During the past few weeks there have been numerous articles in this newspaper covering the increase in police officer numbers, recruitment of apprentice PCSOs and encouragement to join the community speed watch teams.
Smoke and mirrors comes to mind.
Despite an increasing population in Sussex, from 2010 to date there are 626 fewer officers. Logic must tell anyone that there should have been an increase.
There are fewer recorded crime and road incidents for a variety of reasons, including difficulty being able to report it.
At the current rates of pay and the small differential between a warranted officer and PCSO, I fail to understand the continual recruitment of PCSOs with their very limited powers and shift patterns. Now to cap it all we have apprentice PCSOs.
Sussex Police will require new recruits to be educated to degree level from 2020. Are any of these people going to be happy to give 30 years’ service? In our society, they will be expecting rapid promotion.
Sussex is going to get 200 more PCs, but one has to remember it would require 626 officers to get back to the numbers of 2010.
Regarding speed watch, speeding stops by officers frequently led to other offences. Sending one, two, three or ten letters will make little or no difference. The lack of adequate numbers of traffic police is to blame for excessive speed of vehicles and antisocial road behaviour.
The system loves community speed watch because it gives communities the belief they are empowered to change things. It’s an illusion and another useless sticking plaster for the lack of police officers.