Spending review: Prepare for the worst?

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

In advance of today's spending review, David Walker writing in The Guardian is critical of the Treasury for its focus on the short- term. He says that even Conservatives who support cuts to government spending have been critical of the 'ramshackle way the review has been carried out'.

Drawing on analysis from the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies published in advance of the spending review, Walker writes 

Take police, the courts and prisons. Richard Garside, director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, says we go on having the same interminable debate over the optimum number of police officers. “It’s a distraction and a substitute for serious thought about what the police are for and how they should be organised.” Instead of “unquestioning” defence of existing policing numbers, a coherent vision for enforcement, crime, the courts and prisons could both save money and offer many people better lives.

That is precisely the kind of longer term, strategic analysis that ought to underpin a review of public spending, but which the Treasury cannot or will not do.

Alan Travis, also in The Guardian today reports that police chiefs have warned a number of forces may fail as they face of further cuts.

He says that police resources will become increasingly focused on specific types of crime such as cybercrime, fraud and child sexual abuse - and predicts that by 2020, there will be fewer officers and those who remain will be more specialised, university-trained and make better use of technology.

Click here to read 'Time for bold action to downsize criminal justice'.