Next week the country will go to the Polls to vote in the new Police and Crime Commissioner. This is a brand new role which will be able to hire and fire the Chief Constable and will be responsible for the direction of policing over the whole of the County. This is not a small job and carries a huge amount of responsibility
Also tied up in this election is the current budget situation for our County. Herts Constabulary have to save 36 million pounds over the next few years while still delivering a first class service.
In an effort to do this the force has collaborated with other surrounding forces to reduce the cost of service delivery while maintaining the excellent service.
Police Officers are only part of the story, to enable Police Officers to do their job they are supported by Police Staff. Police Staff work in all aspects of Police work. Did you know that Police staff carry out all of the following roles ;-
Scenes of Crime Officer.
Police Community Support Officers.
999 call takers
Central Ticket Office.
Firearms Licencing Officers
Front Desk Officers
These roles are the tip of the iceberg and if those jobs are not carried out the idea of putting more Police Officers on the street fades into the distance. If these jobs are not carried out by Police staff then who will do those jobs? Some jobs used to be carried out by warranted Police Officers, so a reduction in Police staff could lead to a reduction of visible Police Officers.
So what does the election of the new Commissioner have to do with all of this??
Herts, Beds and Cambs Police have announced that they intend to save the required money by outsourcing some of the above functions to security firm G4S. This would mean that the loyal police staff who have worked so hard to make Herts Constabulary one of the top performing forces in the country will work for the firm who were unable to deliver at the Olympic games! This is causing a huge amount of unrest within the staff who are worried about their future.
What can you do?? Well inform yourself about what the four candidates are saying that they will do if they get the job. Keeping jobs in the public sector is the best way forward, again this week G4S have failed in the running of prisons in Yorkshire. They have been stopped in their attempt to take over the running of more prisons. Is it really safe to leave your Police Service in their hands???
Please use your vote,
with an expected low turn out, every vote counts.