Back in April I wrote a blog post called If I Were Commissioner.
A little tongue-in-cheek maybe, but basically serious. Not that I am ever going to challenge Sir Bernard Hogan-Who for the ‘top ‘job’ but I do like to keep abreast of what’s happening.
In the case of the Met, 2 months later, I don’t see any sign of anything changing any time soon.
I know things can’t be changed overnight, but I would have hoped to see some sign of an intention to change.
Much has been made, by a number of people, about James Patrick’s situation. What has changed? What is likely to change? He’s unemployed, that hasn’t changed. Have the Met given any indication that they are considering changing anything? They have acknowledged that something needs to be done about CrimeStats but have ignored the one person who could possibly have been of most use to them. Nose Cut Face Spite.
The TSG6 – What has changed there? Have the Met issued any statements about the TSG6? Are Criminal/Disciplinary proceedings pending against any of the officers involved in the prosecution and discipline cases? Not that I’ve heard.
Is there a new era of transparency dawning under the Total Policing brand? Not that I can see.
I can not speak about any of the individuals currently in the Met’s SMT and Management Board because I don’t really know them, I’ve been gone to long, most of the names mean nothing to me. But I have heard and seen them, via the medium of TV etc, perform in their current roles, sacrificed on the altars of HASC and PASC. Mainly they were pathetic, avoiding issues, denying the undeniable, unaware of what was happening within their own organisation.
Decades ago there was most definitely a practice within the Met of promoting buffoons to get rid of them. Make them someone else’s problem. That tailed off a little when the buffoons that had previously been promoted introduced a policy that if the OCU Commander was willing to recommend an officer for promotion then he/she should be willing to keep them for a year.
That didn’t stop totally unsuitable officers mainly of senior rank being imported from the Counties. That ended well, with at least one high-profile Court case as the Met failed to identify that person’s problems when he transferred in. Or maybe they were developed after he joined the Met, who knows? DO YOUR HOMEWORK.
There was a time when the Sergeant or Inspector etc was Sarge or Sir/Boss/Guv. Now it’s John or Sid or whatever. That has changed.
There was a time when Police Officers (in the Met, don’t know about the Counties) were ORDERED not to speak to the press. All enquiries MUST be referred to Press Bureau. Now it seems to be open season, anyone can give a quote to the press, and who monitors what is inappropriate, or who’s had a bung? That has changed.
Steven Greenhalgh gave a speech on Wednesday to ACPO outlining his (or at least his Principal Advisor’s) vision for change for the future. I didn’t see anything new in it, nothing that the Met isn’t already doing, or has previously tried before. Except of course for his ludicrous (in my humble opinion) suggestion that OCU Commanders could consider ‘pooling’ their (already depleted) budgets with local ‘partners’. I could easily be wrong but it has the flavour of Blair Gibbs and the apocalyptic Policy Exchange all over it.
Mr Greenhalgh included this in his speech, I thought it was priceless and wanted so much to share it with you;
“Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has proven this [reform will be the new default and will succeed] in London – a peerless reforming and crime-fighting Commissioner who has had a harder job than any of his predecessors, but one who is delivering on what matters: cutting crime and boosting confidence whilst cutting costs and changing culture”
So, basically, whilst the Met is a bit like an ocean-going tanker and takes a few miles to stop or change course, I don’t see much sign that the Captain is awake and responding to inputs. In the good old, bad old days the Met had more than a few Working Parties, looking at this problem or that. Every now again one came along that had the right people on it; experienced practitioners with no vested interest in the outcome. Oh, wouldn’t it be glorious if that could happen again.
A working party formed to reinvent the Met, staffed by people who know what they are talking about, know what is possible within the budget, know what is achievable and no vested interest in the final outcome other than pride in a job well done.
So there’s a challenge for you Boris, Blair, Sir Bernie, whoever. Sit down and think about it. Get your joined-up thinking heads on and identify suitable people to form a Reform Working Party, NOT just over promoted senior officers looking for their QPM, but people from all walks, Constables, Sergeants, Inspectors, Retired Officers, MOPAC staff, Police Staff and MEMBERS OF THE GREATER LONDON PUBLIC to thrash this old chestnut out once and for all, and get it right. We all want the same thing – we want the greatest Police Force in the world back again. Sadly, for a variety of reasons, it’s a little tarnished at the moment, but it’s not too late, it is fixable, but don’t wait too long.
It will never happen in my lifetime, that hasn’t changed