HMIC No Crime The Whistleblowers’ Allegations

Yesterday saw the publication of the HMIC report into allegations that Police Forces across England and Wales have been systematically under-recording crimes.

They conclude that Police Forces have failed to record about 800,000 crimes a year, including 25% of Sex Crimes. An astounding figure, no wonder Crime is down across the UK.

The chief inspector of HMIC, nice Mr Winsor, said that a national crime recording rate of 81% was inexcusably poor: “This is not about numbers and dry statistics – it is about victims and the protection of the public.”

The investigation was based on reviewing 10,267 reports of crime by the public and 3,240 “no-crime” decisions as well as surveying the views of 17,000 police officers and staff.

The report rejects claims that the practice of under-recording is due to “fiddled figures” or dishonest manipulation, saying that although the staff survey and interviews with whistleblowers produced many such allegations, no one came forward with firm evidence.

The report says “that the police must record an incident as a crime when a victim reports circumstances that amount to an offence as defined by the law and there is no credible evidence to the contrary.”

Is this paragraph not at odds with the previous one? Despite surveying 17,000 officers and staff there was no “evidence” so it didn’t happen.

Apparently every allegation of Crime should be ‘Crime’d’. Surely every allegation should be recorded and No Crime’d if that is appropriate after investigation. Maybe Uncle Tom is showing his lack of relevant experience, I don’t believe that he could be that naive. Or maybe we’re simply taking a step back into the past and there will no initial investigation at the scene, just Crime Reporting with a follow-on investigation by the suits?

The inspectors say that a number of police forces accepted that “undue performance pressures had adversely affected crime recording in the past, and the culture of chasing targets as ends in themselves had distorted crime-recording decisions”.

If an allegation of Attempted Burglary is classified as Criminal Damage but contains a Point of Entry within the body of the Crime Report, this has probably been fiddled.

If an allegation of Grievous Bodily Harm has been recorded as Actual Bodily Harm or Common Assault but contains the fact that injuries were “Serious” then this has probably/possibly been fiddled. Need I go on?

I have mentioned this before, but when I last worked on Division (1999) the Met routinely ran an Ethical Audit (a small programme designed to hunt down anomalies such as these) on the CRIS database and bring the results to the attention of the relevant DCI. Does this no longer happen?

There are numerous people who could have told Uncle Tom what was happening and how it is done, but he seems to have chosen not to hear their voices.

Are we to assume then that there are 800,000 genuine “mistakes” across the country, every year, when crimes are recorded? 25% of Sexual Offence crimes contain genuine errors resulting in them being incorrectly recorded.

Or have HMIC just, ironically, classified the Whistleblowers’ allegations as No Crime in contradiction to their own guidelines?

Blood On Their Hands

I wasn’t really intending to write a post today, but hey ho, one formed in my mind.

In a week that has seen the shocking revelation that there was an alleged plot to assassinate Her Majesty The Queen, I revisited old thoughts.

It was less than a month ago that I posted Buffoonery Without Equal outlying the cuts of nearly 17,000 warranted Police Officers since 2010. PCSOs have also been slashed by this reckless government.

The Army alone has been cut by about. 19.000 with the RAF and Royal Navy also suffering, albeit by less. Police Forces have shed more posts than they are required to. All 3 Armed Forces are at less than their required strength by over 7,000 in total. In whose world does that make sense?

All of these people are people who have sworn their allegiance to The Queen. They didn’t swear allegiance to any Prime Minister or Home Secretary. Does she really want them to go? Did she ever get any realistic say in the matter? No, of course not.

So Cameron, May, Hammond and Winsor, if the unthinkable were to happen and our Queen was murdered/assassinated/topped by these fanatics it may well be because we can no longer defend her and her family adequately from modern-day threats, but you didn’t care about that. After all, no Risk Assessment whatsoever was conducted by Winsor into his his Reviews and recommendations and none were required by the Home Office either. I suspect the MOD are equally rash and incompetent.

In short, Camoron, May, Hammond and Winsor may well end up with blood on their hands, just as much as any terrorist, home-grown or foreign.

IMG_0005-0.JPG

Yes, I know it’s Bliar, but I couldn’t find a Camoron.

