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This is what PC Joseph Torkington said in full –
“To Chief Constable Hopkins,
I am PC 11834 Joe Torkington. I am currently a Neighbourhood Beat Officer based on the J Division.
I write to inform you that as of this date – Monday 28th August 2017 – I hereby give notice of my resignation from my role of Constable with Greater Manchester Police.
My Police journey effectively began as a kid as the son of a Police Sergeant – my Dad served thirty years in Derbyshire Constabulary. I lived on the same street as Divisional Headquarters and growing up, I was very much part of what back then was a ‘real’ Police family.
Throughout my youth, I ate in the canteen, trained in the gym, played pool in the bar and five aside football in the drill hall, all the while surrounded by my Dads friends and colleagues.
Naturally this experience had a profound effect upon me and in 2005 aged twenty six I commenced my training with GMP. Bruche was everything I’d hoped it would be. I fit right in, settled quickly and bonded with all my classmates.
Landing on Division six months later was a slightly different affair to say the least! The eager friendly faces I had encountered at training school were few and far between, but I persevered against the odds, proved myself a capable officer and remained true to myself.
In 2008, an attachment to the VCT seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up and so I left Response for what turned out to be arguably the most enjoyable year of my career. The officers in that department were pro-active, dedicated and ambitious and we got involved in some great jobs with equally fantastic results. Despite my love of the VCT role, the imminent arrival of my third child meant a need for more family friendly hours and so I successfully applied for the role of NBO.
When I began this role in late 2009, Neighbourhood Policing still existed. I took genuine pride in walking my beat, getting to know my community and having the responsibility for tackling any problems that came my way. I had great supervision and colleagues and felt valued and happy in my work.
Unfortunately, as the years have passed, the role has been gradually eroded and marginalised, to the extent I have genuinely struggled at times to understand exactly what is expected of me. Despite remaining an NBO, I have increasingly done anything but Neighbourhood work, yet my photo remains on posters and the like, thus giving the community the impression that they have a dedicated local officer! I actually consider this in itself to be beyond misleading, if not entirely fraudulent.
Indeed, I firmly believe it was this continuing deception to both staff and the public alike that gave birth to my now deep rooted mistrust of the Government and our entire organisation. Other factors followed further compounding my lack of faith and belief…Windsor; the Pay Freeze; the demolition of the terms and conditions of our pensions; the heavy cuts to frontline resources; the increasing bureaucracy despite constant promises for its reduction; the constant changes of systems, focus, direction, priorities, shift patterns, teams, geographical beats, policies, process, protocol, all without any apparent benefit to anyone other than those in the upper echelons of the promotion system.
The result of the aforementioned? Plummeting morale..
I can only truly speak for myself, but I am fairly certain my views are shared by the many not the few, that the Police Service is, all clichés aside, at breaking point. I just can’t understand what is going on? Response are parading on so few officers there aren’t actually any officers free to attend Grade One’s. I can’t even begin to express the feeling of despair I feel listening to Comms. trying to give out jobs to patrols that don’t exist and of officers being sent to dangerous jobs with little, or no back up. How some of my colleagues can turn up to work knowing they could be walking into a nightmare alone is beyond me. I have more than admiration for their individual and collective resilience.
I would never claim to be the hardest of men, but once upon a time I could do this job well and was not afraid of confrontation. However, for the last two to three years at work, I have been in a permanent state of anxiety and stress. I feel consumed and surrounded by negativity and whatever I have tried to do to lift such feelings has failed because the situation at work keeps getting worse.
Despite what the Government says, this job is all about numbers. I’m happy to turn up to any job as long as I have colleagues with me. I’m brave, but I’m not stupid. I have three kids and a glass back, I need back up. I need that reassurance and assistance and it doesn’t exist.
So Sir, it is with regret that I see no other option but to resign. I’d love to say I was riding off into the sunset, walking into a well-paid job etc., but I’m not. I’m going to be earning minimum wage and no doubt struggling financially, but hopefully I’ll be able to recover from my anxiety and depression away from what Policing has become. It is a shame as I truly believe I have a lot to offer this job, I have skills and knowledge and experience. I have always worked hard and endeavoured to treat everyone I have encountered with dignity and respect, not because the job tells me too, but because I know that is the right thing to do. I joined the Police to serve and protect. I have tried Sir I can proudly say that.
