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Civilised society; that is what matters here. If people want a glimpse of what the future might look like, they should have a look at Tiptree in Essex, where residents already have to club together to fund their own private security guards. Is that the kind of society we want, with private security guards roaming the streets in areas where the police have withdrawn? The Government deny it, but that is what is happening on the ground.
This is not just about the loss of capability in community and neighbourhood policing. Forces are talking about disbanding mounted sections and dog sections. The cuts could have serious implications for the police estate, with police station closures all over the country and the police becoming a blue-light only service, responding to emergencies and not dealing with crime at a local level.