Cleveland Police tells Officers to stop night vehicle patrols

Just over one week ago in the north east of England, it was announced that Cleveland Police, like other forces around the country, would reduce the number of its officers in an effort to meet a cut in government funding.

Cleveland Police Authority said that to meet its 20% funding cut the force’s officer establishment would reduce from 1,727 to 1,572 over the next 12 months with another reduction of 75 to follow the year after. The number of PCSOs would also reduce from 197 to 182.

The reported measures to meet the cut in funding, chosen by Cleveland’s policing authority, include savings on overtime, Bank Holiday staffing, reduction in staff posts in the police executive and authority and reduced expenditure on uniforms.  But news arriving at Mind Towers concerns a cost saving measure that has not been shared with the public and is likely to cause anger in the county.

For word reaches us that the Chief Constable has instructed rank and file police officers in Cleveland to cease night time patrolling in police cars.  We are told the instruction to officers on night shift is to stay in the station or find somewhere outdoors to park up and spend their time doing paperwork, and that Officers have been told to only respond to major emergency calls.  The reason?  To reduce police vehicle fuel costs.

Our source tells us the mood among Officers is one of incredulity given that night is the prime opportunity for the commission of crimes and removing the deterrent of night time police patrols will result in more crimes being committed and more money, time and effort being spent on detection.  Response times are expected to suffer, particularly in rural areas.

It seems that Durham Constabulary have also issued similar instructions.  FOI requests have been placed with both forces accordingly.  The question is whether this is a nationwide instruction by Chief Police Officers who are putting costs before policing.  Perhaps it would be appropriate for Cleveland to change their motto to ‘Putting Costs First’.

7 Responses to “Cleveland Police tells Officers to stop night vehicle patrols”

  1. 1 Tufty 03/03/2011 at 3:31 pm

    The police have an obvious question to answer if large funding cuts make no difference to crime figures. So guess what…

  2. 2 jameshigham 03/03/2011 at 4:59 pm

    That’s right – cut core services and forget about benefit fraud, quangos and the like.

  3. 3 Geoff, Worcester, England 03/03/2011 at 5:00 pm

    Maybe Cleveland Police should change its motto to ‘Putting The Political Class First’. You can bet your bottom dollar that the penpushers/non-jobs will be the ones who suffer least.

  4. 4 WitteringWitney 03/03/2011 at 6:41 pm

    Is there something in the water oop north?

    Mind you, if they not actually going to patrol, they may as well do this:

  5. 5 PT 04/03/2011 at 12:00 pm

    Why the fuss? Surely this just puts policing on the same basis as another emergency service, the NHS, which provides a service to those who do not have a life-threatening emergency only from 9-5, 5 days a week, no bank holidays. All we need to do now to ensure complete parity is to pay the providers of this primary care £100,000+ p.a.

  6. 6 Autonomous Mind 04/03/2011 at 12:14 pm

    Policing is not merely an on demand care service. Fire pumps and Ambulances don’t provide a deterrent to fires and injuries, but police patrols deter crime. I’m afraid I don’t accept the link you’re trying to make.

  7. 7 Bertie 23/03/2011 at 9:10 pm

    What a joke – its like saying just let the criminals go out and break into cars and houses on a night bcoz the police won’t be there, they are not allowed…..

    Or the police could just lock all their prisoners up when they first come on duty and spend the next 10 hours obtaining statements and dealing with the prisoner – wonder how the public would liek the police at their door at 3am for a statement – I think not.

    Night time policing is where they catch the bigger criminals – they cannot stop the police doing that.

    Ambulance and Fire do not patrol as they are not a deterrant and do not arrest – on nights if they have no jobs they can then go into the station and sleep. The police are not allowed to do this (I am sure in the past many have done this tho)

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