It was a harrowing picture of the impact of dealing with the aftermath of knife crime and witnessing colleagues being stabbed on the streets. His account followed new research pointing to a 68% increase in knife offences between March 2014 and September 2018. According to the all-party parliamentary group on knife crime, the highest increases in knife crime had ken place in those parts of the country suffering the greatest cuts to youth spending (as reported in the Justice Gap here).
‘I’m a police officer in the Metropolitan police, and have been since 2014,’ began the officer. ‘He suffered from anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder. ‘I am – and I cannot say this strongly enough – exhausted. I do not feel safe policing London’s streets.’ The loss of over 20,000 officers since 2010 didn’t ‘even begin to cover’ the scale of the problem, he reckoned.
The officer described the impact on his own mental health and, in particular, how he dealt with PTSD. ‘I get panicky, and I’ve had periods of intense flashbacks but when I asked my GP about being referred for help, he said I had to go through occupational health. I’ve been waiting for more than six months.’
Officers felt ‘ignored and maltreated’ by the government and ‘pushed to the brink of exhaustion and our mental capacities’. ‘For years, people inside and outside the force have been saying that policing is on the brink of collapse. The mood now is that we are no longer on the brink. We have gone over the edge,’ he wrote. ‘The job is f*cked.’