Conviction rates hit historic low after years of under-funding of police service

THE British public are seeing the effects of years of under-funding in policing as conviction rates reach historic lows, Hampshire Police Federation has said. 

Only four per cent of theft offences and six per cent of robberies result in a prosecution in England and Wales, the latest HM Inspectorate of Constabulary report found. 

Zoë Wakefield, Federation Chair, said: Cuts have consequences. The public are now seeing that the only thing you get for less, is less. You cant cut policing over that long a term and not expect there to be an impact.

Officers have been working so hard to make up for the gaps in service. This has been coming for a long time. I think because officers are just now exhausted, its now coming to light that actually we are not giving the public the service they deserve. But thats not because police officers arent working really hard. Its just because theres not enough of us and there hasnt been for over 10 years now.” 

New officers that are coming in under the Governments uplift programme are taking time to be effective, Zoë said, as they are spending at least 20% of their time on university studies. 

She said: Even if the Government had reached their 20,000, thats not 20,000 extra police on the streets. You take at least a fifth off that because theyre all in university, studying, because the government said they have to have a degree.

Meanwhile, crime is still increasing, alongside newer and more complex types of crime. 

She added: Its more complex crime were trying to investigate and we just dont have enough officers and enough experienced officers now, because theyre all brand new.” 

Zoë called on members of the public to write to their MP if they feel they are not getting an adequate standard of policing, so the Government sees the errors of their ways. 

She said: Explain your experience to your MP. It is not down to the fact that nobody wants to help you. Its not that they dont want to investigate your crime. We do. We want to find the baddies. We want to lock them up. We want to stop people becoming victims of crime. But there just aren’t enough of us to deal with all the crime that gets reported.

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