Katy Bourne the PCC for Sussex has launched a public consultation to find out if people would pay more for policing in the county.
The two areas she says the money would go directly to are protecting children and vulnerable adults, which I believe is her pet project, and cyber crime, both of which are areas of concern but far from major criminal problems that affect large numbers of the community.
More people are killed and seriously injured on the roads.
She intends to base her judgement on the public response to this in-depth study which asks: How much more would you pay? Where do you live? How old are you?
I cannot imagine a more irrelevant set of questions – one asks an opinion and the other two require a factual answer.
A single question, the first one, is all she should want to know, but the majority answer ‘No’ would not suit her purpose.
There is no background provided so that the public can make a rational judgement as to whether an increase would be well-spent, or is even justified.
Is there a guarantee that the money would only be spent in those two defined areas?
What will it be next year? What other projects will need further voluntary (for some) public finance?
Whilst I accept that the foot patrolling bobby, remember them? or the PCSO who was supposed to be the public/police contact, are now an outmoded form of policing, it would still be reassuring to see the police actually doing their job.
Many criminals, those known and those yet to be discovered travel by road, they are not seen standing at a bus stop with your television, laptop or jewellery.
When did you last see a car or van stopped by police?
Sadly the police have now become reactive, rather than protecting life and property.
They are being encouraged to set up little units to investigate targeted areas of crime rather than the overall picture.
The public want to see the police being a visible, pro-active presence in the community. Sadly I do not think that is Mrs Bourne’s vision.
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