Is This A Pattern I See Before Me?

Sorry Mr Shakespeare, but it was quite appropriate and almost right.

According to an article in the Police Federation’s POLICE magazine, morale has hit rock bottom and thousands of cops are thinking of quitting.

Reforms to pay and working conditions have left thousands of officers saying they are planning to leave the service and not recommend policing as a career, revealed in a survey on morale by the Police Federation.

 The poll, which surveyed 32,606 serving officers, found that nearly 5,000 said they were planning to leave the service in the next two years, andhttp://www.policemag.co.uk/editions/nov14_news_morale_plummets.aspx 94 per cent believed morale was either low or very low in the police service.” 

I’m sure that this is not news to any of us, it isn’t even new news, dating from November last year, but it occurred to me that our ‘friends’ in the media don’t seem to like reporting on too many similar stories all at once. People might be able to work out what the wicked government is up to if they did.

You’ll find stories about Nurses, Junior Doctors and Senior Doctors leaving the NHS in droves, but not necessarily on the same day or in the same paper.

Teachers are another profession targeted by Camoron’s Army, and getting ready to quit.

I see no evidence that Fire Fighters are leaving in droves in protest against the reforms but there is plenty of evidence that Fire Fighters are being shoved out of their profession as a result of the government’s swingeing, and reckless, cuts across the whole country.

Finally for today, the Marine and Coastguard Agency. I truly don’t know what to make of what’s happening with them.  About 50% of Coastguard Stations around the country have either been closed, or marked for closure. Yet the remaining stations are reporting that they are under-manned, at levels lower than previously agreed.

Like the majority of the others, the continuance of an efficient Coastguard Service is essential for public safety, but instead the figures below just go to show one more example of how the government are cynically uncaring of public safety in their headlong rush to be voted “the best economy in Europe”.







So it seems that there is a pattern, once the government have got a Public Service in their sights they either make conditions so unbearable that everyone wants to leave, Instil such a lack of confidence that the end result is the same, or they simply get rid of them. Whichever way you look at the Public Services, particularly the Emergency Variety, are cut to the bone and beyond, and make no mistake, whatever happens in May, this cannot be rectified overnight, it will take years, assuming that the damage has not already gone too far.

Camoron, Osborne, May, Winsor, Mordaunt and all the rest, I HOPE YOU CAN SLEEP AT NIGHT

Don’t have nightmares, you’ve got rid of the people who can keep you safe.

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So Just When Will Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe Resign?

I’m sure you don’t need reminding that Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe is the ‘top cop’ in the land, the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis, Big Cheese, Top Johnny. He is in charge.

Under his stewardship we have seen one of the biggest scandals to rock the Met for decades, (but by no means the only one, where do I start?).  The recording of Crime Statistics for Metropolitan Police District.

It has been known by almost everyone within the Met that Crime Figures have been fiddled, it has been going on for decades and quite probably since the very first year that numerical targets were first introduced.

The then Police Constable James Patrick (amongst others) gave evidence to the Public Administration Select Committee and they eventually reported back that crime figures were being manipulated.

Tom Winsor of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary admitted that the manipulation of crime figures was taking place. The UK Statistics Authority withdrew the Met’s gold standard national statistics status. Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, was forced to admit the numbers were being fiddled and said the issue was a cause for concern.

FOUR eminent authorities all admitting that Crime Stats were being fiddled.

So what happened next? Was it put right?  Is all OK now?

Personally I have no idea whether I can yet trust the Met’s Crime Stats.

What happened next is that Police Constable James Patrick was hounded out of his job for daring to speak up.

Bernard Jenkin, the chair of the parliamentary committee that investigated the manipulation of crime stats, said: “The most depressing part of our inquiry is the way in which the Metropolitan police have treated my constituent, PC James Patrick, who was our key witness.”

The Grauniad went so far as to report this;

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) made repeated attempts to silence a whistleblower who exposed the widespread manipulation of crime statistics, it has emerged.

Documents seen by the Guardian show that senior officers made three separate attempts to stop PC James Patrick speaking out over the course of less than five months.”

Not a very honourable course of conduct in my opinion.

We also have the sorry tale of the TSG6, also on Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe’s watch.  If you missed that story previously you can read the transcript here.

In the last few months two senior people have resigned from Tesco due to ‘an accounting error’.  First we had the Finance Director falling on his sword, and just this week the Chairman.

So isn’t it about time that someone from the Met fell on their ceremonial sword and resigned as a point of honour over the most dishonourable things that appear to have happened, not to mention ‘an accounting error’ i.e. the Crime Stats?

Anyone want to run a book on when this will happen?

Tom Winsor Hasn’t Finished With You Yet…..

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, another shock comes along.

I truly hope that any of you reading this that are currently serving officers are fit and well.  I mean that, not a trace of sarcasm just for once.  And even more so, I hope you stay that way.

It used to be the way (in the Met certainly, maybe our County friends can let us know) that if you were unfit for full duties a ‘Light Duties’ post could normally be found for you. The Job would look after you because, after all, it is a Job Like No Other.  If you were unfortunate enough to be injured in the course of your duties and disabled to an extent that you could no longer carry out full duties this was taken for granted and, if necessary, a job was created for you, to say thank you for the sacrifice you had made serving The Queen.

Obviously you waved goodbye to overtime but basically you could rely on a full month’s salary inc Allowances at the end of each month.

And then along came Tom Winsor.  I haven’t heard very much about it since the publication of Windsor II to be honest, and presumably people were hoping that it would pass un-noticed, but it was brought to my notice today that Mr Winsor, cheeky chappie that he seems, is looking to take £3,000 a year of officers who are not able-bodied enough to carry out ALL duties that may be required of them.

On Friday last week the Disability News Service carried an article that disabled police officers are fighting attempts to force them to accept £3,000 less in basic salary than their non-disabled colleagues.  This was apparently tucked away at the back end of Winsor II and recommended that so-called restricted duty officers (those “unable to discharge the full range of police duties”) should be paid £2,922 less than those who were not on restricted duty.  A body called The Disabled Police Association (DPA) is angry that the Police Federation (PFEW) , which represents rank-and-file officers, and the Home Office working group – which are both working on implementing the Winsor recommendations – have failed to consult those officers who would be affected by the reforms.

Neither has the College of Policing, yet consulted disabled people or revised its 10-year-old  guidance to forces on disability in policing.

Susan Scott-Parker, chief executive of the Business Disability Forum, has written a letter to chief constable Alf Hitchcock, who leads on Equality, Diversity and Human Rights (EDHR) for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), and has copied it to the EDHR lead at the College of Policing.

This letter has not yet received a response, or even an acknowledgement.

PFEW apparently opposed this amendment to Pay and Conditions but the Police Arbitration Tribunal ruled against them.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The Home Secretary has accepted the Police Arbitration Tribunal’s recommendation on pay relating to restricted duties.

“The reforms will make the process for managing injury and illness clearer and more transparent.

“Police officers will be able to see exactly what support will be provided to them, what timescales will apply and what factors will be taken into account during the decision process.

“It is imperative that forces continue to ensure the fair treatment of officers who suffer the misfortune of becoming sick or injured.

“We are now working on these reforms in consultation with Chief Constables, Police and Crime Commissioners and Police Staff Associations.”

So, there you are, stay healthy, fit and well, and definitely don’t get injured, because your reward may well be a £3k pay cut, or even the total loss of your job in return for a Disability Pension.

Sobering thought.

An Open Letter to Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe and Mr Tom Winsor

You are both well aware of the total furore that has erupted in past months about the alleged ‘fiddling’ of crime figures.

I am aware Mr Winsor that your HMIC recently published an interim report on the matter and I am in the process of digesting it.  To help you with the rest of your report, and to better inform Sir Bernard on how it’s done I thought I’d put together a little montage of genuine ways in which crimes have been ‘distorted’ or ‘misrepresented’ over a large number of years.

It will also help the public to better understand what all the fuss has been about but because the majority of it has been about Rape allegations, but it exists in so many other areas as well.

In no particular order

Criminal Damage (Value under £20) for many years that would have been No Crime’d  by Force Policy since the early 70s, but a crime had still been committed (allegedly).

House/Shop/Car window smashed – No Crime, window broken by stone thrown up from passing lorry/bus/car wheel.

Attempted Burglary classified as Criminal Damage.  Arguments will rage forever over this one, but we all know it happened.

Post Sentence Visits to convicted felons in prison to ‘Clear Up’ some outstanding crimes. A dubious practice designed solely to influence the Clear Up Rate, I doubt that any outstanding stolen property was ever recovered and restored to the victim.

Bringing prisoners out of prison to the police station cells and driving them round so that they could point out the houses they had burgled.  See my previous comments above.

A local prolific burglar for example dies, suddenly he seems to have been credited with a large proportion of the unsolved crimes, shown as Cleared Up. Dubious to say the least.

Theft Person being classified as No Crime, property lost in the street.  The nature of ‘Dipping’ is that the victim is frequently unaware of the offence at the time of commission, that is no reason to record it as Property Lost, if there is some credible evidence that it has been stolen then the appropriate classification should be used. However, there are tales such as this “Known Dipping.. CID sent out a memo. We Had to ask the question. If it ‘could’ have have fallen out, the bag was open. report it as Loss in the street!  Even though it was at the bottom of a bag”

Now this one’s rapidly becoming a favourite of mine.  Theft of a large bird from garden premises, classified as No Crime – bird flew away. It was made of concrete.

Fraud was never properly investigated for years because it was no-one’s priority crime.

I have heard recently of one Attempted Burglary being classified as No Crime because “a trapped, enraged bumblebee caused the damage to the window?”

Assaults with counter allegations were frequently classified as No Crime instead of two or more assaults, even one would have been better.

Assaults where the victim refused to substantiate the allegation even where there was corroborating evidence in the form of CCTV footage. Shouldn’t be No Crime’d. It;’s still a crime, it’s just the victim doesn’t want to go to Court.

Burglaries in bedsits, hotels or offices with multiple victims that all went down as one burglary.

Offences of Criminal Damage by Graffiti were frequently classified No Crime if they could be cleaned off.

A whole road of cars damaged – one Criminal Damage with 24 victims. 24 Crimes same venue?

“Another favourite was number plates stolen…..no they fell off. Both front and back. No crime”

“Kited cheques with obvious intent – No crime, victim referred to bank. And… obvious frauds using cloned cards etc – victim referred to bank.”

“A certain concert venue somewhere in South London where people were never dipped, they just danced so hard that their phones fell out of their pockets/handbags and were lost. No crime”

“I tried reporting Crim Damage. Occupants in lounge, saw group walking past , making a noise and saw one throw a brick to someone on opposite footpath. Over threw and it smashed glass in door. I put it in as crim damage but got memo saying it was an attempt burglary. I tried to argue my corner but crime desk wouldn’t have it. Strange decision.”

“I retired 2 years ago having spent my last 4 years in the Met heading up the XXXX Crime Management Unit. All crime classification change requests came through my team. I have seen all manner of stupidity. The range is incredible. From a DS who became an internet expert on the thermo-dynamics of sealed double glazing units and how a sudden drop in overnight temperature can cause them to shatter! He wanted an attempted burglary no crimed. Unfortunately, the dets already explained how the victim actually disturbed the suspect walking down the shingle path below the window, and found the brick used to smash the window too…..! The other extreme being the self appointed “hate crime champion” for one borough who liked to remove Racial flags (on undetected crimes of course..) on the basis the Mr Ahmed (sic) must have been mistaken in his belief that the only reason he felt he was the victim of race crime was because none of his white neighbours had dog shit continually posted through his front door. Sadly, I have too many stories like these, as well as more about those who were too spineless to respond to official reports of such corrupt practices. Believe me PC Patrick is very brave, but his story merely scratches the surface.”

“I remember a smash and grab at a pet shop where an expensive Macaw parrot was stolen there were no witnesses no CCTV. The D/S on the crime desk wrote it off as No Crime putting it down to the parrot making a successful escape from captivity after the shop front window was broken by, as mentioned earlier on this post a stone thrown up by a passing vehicle!”

Sir Bernard, PC Patrick has given the more analytical version and I have given you actual examples from current or former officers. May be you could explain to the public exactly why you didn’t invite PC Patrick to become part of the solution, and continued to oppress him, eventually instigating further disciplinary matters during his period of Notice?

Mr Winsor, your team have completed the first part of their study, maybe they would like to look for examples such as these when they do the next part.

Mind you Mr Winsor I’m disappointed that you didn’t mention on Radio 4 the other morning that you have already met with Constable Patrick.  Gives people the wrong impression.

Maybe, Sir Bernard, you or Mr Winsor would like to contribute to the James Patrick Fighting Fund, if you have a Paypal Account it’s easy;

From within your opening screen (after logging in to your account) choose Send Money

Send it to the following email address

justice4pcpatrickAToutlookDOTcom (see what I did there?) (substitute an “@” and a “.” as appropriate)

Enter the amount in GBP you wish to send

Click on “I’m sending money to family or friends” This option should be free of charges unless you pay by Credit Card and the money ends up in exactly the same account as if you had pressed the Donate Button.

A little more complicated and it only works for Paypal account holders but every fee that we can reduce is more for the Fighting Fund

For more info please see

http://www.wikihow.com/Send-Money-via-PayPal

I thank you

Please do it for James. #Justice4PCPatrick

THIS FUND IS NOW CLOSED

Thank You