Thursday, February 02, 2006

Police Force Mergers "Will Damage Neighbourhood Policing"

The Government's proposed mergers of County police forces will damage the future of neighbourhood policing, says North Thanet's MP, Roger Gale.

Speaking in the Commons debate this (Wednesday) afternoon the MP said that the neighbourhood policing project was "the cornerstone in the fight against the anti-social behaviour, vandalism, graffiti and drunken violence that plague all communities".

"Senior police officers and police authority representatives agree that if time, money and effort are diverted to re-structure our police forces then the project will collapse. The police simply do not have the £600 million that the regionalisation of police forces will cost and there will be no money left to develop neighbourhood policing and related initiatives."

Commenting on the future of Kent police the MP added:

"The Chief Constable of Kent, Mike Fuller, and the Chairman of the police authority, Ann Barnes, are agreed that Kent should be allowed to remain a strategic and stand-alone force. Nor should we confuse necessary co-operation between forces, particularly at times of major incidents, with "federation" which the Government could use to bring about mergers by the back door."

Speaking after the debate Roger Gale added:

"The Government's proposals are ill thought through and un-costed. They are, I believe, based upon the continuing desire to bring about regional government without referenda or elections. The ambulance and Fire services are being "regionalised", the health authorities and education services will follow. We have to defend our County's police force or there is a very real danger that Kent County, as a local authority, will disappear"


Anonymous said...

Are they saying policing in Thanet can get worse than it already is ???????

Anonymous said...

Having lost the local touch with residents by having all telephone calls end up in Maidstone, our local relations with 'our coppers' are already low. The combining of Canterbury with Thanet is bad enough to contemplate but force merger would be disastrous. A recent 999 call by me to Maidstone was answered as follows 'Cliftonville? ...where's that?' MARGATE ' oh is it that Thanet?' YES AND BY THE WAY THE THREE LADS WHO HAVE JUST SMASHED THE WINDOW OF THE CAR I AM STANDING BY HAVE NOW LONG GONE.

James Maskell said...

The idea that by lumping all the local forces together will make policing better is a ridiculous one. The Canterbury/Thanet link I can accept but as the last comment saidm, how will someone in Maidstone know where the caller is talking from and be able to direct the police to the right area in time. This Government is inept and has no clue how to sort out the police.

Nethercourt said...

I suspect that the Police Service, like every other publicly funded body, would dearly love to be left alone to do the job they are paid for, relieved of the constant meddling directives from politico's!!
Heaven help me... I voted for this?

Anonymous said...

Having had much experience of Margate Police ( as a victim not a criminal) I am sure they would like to be left alone - to sit in the station drinking tea and generally relaxing.

Anonymous said...