Monday, 17 September 2012

Front line not Hem line

On my door-knocking in Snodland, Aylesford and the villages in the constituency no one has mentioned Police dress code as being a major issue; losing Police officers and PCSOs in rural areas however is a major theme which is emerging from resident forums to Parish Councils.

Put simply people are concerned by the cuts in numbers not the cut of the hemline on a shirt.

The comment from the Tory PCC camp on the Medway Messenger front page today that they would potentially move to re-introduce white shirts was a nod towards a policy of dress code being operated by the Metropolitan Police, which under the current system in Scotland Yard, has officers wearing white shirts and black ties on a semi-regular basis; though underneath a jumper / flack jacket and vest. 

The suggestion by the press however that officers look mean and should cease to wear stab vests, remove first aid equipment and other essiential security equipment must be vigorously opposed

Officers on front line roles cover large and varied areas - not just one village - and are called to situations where violence is a very real possibility wherever they may be; be that from the domestic dispute in leafy suburbia to the inner-city problems in North Kent. They need to be equipped for whatever the circumstance and appropriate to the risk which is why stab jackets are a necessity

The case for a stab vest is strongly documented and officers should wear them where there is any risk of physical confrontation

The use of the phrase 'paramilitary' is a soundbite; there is little evidence at all to say the Police forces using black t-shirts or jumpers are treated any differently by the public at large and why should they be?

Do we now want to waste money on returning to an older uniform? Is this really a best use of tax payers money?

The real risk to community are the front line Police cuts which are impacting communities across Kent; whether they are wearing a white shirt or not. 

No comments:

Post a Comment