Sir Hugh Orde, President of the Association of Police Officers, has responded to proposed budget cuts by warning that it will mean reduction in the number of front line police officers. He says, "It would be misleading in the extreme to suggest the size of this service is sustainable."
This is not true, of course. It is a text-book response to proposed budget restrictions in public services. Always the claim is that it will be the most popular aspect of the service which will have to be cut. In this case it is the number of police on the streets.
One famous case was when US customs faced a cut and immediately took out the staff who looked for drugs coming in at airports.
The purpose is to pressure the political leaders by exposing them to hostile public opinion, with a view to weakening their resolve on the proposed savings. Never is it backroom or bureaucratic jobs that are proposed for cuts, because that would not achieve the purpose.
It is called rent-seeking, and is designed to maximize the amount of public funds directed to their department or service. It is without merit, and government should respond accordingly.
There is also another aspect to this, of course. As the ASI points out, Sir Hugh Orde is, indeed, the President of the Association of Police Officers (ACPO) which—despite being a private company that mainly exists to lobby the government on behalf of authoritarian police scum—is funded with our money.
To the tune of £10 million per annum.
Now, given that Sir Hugh Orde is so very worried about the levels of policing in this time of austerity, I can only assume that he would be thrilled were the government to withdraw all of its funding for ACPO—money which will, in any case, only be spent on champagne for Hugh and his buddies—and, instead, directed that cash to frontline policing.
Admittedly, darling Hugh would lose his £183,000 salary but, nonetheless, I am sure that he will be delighted to know that it is going to pay for about five front-line police officers.
So, well done for speaking out, Hugh! And thank you for finding a nice new source of funding in these difficult times!