21,500 fewer officers means police 'can’t cope', says retired policeman

Former officer Norman Brennan: police 'can't cope'

Former officer Norman Brennan: police 'can't cope'

Friday, April 27, 2018

A former police officer who retired with 31 years' service says shortages faced by police mean officers "can’t cope".

Norman Brennan, who retired in 2009, said: "We’ve got 21,500 less police officers, my colleagues are going to about 10 or 15 different calls, they have to re-prioritise on their blue-lights-and-two-tones, (and decide) which is the one that they go to, the public phone up – they want somebody to go there, and rightly so, when they’ve been burgled – the officers say, 'We’ll get there as soon as we can'.

"There’s a shooting or a stabbing... It’s not that the police don’t care, they can’t cope."

Speaking to Julia Hartley-Brewer on Friday (April 27), Mr Brennan was asked if we need more stop and search.

 "Absolutely," he said. But racist officers abusing stop-and-search powers "20, 30 years ago" was, he said, "quite prolific".

"Nowadays, most police officers will not stop and search a black person. They don’t want the aggravation with a complaint. It affects their careers, it affects their wellbeing.

"The good thing about (policing) today is that a majority of police officers now have body cameras so if anybody’s got any issue whatsoever, a police investigation, the courts and anybody else that wishes to complain about us will see what we saw.

"And I’ve got to tell you, Julia, the complaints are already down, and those that whinge and whine (that) the police have got nothing better to do, I promise you we have.

"Back families say to us in mortuaries and to family liaison officers – they fall into their arms – they plead with us, 'Stop these killings', and it’s our job to do it and I wish we could do it a lot better than we can at the moment."

New official figures show that offences involving knives or other sharp instruments increased by 22% year-on-year in England and Wales in 2017, fuelling concerns over spiralling levels of violence in the UK, particularly in London.

Offences involving firearms were also up, by 11%.

"I’ve just tweeted out to my police colleagues and everyone else, 'Do you remember the 1970s film, Assault on Precinct 13? That’s what it’s like in London'," Mr Brennan added.

Listen to the interview above.