Crime victims ‘suffer through police cash cuts’

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VICTIMS OF of crime are suffering a poorer service because of cuts to the police budget, according to a survey of detectives published today.

Not only do the results of the survey highlight the continuing pressure the officers are under, but more significantly they also show that detectives believe victims and witnesses of crime are getting a sub-standard level of service as a result, the Police Federation of England and Wales said.

Only 39 per cent of respondents said they were “able most or all of the time to provide the service victims needed” and only 34 per cent said they were “able most or all of the time to provide the service witnesses needed”.

Paul Ford, secretary of the Police Federation’s national detectives’ forum, said: “No officer in the country wants to let the public down.

“The results of this survey make for very uncomfortable reading but highlight in no uncertain terms the actual impact that the cuts are having on victims, witnesses, detective officers and the police service as a whole.

“This is the sad reality of the state that the service is in. Victims and witnesses are our primary concern and it is grossly unfair that detectives are under such intense pressure to provide the service that the public want and deserve.

“Officers are clearly stretched to capacity and doing their level best to deliver against the odds.

“The austerity cuts are having an effect on everyone but this is totally unacceptable; it is jeopardising the service the public get and will have a detrimental impact on future successful investigations and prosecutions.”

Other results of the survey of nearly 4,000 detectives included that 54 per cent said they did not have the necessary access to technology to perform their role effectively.

The survey was conducted by the federation from September 11 to October 3. Detectives throughout England and Wales were invited to participate.