Politically Correct by John Singleton

Staining and Weeton Cllr on Fylde Council John Singleton
Staining and Weeton Cllr on Fylde Council John Singleton
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Crime fighters forced to be social workers

The image of today’s front line police force has changed dramatically over the last few years and is far from people’s general (perhaps old-fashioned) perception of officers attending incidents on blue lights, arresting the bad guys and general law enforcements on the streets and roads across the land.

The comforting sight of police officers pounding the beat is in real danger of being assigned to the history books.

In my opinion, policy formulated and implemented by the Lancashire Police Commissioner’s office, is designed to perform tasks previously undertaken by social workers, targeting and dealing with, for example, people at risk of self harm and vulnerable people, families and young people.

This strategy involves taking officers away from fighting crime to operating as social workers effectively subsidising the social partner’s role which has been dramatically hacked back due to local authority funding cuts.

Whilst this approach is admirable it is merely putting a sticking plaster on the whole social and policing funding issue.

Although the role of the police constable support officer (PCSO) remains a key part of the way the police operate in the local community the powers these officers have available to them is woefully inadequate.

Both the PCSOs and the operational police officers do a sterling job, but all the background noise emanating from social, not criminal, issues result in actual crime being afforded low-price attention.

Keeping pace with modern life Lancashire Constabulary, has over the last few years, embraced social media to update the public around ongoing incidents and information on crimes. All very well for those who live their lives on Facebook or Twitter but of no use whatsoever to the many people who are less IT-savvy and would benefit from a bobby on the beat.

If funding can’t be found for more fully qualified social workers then perhaps we should consider a role akin to that of the PCSO to assist and support key social workers with their work hence leaving our police officers free to discharge law and order.

Another option would be for more communities to get together and pay for a security company to walk the streets and provide an independent “police” service so providing people with the security they desire and deserve.

Interesting thought which could provide the basis for a way forward.

Help make the NHS better

On July 5, 1948 Aneurin Bevan officially launched the National Health Service in order to deliver a long-held belief that good health care should be available to all irrespective of social position or wealth.

Subsequent decades saw the NHS grow into a massive beast encompassing all manner of services from the local GP through midwifery to dentistry spreading its wings like a prehistoric being.

Whilst the noble and very generous principles still apply I fear these ideals may somewhat out of step with the world as it is in 2016.

A great deal has changed since 1948 and not necessarily for the better.

The world has become smaller, populations bigger, demands bigger, expectations much, much bigger. I’m afraid the only thing getting smaller is the pool of money which supports the NHS.

I do not believe there is one single cause responsible for the current financial black hole, however, I am of the opinion that we can all, and must, do our bit in controlling what we have control over.

How many of us has failed to cancel an appointment which is no longer needed?

How many of us have stocks of out-of-date medicines?

Just think how much GP surgery time could be used more effectively if we took responsibility for our own actions by simply cancelling that unwanted appointment?

Just think how much money could be saved and redistributed if we took responsibility for ordering the correct prescription?

If we had to pay hard cash for these goods and services don’t you think we may just be a little more circumspect?

If you wouldn’t throw money down the toilet or in the bin then please do your bit and, albeit in a small way, help make the NHS better before it is taken from us like a loved one.

All dog owners given bad name

I must acknowledge that the majority of dog owners do clean up any mess left by their four-legged friends and this action is to be congratulated.

However, there are some owners who still allow their dogs to mess on grassed areas, the streets and play areas.

It is these people who are giving dog owners bad press and have forced councils to implement dog control orders thus effectively banning dogs and, by default their owners, from certain public places.

A dog is a loved and integral part of a family and owners should be take care to keep to the letter of the law.

As always it is the few that are making it difficult for the many. People who do not have a dog could be forgiven for believing that ALL dogs contribute to this negligent behaviour.

As with any other anti-social transgression these acts should be subject to the full weight of the law often resulting in financial penalties and/or community orders.

Just remember though, it’s not the dog’s fault.