Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Cuts, The Arts Council and Our Local Police Force

The Arts Council published it list of benefactors of grants today and several places here in the South West got a nasty shock. That means they didn't get any money. Others got pleasant surprises which means they did get some money. As the Government have told Police Forces all over the country that they must cut spending is it right that a front line service like the police should be facing cut backs while public money is spent on the Arts? Or is support for struggling arts projects and theatres worth while as art is a benefit to the well being of a community.

Here in Devon the local police have been rated the worse force in the country for getting bobbies on the beat. In theory it is possible for a police force to have 20% of it's offices out there walking the streets, or now a days, driving round town. Here we have fallen down to 8.8%. The national average is 12%.

Devon and Cornwall Police say the investigation was flawed because it was done just after a big local derby football match and the student protest when many front line officer were concentrated in one place. Drusilla Sharpling, Her Majesty's Inspector for the Western Region, which covers Devon & Cornwall, stressed it had been a "snapshot" approach aimed at giving an indication of what front line services meant and how resources were deployed in the context of budget cuts.

If we are short of active front line police officers now what will it be like once the budget cuts start to have their effect. Hands up all those who voted for David Cameron.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of police forces up and down England and Wales would have been deployed that same day policing far bigger football matches than a south west of England lower league local derby, none of our teams being in football's top flight. Thus those forces probably had far greater commitments thereby making our figures even worse. No doubt Devon & Cornwall Constabulary will cry foul and put some spin on the figures to try and massage them in their favour but the truth is it is a red card for them this time.