With apologies to Bernard Rix for (almost) nicking his blog title, he’s obviously far more polite than I am.
In the last week two odd things have happened, or at least they seem odd to my warped way of thinking.
James Patrick abandoned his Employment Tribunal. That in itself isn’t odd, but the circumstances surrounding it are. As far as I am aware (serving officers or Police Staff please correct me if I’m wrong) the Metropolitan Police Mission Statement still adheres to the
“we will strive to:
- treat everyone fairly;
- be open and honest;
- work in partnership; and
- change to improve. “
There’s only four items in that list, how difficult can it be to stick to them?
- Treat everyone fairly – Do you think James feels that he’s been treated fairly? I can think of many, many other people who don’t think that they’ve been treated fairly. Whatever else Grandma B and others think of my blogs I have always championed Truth and Fairness. I can’t say that I’ve seen an awful lot of ‘Fairness’ going around within the Met hierarchy, but I have heard many complaints of bullying, oppression, corrupt/unlawful practices.
- To be Open and Honest – Ask James, has the Met been open and honest with him? Ask anyone who regularly makes Freedom of Information requests of the Met. I certainly haven’t encountered much Openness and Honesty. It seems like they go to almost any lengths to avoid answering the most mundane, and reasonable, questions, and then trip over and contradict themselves, which they wouldn’t do if they’d simpley answered questions truthfully and comprehensively in the beginning.
- Work in Partnership – I don’t know a huge amount about the Met’s Partnerships but one immediately springs to mind; the Trident Independent Advisory Group. They worked with the Met for 10 years to build community trust, prevent and reduce gun crime and to ensure police adequately investigate shootings when they happen. Then in February last year the Metropolitan Police barred former members of Trident Independent Advisory Group (IAG) without giving them any notice. The Trident Independent Advisory Group was replaced without consultation with community members who had long held police accountable. That’s working in Partnership is it?
- Change To Improve – Well I can’t say I’ve seen much of that going on, there have been muttering in dark corridors and musty rooms about the need to improve, but things change very slowly at the Met, I have likened it elsewhere to trying to do an Emergency Stop in an Oil Tanker at sea.
Briefly may I return to ‘Treat Everyone Fairly”? The absolutely perverse findings of the Misconduct Hearing against James, and the equally perverse appeal findings? Were they ‘Fair’ by the definition of an ordinary person?
Since James submitted his Open Letter entitled Closure, I have reason to believe that he has been contacted by a Supervisory Officer within the Met offering to send the Essex Police round for a ‘Welfare Visit’ to check that he’s OK and isn’t in need of anything. Are they ****ing serious? It was visits from Essex Police at the instigation of the Met that added to James’ stress in the first place, and he doesn’t even work for them any more, they saw to that. Not very ‘Open and Honest’ either really.
The second thing that struck me as odd was the advert in the press recently for a “Commissioner’s Chief of Staff”. What is that all about? “This critical high-profile role reports directly to Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). With connections across government and the criminal justice sector, you’ll be one of the most visible and influential members of the Met. “
This is then followed by loads of psychobabble such as “
We’re looking for a credible leader with expert knowledge of government, the GLA and Mayor’s Office and today’s policing challenges. You’ll be capable of managing the Commissioner’s Private Office team and a budget of £1.8m.
You’ll also be able to deal with the media; manage stakeholders; build partnerships; and handle conflict thanks to your impressive track record in external relations management. Highly articulate, with excellent negotiation skills, you’ll be politically astute and able to navigate a complex policing landscape.”
The advert is subtitled
Connect the Met
but notably the one thing it fails to mention anywhere is;
“The successful applicant will be responsible for the daunting task of repairing the massive Disconnect between the Met’s SMT and ordinary hard-working Bobbies and Police Staff”
I’ve read it several times now, and even for almost £100k I can’t find that mentioned anywhere.
Austerity? What Austerity. Those of you in the Met (or living/working in the Metropolis) suffering cutbacks to your frontline Police Services may well want to ask Bernie or Boris or Steve (or maybe even Apocalyptic Mr Gibbs) how this appointment works in such dire times, which are seemingly destined to continue for a few more years yet, with a new raft of cutbacks poised to be implemented from 2015.
As I said in the beginning, apologies to Bernard, but I do think the two blogs are quite easy to tell apart.
Will the last one out please turn off the lights.