When, for whatever reasons, a household has to budget in straightened circumstances there will be a common denominator to the belt tightening which must be undertaken to keep the family supplied with basic necessities. Those activities and items without which the family can tolerate until better times will be jettisoned. Margaret Thatcher who was criticised for equating national budgets to family budgets was, in my opinion, not too inaccurate in her metaphor.
A quarter of a century later reduced funding for one public body or another is being wheeled out as a cause to reduce services to the public detriment. No bodies have been more vociferous in making sure their retaliation gets in first than Police Constabularies.
The Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) however is seeking to increase police powers by being given the power to shut down websites without the need for judicial authority. Judging by its website this organisation has more than enough on its plate without treading where it appears to want to go irrespective of its significance for free speech.
On the other hand the Chief Constable of Kent Constabulary is seeking to reduce the workload of his force in the light of financial constraints. As an example he wants the “policing” of dangerous dogs to be handed over to the RSPCA. Considering that many cases involving banned breeds have as their basis the animals` use as weapons to intimidate or as power symbols this wish to abrogate police powers is akin to allowing motor insurers to police those driving uninsured. If police can be called out on the suspicion of illegal hunting with hounds there is little substance in this Chief Officer`s argument to wash his hands of dangerous dogs.
The Association of Chief Police Officers [ACPO], an organisation which if not truly murky is certainly not the most transparent, wants police to take a slice of the speed camera financial pudding resulting from payments made by offenders to attend various courses to deter them from future similar disregard for the Highway Code. This income, it is said, will allow speed cameras to continue in operation.
Perhaps I am old fashioned but in my idea of how society should be organised there is no room for police receiving any income whatsoever from whatever source except that bestowed by a democratically elected local or national government.