Doing Less With Less

There has been much made on the BBC News (and I suspect other media channels) that the Police are not attending enough scenes of crime to report and investigate those crimes. I have heard it reported that PCSOs are being used to conduct initial investigations, a role I believe they are not trained for, and that victims are being encouraged to conduct their own house to house enquiries and seek out local CCTV. 

I do hope they are all complying with the relevant legislation.

My reaction to this only needs to be brief today

Since 2010 Police numbers have been slashed by 16,000 officers. Those cuts have not yet finished.

In approx half of the 43 Forces numbers have ben cut LOWER than their 2015 ‘Austerity Programme’ targets.

Why?

Why haven’t the public picked up on this and questioned their PCC?

I think that’s all I really need to say this morning really, if you want to knock the Police for not being efficient, then we all deserve an explanation of why numbers are being cut more than they need to be.

And Winsor’s HMIC publishing their report today when Winsor (author of Winsor 1 and 2 like you need reminding) is just simply offensive.

The only thing that you can do with Less is Less ultimately, anything else is Smoke and Mirrors

Posted from WordPress for Android

Is The Police Family Dying? Or Merely Playacting?

I’m not sure that I know the answer but I fear it may be the former, but some important people have yet to come up with some important answers.

Time to update an old favourite., Our Shrinking Police Service.

Where were we?  Oh yes, back in 2012   The attention-grabbing headline back then was that 5,000 Police Officers had disappeared into the ether in the previous 12 months.  So, how are we doing today? Well since then a further 6,191 have followed them.

Since the evil coalition came to power they have reduced the 43 Forces from 143,770 to 127,909 or 15,861 (11%) Police posts have GONE.

Many commentators have reported this today, but there is a bigger picture that I have yet to see reported prominently.

Our proud Police Family also includes Support Staff (civvies), PCSOs and Specials.  How are they doing?

Support Staff

  • Pre-Coalition – 79,296
  • 2012 – 67,472
  • 2014 – 64,096

A loss since the coalition came in of 15,200 or 19.2%

PCSOs

  • Pre-Coalition – 16,507
  • 2012 – 14,393
  • 2014 – 13.066

A loss since the coalition came in of 3,441 or 20.8%

Special Constables

  • Pre-Coalition – 14,251
  • 2012 – 20,343
  • 2014 – 17,789

An overall gain since the coalition came in of 3,538 or 24.8% , but don’t forget the recent trend is also downwards after a peak in 2012

So at first glance it looks like the Specials are taking up some of the slack like Cruella said they would, but their numbers are currently reducing as well.

The Ouchy Bit

  • Total Police Family in 2009 was 253,824
  • 2012 – 236,308
  • 2014 – 222,861

A total loss to the Police Family of 30,963 or 12%.

Nearly 31,000 family members gone since this lot took power.

A certain politician was quoted today as saying that crime is down so the police have less to do.

  • Crime Stats have yet to be sorted out as far as I know
  • Police do far, far more than prevent and investigate crime
  • If he and our other politicians actually believe this rubbish then it’s not so much a case of TJF, more like The Country’s F******.

And finally, the important (it is important surely?), unanswered question.

May I take you back to a previous blog

Policing In Austerity Two And A Half Years On

I wrote that at the beginning of this year and I asked the question;

Why is it necessary to reduce Manpower levels to LESS than their March 2015 Austerity Target Level?

Today’s figures show that those levels have dropped even further.

I would welcome any or all of our PCCs and/or Chief Constables to provide me with copies of their Risk and Impact Assessments for this (in my view) dangerous policy.

You can cut the budgets as much as you like Cruella, it still needs x number of Police Officers on duty, or available, to maintain the public safety of y head of population.

We’re getting Water Cannons, maybe you’ve got Drones and RoboCop in mind, I don’t know.

Could it possibly be that this destruction of our Police Service actually has less to do with Austerity than you would have us believe?

Mr Winsor has done you proud, can’t imagine why he never picked up his final paycheck.

The Criminals Have More Rights And Respect Than We Do…..

And this is how that works.

