“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. …”


600 less police than in 2010

“Devon and Cornwall police still have nearly 600 fewer officers now than they did eight years ago, despite an increase in numbers in the last year.

Government figures have revealed that Devon and Cornwall police had the equivalent of 2,959 full-time officers on their force in March 2018.

That’s an increase of 45 from the 2,914 full-time equivalent officers it had a year earlier.

However, despite this the force has lost more than one in every six of its officers since 2010, when there were 3,556 full-time officers on the team – a drop of 17% in less than a decade.

The increase seen in Devon and Cornwall in the last year has bucked the national trend. …”


If Devon and Cornwall police merge with Dorset, who would make the best Police and Crime Commissioner?

Martyn Underhill is the police and crime commissioner for the Dorset Police force area.

Martyn is a retired Detective Chief Inspector who served with both the Metropolitan and Sussex Police forces. He is representing and working closely with the people of Dorset to further improve policing and community safety.”


The same site contains no personal information about Devon and Cornwall PCC Alison Hernandez, a career Tory local politician, but the Devon site says:

“Prior to my election I predominantly worked in public service except for a four year stint running my own management consultancy, working internationally helping companies with business improvement, particularly in the housing and transport industry.

Prior to my election I predominantly worked in public service except for a four year stint running my own management consultancy, working internationally helping companies with business improvement, particularly in the housing and transport industry.”

It then goes on to talk about how wonderful she was as a Torbay councillor and lists her hobbies as Netflix and sleeping.


Violence in Cranbrook – two attacks, including one in park

“A teenage girl has spoke of the moment a grown mum swore at and attacked her and her 14-year-old friend – while a group of children watch on.

The shocking clash, filmed by an eyewitness and shared publicly to Facebook, happened at a park next to St Martin’s Primary School, Cranbrook, just before 10pm on Friday.

The heavily-built woman and her friends loudly challenge a group of teenagers, snapping selfies against that evening’s striking sunset, in front of what appears to be their own children.

A row breaks out and the woman, wearing a flower-patterned dress, walks toward the group and shoves a 14-year-old girl before appearing to slap Angel Robinson, 17, in her face.

The force of the blow sees her knees buckle, as the park erupts with shouting and swearing.

Angel’s mum Sheena Robinson is fuming over the assault on a daughter who “would not hurt a fly” and weighs only six stone.

Speaking with Devon Live, Angel and her mum spoke of their anger and upset over the shocking incident – filmed by her friend Dayna, also confronted in the footage.

Angel said: “Basically, we were up the park and there was a family drinking vodka and wine and getting really, really drunk. “While we were stood taking selfies one of them started shouting at us.

“Another woman then gobbed off and started on Dayna. Then she whacks the 14-year-old. I went in and then she hits me.”

Angel says that, luckily, the swipe did not leave a mark on her.

For Angel, it proves that teenagers aren’t necessarily the cause of anti-social behaviour in the East Devon town.

“You see all over [Facebook community page] Belonging To Cranbrook complaints about teenagers and that we are the problem.

“But these were grown women. The parents are just as bad as the teenagers.”

Angel and her mum say the family at the table are not known to them, and it had been the first time Angel had encountered them at the park.

She says the incident won’t put her off returning with her mates.

Sheena says Devon & Cornwall Police have been made aware of the footage and are looking into the incident.

It wasn’t the only fight to break out in Cranbrook that evening.

Police were called to an altercation between two men at Great Meadow at 6.45pm.

A row led to one of them being shoved into a bush.

Police are using CCTV to help their enquiries.”


Torbay-based Police and Crime Commissioner increases policing – in Torbay

Hernandez was a Tory local politician for many years in Torbay, before becoming Police and Crime Commissioner. Not long ago she attempted to appoint a pal from those days as her Deputy but was over-ruled:


Now she’s appointing a new senior officer just to cover the area. Is she planning a return to local politics there after her current “job”?

“A chief superintendent is being appointed for Torbay and South Devon, rather than a superintendent, to reflect “an increase in demand for policing” and help deal with “significant problems relating to crime in the bay”, Devon’s police commissioner has confirmed.

Commissioner Alison Hernandez said the new arrangement, due to be in place by September, was part of setting up a new basic command unit (BCU) for the area.

The force currently has BUCs for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon and Plymouth.

Ms Hernandez told a meeting last week of the plans, saying she “had become increasingly concerned about homelessness and crime in the area, as well as the increasing complexity of crime”.

She added that a “more senior officer for South Devon” would be part of a “renewed focus on issues there”. Continue reading

A task for our Police and Crime Commissioner … if she’s not too busy

Given that our Police and Crime Commissioner’s official calendar looks a bit thin:


Ms Hernandez might like to think about earning some of her £85,000 plus expenses salary on dealing with some new statistics, published in today’s Sunday Times, about how many police suspects actually end up in court, and how the pitiful figures can be improved.

Figures for the south-west show that the number of people charged with offences had fallen dramatically.

In 2010-2011 84% of people charged with homicide offences went to court. That fell in 2016-2017 to 52%.

In 2010-2011 72% of people charged with possession of firearms went to court. That fell to 43% in 2016-2017.

In 2010-2011 93% of people charged with robbery went to court. That fell to 15% in 2016-2017.

Devon and Cornwall Police has biggest cut (22%) in south-west

“Seven years of austerity has seen police numbers cut by “more than 15%”, according to new research from Unison.

There are now 2,817 fewer people employed by the South West’s five forces than there were in 2010.

Devon and Cornwall’s force has been hit worst – losing 22% of its strength.

Unison says the government needs to stop the cuts and get numbers back to a reasonable level.

Its Police and Justice Lead Mike Cracknell said austerity is “hitting public safety”.

“Our police workers are 100% committed to keeping people safe, often putting themselves in danger to do so. But you can’t do the job with a skeleton crew.”

The Home Secretary Amber Rudd says the evidence doesn’t back up claims that reduced resources are the cause of more crime.”