Will the cuts to UK Police budgets effect your novels?

Posted: October 16, 2011 in Uncategorized
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West Midlands Police OPS17

Image by kenjonbro via Flickr

Assuming that you do already or want to base your crime novels on real life policing methods and procedures, it may be of benefit to consider how a cut of around 25% in police budgets may affect the structure of a police force and how they work.

Naturally, as most of a police budget is spent paying wages, most of the cuts will mean job losses. Some forces have already let many civilian members of the force go. The West Midlands police have actually forced police officers with over 30 years service to retire. Many of these will have been very experienced and in some cases senior officers. What could they turn their hands to now in the fictional world – especially if they already had a lavish life style and wanted to maintain that? Would they become crime consultants for the good guys or the bad guys?

If civilians were first employed to free the police officers up to rejoin the front-line, who will do the job the civilians were doing before they were dispensed with?

Could we now have police officers acting as scene of crime officers? Will they be any better or worse that their civilian colleagues?

With the freeze on recruitment, will there be any young naive constables available to muck up a crime scene or will there be more “old lags”?


If I had been forced to leave my well paid job due to budget cuts and I had three ex-wives and 5 children to support as well as a lavish lifestyle, I think I could convince myself that being as the Police weren’t looking after me, then why should I look after them?
I may already have been in the pay of the underworld before my forced retirement.

I may think that I can encourage criminals to adopt a less violent and kinder approach only targeting corporate bodies.

I may have enemies (that I made whilst in the Force) that I need to protect myself from. So if I hook up with a rival gang, I could eliminate the threat and bring into prominence a “lesser” evil.

Obviously, I am using me as a hypothetical character.

These are just a few foods for thought.

  1. Andrew Girle says:

    I would suggest that there is not a serving police officer anywhere who has not spotted a perfect opportunity for criminal activity in a form that is not currently being ‘looked for’ by their force. Letting the sheepdogs off their leashes and letting them loose among the sheep may just be worse than worrying about the wolves…


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