Police forces have been facing cuts for over a decade which in real terms has meant there are fewer police officers out there than ever before. I recently read that since 2010 there’s been a cut of nearly 23% in the police staff workforce; this is unacceptable considering violent crime and anti-social behaviour is continually rising.

“Over 3,000 PCSOs disappeared between 2012 and 2016 which has had a huge impact on levels of crime and local intelligence gathering”

Naturally, the police have had to focus their limited resources on the more shocking and violent crimes and less on anti-social behaviour, but this has had a drastic effect on the day-to-day lives of people and local communities. After all, it’s proven that in situations perceived as unsafe all types of uniformed presence increased feelings of safety, with foot patrolling police contributing to the greatest increase.

Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) were incredibly successful at decreasing anti-social behaviour and increasing the feeling of safety in a community yet have been worst hit by the funding cuts. Over 3,000 PCSOs disappeared between 2012 and 2016 which has had a huge impact on levels of crime and local intelligence gathering. It has left a void that criminals, rather than police, are filling. PCSOs were at their best when they were out there, on the beat, visibly engaging with their communities and making the local neighbourhoods safer for everyone.

“Since 2010 there’s been a cut of nearly 23% in the police staff workforce; this is unacceptable”

The unfortunate result is that we’ve seen a huge rise in anti-social behaviour, public rowdiness, street drinking and drug-taking, littering, and public order offences. Defunding the police can work, but only when those resources are reinvested in community projects that tackle the root causes of criminal behaviour. In the UK, those resources have not been re-invested and the devastating cuts across the police service have simply damaged the ability of the police to keep the public safe.

As the Managing Director of All In Black Group, I have decided to address this issue and develop the Community Safety Ecosystem.
The Community Safety Ecosystem was developed as a direct response to police cuts and the subsequent rise in anti-social behaviour. The cornerstones of the Ecosystem are our visible patrols and public spaces protection programmes. In next week’s post, I’ll go into more detail about our Ecosystem’s successes in Basildon, but in short, it works. All In Black are now filling the gap left by the police and supporting councils to reduce anti-social behaviour and provide their communities with a safer way of life.

A critical part of our success is our control centre, a headquarters staffed 24/7 where our operations are managed. Every single incident is reported back to the control centre and recorded in tandem with our CCTV and monitoring services. We collate the information, record the data and work with the council and local police forces to support them in their investigations and achieve a greater rate of convictions for repeat offenders. Local intelligence gathering is back, and it is helping to reduce crime and increase public trust and confidence in the safety of their public spaces. This is good for the community, the council and the police.

I doubt that police forces will ever return to how they once were and anti-social behaviour will continue to rise as a result. However, at All In Black we want to help local authorities fill the gap left by police and make their communities safer. All In Black’s Community Safety Ecosystem can do just that and provides councils with an alternative option to relying on an underfunded police force.
A 360-degree approach to community safety – a better approach to community safety.