May’s talk of reform “a euphemism for cuts”

The Police Federation has warned that Theresa May's speech on reform of the police service today was "a euphemism for cuts", and that the home secretary "does not value us as much as she says she does".

The Police Federation has warned that Theresa May’s speech on reform of the police service today was “a euphemism for cuts”, and that the home secretary “does not value us as much as she says she does”. May had claimed she was acting “to protect police jobs”, that she wanted “to keep officers on the streets” – yet this appears to have cut little ice with officers and opposition politicians.

Simon Reed, vice-chair of the Police Federation, said:

“Officers will see straight through [her remarks]… She clearly undervalues what we do, despite what she says. Words are cheap, but actions speak louder. Clearly she does not value us as much as she says she does.”

And on the two-year public sector pay freeze, he added:

“That’s a considerable sacrifice, officers and their families are making that sacrifice. Whatever other cuts come on top of that will have an adverse effect on morale…

“Reform is a euphemism for cuts. We’re disappointed that she’s decided to act before the Windsor review and undermine the review which we had put our trust in. She clearly has undermined that report and its independence.”

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, meanwhile, called May’s speech a “desperate and disingenuous attempt” to distract attention from the frontline job cuts of “around 10,000 police officers”. She said:

“The Home Secretary should be working with the police on reforms and efficiencies rather than attacking them in the newspapers and trying to make them the scapegoats for the job losses as a result of the scale and pace of these cuts.

“This speech is not about saving jobs it is about diverting attention from the fact that she has put Chief Constables in an impossible position with a 20% front loaded cut to their budgets.”

In her speech, the home secretary gave examples which she claimed would “allow more resources to be devoted to the frontline”:

“Look at Suffolk and Norfolk, where they are creating a shared service platform for their back office support functions. This will deliver savings of approximately £10 million per year from their joint budgets.

“Or look at Kent, where they are streamlining and rationalising support services, and collaborating with Essex police to make savings and allow more resources to be devoted to the frontline.

“These forces show that it is possible to make significant savings in the back office to protect and improve frontline services. Their example can and must be replicated up and down the country.”

However, in Kent, 500 police officers and 1,000 police staff have been axed; in Norfolk350 police officers and 290 police staff have been axed; and in Suffolk, 500 police officers and 1,000 police staff have been axed.

As with the armed services and the NHS, these are yet more examples of frontline cuts to public services, yet more evidence of David Cameron breaking his pre-election pledge there would be no frontline cuts.

12 Responses to “May’s talk of reform “a euphemism for cuts””

  1. Broken OfBritain

    RT @leftfootfwd: May's talk of reform "a euphemism for cuts": http://bit.ly/exqknf reports @ShamikDas

  2. Katrina Gilman

    May’s talk of reform “a euphemism for cuts” no service is safe from cuts. Join tuc march for alternatives. #march26 http://bit.ly/ftCsDY

  3. Kelvin John Edge

    RT @leftfootfwd: May's talk of reform "a euphemism for cuts": http://bit.ly/exqknf reports @ShamikDas

  4. Nick H.

    RT @leftfootfwd: May's talk of reform "a euphemism for cuts": http://bit.ly/exqknf reports @ShamikDas

  5. Will James Slater

    RT @leftfootfwd: May's talk of reform "a euphemism for cuts" http://bit.ly/dWyiim

  6. Watching You

    Crime gets worse again RT @leftfootfwd: May's talk of reform "a euphemism for cuts": http://bit.ly/exqknf reports @ShamikDas

  7. Mr. Sensible

    meanwhile the government insists on throwing money at reinventing the wheel with the elected police commissioners…

  8. Gary S

    Typical of a Tory government. This is Sheehey all over again. They claim to be the party of the police, and use the police very well when it suits, ie the student riots. But it has always been too easy to target the police who are not in a position to fight back. May talks about the Met now solving some of the problems by officers patrolling alone instead of in pairs. She is so ignornant beyond any recognition of what it is like in the real world. As a serving police officer for over 19 years, i would much rather become an employee and have the right to strike.

  9. Daniel Pitt

    Theresa May's 'reform' talks a euphemism for vicious public assault http://bit.ly/exqknf #ConDemNation

  10. John p Reid

    Police now patrol on their own, I know motorbike cops , normally the first on the scene of traffic crime’s ,who have been going out on their own for years, as have beat P.c within reason,

  11. John p Reid

    Gary March is right about the toires amking out they are the party of law, But it was labour who gave them teh 45% pay rise in 1978 and after teh sheehy reforms tok away housaing allowance making it impossible for porbationers to afford to join in the mid 90’s ,It was albor again that gave the police a 9% in 1999, that got recruits joining agian

  12. Tory defection highlights Boris's weakness on law and order | Left Foot Forward

    […] Anger has been building among police as it has transpired that front line officers have been facing redundancies, despite election-time promises of no front-line cuts from David […]

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