Extra officers is only part of the solution, says Federation chair

Plans by the new Government to recruit thousands of police officers, PCSOs and Specials, and put 13,000 extra neighbourhood police and PCSOs on the beat have been welcomed by South Wales Police Federation chair Phil Walker.

The plans, set out in Labour’s election manifesto, also involve the introduction of a new Neighbourhood Policing Guarantee, more town centre patrols and a named officer for every community and resident.

“I don’t think there will be one single police chief who would turn down the option of more police officers and we know this will be popular with the public who regularly tell us they want to see a more visible policing presence,” says Phil.

“But we need to be sure we have the funding for everything else this will require such as extra training facilities, police bases, cars, lockers, uniform and personal protective equipment.

 “Then, of course, there are wages to pay. Due to the austerity years, police officers have seen a 20 per cent real terms cut to their salaries and this is something we hope the Government is also going to look at – both in ensuring they get a suitable pay award but also in reviewing the current pay review process which is not fit for purpose.

 “In short, we welcome Labour’s plans, but an increase in police officer numbers is only part of the solution and we need to see more sustained investment in policing if we are to deliver a more effective service for the communities we serve.”

Rebuilding confidence

In addition to the Neighbourhood Policing Guarantee, Labour’s pre-election manifesto set out plans to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour with a mission to ‘take back our streets’, reducing serious violence and rebuilding public confidence in policing by getting officers back on the streets.

It pledged to introduce new penalties for offenders, get knives off the streets, set up a specialist rape unit in every police force and launch a new network of Young Futures hubs.

Funding for its manifesto pledges would come from ending private schools’ tax breaks and a Police Efficiency and Collaboration Programme.

Read the Labour manifesto.