Police duties may be cut to save cash, says Wiltshire Police chief

Swindon Advertiser: Wiltshire Chief Constable Patrick Geenty Wiltshire Chief Constable Patrick Geenty

WILTSHIRE Chief Constable Patrick Geenty is ready to stop his officers from delivering death messages, policing remembrance parades and chasing stray dogs to help trim another £12m from his budget over the next three years.

Continual Coalition Government cuts to the police budget have forced him to look at every task carried out by his officers and consider cutting back on jobs he feels should not have to be done by them.

“I cannot expect to make cuts of more than £22m over five years and expect my staff to carry on doing the same thing,” he said.

“We have to look at the things that we do almost by default and ask whether we should be doing them.”

Among the jobs he has identified are officers delivering messages to families whose loved ones have died.

“Obviously if someone has died in Edinburgh and the family lives in Wiltshire that is one thing and it is quite right that we do that,” Mr Geenty said.

“But there are many other instances where it is left to my officers and we are asking why. The health service is a very large organisation and has much more capacity.”

He is also looking at public events, such as Remembrance Day parades, where officers provide free cover.

“I know this is a sensitive area,” he said. “But we provide cover at the bigger events and on the 11th there are hundreds across Wiltshire. This can have a big effect on shift patterns because we also have to have cover for everything else.”

He is worried that officers spend too much time on calls that don’t necessarily need police there, such as school incidents.

“You can have a fight in a playground. One child gets scratched and the police are called in. Should they be there? Can’t the school deal with it?” he said.

“If one has a broken nose that is different but not for scratches. We have had calls like that regularly and if we get involved then there has to be an investigation. I don’t want to criminalise young people.”

Mr Geenty wants to discuss the issue with other chief constables and then approach partner organisations.

One concern is the amount of calls to hospitals and to deal with patients suffering mental illness. He cited an example of an ambulance crew calling police to help them carry an overweight patient downstairs.

“There are occasions when we are called to deal with a fight in a hospital but they have their own security,” he said.

“We are also asked to assist with people in their own homes who may be mentally ill. I’m not sure this is good for the patient if they are taken into custody when they should be helped by someone qualified.”

Other areas where he will look at reducing police cover are rounding up stray dogs, petrol thefts from garages, dealing with abandoned vehicles when they are not stolen or causing an obstruction, dealing with lost property and guarding crime scenes, which Mr Geenty believes could be contracted out to a private security firm.

He said: “We are asking why we should be left to do some of these jobs when they are not our responsibility. I don’t want to do this but this economic situation is forcing me to consider it.”

Comments (17)

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6:19am Mon 16 Dec 13

Concerned of Wiltshire says...

If hospital staff feel threatened enough to call police then police should attend, regardless of whether there my be private security firms there or not.

What next? Not dealing with shoplifters because shopping centers have 'private security'?
If hospital staff feel threatened enough to call police then police should attend, regardless of whether there my be private security firms there or not. What next? Not dealing with shoplifters because shopping centers have 'private security'? Concerned of Wiltshire

8:01am Mon 16 Dec 13

Wildwestener says...

The threat to withdraw policing from the Remembrance Day ceremony particularly is appalling and blatant scaremongering. It would never happen as it would be politically unacceptable. Maybe they can stop pestering 1000+ motorists who weren't over the drink drive limit every Christmas. That'd save a few bob.
The threat to withdraw policing from the Remembrance Day ceremony particularly is appalling and blatant scaremongering. It would never happen as it would be politically unacceptable. Maybe they can stop pestering 1000+ motorists who weren't over the drink drive limit every Christmas. That'd save a few bob. Wildwestener

8:23am Mon 16 Dec 13

house on the hill says...

The police have 2 major problems. Firstly like every public sector business they are drowning in endless managers and admin staff crunching numbers and ticking endless boxes instead of being out where they are needed.

