The secretary of Dyfed Powys Police Federation has called for investment in officers and staff to meet the demands facing the service.
Roger Webb says low numbers and policing the pandemic has put policing under pressure like never before.
And he warned that police may not be able to react to everything the public expects them to without proper investment in recruiting and retaining officers and staff.
Roger, reacting to recent events, said: “Policing is under pressure like never before. We’ve been on the frontline of the pandemic, enforcing the restrictions and keeping the public safe.
“At the same time, our members have been continuing to carry out their normal day-to-day operations. All while we have 10,000 fewer officers and thousands fewer support staff, who do a vital job behind the scenes, compared to a decade ago. It can’t continue.
“It’s good that the Government is increasing our numbers with its ongoing recruitment drive but it won’t go far enough.
“We need the sustained investment that will take our numbers back to where they were 10 years ago so that we can do the job the public expects of us.”
Roger’s comments echo those of John Apter, the Federation’s national chair, who has also been reacting to recent events.
John said: “It seems that no matter what happens within society, the finger of blame always leads itself towards policing, before the facts are known.
“The harsh reality is, despite the almost daily information being put out by Government and other agencies about the increase of police officer numbers, that we are still nowhere near where we need to be to react to everything the way the public would expect and the way that we should be able to. This is an inconvenient truth for some.”
He added: “Low numbers and a global pandemic mean that there is more pressure. Pressure on frontline officers, response policing, detectives and pressure on back office functions including departments like firearms licensing.
“The pressure is intolerable and leads to delays that are unavoidable despite our best efforts. This is the reality that policing is facing, while at the same time being held accountable for matters that sit firmly with other agencies.
“Policing is often the service of last resort and we can’t always say no, we can’t close our doors at 5pm on a Friday afternoon.
“We need to increase our numbers, officers and staff, above what is promised by the Government or we will continuously be chasing our tail, never being able to be fully proactive in dealing with the pressures we face.
“The lack of genuine investment in policing is putting the public at risk and that is something that no society should ever accept. My colleagues, officers and staff, are committed to doing everything that we can to keep the public safe, but we need the help to do this.”