Paul Stainton: What’s your view on police cash?

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host -
Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host -
Have your say

You often hear people uttering the phrase, “They don’t make ‘em like they used to.” But in this age of cutbacks, “people” may have a point.

From Shrivelling Snickers to Yorki bars (they can barely fit the “E” on the packet anymore) soap powder to tins of soup, our products are shrinking but the cost to us, the consumer, strangely, always stays the same.

A Mars a day used to help you, “Work rest and play,” now it can barely get you to the bus stop and those, “Hands that do dishes,” do far less now that they have made the bottle smaller.

Still, when Jeremy Corbyn becomes Prime Minister he will put a stop to all that, right after he has reintroduced vinyl records, Multi Coloured Swap Shop and the mullet.

The shrink ray is also being applied to Cambridgeshire police – We are paying the same for the force, but government budget cuts have resulted in a service which is getting smaller and smaller every year.

Peterborough MP, Stewart Jackson, criticised them last week, claiming saying that people in Peterborough felt abandoned by the force, a force which is being given less and less cash every year by his government.

Now call me stupid, but doesn’t somebody miss out at Sunday lunchtime if you put less flour in your Yorkshire pudding batter? Don’t more people remain homeless if you put a smaller amount of cement in the mixer and if you remove 12% of Scrabble letters, year on year, won’t you struggle to spell the words, “Common” and “Sense?”

For some, the police are about as popular as Carphone Warehouse’s unlimited data sharing plan, but I for one think they do an incredible job in dangerous and difficult circumstances.

I wouldn’t want to be out and about at all hours, in all weathers, risking life and limb in today’s fractured and disparate society and I don’t fancy constantly having to balance finance against resource, when all you want to do is serve the public. There is no wonder that Cambridgeshire’s Chief Constable, Simon Parr, jumped ship.

Because of budget cuts elsewhere, police are now expected to be social workers and marriage guidance counsellors instead of just upholders of law and order. Every ex policeman and woman I have spoken to on the “BIG Conversation” would not be a copper today for all the hairspray 
in Donald Trump’s bath-

With less and less money to do the things they used to do the police say they now have to prioritise, but it shouldn’t be up to them to decide what those priorities are, it should be up to us.

A wide ranging consultation needs to take place to ensure that our views are taken into account so that the police and the public are on the same page and working together. If we cannot balance the books to match our expectations then perhaps we will have to consider paying more for our boys in blue.

We could make a start on the consultation right now:

Do you think that the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office is worth its weight in gold or should the bullion be diverted back to front line policing?

Or perhaps we should just shrink the office a bit. Nobody would probably notice.