I was invited to spend last Tuesday morning with the 13 new Police Constables recruited by Humberside Police - 6 weeks into their training and they get me talking about Councillor input into Policing, Local Action Teams, and partnership working… It was all very positive but I must admit I did stray into the area of Central Government imposed targets and the contradiction with what local people are telling us in the East Riding. (Funnily enough there were no detractors – perhaps it’s something to do with all the Police Performance Challenge meetings I’ve attended over the past two years).
What I really struggle with is this Government that wants the Police to focus on targets that are not really applicable to our East Riding communities, where quite clearly the priorities are different from larger urban communities.
Many people tell me their priorities are antisocial behaviour (where the perception doesn't reflect reality – thanks mainly to the media), speeding and parking in villages and towns, and last but not least DOG FOULING - something plaguing most communities. So why does the Government insist the priority for the Police should be vehicle crime?
(Please note: PCSOs in Leeds give out tickets to people caught Dog Fouling and there appears to be less comments about a lack of a Police Presence)
Please, let’s have an election soon, let’s get rid of this wretched Government (and that’s without talking about the Budget statement), and let’s have more localism where we have more decision-making disseminated down to the local level that a new Tory Government will bring. At the end of the day it is the voice of the people I represent that is most important – not the voice of this centralist Government telling us what they think, how we should think and what we should do, and worst of all imposing their priorities on us.
To finish on a positive note, 13 great recruits; who I’m sure will make great Police Officers in the weeks, months and years to come.