Teesside

Hartlepool: The town where the police no longer come

Your car has been broken into, your bike is gone, there is someone in your garden they could be heading for the house you reach for the phone and call the police. But there are no officers coming tonight there simply is not enough. That is the reality for some and the future for others.

In Hartlepool, there is evidence that there are not enough cops to even attend jobs with clear CCTV evidence, Maybe that is why there are only 4 people on average in the Hartlepool Police station because they are not arresting the criminals, they are not investigating the crimes that impact us.

Police Hour has had two experiences of car crime and two experiences no officer attended to collect our CCTV evidence. Luckily on both occasions this was not our car. But we are sure the owners of these cars will be disgusted that we had CCTV evidence that the police never bothered to collect.

Most recently in Hartlepool, right outside of Police Hour HQ we reported a crime in progress to the police and were informed it was not our place to report the car because simply it was property and we did not own the car so we could not do anything, despite the offender and crime happening on CCTV. The police never attended to collect that CCTV. Very similar to another car that was broken into here recently.

How did things become so bad within the UK, when did the police stop attending car crime, break-ins and such likes, the Answer is simple? There isn’t enough money and policing cuts are deep. Officers remain dedicated but are at breaking point.

Some people are reporting crimes and never seeing the police come to collect any evidence, others are lucky to see the police within three weeks. When will the police service break and how long will the public put up with it.

The truth is British Policing is almost at breaking point there are not enough police officers to deal with crime, they’ll now often only respond to the life and death 999 calls.

But here is the catch when they do respond to you the chances of anyone actually being arrested are also reducing, last year cops made fewer arrests for serious offences Because they were too busy responding to 999 calls rather than being able to investigate and arrest offenders. They are simply understaffed, overworked and underpaid.

Within a location near the Police Hour head offices, a violent shoplifter within a northern force was biting and punching security staff. Members of the public assisted and held the man until the police arrived after an hour he was still fighting and biting he struggled and ran, the police never came. They never asked for our CCTV footage and we were left disappointed. It was not a policing priority. He was never arrested and no evidence was ever collected.

But it is 2018 and we have to get used to the fact that there is just no money in the funds, austerity has hit policing and there is not much we can do about it. Budgets are getting tighter and tighter and we must no longer waste money, we must operate in an effective and cost-effective way. The chances of getting more officers are not that great.

Criminals are risking it more and more they now know they have the best chances now in 2018 of committing a crime and never getting caught, they know there are not many officers crawling around the streets or responding to jobs. They now know they have more chance of committing a crime and getting away with it the odds are stacked in their favour. Being simply the police are overstretched, their numbers have fallen by 21,000 and they won’t be increased any time soon.

After all it’s working right, we are saving millions and everyone has to take their fair share of being understaffed.

Closing Custody

We just hope the lack of operational response is not an excuse and a justification to shut down the Police Station as it was announced yesterday that Hartlepool police custody was closing as they only deal with 4 prisoners a day.

Maybe if the cops attended more routine crimes and investigated crime they would have a use for there soon to be closed police station. But we cannot blame the cops it all comes down to policing cuts and the political powers that be.

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins recently admitted that high levels of serious crime such as murder, rape, human trafficking, policing mental health and welfare issues have left Greater Manchester Police struggling. the first CC of many to admit he does not have the officers on the ground or the money to put them on the ground.

The thought that officers will automatically come to your house when you have been burgled and your car has been stolen is no longer a reality in some forces across the UK the police won’t even come. If you see a smashed up car parked within a location the police won’t attend anymore unless the person who owns the car reports it, within Cleveland Police area we reported such car behind the offices of Police Hour, 4 weeks later a smashed up car was still remaining despite having CCTV evidence, no officers ever arrived because they simply had bigger policing issues.

Ian Hopkins Said to MEN  “There is this growing gap of people in the middle that, you know, expect us to turn up to their car that’s been broken into or their garden shed that’s been broken into or their bike that’s been stolen and they’re then finding out that we don’t,

“And from my perspective, there are two answers to this. People might accuse me of being simplistic, but either the public have to understand that that’s just the way policing is now in the 21st Century and we make difficult decisions around our resource allocation and what we’re dealing with – or there has to be more police.

“And as I say, that might sound quite simplistic, but I don’t see what the solution is in the long term unless there’s either an acceptance of that kind of policing or there’s an increase in resources.”

Cressida Dick Commissioner of the Met Police has openly admitted that a 2% pay rise for police officers is a punch on the nose and feared that the police will soon be affected with understaffing just like the police service.

Today she told the  Police Superintendents’ Association that the government decision on pay would make it harder to recruit and retain officers. Saying that

“I do think that decision will have affected morale, I don’t want the government to wait until we are struggling like the prison service with chronic understaffing.”

And made it clear that a decision to impose the2% pay award for pensionable pay flew in the face of evidence and rational argument because that simply feels like 1% to officers.

“I am extremely disappointed by that outcome,” she said, adding that police had worked “tirelessly” with the Home Office and the independent Pay Review Body (PRB) to make the case for “fair pay” for officers.

Mr Javid said that he understood concerns, however. “This is a reflection of trying to strike that balance and I’m not pretending it’s easy,” he said, adding that he knows there is “a need for more resources”.

The comments from Ms Dick come as a public spending watchdog called the government’s approach to police funding “ineffective”.

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