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Government should heed inspector’s warnings on police demands says Commissioner

20 April, 2017

Police forces cannot continue to fill the gaps left by other agencies. According to Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, police forces are having to pick up the slack as cuts in other public services increase the pressure on them. The annual State of Policing report draws attention to material pressures on police forces in England and Wales, which put the service under strain.

Responding to the annual ‘State of Policing’ report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said; “Finally, independent inspectors are seeing what we have been warning about for some time. Years of austerity have caused critical damage to our public services, putting the police under unbearable strain.

“Demands on forces are rising around issues like mental health, online fraud, sexual exploitation as well as emerging crimes like modern slavery and this vital work needs resources. The police are there to help people and keep our communities safe but the Government continues to cut our budgets.

“The Government must support the police to do this work. The resources need to be there for officers to do their jobs but other services have to be at full strength so people’s lives aren’t falling apart, leaving the police to pick up the pieces.

“I’m delighted that Lancashire continue to be rated as good across the board as their work is recognised by HMIC. Through the delivery of my Police and Crime Plan I will continue to hold the Chief Constable to account and ensure the police deliver the best service for Lancashire residents. Our shared ambition is to be consistently amongst the best forces in the country.”

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Sir Thomas Winsor said, “The police are considered to be the service of last resort. In some areas, particularly where people with mental health problems need urgent help, the police are increasingly being used as the service of first resort. This is wrong.

“The provision of mental healthcare has reached such a state of severity that police are often being used to fill the gaps that other agencies cannot. This is an unacceptable drain on police resources, and it is a profoundly improper way to treat vulnerable people who need care and help.”

View the full ‘State of Policing 2016’ report and press release.

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