A Thought-Provoking View on Theresa May’s Speech to The Police Federation.

OK, I admit it, I’m biased, I know the author of this article personally, but I still think it’s a valid dissection of Theresa May’s vitriolic address to the Police Federation this year.

Ex DS Chris Hobbs has written a new article on Theresa May’s speech, and you can find the full article here.

Highlights of Chris’ article include;

a)  She would know only too well the results of a recent survey carried out by the University of the West of England which shows police morale to be on the floor with nearly 50% of officers stating that they would move jobs if the opportunity presented itself. She would know that police staff surveys amongst virtually every force in the UK shows widespread disillusionment that should send alarm bells ringing throughout the Home Office.

Yet despite that, like a cowardly street corner thug, she ‘stuck the boot in’ to a world renowned police service which is already on its knees.

b) It wasn’t as if the Police Federation were short of ammunition. Met police whistleblower James Patrick’s book, ‘The Rest is Silence’ forensically dissected the dubious machinations around police reform to reveal dubious practices involving conflicts of interest bordering on corruption. Sadly James’s careful research became lost in the crime figures furore that surrounded the book and his appalling treatment as a police whistleblower.

c)  From Hillsborough to Plebgate, Theresa May did not miss a trick in turning the knife in the already gaping police wounds yet, of course this ignores the fact that of the 132,000 serving officers and indeed a similar number of retired officers, only a tiny fraction of those not even numbering three figures, would be involved in the ‘transgressions’ mentioned almost jubilantly by the Home Secretary.

She accuses the police or more specifically Special Branch’s undercover SDS (Special Demonstration Squad) of ‘smearing’ the Lawrence family when the only evidence appears to some from one former disgruntled undercover officer. Of course, in the aftermath of Stephen’s death, the police had to ensure that the tragedy was not exploited by violent extremist groups and to the Lawrence family’s everlasting credit they rebuffed all advances from groups that espoused violence.

d)  Thrown into this diatribe of contempt almost inevitably was stop and search. Previously Theresa May used the term “absolutely disgraceful” when referring to the issue yet neither she, the Inspectorate of Constabulary or other critics seem to have considered the fact that front line police in inner city areas have an aversion to dealing with young people who had their whole lives in front of them, lying dead or dying having been shot or stabbed.

There are many others, I suggest you read the full article for yourselves, agree or disagree, I believe it will make you think.

I didn’t watch Cruella’s speech  live, my blood pressure wasn’t up to it and Angry Towers would have been in real need of a new TV if I had have done.  But I did watch it that afternoon, and to my simplistic view two things stood out loud and clear.

1)  This was a Home Secretary taking the opportunity of addressing the Federation to berate the entire Police Service of England and Wales for every single alleged outrage since Hillsborough, at least, and possibly earlier.  Some of the officers alleged to have done wrong at Hillsborough weren’t even Federated Ranks, SuperNintendos or ACPO.

2) The venom with which her speech was delivered.

Theresa-May-addresses-the-011   May1

Granted these two photos don’t show off her good looks to their best advantage, but do they look like someone giving a clear, well-balanced, objective speech to an attentive and supportive audience?

Apart from the onslaught at 1) above, I don’t think I can take much exception to the CONTENT of her speech but the delivery was absolutely awful, unprofessional and personal.  Well, actually, that’s not true.  Reform is working……..Is it?  Nick Herbert MP would beg to differ when he tried to rustle up some Police Officers to stop a rave in the middle of the night and there were none to send.

Crime is falling………Is it/  How can you tell, crime stats have been discredited across across England and Wales and we are still awaiting HMIC’s definitive report later this year and a new, improved model for counting them.

An Inspectorate more independent of Government……..don’t make me laugh.

More powers and resources for the Independent Police Complaints Commission…….yeah, of course, they need them don’t they.

Direct entry to inject into the senior ranks different perspectives, fresh thinking and new talent…………Brilliant idea, when will the first one go sickj with a Nervous Breakdown (or worse)?

Our reforms have been crucial in helping you to cut crime even as we have cut spending.

If we hadn’t introduced police and crime commissioners and established the College of Policing, we wouldn’t have been able to break the unaccountable ACPO monopoly at the head of policing in this country. By introducing PCCs we have made police leaders more responsive to the people they serve, and by establishing the College we are improving the professionalism of policing and giving your members a direct say in its future………Hang on, I’ll think of something to say when I stop laughing.

If we hadn’t reformed the way the inspectorate works……..Is this the Inspectorate she has just said is more independent of government?   Oh, I give up.

My quill has gone on strike, my blood pressure is rising, and the monitor is in danger of needing replacement.

If you haven’t yet read Chris’ thought–provoking article, may I recommend it to you now?

I thank you.

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People in Glass Houses – Remember That

People in Glass Houses really shouldn’t.

I wasn’t going to write about this sorry saga, I’m sure numerous other people will have done so already, but it got the better of me.

This is, of course, the story of the now infamous meeting between 3 Police Federation Representatives and foul-mouthed Andrew Mitchell MP.

