Cuts Have Consequences
You don't know what you've got until its gone. Twenty per cent cuts to the police budget. We know the figure, you may know the figure, but what does it actually mean?Avon and Somerset Police Federation joined the #cutshaveconsequences campaign in order to raise the awareness of what these cuts actually mean. Although o0ther issues have since dominated our local news the cuts have not gone away. We have been hit hard by 20% budget cuts but when we speak with retired colleagues, friends and the general public few know what 20% actually means. Simply it means fewer officers, smaller specialist units, fewer road policing officers and as you will already be noticing few police stations. Our custody units and police stations are further away as the force adapts to the challenges of reduced budgets.
Having lost one fifth of our budget more than 600 officers have gone and in addition large numbers of police staff who provided vital support roles. The number is roughly equivalent to losing every police officer in Somerset, or every police officer in Bristol. This is putting a lot of pressure on officers left behind who have to cope with the increased demands.
The future is bleak and more cuts may be coming. Where will the cuts hit? How can an already decimated service lose more officers? This is not about us, it is about the public.
The men and women we represent are telling us they desperately want to do a good job. We already know they work work hard, they believe in their communities and want to serve them but are finding it increasingly difficult to do so.
These are the facts and that is why we added our voice to the #CutsHaveConsequences campaign. We want the public to understand the effect of what is happening and the truth about cuts to your proud force. Constantly chipping away at something will eventually cause it to crumble and there is a tipping point approaching, some may argue that it is already here.
You need to do something about this. If you want to preserve your police service please tell politicians of all parties in person, in writing, by email and on social media that you want and deserve a well-resourced police service. Tell them about your experiences of the service you are now receiving, compared to what you would expect. There are many who are only now starting to take notice as the cuts begin to affect service in the own area. Tell politicians of all parties that you deserve and you want sufficient police officers to protect your families, homes and businesses.
Please, don't let your police force be destroyed.
You don't know what you've got until it's gone.
You can follow our campaign and find out more on our companion website here, cutshaveconsequences.uk