Bob’s Rant – Throwing down the gauntlet to our new Police Commissioners!

Bob Bridgestock infront of the world media.


What’s happening in the world of law and order in 2013?

Some forces still have to make vast savings on their expenditure yet still I see no change at ‘The Top’! We still have the same number of highly paid Assistant Chief Constables, supported by a large number of Chief Superintendents and in turn Superintendents, Chief Inspectors… Why can’t they see the service NEEDS to be pruned from the top NOT at street level.

The starting salary for recruits is being reduced by £4,000 yet the Chief Constables are looking at a pay rise up to as much as 10% on between their £130,000 to £181,000 per annum salary. Will this not be seen as a reward for compliance with the Government right arm-police and crime commissioners, who of course already have budgets for their assistants?

The police service human resource structure is taking the shape of an inverted triangle. There is an old saying – ‘You get what you pay for.’ It would appear the majority are not being heard…

The barely visible ‘thin blue line,’ is already supported massively by more volunteers than ever before but the reduction in recruiting and reduction in salary makes it even less attractive to put one’s life on the line to protect the community. Already I know of serving officers who have second jobs to pay the household bills – not expensive holidays.

Policing they say is a vocation and whilst I don’t disagree, standards and salary need to be adequate to ensure a credible, transparent and trustworthy community service.

What happened to the idea of reducing the number of Chief Constables by them covering more than one force? After all they have sufficient assistants to make this possible.  This would also reduce the number of commissioners and their assistants too. Resources are centralised so why not the hierarchy? Maybe then we could utilise the savings for the front line officers who are almost extinct in some areas.

I feel I must comment on the punishment for crime at this point. Massive reductions in sentencing –

42 people serving life imprisonment were released early last year. Will this year see any increase in that number? There are less people being sentenced to imprisonment and if they are actually sent down if they show ‘good behaviour’ they even get an early release! Have we not created homes/hostels for some and a B&B for others who are allowed to clock out daily from our prisons and clock back in again at night?

The victims of crime and the public deserve, no demand law and order in this land and punishment for crime – simple transparency in what sentencing really is, would be a start. We need a deterrent – re offending is too high so the system requires overalling once and for all.

Or behind this inadequacy is there some hidden agenda – more privatisation?

I end on a positive note. It is early days in 2013 and we should always seek out the positives in everything. This I feel is that the majority of us still h ave respect for others and their property and we continue to teach our children the difference between right and wrong.

I am not aware of any forces planning to reduce the levels of hierarchy even though they remain in huge financial difficulty and top heavy, are you? Yet at the sharp end moral and numbers dwindle to an all time low no matter whatever positive spin they try to blindfold us with.  

At the moment I am aware that there are more people wishing to join the regulars and even these are finding it hard to be accepted into the role of an unpaid Special Constable. Many of these are hoping the route will get them a foot in the door. Will they still hold that dream when the starting pay is now reduced by £4,000?

Whilst not voting for or believing in police commissioners perhaps they could change my view on collectively standing up for the service. Reject the Governments intentions on reducing police starting pay and deal with the top heavy service. I throw a gauntlet to you and give something to show us your worth to our society!

1 Comment

  • You’re so right, Bob. It infuriates me that the brass big-wigs receive vastly inflated pay while those on the street, who are the ones risking the knife and the bullet, are paid derisory salaries. We deserve a well-paid police service, with high morale amongst its members. The British police are still admired around the world: let’s keep it that way.

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