There is a point at which savings in public services can tip over an invisible line into recklessness.
When it comes to a service as essential as the maintenance of law and order, it is naturally important that such a point can be readily identified.
So it is deeply troubling that a report published by the National Audit Office warns that the Home Office does not possess sufficient information to determine how much further it can cut police funding without “degrading” services.
Just as troubling is the public spending watchdog’s conclusion that forces in England and Wales do not have a clear understanding of the demands placed on them or the factors that affect their costs.
In short, it appears to be a case of the blind leading the blind.
The question must be how police forces across Yorkshire – which face cuts of up to one-fifth of their budgets over five years – can institute the changes necessary to provide a comparable service for less money if they do not have a clear understanding of levels of demand or what affects their costs.
Without sufficiently close monitoring and clear benchmarks there is a danger that the tipping point will be reached – and passed – without anyone noticing, with obvious ramifications for public safety.
‘Fans with no place in football’
MORE THAN sixty Leeds United supporters have been told to report to a local police station when England play the Republic of Ireland in Dublin this weekend.
A total of 385 people in Yorkshire and the Humber have been handed football banning orders as part of the Government’s efforts to stop potential troublemakers travelling to football matches at home and abroad.
Ahead of this weekend’s England friendly, they were told to hand in their passports by yesterday evening. If they fail to do so they face arrest, unless they have been given an exemption. So be it. These so-called ‘fans have no place in football