It has been announced that the Humberside Police force could lose up to 850 jobs in the latest round of the Government’s hatcheting route march through public services instructing City councils to cut the vital arteries of basic needs and requirements anyone would associate with a modern, civilised country.
If we take away the everyday duties of the police officer which is to serve the public and to maintain law and order, what will happen to public events which need policing when a quarter of the workforce is cut?
The police force is already at its historic all time low with respects to full time active police officers numbering 1,771 for the area and the latest bout of redundancies which are to be phased in over the next 3 years will all but make their street presence negligible with regards to effective front line policing.
So let’s consider match days. Hull City are billed for Police time which is fair enough but if there are no police to spare, where will the security come from? The mounted division for the area has been disbanded and for all the Boothferry park attendees, we will remember dozens of horse boxes parked up and a massive police presence around Bunkers and the North Stand before it became Safeways and the away supporters standing end. Even in the last visit to the premiership I recall a number of mobile command posts dotted around the KC and Walton Street / Spring Bank West corner, so will these expensive pieces of kit remain available or will there be too few officers to man them?
It is safe to say that Premiership crowds are by and large a decent family orientated bunch these days and with the odd exception there is good banter and a fairly orderly integration by opposing fans on match days and with the eyes of the world upon this footballing spectacle it gets priority as to how well it’s funded and managed and the police are pretty much a token presence and have been rarely called upon over the premiership and championship years.
But the danger of under policing games lies beneath the glamour of the star studded Premiership and lurks at the lower end of the football league. If Hull City fails to maintain top flight status and then even Championship respectability, the club would drop below the radar and coincide with the finalisation of the 3 year plan to reduce the police force and we may be faced with the likelihood of more trouble, not just escalating but more importantly, going effectively uncontrolled.
It’s reasonable to assume that the lower divisions attract potentially more flashpoints with regards to away fans causing trouble around the grounds and as an example, when Hull City first played in the premiership, the only trouble we have seen at the KC Stadium since it was built, when seats were ripped up and the word “Hooligan” was used for the first time in many a year was when league 1 Millwall visited for a cup game. (Which can’t go without mentioning a mid range cracker by Ashbee)
So what would Hull City do about the policing? Would we have to draft in extra police from North and West Yorkshire complete with their mounted divisions and if so, at what extra cost?
Could Anlaby road once again see the running battles with a few hundred unruly lower division sides’ football supporters, the resurgence of “City Psychos” and the “Cod Squad”? After all, there will be very little resistance from a barely nonexistent police force at that point.
In preparation for the latest cost cutting exercise, the £30M saving by axing jobs at the Humberside Police authority it may be worthwhile sending a few scout delegations to lower division games with similarly cash strapped councils to see how they control trouble making supporters with limited and stretched resources….Just on the off chance of course, that City should ever fall from premiership grace.
If the cuts do go ahead I think that it will be yet one more irreversible step further towards the ultimate break up of a once proud and united nation and particularly for the people of Hull who have seen the loss of thousands of council jobs in an already job stricken city, a tax addition to mobile homes causing many more redundancies, of which, Hull was the biggest manufacturing town in the mobile home industry in Europe, a public refuse service that has had weekly collections pushed to two weekly collections, rise after rise, year after year of council tax hikes for a diminishing and failing service in every department, it leaves me to conclude this article with a sarcastic hearty congratulation to the puppet show that passes itself off as Governing civil servants (of all mainstream parties) in doing a great job of deconstructing this once Great Britain.
A comforting thought for all Hull City supporters is that, at least we have 90 minutes on a Saturday afternoon to escape the misery of modern day mismanaged politics.
Source: Hull City Mad