Thank you Brett and the team @gmpSalford @GMPEccles @GMPSwintonLH for taking me out on patrol last week and letting me see everything that happens on your shift.
It was a real eye opener, one minute a mental health call, the next, concerns about a person’s welfare, then a domestic incident, then more mental health related calls, then a series of reported armed fights and that was just what one officer dealt with in the first hour…
Staggeringly despite the constant raft of calls that were coming in, Brett and the team were chipper, desperate to deal with every one before the end of their very long and arduous shift when they would then have to return to the station and fill in all the paperwork.
Even more shocking for me was that due to police cuts and diminishing numbers, officers work alone. And that includes female officers. Never really sure what they are walking into, unsure if the casual call about prowlers may actually turn out to be an armed or dangerous criminal.
If other officers are free to assist that’s great but on a busy night this will not often be the case and I expect many officers are faced with taking the risk and do so.
I was honestly shocked, both by how much could be done with so little resource but also the camaraderie of the team which I expect is what gets them though shifts like this (and this was just a Thursday daytime not a full blown Saturday night)
Despite the huge pressures I saw, they just got on with it, but it was clear that savage cuts to police, local gov, and NHS services are having a massive impact on the force.
If the Government spent more time out with public services for the day rather than bickering over Brexit maybe they would understand what we mean when we say our police, NHS, local government and other public services are at breaking point.