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Letter to local and national media - Changing Police Priorities - Aug 2015
Recent weeks have seen a series of senior police officers telling the general public nationally that changing police priorities now mean that we no-longer expect a proper response to such bread and butter policing issues as attempted burglaries if you live in an odd numbered home or have a missing person to report.

Such a high handed approach simply confirms the long held suspicion that the Police would rather not have to deal with the more mundane issues of everyday society, and the public in general and would rather be chasing terrorist and other nebulous criminals in cyberspace.

No one can argue that Police budgets haven’t been disproportionately cut in the name of austerity, perhaps in the region of 20%, with further deep cuts forecast, but this no excuse for abandoning the basic provision of community policing we all justly expect.

Thames Valley Police chief constable Francis Habgood is quoted as saying in a BBC interview that the general public will now have to deal with “lower level crime”. This instead risks exposing the general public to the vagaries of the law when the authorities already takes a dim view of people taking the law into their own hands when defending their own homes and property.

It also says much about senior police officers regard for their local Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), that they and not our elected representatives are now dictating priorities again. This is the direct opposite of what we had been lead to believe our elected representatives would be doing, that is localising policing priorities to address local needs.

Stephen Graham
Newbury Liberal Party(Organiser)

This letter was printed in the local media and was followed by a promptly printed reply from the Thames Valley PCC himself listing the various % cuts in types of crime set against cuts to police budgets which had been achieved whilst he had been in elected office.

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