Link to article in the Daily Echo
Fire chiefs are struggling to fill scores of vacancies caused by the dwindling number of retained (part-time) personnel, who perform a vital role in rural communities without a full-time crew.
Earlier this month an elderly driver was seriously injured in a collision on the A32 near Droxford, but the incident was dealt with by crews from Bishop’s Waltham, Wickham and Cosham.
After all of the furore about the lack of crews to man the ALP during the recent incident in PortsmouthThe Fire Brigades Union have commented as follows:
Hampshire Fire Brigades Union (FBU) wish to release a statement with regard to their concerns in relation to the crewing of Southsea Fire Station's Aerial Ladder Platform (ALP) (copy below)
The FBU have continually raised concerns at the way Hampshire Fire and Rescue (HFRS) have chosen to crew this crucial vehicle, during the risk review public consultation period, right up to the present day.
Our concerns are that this safety critical piece of equipment is no longer immediately available for the risk it was designed to accommodate. At present HFRS nominate Southamptons ALP for any high rise fire in Portsmouth, equating to a significant delay before it can be utilised for effective intervention.
Consequently this delay changes any early weight of attack and subsequently the safety of Firefighters and members of the public in those early minutes of an incident.
The FBU is in no way politicising this topic, it's only aim is to maintain an appropriate and effective response that above all keeps firefighters and members of the public safe, whilst mitigating any avoidable risk to those mentioned.
Hampshire FBU to that end have proactively proposed workable alternative measures to ensure that the ALP at Southsea can, and would, turnout on the initial attendance to a high rise incident. It is with regret to state that this option was refused.
Hampshire FBU will continue to challenge this decision appropriately through any available avenue to ensure a safe outcome for all.
Yours in Unity
Hampshire Fire Brigades Union
Whilst planning to build 1000s of new homes in Hampshire alone this is the government’s response by cutting services left right and centre. Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service plans to cut 200 firefighters over the next three years and to reduce front line appliances from 76 to 25 – and yes you did read that right. The Government’s glib response to that is there are fewer fires now. This is true, but firefighter are increasingly attending unrelated incidents such as road traffic accidents when they often will be required to be first responders and act as para-medics. Never mind, keep burying your heads in the sand and keep building.
Fire minister Brandon Lewis said fire services had sufficient resources yet according to BBC's 5live Investigates, austerity cuts since 2010 have resulted in 3,382 fewer fire fighters, station closures and some appliances being taken off the road resulting in response times in some areas getting worse in 2016, which the FBU's Matt Wrack says is putting lives at risk.
Link to BBC article
Quote from an article in the News
Hampshire police are preparing to reduce the dog unit by 15 officers, cut traffic cops by 20 and its intelligence and surveillance units by more than 30 positions. But the plans have been criticised after it emerged Hampshire’s police and crime commissioner, Michael Lane, is set to increase his office budget by £440,000 for ‘essential staff’. Another £700,000 is set to be added to his budget to handle commissioning services.
Police hope the overall changes will save the force £6.9m but admit it will ‘reduce capacity and resilience’.
A spokeswoman for the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner said details of where cash would go was not given in an online survey completed by 3,897 people – but was with a focus group of 114 people across two events.
So that's the overheads going up by £1.14M whilst their overall budget will have been cut by £87M since 2010. With another 12,000 houses going up in Fareham alone I wonder whether we will EVER see a policeman on foot again.
"Uncertain future for PCSOs as Hampshire police await funding deal.
... Police officer numbers dropped from 3,887 in March 2010 to 2,837 in April 2017 in the wake of heavy government cuts...
Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney will be deciding how to spend the force’s cash – which was slashed by £80m between 2010 and 2016. Ms Pinkney has warned it faces a £13m cliff edge by 2021.
Link to The News article
Quote from the Daily Echo:
"I am deeply offended that the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary have the audacity to look police officers in the eye and tell them how much of a great job they are doing.
Politicians are shaking hands with police officers, but with the other hand they are stabbing them in the back."
Link to The Daily Echo article
Fareham could be left without police presence as council issues force ultimatum.
The force secured a deal to move in back in summer 2015, with Fareham police station to close its doors in 2019.
Link to the article in The Echo
So now that we have lost our police stations throughout Fareham crime is on the rise. These weasel words spoken by our councillors and senior police officers can't really take the place of the bobby on the beat.
Link to the article in The Echo
A NEIGHBOURHOOD police team has reopened its beat office in a community centre.
Portchester Neighbourhood Police Team will have officers using a space at Portchester Community Centre, on Westlands Grove.
Although the officers are based at Fareham police station, they can use the room and can meet the public to take reports and to give advice.
The office does not have formal opening times but the team will organise drop-in sessions.
Information copied from an article in The News.