Criminals are high-tailing it away as criminals out pace the West Midlands Forces ‘low powered’ ‘family run arounds’, and not a siren in sight.
- Why not if they are getting away thanks to the police who have had recent budget cuts and being forced to use cars that can’t break the speed limit and worse, without sirens!
- Thanks to the cash-strapped state of the force in the area, the police are stuck with ‘low performance’ cars and the criminals are getting away with their crimes.
- Since these low budget Vauxhall Corsa cars lack the traditional ‘blues and twos’, the police cannot force the traffic to give way when rushing to the scene of crime or when in pursuit of a criminal.
Many officers have voiced their frustration at the countless number of times that criminals have escaped the scene of a crime before their arrival. When in pursuit of criminals, the police are forced to stick to speed limits because the budget cuts have resulted in the Vehicles not having sirens.
The current low budget Vauxhall Corsa’s are actually better suited for a family outing and very inappropriate for answering any emergency and even more incapable when it comes to crime-fighting. They have indeed been fitted with the flashing blue lights, but they haven’t been fitted with sirens, forcing any West Midlands officer driving one of them to obey the usual traffic rules regardless of the nature of emergency.
More than 100 urgent calls have required the services of these vehicles in the past year alone and they have all been attended to without sirens. The government budget cut is actually forcing officers to attend all call-outs in these vehicles which have no sirens, something which further endangers the lives of the members of public who are often the victims that should be protected and rescued in time.
This cost-cutting strategy is actually going further and resulting to the Leicester Police not investigating any reported attempted burglaries at several homes. Sara Thornton, the Nation Police Chiefs Council head said that the budget cuts and the evolved crime patterns spell out a different scenario for burglary victims. She said that these burglary victims should never expect police officers to visit their homes for evidence, but that they should email their own evidence of the crime to the police.
Further evidence that shows how these budget cuts have affected the members of public, is how Merseyside Police are now ignoring crimes that they think are not in the public interest such as assaults, hit-and-runs and thefts when the victims no doubt don’t share the same view. They are not investigating such crimes much to the disadvantage of the victims and their families. A recent burglary at the city centre branch of Simple Payday Loans was recently deemed as no-longer case worthy despite the fact there was a reported handful of witnesses.
Hampshire Police are not investigating occurring road accidents where no one has been injured and neither are they lifting a finger even in the hit-and-run cases. Criminals are no doubt easily escaping thanks to the use by the West Midlands Police of these vehicles without sirens, say critics.
Officers up in arms
The West Midlands Police officers have voiced their frustration at being unable to do their job to the best of their abilities.An officer who preferred no name-mentioning, said how he arrived on a crime scene in a Corsa patrol car when it was too late to save someone from being assaulted by a drunk driver. The victim was frustrated when they finally arrived after the suspect had made a clean get away. The victim shouted at the Police asking, “Where were you?” When the officer explained the situation, the victim was quick to point out how unbelievable it is that at this day and age corners are being cut and lives are endangered.
Another serving officer who also preferred anonymity, also pointed out how very frustrating it is, when they are prevented to carry out their job to the best of their ability. He further said how bad it is knowing that one has to drive to a scene of emergency at the very same speed as all the members of the public on the road. He further said how disheartening it is since criminals will hardly wait around for the Police to arrive after committing a crime. The anonymous officer hopes that no victim ends up getting killed or very seriously injured as a result of the police not arriving at the scene in time.
Pete Harkness from the West Midlands Police Federation honestly points out how the Corsa car is the ideal family car but makes a less than ideal police car. He says how the lack of sirens is a source of great frustration among the officers using them for response work. The police officers can’t help feeling how they are letting the public down.
David Jamieson, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner raised the issue at a meeting of West Midlands Strategic Policing and Crime Board. He pointed out his concerns that there could be occasions when the officers on duties drove to emergencies in unequipped vehicles.
The defence of the Vauxhall Corsa in the Midlands
In defence of his decision, Kerry Blakeman, the superintendent from West Midlands Police, said how the vehicles weren’t intended for response work and how any officer can attend an emergency situation while driving them safely and complying with the traffic rules like the members of the public.
The West Midlands Police also defended the Corsas, by pointing out that they were introduced for the purpose of saving money. The superintendent Kerry Blakeman said that the cars were provided for the neighbourhood teams and weren’t supposed to be used for emergency response work.
The superintendent further added that it was possible for any officer to respond to an emergency if they are well trained to drive at speed and they are in the ideal vehicle complete with lights and siren. However, he said that officers who are not well-trained or are driving an appropriate vehicle can equally attend a call as quickly as safely as possible while at the same time complying with the Road Traffic Act, same as the members of the public.
He further said how the incidents graded as “immediate” are responded to as soon as possible usually in a few minutes and how on many occasions they require lights and sirens.
It has been revealed that about 2,500 West Midland Police officers and civilian staff will be laid off in the next four years as the force strives to save a further 120M thanks to the Government cuts.