The SKWAWKBOX has talked to the police veteran behind the @ProtectRPolice Twitter account about Theresa May’s ‘after the horse has bolted’ announcement that she intends to give more powers to the police and security services – and to reduce our human rights – in an attempt to counter the terror threat.
The officer, who has a thirty-year history in front-line policing, takes a dim view of May’s proposals:
We don’t need more powers. We need more police to use the powers we already have. We need resources, not new laws.
I started the Twitter account when the Winsor reports were published to highlight the proposed changes and the damage that’s been done to the police and to policing.
I was a Police Federation rep and I was at the conference where Theresa May gave her infamous ‘crying wolf’ speech. We warned her what she was doing and what it would lead to. We were not scaremongering or crying wolf – and now that’s tragically proven.
She said at the weekend, “Enough is enough” – well she’s right, but wrong at the same time. “Enough is enough” was the Police Federation slogan in 2015 – about police cuts. But she didn’t listen – refused to listen. The irony of her using our phrase on Sunday is immeasurable.
She’s claimed to have put more police on the streets, but it’s only been achieved by extraordinary, unsustainable measures – cancelling leave, lengthening shifts. You just can’t keep that up long-term.
And even if we were out on the street 24/7, we’re not resourced properly. We’ve had reductions of 75% in police dog numbers in some forces, for goodness sake. Dogs are the most deployed support asset in policing, and they’re not there as they need to be.
Theresa May has no excuse. She was warned – and she not only ignored us but insulted us and ploughed on with her cuts. We weren’t crying wolf and we’re still waiting for her to see sense and respond properly.
And rushing out ‘new powers’ isn’t it.
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