Friday, 10 January 2014

Careless cuts cost lives! (and a few other thoughts)

It was reported that as a result of cuts to emergency services in London, imposed by London Mayor Boris Johnson, 10 fire stations were forced to close, including notably Clerkenwell Fire Station, which had served Londoners well for 140 years previously.

Also, there have been significant cuts to the probation service in the past, and also the transferral of tagging services from public to private providers, the problems of which were highlighted last year when G4S and Serco committed fraud by tagging non-existent or dead offenders.

I of course oppose the ConDems' cuts as a whole, but I feel that I need to highlight these cuts in particular because cuts to the emergency services and probation services, and/or privatisation of either, puts public safety- and people's lives- at risk.

No matter how well a private provider's intentions may be, private companies cannot run public services effectively, because they are simply not designed to do so. Public services are created based on need-private services are created based on profitability and desire.

On another note, I would like to say that following on from the wrongful verdict of 'lawful killing' in the Mark Duggan case (even though Mark was unarmed the moment he was shot by police in 2011) that it is serious intrinsic flaws within the police that have meant despite many unlawful suspect deaths as a result of police activity, no police officer has been prosecuted in a single case for at least 20 years. For the sake of the public, the Metropolitan police in particular must face up to serious reform-and soon.


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