The Right Rev Christopher Lowson says the candour of the chief constable Bill Skelly, in warning of ‘stark choices’ for Lincolnshire Police unless further funding is available, is a ‘wake-up call’ for the community and government.
Just as the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has controversially spoken out at the TUC recently about Government policies, the Bishop of Lincoln has raised his voice in support of Lincolnshire Police’s desperate funding situation.
The current budget is still being set. However, the plan for the future means changes to policing if no further funding is forthcoming.
The choices to make savings include possible cuts to road policing and crime investigation, as well as community and neighbourhood policing, leading to the loss of around 100 police staff.
“I am willing to be a voice to ensure where possible Lincolnshire and its police officers get a fair deal and we do not lose further police from our communities. From a young age I was taught if I was in difficulty I could always approach a police officer - less money and less services means there may be no one to approach,” says Bishop Christopher.
Yesterday (Monday) the bishop was visiting local schools in Spalding. He was welcomed and hosted at St Mary’s in Cowbit by the school’s ‘mini police’. The initiative has senior school pupils meet local police and they are given a uniform with a role in the school to promote good behaviour.
“The mini police are just one example of community based policing that is so valuable. A thinner blue line in our county would be a loss to the community,” says Bishop Christopher.