Next Government Needs To Invest In Officer Uplift

The next Government needs to significantly invest in policing so that officers can keep up with demand, Hampshire Police Federation has said in the run-up to the general election.

Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield said that there needed to be another large uplift in officers across the country and that more bobbies on the beat would help solve other issues in society.

She said: “I want the next Government to significantly invest in policing. We feel like we’re a bit of an afterthought sometimes with the Government. Knife crime is a massive issue in London, but if you put more police officers on the street then you’re going to reduce crime. Different areas around the country have different issues, but I think we need real, significant investment in policing.

“The 20,000 uplift needs to be a continuous thing now – we need to be continuously recruiting in those big numbers to be able to keep up with demand. Hampshire Constabulary isn’t even back to the numbers we had in 2010, and I know we’re not the only force. Populations have massively increased, so we need to have that significant investment so that we can all give the service that we want to give to the public.

“So many forces have struggled to do any sort of community policing because we need all our officers responding to the 999 calls. We’ve still got neighbourhood policing in Hampshire, but when we’re really busy, unfortunately those officers are used to backfill our response teams.

“I’m sure every force has really, really good officers, who really want to make a difference in their communities, but they’re not given the time to do it.”

Police pay was another important issue and IT and technology also needed investment, Zoë added: “That would make a big difference. It would save a lot of officers’ time being stuck in front of computers, writing the same thing on two different computer systems, when they could be out on the streets.”

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