Dedication and a sense of duty by hard-working officers is masking a failure by senior leaders to adequately assess current and future demand, according to the annual State of Policing report published by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector Of Constabulary.
Responding to the report by Sir Tom Winsor, Association President Gavin Thomas said:
“I am pleased to see this report acknowledge that the effectiveness and efficiency of the police service is improving, particularly given the backdrop of austerity and rising, more complex crime.
“Sir Tom rightly gives credit for this to those who work in the service. But he also highlights the reliance on frontline officers and staff to just ‘get the job done’.
“This commendable work ethic is underpinning policing through one of the most difficult periods in its history.
“But it is not sustainable. We cannot build a modern police service to deal with modern challenges on a strategy of fewer people working longer and harder.
“Many of the same issues are raised year after year, and feature again here: demand, welfare of staff, consistency of services, technology, the need for early intervention and the role of other public services to name a few.
“It is time for a public debate about what this country wants its police service to do, and how we then structure and resource it accordingly. Otherwise the same issues are going to continue to hold back policing, and the service we can give to the public, for years to come.”
The full State of Policing report is available on the HMICFRS website.