‘I would rather have bobbies on the beat than Paddy Tipping doing his role’.
That is the opinion of Mansfield MP, Sir Alan Meale when quizzed about Nottinghamshire Police having to slash another £12m from its budget in the next year.
The force has already been made to cut £42m from its budget in the last three years and Mr Tipping, the region’s police and crime commissioner, recently revealed the force’s annual report and how they have attempted to bridge the deficit with new schemes and initiatives.
But Mr Meale insists the only way to keep reducing crime is have more police on the street, and said that if it meant cutting Paddy Tipping’s £75,000-a-year role, and those who work under him, then so be it.
“The key is bobbies on the ground, the more the better,” said Mr Meale.
“I realise what Paddy Tipping is doing, but it’s just a manager’s role to support the force.
“We are making real inroads into crime, and by cutting provisions those crime figures will go back up.
“Why not cut his office? I would rather have a bobby on the beat than have Paddy Tipping doing his role.
“He won’t thank me for saying that, but it would mean more bobbies out there.
“They are working night and day, some are even going to court 9pm their days off.
“They are good people who have been cut back.”
In response, Paddy Tipping’s office defended the role, saying it was essential through Government legislation.
It reads: “Firstly, PCCs are enshrined in legislation as an intrinsic element of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.
“Secondly, the costs associated with the Nottinghamshire Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner are one of the lowest in the UK, and less than the preceding Police Authority.”
In a recent statement, Mr Tipping outlined a number of sector-led projects put in place to help tackle crime when faced with an ever-decreasing budget, including developing support for young abuse victims.
He pointed to a new team who now deal with mental health patients which has seen a 43 per cent drop in people being put into police custody suites for their own safety, and says there are now ‘sweeping reforms’ to tackle anti-social behaviour through ‘a range of diversionary and preventative activities’ including street pastors and marshalls.
Mr Tipping also pointed out the advanced use of technology now in use, including officers utilising body-worn video cameras to gather evidence and advanced DNA profiling that can be returned in under 90 minutes.
Commissioner Tipping added: “We’ve exhausted all funding opportunities to ensure Nottinghamshire has access to the very best policing technology to increase our evidence-gathering capabilities and ultimately bring more successful prosecutions. Technology not only improves effectiveness, it also strengthens police integrity, helping to reassure the public and build trust and confidence in our communities.”