British residents told to release detained burglars as not enough police

Police  : The lack of officers leading to some Birmingham residents, having detained burglars in their homes, being advised to release them as no officers were available to attend.

Residents who have caught burglars have allegedly been told to let them go after calling the police – because the force had no officers to send.

Cuts-ravaged West Midlands Police is also now failing to attend half of the most serious 999 calls within the required 15-minute deadline, Birmingham Live reports.

Startling new statistics show that response times to the highest priority emergencies have plunged dramatically over the last two years, while demand from the public has rocketed.

British residents told to release detained burglars as not enough police

Sources the lack of officers has led to several Birmingham householders who have caught burglars themselves eventually being told to let them go after calling the police – because there were no available officers to attend.

The P1 calls are officially classed as the most serious incidents. They can include situations where there is a danger to the public or property, where offenders still at scene or a crime is in progress.

But stark figures show how the loss of 2,000 officers since 2010 is affecting day-to-day crime fighting at West Midlands Police.

In January 2017, the force received 52,648 emergency calls, 12,100 of them in the P1 category. The percentage of those priority 999 calls that officers attended within 15 minutes was 77.69 per cent.

That plunged to just 63 per cent by December last year, when the over-stretched force received 15,122 of the highest priority incidents out of 56,520 calls to 999.

And last month, was the worst on record for response times. In September the force received 65,098 calls to 999, of which 16,292 were classed as P1 emergencies. But officers hit the 15-minute deadline in just 52.41 per cent of those cases.

The worrying statistics also show the increasing 999 demand faced by the force as crime rockets in Birmingham. The city has seen a terrifying week of violence, including a triple stabbing in Dale End.

In 2017 calls to 999 had peaked in the July at 65,147. Yet that figure has been beaten three times this year, with 66,994 calls to 999 in June, 74,975 calls in July and 66,081 in August.

Meanwhile, the most serious P1 calls have also rocketed over the last two years. They reached a 2017 peak in July of that year with 16,529 calls. But this year that figure was beaten in May (17,009), June (17,183), July (18,629) and in August (17,155).

Richard Cooke, chairman of West Midlands Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said: “In the last two summers, demand has set a new record with demand from the public in terms of 999 calls.”

“We’ve lost 25 per cent of our number, one in four of our officers, we’ve got the least number of officers since 1974.

“We’re clearly not investing properly in the police service nationally – we’ve got an epidemic of violent crime. And clearly the penny is dropping with the public.

“Perhaps in the past it wasn’t as clear cut, when the cuts first started, but now we’ve got stations that have been at the heart of communities for decades being ripped out.

“And this is the symbolic presence of policing in communities and it’s disappearing.”

He added: “The criminals are cottoning on to it, the public are cottoning on to it, they’re becoming alarmed by it.

“Yes, it’s a big issue for the Government but equally the PCC and Chief Constable can’t get off the hook entirely.

“They are responsible for organising the force and they have got to do the best they can with the diminishing resources. It’s very difficult.

“But what I would say is that the centralisation of response policing I think is a problem, because we’ve organised the force in centralised departments.”

The Police Fed chairman said the had ‘probably over specialised in my view.’

He added: “So you’ve got smaller groups of officers specialising in certain areas at main stations and the main stations are further away from the communities that they are serving.

“Increasingly officers are pulled from pillar to post and between geographically disparate spots.

“It’s the response that the chiefs have made to the cuts. In response to the cuts, the Chief has felt that they had to move away from local policing and moved to centralised departments.

“There is a bit of a debate in there as to whether that’s the most efficient way of organising.

“But it really is urgent now. If we’re going to preserve the model of Britain’s policing.. you know, officers are saying more and more now we really should be routinely armed and that’s not probably because they really want that but it’s a symptom of the perception of the risk they’re facing from the violent crime.

“If we want to preserve the present model of policing or the historic model, we need to invest now because in ten years time the only way you’ll get bobbies to go out to jobs is if they’ve got pretty significant safety equipment shall I say.”

West Midlands Police said the force was “continuing to move through a significant programme of change and modernisation as a force, which is examining all functions across the organisation, looking at how we operate and whether there are ways to be more effective and more efficient.

“We have invested in Neighbourhood Policing and now have more dedicated neighbourhood officers and PCSOs.

“Last year, in order to allow those officers to focus solely on neighbourhood issues, a number of officers were moved to bigger, force-wide functions like response and investigative roles. It meant we were able to protect Neighbourhood Policing but also flex to address any threat and demand at a force level.

“The centralisation of new teams, like Force Support, has afforded our local officers more time to focus on the important community work which sees us intervening early to prevent people from following a path into criminal behaviour, or indeed becoming a victim.

“This approach is also a public demonstration of our commitment to neighbourhood policing.”

Read More : Almost 10,000 police officers have taken second jobs, survey finds

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More Details : https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/revealed-cuts-hit-police-failing-15234535
More Details : https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/police-force-tells-people-who-13362867

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