Crime rise in North Yorkshire
8:27am 23rd May 2011
Responding to a reportabout crime rising throughout North Yorkshire in the first five months of this year compared to the same period in 2010 seeing increases of more than 15 per cent in Harrogate, 13 per cent in Selby and six per cent in York, and a force-wide rise of nearly six per cent.
Mark Botham, chairman of North Yorkshire Police Federation said:
"Whilst we take no pleasure in seeing this increase it shows that we were not scaremongering when we pointed to Civitas research earlier in the year warning of a crime rise.
"It shows we were not scaremongering when we reported the Ipsos MORI survey showing that 86% of the general public would be worried if the police stopped providing the range of services outlined by interviewers.
"And it shows we were not scaremongering when we reported on the survey of our own members published last week showing an incredible 87% of police officers believe cutting police officer numbers in North Yorkshire will have a detrimental effect on crime levels.
"We have also pointed out that in March 2007 the number of Constables, Sergeants, Inspectors and Chief Inspectors in North Yorkshire Police stood at almost 1650.
Today that number has reduced to less than 1500 and, under documents prepared as part of the 2012 Next Steps programme in November 2010 (before Comprehensive Spending Review, before Winsor & before Hutton), will fall to around 1250 by 2013 - a reduction of more than 30% in just 6 years. The last time the number of police officers was at that level was in 2000 and in 2001 / 2 almost 50% of North Yorkshire Police Officers were assaulted in the course of their duties.
"The current figures and the lessons of history stand in stark contrast to the views expressed by the government that cuts to policing are achievable without crime rising or affecting service delivery to the public. It is time the politicians started to listen.
"Especially as a phenomenal 99% of our members feel morale has fallen owing to planned police budget cuts, the possibility of a reduction in police officer numbers, possible changes to their terms and conditions, and how this will all impact upon the service they are able to give to the public.
"The message from police officers in North Yorkshire is loud and clear. They feel they are being hit from all sides by this government who, in addition to attacking their terms and conditions, are imposing a 20 percent cut on the service which will undoubtedly lead to increased levels of crime and a poorer service for the public in North Yorkshire.
"The Federation is not opposed to change and accept that policing must play its part in public sector cuts. However, if this government truly believes in considered and informed change for the better then they should have the courage of their convictions and establish a Royal Commission on policing. Cuts of this magnitude are criminal and, despite the very best efforts of ranks and file police officers, will undoubtedly lead to a poorer service for the residents and businesses in North Yorkshire.
"That is why it is imperative that those who live and work in North Yorkshire make clear to our local politicians that a cut of this magnitude to the police budget needs to be urgently reconsidered by national government before it is too late and we all suffer the unintended consequences of their actions."
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