Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cutting Police numbers and increasing policing

If you ever wanted to see just how completely insane, pathetic and intellectually vacuous politicians are, then take a look at the "Police numbers" argument going on in London at the moment between the mayor, Boris Johnson, the former Mayor who wants to be Mayor again, Ken Livingstone and his cheerleader Len Duvall.

It's a classic example of wordplay by politicians as they try to turn an issue with shades of grey into one that is black and white, all for the consumption of us proles naturally.

So where to begin? OK, I'll try and keep this short and sweet so let's bullet point:
  1. Boris Johnson's budget explicitly states that "over the three years to 2012-13, the number of police officers is forecast to decrease by 455."
  2. Livingstone and Duvall say this is terrible cut of 455 and Boris is breaking his manfiesto commitment to the Police and petition the Mayor
  3. Other rebut the petition saying that, actually, the cut is just part of something called Project Herald, that Livingstone and Duvall both supported.
  4. This rebuttal is rebutted with the statement from Len Duvall that "Project Herald was to get more police on street - nothing to do with Boris's 455 cut."
So who's right?... errr none of them really. You see, Project Herald was, as Duvall said, about getting more police on the street, but it wasn't about increasing the number of police officers overall. It was about redirection of police officers from back office custody type work onto the street. Specifically, 550 police officers in total (250 sergeants and 300 constables) as noted in the table here.

Now let's do some quick maths. Johnson's budget says that the number of total police officers is forecast to reduce by 455 over three years - that it is a "forecast" suggests that assumptions are being made about what's called "natural wastage" combined with a reduction in the rate of recruitment but never let that get in the way of a good "vicious Tory cuts" story right?

Anyhow, I digress. At the same time, we're also going to see an increase of police officers on the street to the tune of 550 as they're redirected from custody work. Now, for arguments sake, let's assume that 455 of those 550 are the ones that are going to go over the next 3 years. That's still an increase of 95 police officers on the street, whilst also being a reduction in the total number of police officers.

Funny old world isn't it when a reduction of police officers overall can also produce an increase in actual policing huh?

So what's the point I'm really trying to make here? I guess it's that so many politicians are actually little more than opportunistic wankers trying to con the public into ignoring the grey and only seeing the partisan black and white narrative they're desperate for us to buy into.

Basically, their bullshit knows no bounds!

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