The Police force of England and Wales have no voice, they have a federation which is a kind of toothless union, toothless because ultimately the service cannot strike. The federation has in the last few years had its problems too. They have vast amounts of money in reserves and they have recently had built a new headquarters, including a state of the art hotel which is not accessible to the rank and file constables who pay through their levy for such luxuries.
The men and women who each day don the blue uniform and serve and protect us are in the wilderness; they feel undervalued, scorned and although we traditionally are policed by consent, that consent, the police officers believe, is very weak.
Respect for the rule of law has diminished over the last three decades to a new unprecedented low, best highlighted when a gang of schoolchildren recently attacked a police officer and his Policewoman partner on duty on the streets of England. Assaults on police officers is at an all time high together, with sickness and stress.
The service itself is not in the best of shape. Particularly amongst the senior ranks. The investigations into historical child sex abuse in Rotherham and within the establishment of parliament, the activities of the South Yorkshire force with regards to Hillsborough and Sir Cliff Richard have cast a very large cloud over the service as a whole. However, the rank and file officers dealing everyday with burglary, domestic violence, social bad behaviour, thefts and assaults keep turning out onto the streets twenty four hours a day to serve and protect the communities they serve and in many cases live in.
Support from the government is to a large extent non-existent. Numbers of serving officers has in the last year from March 2015 to March 2016, fallen by 3.3% to 200,922. This overall number of officers within the service is paltry set against a population of some 60 million. The number of frontline officers out on the streets is very low at 57,415 falling in the period by 6%.
The introduction of PCSO`s (Police community service officers) is a cheaper way of policing the streets as their terms and conditions cost much less. But even their numbers have fallen. In the same period the numbers of PCSO`s fell by 10.7%.
Morale within the service has never been lower 93.5% of officers surveyed by the Federation in 2016 said that morale was low. 68% did not feel valued and only 17% felt respected by the public they serve.
A Police Dependants Trust survey resulted in 81% of 10,987 officers who took part stating they had injuries or mental health issues as a result of their duty. There is an assault on a police officer in England and Wales every 12 minutes, 23,000 assaults a year on average.
These are startling figures, startling and frightening. The Police have been abandoned by their traditional friends in the Conservative Party. The then Home Secretary Theresa May at this year`s federation annual conference was greeted onto stage to total silence, she went on to say “you do not like me and I do not care” having already called them out as “a bunch of reactionary jobsworths”. Never has the relationship between the police forces and the sitting government been at such a low ebb. There can be little if any hope of things improving if the shadow home secretary Dianne Abbott achieves power.
The Police force In England and Wales need a voice, they need a champion, they need a political party that they can trust and rely on, a party who will not let them down in the future, a party who believes in law and order, a party who puts the victims of crime first and not the perpetrators of crime.
Ukip is that party. This message needs sending loud and clear to all Police officers, support staff and their families. In Ukip you have a warm welcome, friend, and more importantly the support of a party who believes in you.