Sunday, April 24, 2011

11 days to save local policing #sp11

 caught up with Highlands and Islands Lib Dem list candidate Jamie Paterson earlier this week in Inverness. He told me that Tavish Scott's campaign against SNP, Labour and Tory plans to create a single police force had gone down well on the doors in Moray.

This comes at the end of a week when 78% of rank and file police officers voted against a single police force, Liberal Democrat Campaign Chair George Lyon is urging all parties to back the Lib Dem campaign to keep police local.

George said:

This week 78% of rank and file officers at the annual police conference voted against a single police force.
“They join the 7 out of 8 chief constables and 86% of Northern Constabulary staff who don’t want a single force. 

“Chief Constables warn that a single force could cost 3,000 officers their jobs.  And the Chief Constable of a single force would never be out of the Justice Secretary’s office.  That’s no way to run our police.
“Liberal Democrats are sending hundreds of thousands of leaflets across the country to tell voters that local policing is under threat.

“Out of the main parties, only the Liberal Democrats are campaigning against a single police force.
“There are just 11 days to save local policing.”   

Ok, that probably sounds like a bit of political campaigning talk. But, think about it. If you are a local bobby, finding out what's going on in your local community, who's causing the trouble, what their plans are, is something that comes from forming relationships over time within that community. You can't build that sort of knowledge up overnight. Good policing needs good community officers with their ear to the ground over years. They don't need to be pulled away and redeployed at the whim of a Chief Constable hundreds of miles away. That is the path to less criminals being caught as I see it. 

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