Many years ago before I retired from the Metropolitan Police Farce, one of my jobs was putting together proactive packages against prolific criminals.  These had to be meticulously researched, all intelligence correctly evaluated, and the final part of the Target Collection Plan was a Risk and/or Impact Assessment.

The reason for the last two was obviously to attempt to identify the probable outcome of our operation, any risks associated with it, including collateral intrusion, and the impact that our operation might have, for good or bad, on the local population, and, if appropriate, the subject him/herself. Included in these assessments were the Human Rights implications of the ‘Target’.

Fast Forward to 2010/11.

One Thomas P Winsor (make your own minds up what the P stands for) ably assisted by Sir Edward Crew QPM and Professor Richard Disney (love that name too) set about Winsor’s (in)famous Independent Review of Police Officer and Staff Remuneration and Conditions.  An impressive document; Part 1 consists of 326 Pages, and Part 2 a trifling 452 Pages.  Almost 800 pages in total, representing one of the most significant and controversial Reviews of our time.

So, you would think that those 778 Pages would contain a Risk or Impact Assessment somewhere, wouldn’t you?

Well you’d be wrong, and I know this because I asked the Home Office for it under the Freedom of Information Act.

1) Could you please furnish me with copies of any Risk Assessment
carried out in relation to the recommendations contained within
Part 1 of Mr Winsor’s Review

2) Could you please furnish me with copies of any Risk Assessment
carried out in relation to the recommendations contained within
Part 2 of Mr Winsor’s Review

And their answer to this was……

“By “risk assessment”, we understand you mean a formal analysis of the likelihood and consequences of specific hazards arising from the Winsor recommendations. No such formal risk assessment has been carried out in relation to the recommendations. Therefore, the Home Office does not hold the information you have requested”

So there you have it, criminals possess more rights and command more respect than the Police.

After the recent culls of Police Officers, cars, Dogs and Horses, not to mention Coastguards, Firefighters, Doctors, Nurses, Probation Officers etc etc; I would pay good money to see just one Risk/Impact Assessment. Any takers anyone? At least one ACPO officer reads my blogs that I know of, any comment?

The most comprehensive and controversial review of policing in decades, and based on poor quality research and a total lack of Risk or Impact Assessments.

To my simple mind this smells more of an arrogant government who think that there’s no point in conducting a Risk or Impact Assessment because we’re going to do it anyway, so what does it matter?

One could also argue that the Home Office, and others, have shown a reckless, cavalier, and possibly criminally negligent attitude in it’s indecent haste to implement the recommendations.

But what do I know about these things? I’m not a politician.

Challenge and change: Police Identity, Morale and Goodwill in an Age of Austerity.

I begin by thanking @Peter_Kirkham for the inspiration for today’s blog.  I have no idea where he dug it up from but he found and circulated a scientifically based academic document entitled Challenge and change:
Police Identity, Morale and Goodwill in an Age of Austerity.

As far as I am concerned and aware It is the intellectual property of Dr James Hoggett of the University of the West of England in Bristol, so just for once I will refrain from quoting wholesale from it but I would seriously encourage you all to read it, just click on the link above.

Most importantly it is an INDEPENDENT assessment of the current state of play across all 43 Police Forces.

Almost as important is the methodology of the sampling used, just over 13,500 Police Officers between Police Constable and Chief Inspector have submitted their views in reply to the questionnaire, which is FAR more scientific and representative than any sampling conducted by a certain Mr Tom Winsor.

This has resulted in a lengthy report (some 170 pages) but if you haven’t got the time for all of that PLEASE please please read the Executive Summary, that’s only 3 pages.

Stick Boy is sadly absent but even I can get the gist of what’s being said from the Exec Summary.

Not comfortable reading for HMG, so you may never read this report again. Please take the time to read and possibly disseminate this report.

Finally, if I have done the wrong thing in any way by highlighting this report I do apologise, my intentions were honourable.

It’s Been A Funny Old Week

Not that I’m laughing, it’s just that I can’t quite compare it to any other week, some good, some bad.

