I was minding my own business a couple of days ago, enjoying the sunbed at Angry Towers prior to going to the gym for a workout when the phone rang. It was Blodwyn, one of the canteen ladies at Dyfed Powys Police HQ. She had overheard part of a conversation in the Senior Officers’ Dining Complex and thought I ought to know.
If Blodwyn is correct, seems their PCC might have been just a little bit miffed by my recent #FOI requests. Well it was never my intention to miff anyone, but as Mr Salmon is a Tory PCC and stands accused by others of politicising the police I thought it was reasonable to probe the veracity of his claims.
Since I received the replies to my requests, Mr Salmon’s office have published 3 out of 4 of the requests and responses on their Twitter account. No sign of the one on Targets at the time of writing but I’m sure it will follow soon.
Then I had a cynical moment. I get them every now and again, I just have to learn to live with them.
Are the responses published by the Office of the PCC the same as the responses sent to me? They SHOULD be, so I took a look.
Well I’m happy to report that they were the same, except my details had, quite rightly, been redacted, although I stand by my original opinion that the responses have shown that Mr Salmon himself has politicised his Police Force by virtue of the claims he has made and the blogs he has written, and also the people he swaps Tweets with (see below)
But, in checking, I noticed something that WAS always included but I had not noticed as I concentrated on the headline figures of the cost of running the PCC’s Office versus the old Police Authority.
The bottom of the response included these paragraphs;
” (i) For further information on this decision, please view the Decision Log.
(ii) A decision was made to support the early retirement of the Director of Finance and Resources in the interests of efficiency. Following a review of business support undertaken on behalf of the Commissioner earlier this year, consideration was given to senior management structures and current distribution of Chief Officer Portfolios. A decision was made to advertise for a Director of Resources. For further information on this decision, please view the Decision Log.
(iii) A decision was made to support the early retirement of the Chief Executive of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner in the interests of efficiency. A new post of Chief of Staff was established. This post is an amalgamation of both the Chief Executive and Assistant Chief Executive posts. For further information on this decision, please view the Decision Log.”
Being a curious bunny I followed the link, and found not a Decision Log but a report to the Police and Crime Panel about the appointment of the new Chief Constable and invitation for them to endorse the appointment of Mr Simon Prince.
So, being a generous soul, I assume that someone, somewhere linked to the wrong document, that report does not resemble any Decision Log that I have ever seen.
And then I discovered that Irony exists within the office of the Dyfed Powys PCC. Looking at the timeline of their official Twitter Account. I saw 4 Tweets that took my attention;
So much for Transparency then
Then just as I was rinsing the ink out of my quill, Blodwyn rang me back and said she’d heard somewhere that PSD were looking at folks’ Twitter accounts. Whether there is any connection between this (if indeed it is happening, I’ve only got Blodwyn’s word for this) and my rather irksome requests of the PCC I don’t know, but as I don’t have any connection with his Force whatsoever that would, indeed, be unfortunate and unfair. Maybe Blodwyn’s wrong, who knows?
Also, whilst rummaging around the various timelines I discovered a healthy interaction between Christopher Salmon and Policy Exchange, they seem to be members of a Mutual Admiration Society, Tweeting and Re-Tweeting each other’s views. Policy Exchange seem to be of the opinion that 1 year later Police and Crime Commissioners have been a huge success. Well they would say that wouldn’t they? PCCs were their idea!! Do they think that we’re daft?
Enjoy your weekend.