I wish all my colleagues of every rank I leave behind, all the luck in the world and they will always have my upmost respect. I nod in respect to you to Sir, I know you lead us in difficult times and I imagine with many constraints and restrictions placed upon you.
To the government I have nothing good to say whatsoever, they should hang their heads in shame.
As for me…what can I say…I am more than a number…….”
This is the latest shameful indictment on the Tory party while they remain under United Nations investigation.
The number of homeless people in the UK has increased by a staggering 134 percent since the Tories came into government in 2010, according to the government’s spending watchdog.
A damning report by the National Audit Office (NAO) reveals that the number of households in temporary accommodation has increased by 60 percent in the past six years, affecting 73 percent more youngsters than in March 2011.
People are on Britain’s streets freezing to death and the Tories block funds set up to help Britain’s homeless and hungry!
These are official documents that include details of deep cuts to police numbers published too late to be scrutinised by MPs.
• We have fewer police officers. A drop of 0.7% to 123,142 police officers across all ranks in England and Wales at the end of March this year. This is the lowest number at the end of a financial year since comparable records began in 1996.
• We have fewer soldiers. The number of full-time soldiers has fallen by 7,000 in the last three years. Across the Army, Air Force and the Navy there are currently 570 fewer service personnel than in June 2016.
• Britain has sold £3.3bn worth of arms to Saudi Arabia in the past two years alone, including licences for aircraft, drones, grenades, and missiles. The Foreign Office report said the UK is “deeply concerned about the application of the death penalty” in Saudi Arabia and restrictions on freedom of expression, as well as women’s rights.
• Decision to scrap the electrification of train lines, which had been heralded as a way of making the rail network faster, greener and cleaner, after massive budget overruns of billions of pounds. The pledge was made by David Cameron in 2012 but has proven to be a waste of time and money.
• A statement showing UK plans to opt into new Brussels regulations allowing for more cross-border police cooperation in cases where children are at risk of parental abduction.
• A report showing that schools and colleges do not currently have the capacity to teach all pupils maths until they are 18, with about a decade needed to expand capacity.
Ben, 13, has Cerebral Palsy and requires money to pay for his treatment but so far the Tories have ignored his pleas for help. This has forced Ben to rely on public donations.
He has again written to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt hoping this time he will act.
Ben hopes to deliver his letter directly to Jeremy Hunt.
Dear Mr Hunt
My name is Ben Baddeley and I’ve written to you before and so has my Mum.
I have Cerebral Palsy and the physio treatment that is helping me to get better isn’t paid by the NHS so my Mum and Dad have to find the money to get me my treatment.
My Mum and Dad are trying to get the CCG to help with paying for it but no-one is paying attention. It is really difficult for my Mum and Dad to find the money because it’s really expensive and nearly two thousand pounds a month. My Dad is always working overtime and my Mum has to fund raise.
My Mum has written to the health department and they say there is nothing they can do to help me. When me and Mum wrote to you we got a reply from someone at the health department saying that you can’t help me either.
But I’m confused because you are the health secretary so why can’t you help me…
Any member of the public no matter where they live in the world can help Ben right now by giving a donation to help his treatment. If Ben does not receive this treatment he will need a wheelchair as his condition worsens. All Ben wants is to live a normal life.
“The Government is lying to the public”, he adds.
“Extra” officers on the streets were actually officers putting in 16-hour shifts or working on “rare leave days”.
Former Met Police chief Peter Kirkham has accused the government of “lying” about the number of armed officers on the streets, during an interview in the wake of the London terror attack.
“The Met is in crisis”
“We haven’t got enough cops to actually put people on the street, that’s the main problem really, the streets have been lost. And I would put it as strongly as that,” he said.
