After the terrible and tragic events in Manchester on Monday, Theresa May said she would ensure that the police would have the resources necessary to handle the challenge. What she omitted to mention, of course, was that she had made huge cuts – as Home Secretary – to the most important resource the police have.
Police officers. 20,000 of them.
And seven specially-trained police explosives dogs, because as far as she was concerned they weren’t needed and were therefore made redundant, along with their specially-trained handlers.
One of the handlers (probably not the one you might be thinking of) of those dogs talked exclusively to the SKWAWKBOX on condition of anonymity about May, her actions as Home Secretary and their consequences – and the sheer scale of the challenge she ahs left the police ill-equipped to meet:
SKWAWKBOX: What has it been like for you in the aftermath of the attack on Monday?
X: As you can imagine the s**t has hit the fan and my phone hasn’t stopped ringing.
S: What can you tell us about the cuts and their impact?
X: There’s plenty to say. I have to be careful as saying too much would risk putting the lives of the public and the police in danger, but the cuts have dramatically affected the police ability to deal with every day bomb threats, suspect packages, VIP search etc.
S: How can Theresa May possibly have thought, with events going on around the world and close to home that we didn’t need your unit and its dogs?
X: You’d have to ask her that. We were made redundant 2 years ago, but I still have friends in the job and they are reaching breaking point, more and more work and no support, trying to do their best while being labelled lazy or incompetent because they simply can’t possibly deal with every job immediately!
My old force attends around 2000 incidents every 24 hours, 7 days a week. You can add another 3500 telephone enquiries to that each day.
One very busy town near me puts out 8-10 cops per 10-hour shift. That used to be twenty-five per 8-hour shift. The paperwork and jobs have doubled since then.
Don’t believe the politicians crime is rocketing – people have just got to the stage of not bothering to report it.
The former officer felt unable to say more without compromising the safety of the public and his ex-colleagues – but what he felt able to put on record is enough to damn Theresa May’s reckless and arrogant handling of the police.
And as a consequence of our safety.
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