As a direct result of this meeting West Mercia Police conducted a disciplinary investigation into the conduct of the three Federation reps.  It has been stated that West Mercia Police referred the investigation to the IPCC, who declined to investigate it, but made a decision to ‘Supervise’ the West Mercia disciplinary investigation.  To the best of my knowledge that is exactly what happened.

After conducting what I assume was a thorough investigation into the conduct of the 3 officers West Mercia Police announced that there was no evidence of Misconduct or Gross Misconduct on the part of the 3 Fed Reps.  That really should have been the end of it, but oh no, Deborah Glass, Deputy Chair of the IPCC and IPCC Commissioner for the LONDON area, decided that wasn’t good enough.

For some really obscure reason she has publicly stated that the West Mercia investigation, whilst carried out to her apparent satisfaction appears to have reached the wrong findings. She says that three Police Federation officials may have given a “deliberately misleading” account of a meeting with the Conservative MP, who has always denied calling officers in Downing Street “plebs.” and ”the evidence indicates an issue of honesty and integrity.”. Her organisation, the IPCC Supervised this enquiry from start to finish, and now she comes out and says something like that.  The I in IPCC stands for Independent, Really?

It truly doesn’t say much for the credibility and ability of the IPCC if she can go all loose cannon on us and come out with a statement like that which surely reflects as much on the IPCC as it does West Mercia Police.

Then, our revered Home Secretary, Theresa May, bundled into the arguement saying things like “she felt that disciplinary proceedings should have been taken against the Police Federation officers.” and “the IPCC’s report “made troubling reading”.

At the end of the day Andrew Mitchell has NEVER made a complainst against any Police Officers in relation to this matter.

Despite claims to the contrary, whilst he has been vociferous in denying what he was attributed as saying, he has not yet publicly stated what he DID say, although he maintains that he has a clear memory of what he said.

I can only conclude that this is another chapter in the ongoing war between the Government and the Police. The IPCC have chosen their side and stand alongside Andrew Mitchell and Theresa May.

As @OldBill_43 put it yesterday “I have had court cases resulting in acquittals. Would it be OK to issue press releases stating how convinced I am of their guilt?”

If this is British Justice at it’s best, Guity when found Innocent, then I fear for the future of our country.

A One Man Think Tank

I don’t often recirculate old blogs, but I do occasionally, and today is one of those days.

Conversations on Twitter over the last week or so put me in mind of this blog ‘ere.

Most folk are of the opinion (possibly correct but possibly not) that they can’t do anything about the situation that we, the country, find ourselves in, after the actions of a despicable, arrogant coalition government who were elected by ……………erm ……nobody.  Did you vote for a coalition? I didn’t.

As somebody much wiser than I once said “A journey of a thousand miles begins in another man’s shoes” or something like that.

I am like a one-man think tank. I have ideas. Some may be good, some may be crap, some may be awful, that’s the way it goes. Policy Exchange for One.  They seem to be able to shape or influence government policy so I thought I’d have a go at it myself. I am not in a position to get anything done. I can’t really influence change, not by myself.

You may not think that we need to change anything, and that is clearly your right. You don’t have to change anything just coz I says so. But if you do want to change something, and, unless we are in a total dick tatership, we should be able to influence change, think on this.

Think about yourself for a mo.

If you are a Police Officer you will have access to a Federation Rep, or you might even be one.

If you belong to to one of the other Public Services that are threatened by this destructive, privatising government who pray nightly to the god of outsourcing you will have access to a Shop Steward, but that might mean that have to join the Union first.

I’m not quite sure how the Armed Forces work but I’m equally certain that you will have access to someone, I just don’t know who that someone is.

The Police Federation are not going to win this fight on their own.

Unison and PCS are not going to win this fight on their own.

The Armed Forces and the Coastguard Service are not going to win this fight on their own.

Why not reverse Divide and Conquer?  Unity is Strength.

I’m sure thousands of well meaning Police Officers and other Public Servants will shudder at the prospect, but just think how much ‘power’ can be wielded by all of these bodies working TOGETHER against the common enemy.

Before I’m carted off to the Tower and locked up for Treason or Subversion I must emphasise that I am not asking a single one of you to do something unlawful/unethical or immoral.  I believe I’m right in thinking that the Met Police Federation had a #DoItRight campaign, which would be something similar to a Work to Rule policy I guess.  They’re a right royal pain in the arse to follow but they tend to work. Take the Goodwill out of the equation and each and every one perform their duties just the way they are meant to be carried out.

The point is soon  made.

Joint rallies would potentially bring 100 of thousands onto the streets. I deliberately haven’t mentioned the word ‘strike’ that’s not what I’m about.

Please think about this seriously. We must be able to achieve something if we all pull TOGETHER.  A quick look at my blog 2015 will give you an idea of the scale of the problem.  I was recently described as a joiner up of the dots.  Well I’m going to try Painting By Numbers now. The government don’t really want you to join up the dots, they don’t want you to see the Big Picture.  By joining up the dots or painting the picture the scale of this government’s excesses becomes much clearer and that’s exactly what they don’t want you to see. To give them the benefit of the doubt one could describe it as young, inexperienced politicians being swept away by the power they suddenly find that has been vested in them.  On they other hand it could just be #SnoutsInTheTrough.

There you go, a relatively short blog today, but a blog from the heart of a one-man think tank.