Secondly they are constantly let down but the judiciary who continue to let out the "regular" criminals to reoffend and waste more police and court time that could and should be used elsewhere.

Until they deal with those issues, they will continue to "waste" countless millions that could easily be saved and put to better use preventing and solving crime and handing out proper justice and giving the public the service they pay them for.
The police have 2 major problems. Firstly like every public sector business they are drowning in endless managers and admin staff crunching numbers and ticking endless boxes instead of being out where they are needed. Secondly they are constantly let down but the judiciary who continue to let out the "regular" criminals to reoffend and waste more police and court time that could and should be used elsewhere. Until they deal with those issues, they will continue to "waste" countless millions that could easily be saved and put to better use preventing and solving crime and handing out proper justice and giving the public the service they pay them for. house on the hill

8:32am Mon 16 Dec 13

RichardR1 says...

Doing away with the diversity departments would save substantial funds. Treat everyone the same.
Doing away with the diversity departments would save substantial funds. Treat everyone the same. RichardR1

8:42am Mon 16 Dec 13

JJR_06/63 says...

There's no doubt that hundreds of thousands of police man hours and millions of pounds of our money could be saved if the judiciary actually jailed the prolific repeat offenders that the police are forced to continually re-arrest and charge because the judges have seen fit to constantly allow them to walk free from court.
There's no doubt that hundreds of thousands of police man hours and millions of pounds of our money could be saved if the judiciary actually jailed the prolific repeat offenders that the police are forced to continually re-arrest and charge because the judges have seen fit to constantly allow them to walk free from court. JJR_06/63

9:08am Mon 16 Dec 13

Mango man says...

RichardR1 wrote:
Doing away with the diversity departments would save substantial funds. Treat everyone the same.
These have long since gone, keep up at the back.....
[quote][p][bold]RichardR1[/bold] wrote: Doing away with the diversity departments would save substantial funds. Treat everyone the same.[/p][/quote]These have long since gone, keep up at the back..... Mango man

9:40am Mon 16 Dec 13

PJC says...

How about cutting the vast amount of pointless paperwork they have to do, then maybe we could actually see them out on the beat occasionally?
How about cutting the vast amount of pointless paperwork they have to do, then maybe we could actually see them out on the beat occasionally? PJC

9:47am Mon 16 Dec 13

RichardR1 says...

Well Mango shows how much impact they were having:):):)
Well Mango shows how much impact they were having:):):) RichardR1

12:22pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Angolan Red says...

Sack the chief as hes lost the plot
Sack the chief as hes lost the plot Angolan Red

12:31pm Mon 16 Dec 13

house on the hill says...

Angolan Red wrote:
Sack the chief as hes lost the plot
He is probably just following orders so not always quite so simple!
[quote][p][bold]Angolan Red[/bold] wrote: Sack the chief as hes lost the plot[/p][/quote]He is probably just following orders so not always quite so simple! house on the hill

3:33pm Mon 16 Dec 13

faatmaan says...

stop giving celebs/high profile people protection, let them employ their own security staff, too many staff deployed below the radar, barely see a prescence on the area. And why would you deploy high vis police vehicles to collect anti social behaviour evidence ?(mobile cctv van)
stop giving celebs/high profile people protection, let them employ their own security staff, too many staff deployed below the radar, barely see a prescence on the area. And why would you deploy high vis police vehicles to collect anti social behaviour evidence ?(mobile cctv van) faatmaan

5:48pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Meldrews Dad says...

I bet the funding for the police band and social club subsidies wont be cut.

I bet the latest must have helicopter survives the cuts.

I bet the mass of undertrained and ineffective pcso's will continue to pound the beat whilst the trained pc's do the paperwork.

I bet our police commissioner will continue to cost a fortune.

Why is it that 50 years ago nearly every stree was patrolled by a police officer daily with less that a third of the officers and no pcso's yet today you are lucky to catch a glimpse of an officer on foot or cycle?