It started off on Monday with the promise that someone from the Dyfed Powys PCC’s office would phone me to discuss my disappointment at being ineligible to apply for a voluntary role with their force.  Well I waited and I waited, no phone call, so I gave up. Late on Tuesday afternoon my mobile sprang into life and lo and behold it was said PCC’s office.  I had previously voiced my disappointment at not being eligible to apply for a voluntary job as an Animal Lay Visitor (Police Dogs and Horses) on the grounds that I was a retired Police Officer.  After about 5 minutes of talking to this lady it became apparent that she was talking about a position on the Residents Panel. As I’m not a resident of Dyfed Powys it was sort of irrelevant to me, so I pointed out that she’s got the wrong job.  I pointed out to her that the job application pack stated that serving (understandable) and former Police Officers were not eligible to apply, and would not be appointed.  She explained to me that this was in order to assure the public of total Independence on the part of the Lay Visitor.  I then pointed out to her that the two Application packs for Residents Panel, and Lay Custody Visitor only excluded serving Police Officers (again understandable) and NOT former Police Officers. Surely Independence was as important re Custody Lay Visitors if not more so.  She assured me that this appeared to be a mistake and the Job Application Packs would have to be ‘tweaked’ to include former Police Officers as ineligible as well.  Needless to say by the time I got off the phone I was mighty peeved. I was actually quite offended that without seeing my CV, without the benefit of an interview, I had been stereotyped as someone who would not be seen as Independent, and presumably as being incapable of being Independent. Utilising the ancient art of rubbing salt into the wound they later recirculated the same job vacancies emphasising that they would like applications from Solicitors.  I gave up at that point and made a brew.

Then we had Mrs Theresa May’s decision/agreement not to introduce Compulsory Severance “for now“.  “I have decided to accept the Tribunal’s recommendation not to implement measures to introduce compulsory severance at this time.

“However, this remains a reform that I believe government and the police should continue to consider. I have written to the Police Negotiating Board (PNB) to explain my decision in further detail.”

Then she went on to kick the officers on Restricted Duties; the Tribunal accepted a varied definition on Winsor’s Recommendation 39 from the Official Side of the PNB. This means that officers who are unable to undertake “the full range of duties of a police officer” will be regarded as being on restricted duty.

As a result, officers on restricted duties who are not fully deployable after one year should face a pay cut of around £2,922.

But the good news is that it has been alleged that she has told Tom Winsor NOT to wear his ridiculous fancy dress outfit at the National Police Memorial Day events ever again. It remains to be seen if he he dusts it off and brings it out again for any other occasion.

Fast Forward to Friday night and a discussion about Advanced Drivers and Fast Cars.  I cannot believe what I was being told about what some Forces are doing in cutting back the number of Advanced Drivers (and cars) from their strengths.  One officer even told me that some Forces even have “No Pursuit Capability”.  What kind of nonsense is this?  I thought the Front Line was being Protected?  Is being an active Advanced Driver not Front Line Policing?  Skills will be lost, officers will be demotivated and the public will suffer. As somebody said to me last night, “it’s not about the toys, it’s about retaining skills” and hence the service to the public.  I intend to do some digging around numbers of Advanced Drivers and see what pops up.

Finally (mind you the week isn’t over yet) as I was trying to block out the noise of the wind and the rain and get some sleep, news came in that Mental Health Cop’s twitter account and Blog had been suspended, seemingly as part of an investigation by West Midlands Police about their use.  I haven’t seen every single Tweet or Blog he wrote so I can’t really comment with any authority, but the feedback coming in last night and this morning was that this was one of THE most informative and well-used Twitter accounts and blogs of them all. Serving Police Officers and Members of the Public alike hold them in high esteem, and he seems to be the “Go To Guy” for any Police related Mental Health issues.

Well, let’s see what next week holds shall we?

ADDENDUM

And I haven’t forgotten the topsy turvy world of PC James Patrick.  He was told this week that he no longer faces a charge of Gross Misconduct, ‘merely’ a charge of ‘simple’ Misconduct now.   In one way that’s good news, but it is a bit of a double-edged sword, and if you go right back to the very beginnings there remain some unanswered legal questions that make me doubt whether the Met DPS has lost its collective marbles. James knows my views and I won’t repeat them here, but it’s added to a really ‘odd’ week for us all.