A March for the Future of Policing - Media Release
On Thursday 10th May 470 off-duty police officers from Kent will join colleagues from throughout the United Kingdom and march through the streets of central London to protest over this government's unwarranted and unprecedented attack on them and policing as a whole. Yes, they will be protesting against changes to their conditions of service, but more importantly they will be protesting against 20% budget cuts, privatisation and the end of 183 years of policing by consent.
This follows Kent Police Federation's "Policing in Crisis" meeting on Wednesday 2nd May when 550 off duty police officers met to debate this government's continual attack on policing.
Ian Pointon, Chairman of Kent Police Federation says,
"Policing is being subjected to an unwarranted and unprecedented attack by this government. Instead of picking a fight with the criminals that blight our communities, they have picked that fight with police officers. Police officers are angry and they are telling me - enough is enough."
"I know police officers are angry about pay cuts and increased pension contributions but they understand the public are suffering too. This isn't just about pay & pensions, more importantly it is about 20% budget cuts. It's about 500 fewer police officers in Kent. It's about changing policing by consent out of the glare of public scrutiny. It's about doing that by stealth. It's about the privatisation of policing."
"Am I being alarmist? Look at the evidence. Swingeing cuts are providing an economic opportunity for the private sector. Surrey, a neighbouring force, is courting the private sector to provide aspects of frontline policing such as neighbourhood patrol and crime investigation. South Yorkshire Police are trying to hand over neighbourhood policing to rebranded PCSOs with the police officers corralled into "task teams". Police officers will lose day to day contact with the public and will be left purely with enforcement; rolled out when strong arm tactics are required. The day to day contact will be left to the private sector or PCSOs until they too are sold off."
"On 3rd April we wrote to all Kent's MPs about our concerns over privatisation. In over a month we have received just four responses. I think this is a shameful level of response for such an important issue. We know the public are concerned about a "big brother" style government and we now know that an American company is bidding to provide policing services in Surrey and the West Midlands. Policing must be accountable to the public not shareholders. Intuitively this is wrong on every level. It is happening in Surrey today but, if it isn't stopped, it will be happening in Kent tomorrow. Chief constables may say it won't but from November it will be a matter for the Police & Crime Commissioners."
"The style of policing that has served this country well for 183 years, and has been much admired and copied the world over, is under attack. Policing by the people and for the people will be replaced by policing for profit. Instead of being accountable to the public it will be accountable to shareholders. Policing by consent was deliberately established in 1829; it is being dismantled without consent now. The public need to wake up to this and lobby their MPs before it is too late."
END OF MEDIA RELEASE
NOTES TO EDITORS
This is a link to The Guardian article revealing Surrey Police's & West Midland Police's contract bids to private companies to supply frontline policing services such as Neighbourhood patrol, crime investigation.
This is a link to The Guardian article (3rd May 2012) revealing KBR (a US firm that built Guantanamo Bay) is in the running to provide policing in Surrey & the West Midlands.
This is a link to a blog by the Chairman of Kent Police Federation - "Privatisation - Myth or Reality?"
We wrote to all Kent's MPs on 3rd April 2012 about police privatisation. To date we have received just 4 responses. Helen Grant MP - dodges the issue of privatisation. Damian Green MP - dodges the issue of privatisation. Sir Roger Gale - an acknowledgement of receipt. Sir John Stanley - writes 2 lines indicating he will reply once he has consulted directly with the Home Secretary.
- Kent Police Federation is a staff association representing constables, sergeants, inspectors and chief inspectors.
- Ian Pointon can be contacted on 01622 652251