Police in England and Wales are readying for a “perfect storm” because of staff shortages and a rise in crime.
Current policing is based on fewer officers working longer hours, a system which, according to Chief Superintendent Gavin Thomas, is “fundamentally flawed.”
Thomas, the president of the Police Superintendents’ Association of England and Wales, will tell an Association conference on Monday that far from providing the best service to the public, the system is being driven by the pressure to cut back on funds, the BBC reports.
“I suggest we have a perfect storm developing, comprised of fewer resources, reduced public services, new threats, and a worrying increase in some types of traditional crime.
“If the model for delivering policing services in the future is fewer people, working longer, each doing ever more, then I suggest that model is fundamentally flawed,” the superintendent will say.
Thomas will also call for a debate and review of policing services, and tell Home Office Minister Nick Hurd that they are “otherwise […] being driven not by the need to provide the best possible policing service that meets the needs of the public, but primarily by the need to save money.”
It comes as a recent survey revealed that just 27 percent of the 900 members of the association who responded said they think they have enough resources to carry out their jobs efficiently.
Moreover, according to the findings, half experienced anxiety, while a quarter were displaying signs of depression.
“It is frankly unacceptable that the senior operational leaders in policing are under so much pressure that a quarter of them have signs of depression,” Thomas will say.
“It is not a healthy position for the service to be in, and it is definitely not in the interests of the public.”
The Association is calling for measures to be introduced to safeguard the health and wellbeing of senior police officers and the wider population.
“We know that policing, by its nature, can be a stressful and challenging job.
“So it’s important that the government acts too when and where we can add value,” Thomas will assert.