What did policing look like in the 1970s? 
Police officers simply turned up and took details of crimes as they happened.

What houses looked like after they had been burgled. 

Where a car used to be after it had been stolen.

And yet - if our force faces further budget cuts - we will find ourselves using the same model of policing that we used forty years ago.

Already we now have the same number of police officers that we had in 1978 dealing with 21st century demand.

Around twenty years ago we started to move towards neighbourhood policing, which was a great success story. Rather than looking at what things looked like after they had been stolen or destroyed we started to actually do something about it.

Neighbourhood policing saw police officers getting into the faces of criminals. 

Getting to those people who wanted to destroy our communities.

Neighbourhood policing is cops kicking doors in at 6am and arresting drug dealers. Kicking in doors to recover property that has been stolen in burglaries.

It is putting criminals behind bars and stopping crimes at source before they actually happen. It is about driving crimes down.

By 2018 Greater Manchester Police could end up with fewer than 5,000 police officers.
We used to have more than 8,000.

When someone sees someone breaking into a house at 3am in the morning, they expect a police officer to be there in a flash. That is not unrealistic. That is an entitlement. But the front line has been eroded so much that we are not going to have the capability to do that any more.

Whatever police officers we have left will be doing their best, responding to crimes after they have happened. Rushing from job to job. 

Neighbourhood policing as we know it will stop. 

It won’t be an immediate stop - it will be a slow, lingering death.

In the 1980s when I joined, we didn’t do neighbourhood policing and I remember when I was that cop who used to turn up and take details of things after they had happened and I remember crime being at a peak. 

Since then I have seen police officers becoming really focused on communities and looking after their communities. 

It is devastating that as I move towards the twilight of my policing service, I am seeing the clock rolled back.

I would urge the Government to listen to the professionals. 

It is not just about fighting crime. It is not just about crime figures. 

It is about getting into communities and being part of them. Listen to bobbies on the beat and listen to chief constables. 

The public needs to understand that this is happening now.

Talk to your MPs. Make your voice heard. 

We want you to do something about it before you become that burgled house holder, at three o’clock in the morning, waiting for a police officer to arrive.



Ian Hanson

Greater Manchester Police Federation

  • Broadstone Hall Road South, Reddish, Stockport, SK5 7DE
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