The Guardian is reporting:
"Brown will challenge councils and police authorities to meet the government's pledge to protect and improve frontline law enforcement as the public spending squeeze hits... My challenge to local authorities and police authorities around the country is to match our commitment to protecting frontline policing – or else explain to their communities why they are not prepared to do so."
No, sorry, Mr. Brown; I'm letting you get away with pretending you've ever been committed to protecting front line policing. Nor am I letting you throw down the gauntlet to mostly Conservative councils and the Mayor of London at a time when you're starving them of funding. Some facts:
In 2007/8, police spent an average of just 6 hours a week on patrol – 14% of their time. In contrast, they spent 22% of their time doing paperwork. The Telegraph says:
"The proportion of time on the beat has dropped by almost ten per cent in just three years while the amount of paperwork has risen by the same proportion, despite Government pledges to slash red tape."
But what about the cost of doing all that paperwork? Surely that has gone down and been made more efficient, so Labour can get loads of police on the streets by using the money saved. Well, apparently not:
"In 2004/05, the average staff cost for dealing with a serious violent attack was £5,890 but that had increased by 59% to £9,376 by 2007/08.
The average staff cost for tackling a less serious violent incident increased by 22% from £178 to £216."
Gordon Brown has always lied. It's in his blood, and I sometimes wonder if he can help himself. But we've got an election coming up, and people deserve the right not to be lied to by this man - especially over something as important as law and order. If the media really want to scrutinise Brown's and Labour's track record on this issue, it's all there in plain sight. They've just got to be bothered to notice it, and not swallow the bollocks.
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