The centralisation of police forces always sounded like a bad idea to me, I was worried that in an effort to save money the police would be drawn even further away from the communities they serve. It never occurred to me that the whole process would cost so much money that police jobs would be put at risk.
The idea that police officers would be replaced with community wardens follows a worrying trend. Fewer doctors and more pressure put on nurses, who are cheaper. Fewer regular soldiers and more pressure put on the TA, who are cheaper. Fewer teachers and more pressure put on classroom assistants, who are cheaper. And now fewer police officers and more pressure put on community support officers, who are cheaper.
It is clear that this government does not value the work done by public sector professionals; there is a consistent attempt to undermine them, corral them and replace them with cheaper and less skilled people. At the same time the government brings out mountains of guidelines, best practice documents and targets to completely remove any autonomy that they once had.
The answer is simple, recruit and train good people, pay them properly, give them a goal and then lot them get on with it. They may just surprise you and excel.