Cuts to policing budgets have been a hot topic in the local and national news lately, with the treasury expecting police forces to make £1.5bn savings by 2014-2015.
Lincolnshire’s own police force will be losing £20m from its budget, which will ultimately result in the loss of 100 jobs.
So it’s understandable that our police force is under pressure at the moment and I don’t think the recent attacks on its performance will make things any better.
They are only human, after all. It’s not possible for a small number of officers to be present in several locations at once and they would have to prioritise incidents. I think they deserve more credit that some people give them. Can you imagine what things would be like without them?
I am, however, still undecided on whether I think the partnership with G4S security is a good idea. In theory, it’s a good idea if it saves the force money. But if the money saved is not going back into the force or enabling it to spend more time ‘on the beat’, what’s the point?
The remaining police officers are just going to be overworked with an increasing caseload and that’s not going to help anyone.
An initiative to put security guards from privately-owned firms on the streets to act as an additional resource to residents and PCSOs in the community is in force across some of our neighbouring counties, and this is an approach that I think Grantham would benefit from adopting.
It would help to curb anti-social behaviour and would leave the police to focus on the wider issues in the area, which I feel the people of Grantham would agree is important.
I feel that more should be done to meet the needs of our community, but if the police are being forced to drastically cut down their staff numbers or hand over power to a private firm, nothing is going to improve - for them or for us.
What do you think could be done to get more officers on the street? Would you agree that the small policing budget for Lincolnshire is a problem and is affecting the service we’re receiving? I would love to hear your views.
By Journal columnist Alison Robson