A new report by the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, and published yesterday (25 October 2018), highlights the full extent of frontline neighbourhood policing cuts.
New data shows that in the Thames Valley neighbouring policing has been cut by 26% since 2010, with the force losing a quarter of its neighbourhood officers and over a quarter (27%) of its PCSOs. Last year, Thames Valley Police received 572,031 command and control calls through the 999 and 101 numbers, including 8,392 cases involving someone experiencing a mental health crisis.
These figures for the Thames Valley region can be set in the context of a national picture in which recorded crime has risen by 32% in the last three years – with sharp rises in robbery, theft and vehicle crime – and yet the number of charges and arrests has fallen by 26%. Nationally, the report found that 0.3 million or 1% of total calls to the police involved acute mental health incidents.
Anneliese Dodds says:
‘This report is disturbing. Neighbourhood police officers and PCSOs do vital work keeping us safe, preventing crimes, and protecting the vulnerable. And yet, as this report highlights, the Government’s deep cuts to policing are putting this work at risk.’
‘I am concerned by the volume of mental health cases that are being handled by the police. This is not right for patients, and it is not right for the police. The Government needs to show leadership on this issue, by increasing the funding of mental health crisis work, and extending resources of local councils to build strong multi-agency partnerships, like Oxford’s news Public Spaces Drugs Taskforce.’
Finally, Anneliese urges:
‘Without additional resources for neighbourhood policing, our officers are going struggle to respond to growing issues in our community around mental health, addiction, drug dealing, domestic violence and child exploitation.’
You can view the full report here: https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/home-affairs-committee/news-parliament-2017/policing-for-the-future-report-published-17-19/