Is The College Of Policing Selective With Its Communications?

I guess we’re all coming to terms with the College of Policing, and frankly I’m glad that I don’t have to concern myself with it unduly.

We recently (12th March)  heard about their National Scrutiny of Undercover Policing, but in reality that panel had their first meeting in July 2014. Had anybody heard about this controversial panel before March 2015?  Not exactly timely communication from the College.

On 20th March the College published their Interim Review of Leadership which contained a recommendation that Specials could be promoted to Sergeant ( or above) if they met the National Criteria and give Operational Directions to Regular officers. This was not reported by Police Oracle until 10th April, and I for one haven’t seen it reported in the Traditional national Press at all.  Officers who have given up many hours of their own time to study for promotion to Sergeant are understandably not best pleased.

Is this a case of the College not pushing some of the more controversial parts of their Review, or is it the National Media choosing not to report it?

On 31st March they published information that as of April(!) PCSOs would be given new powers.

Changes to the powers of police community support officers (PCSOs) have been outlined in a new booklet going out to forces across England and Wales in April.

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 created additional powers for PCSOs and chief officers should decide which they will grant to PCSOs in their force areas.

These include
• seizing property
• to confirm the identity of a charity collector
• issuing fixed penalty notices for parking in a restricted area outside schools; causing unnecessary noise; cycling without lights and carrying a passenger on a cycle.

The same Act has created a number of offences relating specifically to PCSOs, namely;
• assaulting a PCSO in the execution of their duty;
• resisting or wilfully obstructing a PCSO in the execution of their duty
• impersonating, or falsely claiming to be, a PCSO with intent to deceive
• being a PCSO and making a false suggestion that one possesses powers that exceed those designated by the chief officer.

Local Policing lead at the College of Policing, Chief Superintendent Paul Phillips, said:

“Police community support officers help to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour. They make people feel safer in their communities and are closing the gap between crime and the fear of crime.

This is obviously not a College Initiative, it most likely forms part of #MaysMayhem, but the College did choose to publicise it right at the very last minute.  I hadn’t previously heard of this, and if I hadn’t been rummaging around the College website I would probably still be unaware.

So I dare say the government should take a share of the blame for this one, but has anybody seen the ‘booklet’ yet? Had anybody heard of this decision before 31st March?  Once they’d taken the decision to publish, should the College have publicised it sooner?

All I know is that things are pretty rotten in the world of Policing at the moment and I don’t see the College doing a single thing to improve conditions on the Front Line or improve that all-important element MORALE.

Glad I’m out.

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