Statistics published by the Metropolitan Police show that:
- gun crime increased by more than two fifths (42 per cent) year-on-year with 2,544 offences recorded in 2016/17;
- knife crime jumped by almost a quarter (24 per cent), with more than 4,000 offences involving blades resulting in an injury;
- the total number of offences recorded by the force rose by nearly 4.6 per cent from 740,933 to 774,737;
- violence against the person crimes were up by 4.7 per cent while there were also increases in robberies (12 per cent), sex offences (9 per cent) and theft (7 per cent);
Theresa May was Home Secretary under Cameron and Osborne when she made drastic cuts to front line emergency services.
Accident and Emergency
Buried in the 84-page document, you’ll find a number of nasty surprises on the way from the Tories that you might not have spotted.
Here’s what you’ll find if you check the small print.
1. You’re going to need ID to vote
In a bid to combat in-person voter fraud the Tories are going to change the law so you have to take ID with you when you vote.
The problem is, there’s little evidence that in-person voter fraud actually happens.
Of 51.5 million votes cast in elections in 2015, there were 481 cases of alleged electoral fraud.
Of these, the vast majority were not voting offences. More than half were campaigning offences – such as complaints about candidates making false statements about opponents, expenses offences or issues to do with campaign posters or flyers.
Just 123 alleged cases related to voter fraud, with 26 cases of impersonating another voter, 27 cases of improper postal voting and 25 cases of ‘undue influence’ over a voter.
Of these 123, all but 22 were dismissed – mostly because it was clear no offence had been committed or due to lack of evidence.
Of the remaining 22 cases, six resulted in police cautions.
It’s a solution that doesn’t have a problem.
On the other hand, 3.5 million voters don’t have photo ID – and they tend to be women, people from ethnic minorities and young people.
2. The Vote Leave bus pledge is officially not happening
Before the referendum, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove toured the country in a big red bus, emblazoned on which was the claim: “We send the EU £350 million a week. Let’s fund our NHS instead”
Theresa May has other ideas.
Buried in the manifesto is a reference to a “Shared Prosperity Fund” which will “redistribute money coming back as we leave the EU to the four nations.”
So no, the NHS won’t be getting £350 million a week extra under the Tories.
3. They’ve left the door open to more welfare cuts
Note “..we will continue to strive for full employment.” shrugging their shoulders over those they’ve pushed to death (ref the statements from three separate coroners). If they get into power you can expect more Tory voters complaining when they fall ill. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
A subtle change in language in Theresa May’s manifesto, launched this morning, opens the door for more cuts to benefits for the sick, disabled and working poor.
Former Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb said in March 2016: “We have no further plans to make welfare savings”
And his replacement, Damian Green, said in February: “We are not going to have any new welfare cuts in this Parliament apart from those that have already been legislated for.”
But here’s what it says in today’s manifesto – buried on page 54
“We have no plans for further radical welfare reform in this parliament and will continue the roll-out of Universal Credit, to ensure that it always pays to be in work.”
See the difference?
4. Remember all those civil service jobs David Cameron moved to London? They’re moving out again
5. The Commitment to halve the disability employment gap has been scrapped
The 2015 manifesto promised to cut the difference in employment figures between disabled and non-disabled people in half.
That’s been replaced by a commitment to getting a million more disabled people into employment, which the Social Market Foundation say is “weaker”.
6. There might be a hard border with Northern Ireland after all
Theresa May has previously insisted there would be “no return to the hard borders of the past” between Northern Ireland and the Republic after Brexit .
But today’s document says they’re aiming for “as frictionless a border as possible.”
7. The Immigration health surcharge is going to TRIPLE
Migrant workers who use the NHS are currently charged £200. That’s going up to £600.
International students still get a discount, but their charges are tripling too, from £150 to £450.
8. They’re going to ‘modernise’ the voting system by making it less fair
The Tories love the First Past the Post (FPTP) system. It’s outdated, unfair and benefits them massively in elections.
So they’ve decided to ‘modernise’ the voting system by replacing the current Single Transferable Vote (STV) system used in mayoral and police and crime commissioner elections with FPTP.
Because voters can cast a ‘second choice’ vote in STV, it ensures vastly fewer votes are wasted. It also remove some of the advantages big parties get from FPTP. Which is why the Tories don’t like it.