Police Cutbacks – How Safe Are You?
Historically we have been led to believe that we are safe and that if anything happens to us, all we have to do is to call someone: the police, ambulance service or fire service. However when you look analytically at the system, it’s primarily reactive. The event which is causing the emergency has already happened, then we get to make a call for help. Added to this there has been the consequences of thirty years of cutbacks and restructuring, followed by more cutbacks, and more recently in this Age of Austerity, the cutbacks are biting.
Here in the UK we are fortunate to have a pretty good emergency service, comprising of the Police, Ambulance and Fire Service. However no matter how good these services are independently or when working together, cracks are appearing in the system. Cracks which leave people vulnerable when faced with difficult, dangerous and/or life-threatening situations… Statistics for emergency services response times over the past 5-years show that it is taking longer for the services to meet their response time targets.
In Essex which is where I live and travel through for work, the Police do their best to get to you within 10 – 15 minutes of an incident being reported. While targets are being met in 86% of cases, there are the 14% of cases where the police don’t make it to an incident scene on time… The ambulance services in Essex gets to 75% of life threatening incidents on time, but there are 25% of cases where they don’t…
With more cuts to come to emergency services, we are expected to believe and be reassured that response times will improve, but to me that seems totally unrealistic! Therefore the only way to really be able to look after yourself, your loved ones, your neighbours or be an effective Samaritan is to get trained an become resilient and self-reliant.
Emergencies and life-threatening events come in many forms and guises – from accidents you might witness or be involved in, to finding yourself being attacked, getting caught up in a fight, being mugged, robbed or having your home invaded… Even if you are able to make that call for help – it is going to take time for help to get to you, whether it be the Police or other emergency service. In that waiting time you might have take care of things as best as you can on your own. With the amount of time you have to wait varying depending on the time of the day, or day of the week, would you know what to do while you are waiting those 15 – 20 minutes or more?
What if you are seriously hurt or falling into unconsciousness, maybe you have been stabbed… would you be able to call for help yourself?
In situations like this it’s the bystander that we count on, or the mythical passer-by to come to our rescue. Don’t get me wrong there are many good Samaritans out there who will try to help you, but what skills and training do they have?? Just ask yourself do you know CPR, the recovery position or to read someone’s vital signs or how to stop a bleed? I don’t know many who have these skills, so why do we put so much faith in others????? Is that a chance you want to take with your life or your loved ones, or are you that mythical passer by that’s got involved to help.
I believe that it is everyone responsibility to one be able to look after and defend themselves, their loved ones and their neighbours.
Ask yourself what skills do I have and how would I react in a bad situation?
We live in a dangerous world and cannot always control what happens in our life but we can control what we do in those situations. I always say that it’s better to have the skills and confidence to be able to deal with what life has to throws at us and to know we did all that we could do, than to live with the “what if” and have to live with our own inaction… and with these thoughts in mind, we at Ares Risk Mansagement have created a growing range training courses which are designed to teach you to take care of yourself and your loved ones in bad situations.