Why is it that when you go out of Wiltshire you see policemen on the beat interacting with the public?

Why is it that our chief constable cannot recognise inefficient management when it is under his eyes?
I bet the funding for the police band and social club subsidies wont be cut. I bet the latest must have helicopter survives the cuts. I bet the mass of undertrained and ineffective pcso's will continue to pound the beat whilst the trained pc's do the paperwork. I bet our police commissioner will continue to cost a fortune. Why is it that 50 years ago nearly every stree was patrolled by a police officer daily with less that a third of the officers and no pcso's yet today you are lucky to catch a glimpse of an officer on foot or cycle? Why is it that when you go out of Wiltshire you see policemen on the beat interacting with the public? Why is it that our chief constable cannot recognise inefficient management when it is under his eyes? Meldrews Dad

6:02pm Mon 16 Dec 13

anotherimigrant says...

Meldrews Dad wrote:
I bet the funding for the police band and social club subsidies wont be cut.

I bet the latest must have helicopter survives the cuts.

I bet the mass of undertrained and ineffective pcso's will continue to pound the beat whilst the trained pc's do the paperwork.

I bet our police commissioner will continue to cost a fortune.

Why is it that 50 years ago nearly every stree was patrolled by a police officer daily with less that a third of the officers and no pcso's yet today you are lucky to catch a glimpse of an officer on foot or cycle?

Why is it that when you go out of Wiltshire you see policemen on the beat interacting with the public?

Why is it that our chief constable cannot recognise inefficient management when it is under his eyes?
Good post Meldrews Dad, give it to him with both barrels.

He wont answer, and nor will anyone from the farce.

But it makes us feel good
[quote][p][bold]Meldrews Dad[/bold] wrote: I bet the funding for the police band and social club subsidies wont be cut. I bet the latest must have helicopter survives the cuts. I bet the mass of undertrained and ineffective pcso's will continue to pound the beat whilst the trained pc's do the paperwork. I bet our police commissioner will continue to cost a fortune. Why is it that 50 years ago nearly every stree was patrolled by a police officer daily with less that a third of the officers and no pcso's yet today you are lucky to catch a glimpse of an officer on foot or cycle? Why is it that when you go out of Wiltshire you see policemen on the beat interacting with the public? Why is it that our chief constable cannot recognise inefficient management when it is under his eyes?[/p][/quote]Good post Meldrews Dad, give it to him with both barrels. He wont answer, and nor will anyone from the farce. But it makes us feel good anotherimigrant

6:25pm Mon 16 Dec 13

anotherimigrant says...

No This what we NEED. But we wont get it.

Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary, said he wanted to end the notion of policing as an intellectually undemanding occupation.

He added that the "brightest and best" applicants with skills "distinctly above those of factory workers" were needed.

So lets take a tally of the success of both Pat and the commissioner for police

Have you seen or heard of a reduction in crime figures from anyone other than the two people above.

Would you agree to someone else/different doing the job.

Do you agree "This government needs to attract the best and brightest candidates into policing, people who have the right skills and expertise to forge a force fit for the 21st century.

Do you agree "By opening up the police to a wider pool of talent, forces will be able to bring in people with diverse backgrounds and new perspectives.

Would you agree to Current legislation being changed to allow guys like the US 'supercop' Bill Bratton, former head of the New York police, applying to take charge of the Metropolitan Police in 2011.

With his zero tolerance initiatives, in just first two years at the helm of New York Police Department, reports of serious crime dropped 27%.

