UK public sector financial cuts of up to 25% over the next four years threaten service delivery in a number of areas and it is likely that public protection agencies will not be immune. This article explores ways in which a ‘world leading’ public protection process can continue to effectively manage a consistently growing ‘problem’ whilst its component parts struggle to set new operational priorities in the face of severe financial restraints. It also suggests that nascent coalition government efforts, although creditable, are still not immune from the punitive rhetoric of its predecessor and remain vulnerable to media constructions of dangerousness. The suggestion here is that in addition to modifications to legislation and practice, and, indeed, an attempt to reinvent professional discretion, a major philosophical shift and public education programme are necessary. By reducing the size of the public protection caseload it may be that savings are made in terms of lives and serious harm as well as money.