Summer of Discontent revisited – again

I am starting to feel that I may be the only one who is concerned at the potential scenario facing the police this summer. In March I revisited my original article on the summer of discontent.

Since that time we have had an election and the new government are making it very clear what level of cuts in public spending they intend to make. David Cameron has said that these cuts would affect the lives of every person in this country.

Whilst the majority of people I speak to accept the need for these actions they seem to want the NIMBY cuts. Unison are already opposing any cuts that effect the pension or salary of their members and they also oppose redundancies. In Nottingham the council have announced £10m of spending reductions and are facing protests and industrial action.

In March I wrote, “There is no indication that the British Airways dispute is going to be resolved. Civil servants have staged two strikes already and more will come.” Unfortunately, this situation looks as though it will escalate. So, what has changed for the police since my last blog?

The announcements by the government have made it clear that the spending reductions are going to affect all public services and various police services have made public their impending cuts. These cuts are coming at a time when all of the local communities may be looking to the police to make sure that strikes and protests are lawfully conducted, so increasing the demands on a cash-strapped workforce.

When the media reported the situation in Nottingham they said that this would be replicated around the country. Whilst larger services may have the expertise and resources to meet this demand, this is certainly not the case countrywide. During the miners’ dispute of 1984 the situation was monitored centrally and I hope that there is a strategic co-ordinating group monitoring the intentions of local councils and unions, otherwise there is the potential for some services to be overwhelmed by travelling protestors.

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