If the questions are to difficult or you don't know, please read another comic as there is no hope for you, but my kids deserve a chance.
No This what we NEED. But we wont get it. Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary, said he wanted to end the notion of policing as an intellectually undemanding occupation. He added that the "brightest and best" applicants with skills "distinctly above those of factory workers" were needed. So lets take a tally of the success of both Pat and the commissioner for police Have you seen or heard of a reduction in crime figures from anyone other than the two people above. Would you agree to someone else/different doing the job. Do you agree "This government needs to attract the best and brightest candidates into policing, people who have the right skills and expertise to forge a force fit for the 21st century. Do you agree "By opening up the police to a wider pool of talent, forces will be able to bring in people with diverse backgrounds and new perspectives. Would you agree to Current legislation being changed to allow guys like the US 'supercop' Bill Bratton, former head of the New York police, applying to take charge of the Metropolitan Police in 2011. With his zero tolerance initiatives, in just first two years at the helm of New York Police Department, reports of serious crime dropped 27%. If the questions are to difficult or you don't know, please read another comic as there is no hope for you, but my kids deserve a chance. anotherimigrant

8:47am Tue 17 Dec 13

A.Baron-Cohen says...

The police should be integrated in the Armed Forces, and should be used as a territorial defense force.
The crime investigation services including detectives should go private.
At local level, we should now have the choice to have private police patrols or public funded constables.
Unfortunately the weakest link is and will remain the unaccountable and unelected quangos seating in courts and delivering injustice for the many.
The police should be integrated in the Armed Forces, and should be used as a territorial defense force. The crime investigation services including detectives should go private. At local level, we should now have the choice to have private police patrols or public funded constables. Unfortunately the weakest link is and will remain the unaccountable and unelected quangos seating in courts and delivering injustice for the many. A.Baron-Cohen

12:40pm Tue 17 Dec 13

house on the hill says...

A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
The police should be integrated in the Armed Forces, and should be used as a territorial defense force.
The crime investigation services including detectives should go private.
At local level, we should now have the choice to have private police patrols or public funded constables.
Unfortunately the weakest link is and will remain the unaccountable and unelected quangos seating in courts and delivering injustice for the many.
Agree with the last point but the rest of it makes no sense at all. So basically you pay for the Police as you need them? so if you are burgled you have to pay to have it investigated, but if you are lucky enough not to be then you pay nothing? Just how do you think it would work in practice then?
[quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: The police should be integrated in the Armed Forces, and should be used as a territorial defense force. The crime investigation services including detectives should go private. At local level, we should now have the choice to have private police patrols or public funded constables. Unfortunately the weakest link is and will remain the unaccountable and unelected quangos seating in courts and delivering injustice for the many.[/p][/quote]Agree with the last point but the rest of it makes no sense at all. So basically you pay for the Police as you need them? so if you are burgled you have to pay to have it investigated, but if you are lucky enough not to be then you pay nothing? Just how do you think it would work in practice then? house on the hill

7:32am Wed 18 Dec 13

Ringer says...

house on the hill wrote:
A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
The police should be integrated in the Armed Forces, and should be used as a territorial defense force.
The crime investigation services including detectives should go private.
At local level, we should now have the choice to have private police patrols or public funded constables.
Unfortunately the weakest link is and will remain the unaccountable and unelected quangos seating in courts and delivering injustice for the many.
Agree with the last point but the rest of it makes no sense at all. So basically you pay for the Police as you need them? so if you are burgled you have to pay to have it investigated, but if you are lucky enough not to be then you pay nothing? Just how do you think it would work in practice then?
It's very sensible.

If you hadn't noticed, it's exactly how every business outside of the public sector delivers and charges for their services.
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: The police should be integrated in the Armed Forces, and should be used as a territorial defense force. The crime investigation services including detectives should go private. At local level, we should now have the choice to have private police patrols or public funded constables. Unfortunately the weakest link is and will remain the unaccountable and unelected quangos seating in courts and delivering injustice for the many.[/p][/quote]Agree with the last point but the rest of it makes no sense at all. So basically you pay for the Police as you need them? so if you are burgled you have to pay to have it investigated, but if you are lucky enough not to be then you pay nothing? Just how do you think it would work in practice then?[/p][/quote]It's very sensible. If you hadn't noticed, it's exactly how every business outside of the public sector delivers and charges for their services. Ringer

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