The Observer and the Sunday Times agree that we need to have a considered look at the way in which we are using our police resources. Robert Chesshyre too has a thoughtful piece in the First Post. We have a record number of police officers but in many areas the streets have been abandoned to groups of youths, and local police commanders are unwilling or unable to provide the necessary reaction to criminal behaviour. Of course, there are many other demands on police manpower, but maintaining the Queen's Peace on the streets should surely be a priority.
No doubt some of our regular commentators will see this as an attack on the police and will continue to blame society's woes on bleeding-heart softy magistrates and judges, but the issue is too serious for that kind of simplistic nonsense. Front-line officers carry out the policies of their seniors. Those seniors need to take a cool and clear-headed view of where their priorities should lie, and then tell the civil servants who direct them what the real facts of life are.
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