Lincolnshire Police has not managed to escape the budget cuts that are being made across all areas of the public sector. Speculation is rife as the reality of plans to slash police funding by 20% sinks in.
We asked the people of Lincoln for their views concerning crime control in the city and what cuts could mean for the future of Lincoln.
Karl Lellow (41) Delivery driver
“If they cut police funding and take policing off the streets, where does that leave the general public? Is it right that you should phone the police and have to wait or get an appointment for them to come round? It would be more comforting if a police officer could come round straight away.
“I think the general public should take note. If the funding is being cut, the public should get together and form their own community watch systems. People can work together if they’re willing to.
“I think [the cuts] will have an impact yes. How much is a police officer worth? I don’t think the general public see the whole picture.”
David Reed (63) Lincoln, retired
“It’s always curious that when you pass the police headquarters at Nettleham, the car park if always absolutely full of cars, but we hardly ever see a policeman. In Lincoln we never see [police cars].
“I can’t see crime in Lincoln getting out of hand. It’s one of the more quiet places. There are places in the country where perhaps there would be more crime. I imagine for a big city like Birmingham, it might be more difficult for them to makes cuts there. Policing Lincoln isn’t a particularly difficult task, I wouldn’t have thought.”
Nic Townsend (24) Lincoln, trainee teacher
“I think if [the government] want the economy to grow they’re making cuts in all the wrong places. Of course crime is going to go up. People are going to be unable to get jobs because of cuts in education and things like that. I think it’s a sham.
“I daresay [Lincoln] is going to have trouble with crime. I don’t quite know how the cuts are going to affect the city. I think [crime] could be as big a problem for Lincoln as it is anywhere else.”
Daniel Garlic (18) Lincoln College student
“I don’t really see many police officers around anyway, only at big football matches and stuff like that. I think that crime in the bigger cities will probably go up but I don’t know if Lincoln will be too affected by it. It might be alright but I think that it’s unfair that the police force gets a 20% cut. I can see why they are up in arms about it all.
“With cuts, I don’t really think that the police force is an area to focus on. But, at the end of the day we need the NHS and student fees are already going up as it is. To some people [police on the street] is an annoyance as people like to be free and not have people watching over them, but I’m fine with how things are at the moment.”
Bukky Ojo (24) Lincoln student
“Visual presence of police makes you feel safe. I’ve been walking in town and already I’ve seen two police officers but if all of a sudden, they’re not going to have that presence on the street, I think it could make people feel afraid, especially older people. It is reassuring.
“Cuts are happening across the board, so it’s in inevitable, it’s unavoidable. But it shouldn’t be the important services that are going to affect the public and people’s livelihoods. There’s no win really, and it’s the government. So, if you want a new party in power, then that’s the way to go. Lincoln is quite blessed with not having so much crime. Most students say that this is a relatively safe city. I hope for the best for Lincoln.”