Front-line policing is at 'breaking point'.
This is what Joseph Torkington, 37, wrote in his resignation letter to his Chief Constable at Greater Manchester Police.
The father-of-three from Buxton, Derbyshire, has resigned after 12 years as a police constable. He blamed savage cuts and said Government leaders should ‘hang their heads in shame’ for the current state of GMP.
A picture of Joseph published on GMP’s website, which states he is a ‘dedicated local officer’ is ‘beyond misleading, if not entirely fraudulent’, he writes.
Joseph, who was stationed in Offerton, Stockport, goes on to argue that community policing exists in name only.
In the letter, Joseph wrote:
Joseph described a crisis where ‘response’ officers are sometimes not available for even the most serious 999 calls and how bosses ‘give out jobs to patrols that don’t exist’.
It leaves officers ‘being sent to dangerous jobs with little or no back up’ and he reveals he spent his last three years ‘in a permanent state of anxiety’.
He conceded to Chief Constable Ian Hopkins that ‘you lead us in difficult times’, but delivered a withering judgement on the Coalition and Tory governments which have seen the force slashed from 8,200 officers to almost 6,000.
Joseph concluded: “To the government I have nothing good to say whatsoever, they should hang their heads in shame.”
Joseph, who emailed the letter to colleagues in Stockport said he had been off at home since March 31 with work-related anxiety and depression.
Joseph said: “I just felt like I needed to be honest. The chief constable needs to know in case he doesn’t know, so he understands. This is probably the biggest decision I have ever made.”
Deputy Chief Constable Ian Pilling, from GMP, said:
A Home Office spokesperson, who pointed to a fall in crime as recorded in the British Crime Survey since 2010, said:
They added that Greater Manchester Police has received £545.4million in total direct resource funding this year, which is £4.2million more than 2015-16.
Greater Manchester Police has been forced to axe more than 2,000 officers since austerity was introduced in 2010.
It means the force now has about 6,000 officers on its books just as reported crime is starting to soar.
The latest figures on GMP’s website show that 263,297 crimes were reported in the last 12 months, up 60,926 compared to the year before.
It represents a perfect storm of fewer police officers having to cope with increasing demand for their services.
The Police Federation, which represents rank and file bobbies, said this summer how the problem has been exacerbated by GMP having to deal with more and more reports of historic sex abuse as well as the threat of terrorism.
PC Joseph Torkington’s letter suggests bobbies on the beat have rarely felt so under-pressure.
It all started in 2010 when the Coalition government - continued by the subsequent Conservative administration - introduced austerity to pay for the huge national debt following the financial crisis.
Since then about £180m has been slashed from GMP’s annual budget.
It means community policing, once the bedrock policing in Greater Manchester, has been decimated and the force is struggling to cope.
In June, Chief Inspector Ian Hanson, of the Police Federation, said stretched police officers were struggling to cope in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bomb and reaching the point of exhaustion.
CI Hanson blamed a combination of savage cuts and a nationwide drive to fight terrorism.
- PC Torkington’s resignation letter in full: