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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Leadership Part 2 – Has Anything Changed?

I’m proud to say that I never once sat the Police Promotion Exam, not because I couldn’t, but simply because I didn’t want to. Despite enthusiastic encouragement from Mrs Angry, I decided that promotion was not for me, I would be what is known as a Career Constable, and besides which I had better things to do with my Saturday mornings than sit an exam.

However, if my frail memory serves me well, this is how it worked;

Constables studied, went to Promotion Classes, learnt to recite huge chunks of big books off by heart, and eventually, pitched up on a Saturday morning and sat the PC-PS Promotion exam.  Some time later the results were published, and if you’d studied well enough, and not gone to pieces in the exam room, you passed.  Your name went onto a list and eventually, if you kept your nose clean, you got promoted, and posted somewhere new and exiting.

For promotion to the exalted rank of Inspector the process was pretty much the same, just fewer candidates.  Except that now we have Winsor’s Army of Direct Entry Inspectors and SuperNintendos.

Forgive my flippance and sarcasm, but I really don’t have any problem with the process so far, some idiots passed the exam, some good coppers failed, but at least it was fair.

Where I started to lease the plot was promotion to Chief Inspector and above.  This was (and still is???) done by a Selection Process.  Whilst they might appear to be fair and above board (and I’m certainly not suggesting that is never the case, I’m quite sure most are) it is possible for them to be ‘fixed’.  An aspiring candidate appears before a small selection panel, and eventually at the end of the process, a decision is taken as to whether that candidate is suitable for promotion or not, if the answer is favourable, promotion and a move to pastures green follows.

I’ll have to seek your forgiveness for my vagueness of this process as I’ve never experienced those dizzy heights so have no personal knowledge of the process.

I also need to emphasise that I have no experience of the promotion process outside the Met, it may well be very different, and all can have confidence in it.

Where it begins to get interesting is that, in days of old, a practice crept in whereby idiots and buffoons were promoted in the sure and certain knowledge that they would move on elsewhere. In other words, if you were burdened with a halfwit Superintendent (and I met a few) then they could find themselves getting promoted to Chief Halfwit and would become another Division’s problem.

Then we have the alleged Nepotism, Cronyism and even (allegedly again) Masonic Influence. Jobs For The Boys. One only had to look at the list of senior promotions and transfers in the 80s and 90s. It wasn’t difficult to work out what was happening. As soon as a particular officer got a position in charge of something he/she would surround themselves with Middle Management of their choice. That was how it worked. Equal Opportunities? Don’t make me laugh.

Take it to the extreme and you see folk leave the Metropolis, bound for a new career as Chief, or Deputy Chief Constable somewhere. Oh my, what a surprise, 2 or 3 others have also made the same move.  Then a couple of years later they come back to the Met, to take up the post of Commissioner or Deputy, and guess who comes back to the Met too. Or is it all in my fertile imagination? Maybe it never happened.

After I retired I seem to have lost track of things like that. I was vaguely aware that it seemed like a few names had left, gone to Merseyside (I think) and come back again, but as for current practices I’m way out of touch now. Do these things still go on?

And now we find ourselves in 2015. Do these things still happen? Is there an OCU out there somewhere where the senior management have been appointed solely on merit, with no regard to Chumocracy, Nepotism or The Square?

Surely the practices of the 70s, 80s and 90s have not left us with ACPO types across the land, who have only got where they are because they were promoted for being a buffoon?  The country deserves better than that, hopefully that practice has ceased, it has no place in modern Policing, nor any other era really, it should not have been tolerated, EVER.

I’m not going to embarrass anybody but I KNOW that there are some very good Bosses out there, there are some true, inspirational Leaders at some ranks. I see the occasional Twitter account where I think to myself “hmm I think I might have liked to work under him/her”, but not many. The truth is, they should ALL be like that.

And then I found this document, commissioned by the somewhat discredited College of Policing and carried out by some University types;

Chief officer misconduct in policing

You can read all 95 pages if you want, but I only needed to get to Page 4 before it got interesting;

Career progression

“Career progression processes were often identified as contributing to misconduct. These processes were seen as highly competitive at senior level, creating both a narrow focus amongst candidates on ‘gaming’ the processes and – in those who succeeded – a sense of exceptional achievement and, thus, entitlement. Several interviewees described how the

Strategic Command Course tended to create close mutually supportive and inward-looking networks. The training was thought to be light on ethical issues and on questions of values. It was also suggested that chief officers tended to select and appoint people ‘in their own image, thus reproducing the ethical climate prevailing among police leaders. Some interviewees regarded high potential (accelerated promotion) schemes as sources of risk, suggesting that these officers gathered breadth of experience but not the depth of experience needed to develop robust ethical standards.”

 

 Lack of challenge

 

“Challenging more senior ranks was widely considered to be career-limiting. [No Shit Sherlock] In addition, several interviewees referred to an organisational failure to challenge misconduct at earlier stages of people’s careers, and indeed a preparedness to ignore or tolerate misconduct either when selecting people for chief officer rank or when providing references on candidates. It was also suggested that integrity vetting (which has different levels of intrusiveness) could be inadequate.”

 

So, it is with much dismay that I must conclude that NO, nothing much has changed.  I am most certainly not suggesting that every single senior officer has gained their position by virtue of Nepotism, not On Credit, far from it, but I’m equally adamant that we could probably all name someone who has.  Remember that Inspector from years ago?  You know, the one that we would follow to Hell and back?  We need, and the country deserves, people like that AT ALL RANKS. At every rank from PC to Commissioner those true, great, natural Leaders of men should be represented.  Anything less than that is just copping out.

Leadership – Then And Now

When I first joined the Met it was a much different animal to the one it is today.  At just about all ranks from Sergeant up to the Commissioner supervising officers threw their weight around and frequently (but certainly not always) bullied and cajoled junior officers into doing as they were told.

Being the sort of person I am I frequently found myself on the receiving end of the mother of all bollockings, somewhat similar to Fergie’s famous ‘Hairdryer’. Did I deserve them? Probably. Did they affect me? Almost certainly. Did disciplinary proceedings follow? Almost never.

Without those bollockings I wouldn’t be the man I am today, they toughened me up and helped form my character. The 19 year old that joined the Met in 1972 is not the same person I am now. Was it right? Quite honestly, I can’t answer that question. By today’s standards definitely not, but do I resent it? No I do not.

I most certainly remember undergoing my initial training at Hendon, a shy, retiring 19 year old being ‘tutored’ in the art of telling someone that their son/daughter/spouse had been killed in an accident etc.  I stuttered along with epics like “I’m sorry to have to tell you…..” or “I’m afraid I have to tell you…..” only to be shouted at by the instructor “You are NEVER sorry” and “You are NEVER” afraid.   I hate to think what modern-day training methods would make of that, but we all endured it and grew quickly.

There was what I used to call the Captain Nike culture about the place; “Just Fucking Do It” or simply JFDI.

Occasionally, just occasionally, one of those supervisors, normally an Inspector, would inspire and you would follow him/her to the end of the Earth and back again. That was a Leader.  They would shine like a beacon and would seldom be popular with senior management, mainly because they cared about their troops. It worked because of something called RESPECT, and it went both ways.

Then, some time around the late 80s things began to change. Constables were calling their Sergeants Jim, Steve or Harry, and this practice continued upwards. Instead of being told to do things, we were getting asked “would you mind awfully doing a School Crossing at Fenn Street?”  Frequently answered with “I’d rather not if it’s all the same to you”

Some time around the mid 90s the third era of ‘Leaders’ emerged. These were people who couldn’t actually ‘lead’ you along a length of rope.  Having got to their esteemed position in life they set about surrounding themselves with their chums.  Inspector or Chief Inspector Smith would get promoted and their friend Chief Superintendent Jones would discover that he/she had a vacancy and Smith would find themselves being posted to Jones’ unit.

In the twilight of my career I worked in an environment where we had to be vetted above the normal level. It wouldn’t be a lie to say that I got more than a tad pissed off seeing senior officers transferring in to our unit who either failed the vetting, or refused to be vetted, because their chum was in charge and said it would be OK. One particular senior officer got quite prickly with me because I repeatedly refused to tell him things he had not been vetted to receive.  Oh the perks of being in your 30th year.

These people are not Leaders, and I doubt that they ever could be. If they’re lucky they’re Managers, possibly Bosses, but Leaders they ain’t.

I don’t have close contact with anyone left serving any more so I’m a bit out of touch, but I get the distinct impression from what I can see and what I can read the the Met is now almost devoid of Leaders. They seem to have an abundance of Bosses, not many Managers, and few, if any, Leaders, but they do seem to have a lot of Senior Officers who have served time on Merseyside, or maybe that’s just in my imagination.

So there we are, at the end of my potted history of modern day bosses in the Met.  If I had my time all over again, which era would I choose?

No contest. Take me straight back to the 70s or I wouldn’t join again.  Did I enjoy being shouted at and getting the odd bollocking? No, nobody does, but despite everything I KNEW WHERE I STOOD, and if the excrement ever did hit the apparatus with rotating blades the bosses would normally back one up, the Leaders ALWAYS would. You may think that constitutes ‘Squaring things up’. I don’t. I think it’s a very effective way of dealing with a problem without causing unecessary shite. The problems were dealt with in a far more effective way than involving the forerunners of Professional Standards, and I’d call that Leadership, using Discretion, and making sure whatever it was never happened again.

I absolutely despair when I see the antics of the modern era Professional Standards, and I seriously don’t understand how they can continue to operate, particularly in the manner that has been described so often over the last couple of years.  If anybody there thinks they are a Leader, I’ll send for the men in white coats myself.

One thing is for certain, there is no place in the Command Chain for ‘Jobs For The Boys’. We need an IMMEDIATE return to ‘Best a Person For The Job’, and ALL Police Ooficers, regardless of rank, should possess a a higher than average level if a Ethics and Integrity. Lack of Integrity should automatically bebar any promotion candidate.  Only then can we once again claim to have true Leaders, able, and willing, to Lead from the front. Get it right and the troops will actually WANT to follow.

We must never forget, of course, that a true LEADER can be found at any rank, not just the higher echelons. Even the humble Constable can prove to be a LEADER. My last thought, is that in order to re-establish confidence in the MANAGEMENT, any officer, of any rank, who thinks that it’s appropriate to refuse to submit to Vetting at any level, should be sidelined, and left to count beans until they change their mind.  Promoting candidates in one’s own image, or because they belong to the same Lodge etc is a practice that should be formally outlawed. I have never had a problem with “best person for the job” and what little I did achieve in my career was obtained soley on merit and not Masonocracy or whatever.

The Sweeney, Ashes To Ashes, Life on Mars and even The Bill to a degree, I could live quite comfortably under regimes like those, with all their faults (I would never say that the Met has ever been perfect).  Pink and Fluffy, and Politically Correct do my head in, not because I want to slag people off and get away with it, but because, tough as it was, as I said before, YOU KNEW WHERE YOU STOOD.

Can any of you say that today?

Policing Under Theresa May – Some Undeniable Truths

While I sit and ponder my future I found myself thinking about a couple of ‘Improvements’ that Theresa May has made to Policing.  My experience and knowledge is really linked to the Met, so if I say something which does not extend to your Force please forgive me, unlike Ms Khan, any unfair generalisations are not intention.

Back in 2011 she promised to cut Red Tape, whilst at the same time blaming Police Chiefs for that very same Red Tape

Just two months ago, she stated in the House that she had “cut red tape and freed the Police from Central Government control”  Is that what she calls it?

But, getting down to the Nitty Gritty, one of the most profound statements that she has made on practical policing was in relation to Stop and Search.

Firstly, the changes restrict the controversial “no suspicion” powers, which allow officers to stop and search members of the public even when they do not suspect a crime has been committed. This refers to s60 Stops, which in my experience were seldom used, and then mainly at Public Disorder, or occasionally sporting events. I’m not sure that is going to make a huge difference, but does shine a light on to Imelda’s way of thinking.

In the second measure forces will have to record the outcome of searches in more detail. 

Officers who carry out a stop and search will have to make a note of the outcome– such as whether it led to an arrest, a caution or no further action. 

The Home Office has previously reduced the complexity of paperwork required by stop and search after criticisms that it was overly bureaucratic and officers were being tied up with red tape.

Alex Marshall, chief constable of the College of Policing, said: “Stop and search powers are necessary to help us tackle crime and keep people safe but it is clear that they are being misused too often. 

“Under this scheme search outcomes will be recorded in more detail so we have a greater understanding of how the powers are being used.

Well, in my humble opinion this is just the College and the rest of AVPO (or whatever they’re called today) rolling over to have their bellies rubbed.

There is no doubt that Stop and Search is Intrusive, no doubt whatsoever! but unless someone has rewritten PACE while I’ve been asleep it has always contained the following;

1 Power of constable to stop and search persons, vehicles etc.

(1) A constable may exercise any power conferred by this section—

(a) in any place to which at the time when he proposes to exercise the power the public or any section of the public has access, on payment or otherwise, as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission; or

(b)in any other place to which people have ready access at the time when he proposes to exercise the power but which is not a dwelling.

(2) Subject to subsection (3) to (5) below, a constable—

(a) may search—

(i) any person or vehicle;

(ii) anything which is in or on a vehicle,

for stolen or prohibited articles [F1, any article to which subsection (8A) below applies or any firework to which subsection (8B) below applies; and

(b) may detain a person or vehicle for the purpose of such a search.

(3) This section does not give a constable power to search a person or vehicle or anything in or on a vehicle unless he has reasonable grounds for suspecting that he will find stolen or prohibited articles [F2, any article to which subsection (8A) below applies or any firework to which subsection (8B) below applies

2   Provisions relating to search under section 1 and other powers.

(1) A constable who detains a person or vehicle in the exercise—

(a) of the power conferred by section 1 above; or

(b) of any other power—

(i) to search a person without first arresting him; or

(ii) to search a vehicle without making an arrest,

need not conduct a search if it appears to him subsequently

(i) that no search is required; or

(ii) that a search is impracticable.

3  Duty to make records concerning searches.

(1) Where a constable has carried out a search in the exercise of any such power as is mentioned in section 2(1) above, other than a search—

(a) under section 6 below; or

(b)under section 27(2) of the M1Aviation Security Act 1982, he shall make a record of it in writing unless it is not practicable to do so.

(2) If—

(a) a constable is required by subsection (1) above to make a record of a search; but

(b )it is not practicable to make the record on the spot,

he shall make it as soon as practicable after the completion of the search.

(3) The record of a search of a person shall include a note of his name, if the constable knows it, but a constable may not detain a person to find out his name.

(4) If a constable does not know the name of a person whom he has searched, the record of the search shall include a note otherwise describing that person.

(5) The record of a search of a vehicle shall include a note describing the vehicle.

(6) The record of a search of a person or a vehicle—

(a) shall state—

(i) the object of the search;

(ii) the grounds for making it;

(iii) the date and time when it was made;

(iv) the place where it was made;

(v) whether anything, and if so what, was found;

(vi) whether any, and if so what, injury to a person or damage to property appears to the constable to have resulted from the search; and

(b) shall identify the constable making it.

(7) If a constable who conducted a search of a person made a record of it, the person who was searched shall be entitled to a copy of the record if he asks for one before the end of the period specified in subsection (9) below.

(8) If—

(a) the owner of a vehicle which has been searched or the person who was in charge of the vehicle at the time when it was searched asked for a copy of the record of the search before the end of the period specified in subsection (9) below; and

(b) the constable who conducted the search made a record of it,

the person who made the request shall be entitled to a copy.

There’s a whole load more to PACE than that, but in my submission, that is our first Undeniable Truth, Stop and Search under s1 PACE is already regulated sufficiently by statute and if the perception is that this power is being abused then this is surely a Supervision or Training issue, not something for Politicians to meddle in.

My second concern, to the best of my knowledge, only concerns the Met, but if the same practice has happened in the County Forces please let me know, as we would all need t know.

When I last worked on a Borough, I worked in an Intelligence Unit, and it was an important part of my job to produce briefings 5 days out of 7 for the 3 main shifts, Early, Lates and Nights.  These briefings would contain details of recent crimes of note, any Crime Patterns that had been identified by the Analyst, names and/or descriptions of any suspects for those crimes including photos if applicable, and recommendations for where any ‘spare’ officers could be posted to Prevent or Detect Crime (I know there aren’t any Spare officers any more).  It was on the basis of these briefings that many s1 Stop and Searches may have been conducted in ‘Hotspot’ areas.

Word has now reached my ears that these Intelligence Units at Divisional and Borough level have gone, been Winsor’d, labelled as Back Office functions and dissolved.  There is a Service Intelligence Unit staffed by some faceless warriors in Central London, but how effective can they be at preparing meaningful and timely briefings for troops in Croydon, or Barnet?

Time spent chatting with the old ‘Collator’ was seldom wasted for a good Thief-Taker, chats in a cosy over office over a brew were often productive, and, within limits, to be encouraged.  Even the next generation following on from Collators had crowds of enthusiastic young bucks picking brains in the quest for their next ‘body’. I don’t see anything wrong with that, as long as the privilege isn’t abused, but again, Post May/Winsor there probably isn’t the time left for such luxuries.

So, in the era of Smaller, Smarter Policing, how exactly are we supposed to function more Smartly when May and Winsor have taken away our Intelligence Units.  If this is not true PLEASE let me know, it’s important to me to know.

Intelligence-Led Policing With No Intelligence Unit – that would work every time.  Bloody good job Crime Is Down is all I can say.

Our Second Undeniable Truth?  The absence of Intelligence Units at a local level adversely impacts upon our ability to fight crime in an efficient and timely manner?

Lastly, I need to go back to Stop and Search again.  I often hear rumours that Sergeants and Inspectors in the Met (not necessarily only the Met) set their troops numerical targets as a Performance Indicator for their Appraisals.  How can this be right?

As we have seen above before a Stop/Search be conducted there has to be Suspicion and Grounds. I’ve scoured PACE thoroughly but I can’t find performance Indicators listed as suitable grounds to conduct a Stop/Search.

Stop/Search is clearly a very emotive subject and if there are abuses of the powers then these need to be addressed, but NOT by watering down the powers, of course Turkeys are not going to vote for Christmas but I truly believe that if Mr or Mrs Average is subjected to a Stop/Search by an officer who was polite, explained their actions and complied with the provisions above, then they would neither Complain nor Need to Complain.  Do we need to pay undue heed to the Turkeys complaining that Christmas is coming and they don’t want to be slaughtered?

My 3rd and last Undeniable Truth is that Numerical targets have no place in Stop/Search in particular, and quite possibly Front Line Policing in general, it breeds bad habits.  Any Stop/Search conducted in pursuit of such Targets is, at best, Unethical, and at most, arguably Unlawful.

SILENCE

Sshhhhh, can you hear it?………………….Neither can I.

That is EXACTLY the reaction to my survey, and its results.

I have received a few comments, both public and private, from my readers, and I’ve been amazed, and occasionally humbled, by the support I have had from some of my non-Police readers, the main protagonists will know who you are and I sincerely thank you.

I have forwarded a copy of the results to the Home Office, HMIC,  various politicians, Boris and his Deputy, the Association of PCCs, various offices of the Police Federation inc Head Office, an assortment of journalists, newspapers and News Channels, Trade Unions, Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

SILENCE

Many on that list are not subject to the ‘rules’ of Purdah (See Cate Moore’s excellent piece Purdah (she wrote)). Almost all are at Liberty to communicate with me privately.

SILENCE

Everybody on that list, when ‘off duty’ is a citizen, and as such will require and depend upon the Police at some time. It is no use waiting until it’s too late, the time to speak out is NOW. One of our colleagues is currently busy pointing out that cuts to Policing form no part of any party’s pre-election agenda.

SILENCE

Indeed, the reverse is true. Some people following a Slash and Burn Policy are only too quick to blame the Police when things go ‘wrong’.  Who was it who tried to short-cut the system in an attempt to get a ‘Rave’ closed down, then complain when it wasn’t?

Amusingly, this attracted an appropriate response;

We are in a period of Purdah, it’s Easter Weekend but the facts speak for themselves. Much less than half of the people who read my original blog completed the survey for me. As at now, approx 500 people have viewed the results of the survey. It has been forwarded to the list above and what was the result of all that?

SILENCE

If nothing else Journalists and Newsdesks do not sleep. If they felt that there was a newsworthy story to be followed they would be all over it, Bank Holiday or not. So what do I read into their SILENCE? They clearly think that there’s no story there. I can be Twatted, emailed, comment left on blog – SILENCE.

The number of people here, and on Twatter, who regularly engage can definitely be measured in double figures. From the rest – SILENCE.

The solution seems simple, stop banging head on brick wall, and stop annoying folk. 

Camoron, May, Hogan-Who, Milky Bar Kid et al can all relax.

 The Quill rests

Have Your say – Let’s Tell HMG How The Police Service SHOULD Be

In just a few weeks Call Me Dave will hopefully be an unpleasant memory, and regardless of who gets in the shape of Policing is destined to change even more than it has already.

I have devised a short series of questions to establish what the POPULATION thinks. Police, Ex Police, Never-Been-Police, all are welcome to take part.

Please RT as far as you can, the more answers we get, the more weight behind the arguments.

There is no particular order to the questions, merely how they came into my random mind.  If you want to suggest a SENSIBLE question please do so and I will include it.

Interim results will be published next Friday, 3rd April 2015.  Once the results are compiled I’ll have a crack at getting someone interested in them.

Thank you for your time and interest. Good Luck.

badge

And now an extra question;

One more question, multiple choice;

The Numbers Just Don’t Make Sense Imelda

Nearly 17,000 trained Police Officers have been discarded by the current coalition since they came to power.

A similar number of Police Staff (civvies in old money) have also been turfed onto the scrap heap.

It is estimated that a similar scale of carnage will be committed in the following years due to the coaltion’s absolute refusal to ring-fence the Police Budget.

A total loss to the Police Service of somewhere in the region of 68,000 by the end of the next term.

In whose world does that make sense?

 Blunderwoman. That’s who.

In tandem with the decimation of Policing as we know it comes the predictable onslaught on Stop and Search.  Apparently it is a much over-used and misused tactic. Allegedly a disproportionate number of ethnic minority citizens are finding themselves on the receiving end of a Stop and Search conducted by an overwhelmingly white Police Service.

“Crime is down is” the constantly repeated mantra churned out by the Home  Office and Senior Officers alike.

Is it? Is it really? Do we actually have a reliable set of #CrimeStats that we can feel comfortable quoting yet?

Have the number of Stabbings and Shootings really gone down, is it only in my head that there seem to be more? Those weapons are transported through our streets, under our very noses, and we are expected to conduct LESS Stop and Searches.  Before an officer can conduct a Stop/Search on a person of ANY ethnicity he/she has to have ‘grounds’ to conduct that search. Every officer is accountable for every Stop/Search he/she conducts. If those ‘grounds’ exist, are we saying that the Stop/Search should not be conducted, despite those ‘grounds’  just in case the person being Stop/Searched is upset by it? If one of our officers failed to Stop/Search a person who was subsequently found to have been carrying a concealed weapon which was used to kill somebody, at the very least the Daily Fail will be crying for that officer’s career to be terminated, but maybe it’s just better not to risk upsetting anyone out on the streets?

Every Stop/Search must be recorded including the ‘grounds’ for it, and the subject of it is entitled to apply for a copy of that record. I wonder how many are actually requested, or is this just another smokescreen?

Now I read that HMIC are recommending/requiring that all Traffic stops are now recorded as there are concerns that these too might be unduly weighted towards certain ethnic groups

And this following on from Imelda’s promise to cut red tape and bureaucracy.

So, maybe now we need to scrap all ANPR machines, together with mobile and static Speed Cameras just in case they catch too many citizens from certain ethnic groups.

All I know is that if I were still serving I would be hugely offended that Imelda and the Milky Bar Kid didn’t trust me enough to use my professionalism properly and account for my actions, having acted ‘without fear or favour’ in my quest to uphold the law and maintain Public Safety.

It’s not about Ethnicity.

It’s not about Institutional Racism.

It is about professional officers trying to do their duty in the face of a barrage of diversionary tactics.

So you want to extract your revenge for your treatment at Conference? Give the Police a damn good kicking? Make them know their place, reduce their effectiveness so that they can never again show you such disrespect? Is that it? Well remember who the Collateral Damage is in your campaign, the Great British Public! or The Electorate as they are sometimes referred to. I refer you back to a previous post Home Secretary.

With rapidly dwindling resources, an increased terrorist threat and Stabbings and Shootings, not to mention the myriad of other assorted crimes, just how are we to achieve the Primary Objective’ i.e. The Prevention of Crime?

The numbers don’t make sense, they are stacked against us and smug soundbites like a Smaller, Faster, Smarter Police Service don’t really hold up to the reality of what is happening, and that is that #CutsHaveConsequences and we don’t need any more ostriches thank you, we have enough of those already.

The only thing more ludicrous than these proposals would be to hear that my old friend Sophie as standing for Parliament or was going to be a PCC somewhere.

Finally, one last number that bothers me personally, is to do with pensions. This government has royally screwed up the pension arrangements for thousands of serving officers. I haven’t heard of many officers who won’t be worse off in some way. But what about the already-retired? I have always understood that there is no ‘pension fund’, that our pensions are paid from the contributions of today’s members. So what happens when ‘today’s members’ have been slashed by 30,000 or more?  Less contributions going into the kitty but the same amount going out surely? The government picks up the shortfall?

As I said, the numbers Just don’t make sense Imelda.

#MaysMayhem