Be your own man, Sir Clive, in this key role
Dear Sir Clive, David Cameron is driving the changes to our national police service and he, and the architect of the plan, former Minister for Policing Nick Herbert, have revealed a chasm in their understanding of the complexities of modern policing with their dogmatic, disparaging and ideological reforms.
Even our beat PCs, the exemplar of unarmed community policing admired throughout the world, are under threat. Cameron is brushing aside the explosive rise in every category of social dysfunction and the 60 long years of failure by politicians to provide a reciprocal rise in frontline officers.
Some 136,000 warranted officers currently serve in the UK. That figure, per capita, is 40% less than in Germany, 69% less than France and 142% less than Italy, and for these disgraceful statistics, politicians of all parties should hang their heads in shame.
Leicestershire Police has, year on year, reviewed its time management and working practices ad nauseam – from outside and inside. Every function and department has been tweaked to death to counter the imposed erosion of their numbers and effectiveness.
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Your brilliant service record in the RAF where you also had to assimilate budget reductions is undeniable but to produce any positives from 20% cuts in the police budget and with the dead hand of government on your shoulder, Sir Clive, you will be faced with your toughest logistical conundrum yet!
Successive governments have failed to reduce the police's burden of paperwork - for it is they that create it in the first place - and the legislation that smothers flexibility.
You will try to remove this carbuncle but the chances are you will fail. The paperwork is locked into the legislation.
Walk with constables again but next time track their arrests and burden of paperwork through the judicial process. Take particular note of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 - an overwrought and formidable piece of legislation, but for lawyers it is pure gold. Only then will you see which way the wind blows.
It privatisation of any role near to the frontline is your impetus, then disaster lies just ahead. Be your own man. Unsubscribe from the Coalition's programme of cuts. Take on vested interests.
Every right-minded resident of Leicestershire recognises the difficult job you have to do and they will want you to succeed on their and the police's behalf. Good luck.
Pete Blakesley, Conservative Party member and retired police sergeant.