‘Cuts and poor pay have undermined policing’

Dyfed Powys Police Federation chair Gareth Jones said funding cuts and poor pay had done more to undermine policing than anything else.

Gareth was reacting to a speech by the Home Secretary Suella Braverman in which she said political correctness was hampering police.

Ms Braverman was speaking at the Public Safety Foundation think tank where she said that officers should concentrate on “common sense policing”.

She said: “Common sense policing means more police on our streets.

“It means better police culture and higher standards.

“It means giving the public confidence that the police are unequivocally on their side, not pandering to politically correct preoccupations.

“It means measuring the police on outputs such as public response times, crimes solved, and criminals captured.

“It means police officers freed up to spend their time on proper police work.

“It means police prioritising the highest harm crimes and those that matter most to the public.

“It means the police making use of powers like stop and search that have proven effective in taking weapons off our streets.

“And above all else, common sense policing means officers maintaining a relentless focus on fighting crime, catching criminals, and keeping the public safe.”

Ms Braverman added: “Now I believe in the police. But the policing in which I believe isn’t riven with political correctness, but enshrined in good old fashioned common sense.

“The perception – however unjustified or unrepresentative – that some police are more interested in virtue signalling, or in protecting the interests of a radical minority engaged in criminality, than they are protecting the rights of the law-abiding majority – is utterly corrosive to public confidence in policing. The police must be more sensitive to this and work harder to counter it.

“If police chiefs approached instilling a culture of political impartiality, with the same dedication which they approach instilling a culture of diversity and inclusion, I have no doubt that public confidence in policing would be materially improved.”

Gareth said officers were committed to fighting crime, but needed the support of Government, including a fair pay deal and investment in the service.

He said: “Officers go into policing to fight crime and protect the public – and that is their main priority.

“The huge cuts to police numbers during the austerity years, the lack of investment in the service and the massive drop in pay have done more than anything to hamper our efforts to fight crime.

“The Federation is calling for a minimum 17 per cent pay rise to make up for that slump in wages and so that officers don’t have to worry about keeping a roof over their heads or putting food on the table.”

Read Ms Braverman’s speech in full.