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Dukey

Panorama: Dial 999...and Wait?

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It was a good programme - but they didn't address a core issue which was the expanding role and responsibilities of front-line responders. It was all very well that chap from the think-tank saying how budgets are higher than they were 30 years ago - but no-one mentioned how we (all emergency services) are sent to so many nonsense calls that we can't walk away from.... we have become social workers and general "helpers" for people that can't run their lives properly.

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Budgets and staffing might be up from 10-20-30 years ago, but so is population as well as urban development e.g. congestion at roads and more rat warren estates. All effect how long it takes to be anywhere. It also doesnt help that funding and is falling.

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I liked the way they brought up the fact that incidents are downgraded to prevent them failing...

We will never get a true picture if it continues.

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Well, if we weren't acting as nannies and having to take drunks home (what message does that send out by the way?) and as surrogate social workers all round that would help. Sorting petty disputes on Facebook should not really be within our remit.

It would also help if those with nothing but spreadsheets in their mind weren't trying to justify cuts; it would also help - as I've been saying for years - that the public have to understand that policing communities has changed vastly in 50 years. They also have to decide what they want: how many times have we heard 'good to see you on foot'? Well perhaps it is, but what do the public want? Us on foot miles from anywhere and taking hours to get there, or in cars where we can be anywhere within moments or a few minutes? Walking is all good, and I've done it myself - I don't dislike it on occasion, town on a Saturday, and especially at night with the pubs and clubs - but in general terms, is it practical overall?

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Well, if we weren't acting as nannies and having to take drunks home (what message does that send out by the way?) and as surrogate social workers all round that would help. Sorting petty disputes on Facebook should not really be within our remit.

It would also help if those with nothing but spreadsheets in their mind weren't trying to justify cuts; it would also help - as I've been saying for years - that the public have to understand that policing communities has changed vastly in 50 years. They also have to decide what they want: how many times have we heard 'good to see you on foot'? Well perhaps it is, but what do the public want? Us on foot miles from anywhere and taking hours to get there, or in cars where we can be anywhere within moments or a few minutes? Walking is all good, and I've done it myself - I don't dislike it on occasion, town on a Saturday, and especially at night with the pubs and clubs - but in general terms, is it practical overall?

To be fair I very rarely see PCs on foot patrol in my county - plenty of PCSOs but I don't think Ive seen a PC walking around for years...

Public often comment on this aswell when they see us on the station in full uniform wearing the custodian - the older generation will often say:

"It's good to see a proper cop walking about"

Or Simply:

"It's good to see you"

The younger generation will often ask:

"Is there is something wrong?"

Youths generally mistake uniformed PCs on foot patrol for PCSOs - something that has happened a few times... They don't know what a PC is supposed to look like - and assume if you aren't in a car or dressed all in black then you aren't a 'copper.'

Sad really.

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