit would mean 86% of sheep farms could expect to make losses. The current figure is about 50%.

One common complaint, according to Sky, was frustration at the lack of central government information about which plan might be pursued. Wirral council said: “Given the lack of detail from government about any proposed deal or arrangements, it is difficult to carry out an assessment that is not purely speculative at this time.”


“Flybe … a perennial basket case”

Owl recalls the many, many times East Devon District Council Tories (and in particular their former Leader Paul Diviani) has used Flybe as an indicator of the district’s economic prowess … hhhhmmmm!

From today’s Sunday Times:

“As the boss of regional airline Flybe, Ourmières-Widener (her married name) is one of a handful of female airline bosses.

She has one of the toughest jobs in the industry. Flybe has been a perennial basket case, disappointing investors repeatedly in its short life as a listed company. After floating on the stock market in 2010 with a valuation of £200m, it is now worth just £90m.

In 2014, under Saad Hammad, then chief executive, it returned to investors with a begging bowl, raising £156m in a deeply discounted rights issue with a promise to build “resilience and profitable growth”. Yet its performance since then has been lacklustre at best. Flybe’s first — and only — annual profit as a listed company was £2.7m, in the year to the end of March 2016. …

Her plan is to shrink Flybe to success by cutting its fleet from a peak of 85 aircraft in May 2017 to 70 by 2020. … “

Source: Sunday Times (pay wall)