Police cannot cope with Whitehall burdens in recession


The police cannot cope with the “huge burden” of Government bureaucracy and knee jerk initiatives as pressures on resources deepen with the recession, one of the country’s most senior police officers has warned.

Peter Fahy, the chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, said the demands of Whitehall and targets are “getting in the way” of officers being able to do their job and tackle issues that matter to the local people.

He is the latest to join the criticism over pressures from central Government on day to day policing and the effect it is having on chaining officers to their desks.

He said: “Decisions are made elsewhere which affect us which aren’t necessarily appropriate to the local need.”

He criticised politicians’ involvement in `whatever initiative tends to be going’ – such as the government anti-knife crime campaign, which was launched following a series of high-profile murders in London.

“All these things are justifiable on their own but, when you put them together, it’s a very crowded landscape,” he said.

“We could afford to have all that after ten years of public sector growth but, going into difficult times, there’s no way we can afford that massive overhead. It adds to complexity and it adds to costs.

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