Patrol officers, custody units and investigation teams must remain firmly within the police service, the Police Federation of England and Wales has said, as it publishes its Policing Manifesto.
The National Federation said that while outsourcing “has a place” within policing, it warned against selling off core services in times of austerity. It also warned that police officer numbers matter and that more cuts would “weaken” the service. It called for a “motivated, focused and valued” workforce.
On outsourcing, it said: “This cannot be allowed to happen – it would damage the resilience of the service, hinder its ability to respond to changing demands and weaken police accountability to the public.”
The four-page manifesto document – published to coincide with the political party conference season – warned the service must preserve its vital specialist units if the service is to protect the public.
“In recent years, we have seen a decline in valuable police units, such as dogs, horses, air support, firearms and roads policing. These units have been the victim of cuts to the police budget, yet they play an invaluable role in protecting and reassuring the public,” the document said.
In the aftermath of the NATO Summit – one of the UK’s biggest policing operations – the Federation warned that police officer numbers matter, adding: “Any further reduction in police officer numbers could weaken the ability for your police service to deal with such large-scale events while maintaining effective day-to-day policing.”
And it rejected “piecemeal” reform, calling again for a Royal Commission to examine exactly what the public wants of the service.
It called for greater collaboration between forces, more support from mental health professionals in everyday police work and said that the support of domestic abuse victims – as well as the management of offenders – must be “embedded” in neighbourhood policing units around the country.
The Federation also called for greater investment in training and resources to deal with the emerging crimes, especially cyber-crime, increased reports of sexual offences, child protection issues and female genital mutilation.
The manifesto said: “These heinous and often hidden crimes require sufficient time and personnel to investigate and tackle properly.”
And it called for more to be done to protect the morale of the police service. It added: “People are the most precious resource in any police service. It is crucial therefore that your police service is motivated, focused and valued.
“We need a well-funded, fully trained and effective police service to ensure the welfare and efficiency of police officers, resilience and the provision of the best possible service for the public.”
Date posted: September 25, 2014