LETTER: Serious cuts to essential services

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Isn’t it amazing that we have a politicised and largely pointless Police Crime Commissioner in Sussex, on about £70k pa, who is backing the extraordinary announcement of a 500 front line officer cut in Sussex!

This has been presented as part of a ‘long term five year plan’ when it is nothing but an enormous cut to the force capability. If these cuts are so palatable as presented, why didn’t they happen in 2011?

But it doesn’t stop there, because there are to be 200 other staff and ‘300 posts from elsewhere in the force’ to be cut. That adds up to one thousand lost jobs.

We have already had a £20m pa cut to Sussex Police, involving quite a reshuffle, which we know it was very difficult to cope with, but the proposed new cut seems intended to release a further £56m pa, which is of a truly shocking magnitude!

The Government likes to claim that there has been a substantial fall in national crime and the same for Sussex - but their crime statistics are totally discredited. The counting methods have changed time and again to suit the moment and few people have any confidence in them anymore.

Many reported crimes are never investigated and not marked as a crime in the statistics. The force can now deal with crimes as ‘Community resolutions’. These don’t count as crime! Nobody believes the statistics, not even the police themselves.

While crime has changed over the last two decades, the number of people in prison has almost doubled to 86,000. The prisons are creaking at the seams with more inmates (as a percentage of the population) in prison than any other Western European country.

It simply does not square with Government claims. Further information is available on the WSCT website, for those concerned at the proposed level of devastation proposed to our police force.

There are alternative options for cutting back expenditure, such as cutting Government waste of over £100bn pa, reported by the Taxpayers’ Alliance, or reducing the cost of Quangos from £80bn pa. But those nettles are clearly too difficult to grasp and, without a fundamental change in Government, we are likely to see even more serious cuts to essential services in the years ahead.

ROGER ARTHUR

Horsham district councillor for Chanctonbury ward and UKIP parliamentary candidate for Horsham

TOBY BROTHERS

UKIP parliamentary candidate for Mid Sussex

North Street, Horsham