Nigel Thornton: Gold-plated policing? We should be so lucky

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton -
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton -
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I’m not sure I’d want to be a senior police officer at the moment as the thin blue line is set to get so thin it will soon be see through.

Peterborough’s top cop Superintendent TonyIxer has come out with an eye-catching phrase as police forces up and down the land come to terms with more cuts.

He has warned that in future not all residents will get a “gold-plated service’’.

What I find concerning about that statement is that I suspect most of us long ago came to terms with not “having a gold plated service’’.

Over the years like most people I’ve been the victim of some minor crimes – a stolen garden ornament here, a scratch on the car there.

I either did not bother reporting them to the police, or if I have, it’s only to get a crime number for insurance purposes - not in the hope of an investigation let alone any arrests.

The primary responsibility for this state of affairs lies with our politicians, and they have very cleverly reduced the public’s expectations over the years.

Hence why law and order and crime and punishment played virtually no part in the General Election campaign.

The pesky problem of an election out of the way and Home SecretaryTheresa May is warning of more cuts for the police.

By and large the police have done a pretty good job, a silver service if you like, faced with the ever increasing complexity of policing – although a bit less time spent chasing teenagers saying stupid things on social media and a little bit less time being private security firms for celebrities wouldn’t go amiss.

But if Mr Ixer’s comments come true – and he’s in a great position to judge – then I fear most of us will be lucky to have a silver service, it’ll be paper plates and plastic cups.

Mr Ixer says: “I want the public to be reassured that we will not let down people who need us the most.’’

But as someone who doesn’t need the police the most I don’t feel reassured.

Police spending has been slashed in the past few years, but money has still been found by the politicians for the creation of a police and crime commissioner and a team of workers.

The budget for next year for Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office is £1.2m.

And for that £1.2m how many crimes were solved? How many bad guys were locked up?And how many bobbies on the beat could that have funded?

Too simplistic, I’m sure would be the response of some. But that’s the problem with the general public, we are simple folk.

We will never know whether or not the defibrillator which was stolen from near Decoy Lakes in Whittlesey would have saved the life of army veteran Peter Lane after he suffered a heart attack just a few hundred yards away.

And neither will the thief.

As a keen cyclist it’s great to see the events in and around Peterborough this week. What’s not so great to see is middle aged men in lycra.

To any fellow dad biker who is tempted to don Lycra here’s a tip. Have a good look at yourself in the mirror and say the word “Speedos’’.

Diary Of A Bad Dad

When did my little princess turn into a junior cage fighter/ trainee WWF wrestler?

Toddler T is still (and always will be) my baby girl but boisterous doesn’t even begin to tell the half of it.

It seems I’m not only her dad, her best pal, her raisin bitch (as in “get me raisins daddy’’) I’m also her climbing frame and her punchbag.

The trouble is she has too much energy. Why hasn’t anybody invented a toddler-sized hamster wheel and why can’t I buy one in Kiddicare?

Mind you, I’m not the only one who’s getting a daily battering fromToddler T.

Baby T2 is getting used to being manhandled by his sister.

I’ve caught her on more than one occasion rolling him like a log as if she was competing in some kids version of It’s A Knockout.

And if I had a pound for every time I have to tell her to be gentle with her baby bro...

Like everything else he takes it all in good humour, smiling and laughing even when she’s giving him a cuddle/got him in a headlock. Although I swear I spotted a look in his eye the other day that translated as “just you wait ‘til I’m a bit older’’.

No doubt then she’ll be happy to be my baby girl.