‘Depressing’ Autumn Statement Doesn’t Address Policing

THE Chancellor’s Autumn Statement was “disappointing and depressing” in failing to address the significant investment needed in policing, Hampshire Police Federation has said.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt presented the Autumn Statement on 17 November. He admitted that living standards had fallen by 7%, wiping out eight years of growth, but did not acknowledge the 25% real-terms pay cut police officers had suffered since 2010.

Meanwhile other crucial public services were promised a funding boost of £3.3 billion.

With one in eight police forces in England and Wales being in special measures, the Government needs to provide significant funding to improve the service, said Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield.

Zoë said: “The Autumn Statement is disappointing and depressing. There’s been lots of criticism of policing in the media and by some politicians. But they can’t expect to get more from the police if they’re not going to invest in the service, to get policing back to where it should be – to get all these forces that are in special measures back to where they should be.

“There needs to be significant investment in policing – it’s not going to happen by magic. The majority of officers are working really hard and the demand is just too high for the resources that we’ve got.”

The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) said it was appealing to the Government to consider the constraints of police officers before forming policies affecting them directly and indirectly.

In a statement, it said: “Future-proofing and developing our police service must be considered to enable officers to protect the public and police in a way that supports society. Failing to do so will spell dire consequences for the profession and ultimately put public safety at risk.”

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