The Answer To Everything Is NOT 42

Like many others of a certain age I grew up believing that the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42. It took Supercomputer Deep Thought 7½ million years to compute and check the answer, which turns out to be 42.

It took me less than 30 years to discover that this is wrong, very wrong. The actual answer is 1, Teapot 1 to be precise.

Over the course of the last month or so I have heard several tales of officers being deployed ‘on Aid’ for long hours without even sufficient water to keep them fit and alert. I even heard of PSU Sergeants buying their troops bottles of water out of their own pockets. Hugely admirable but it simply shouldn’t have been necessary.

During the course of my illustrious 30 year career I was fed and watered literally all over England, at various times of the day and night, but the most important part of that was that we always knew it would happen.

One of my funniest experiences of Force Feeding’ that I can actually remember was back in my youth in 1976 or so, on the picket line of Grunwicks. We were ‘fed’ (breakfast) with a frozen pork pie, a cold Granny Smith and a cup of something brown, wet and steaming. But fed we were.

During the course of my career I experienced the highs and lows of ‘Force Feeding’ or Operational Feeding as they preferred to call it. Grunwicks was undoubtedly the lowlight, but there are two contenders for the #1 spot. On balance I think that Greenham Common probably takes it (until Met Police Catering Service took over) being fed in the restaurant at Newbury Racecourse. A very close second was RAF Newton during the Miners’ Strike. RAF catering was superb, sorry lads the Army Barracks at Ripon did not make the top 3.

For events in Central London (almost a daily occurrence) the Met had a huge Feeding Centre at Buckingham Gate where you could always rely on the Catering Staff to greet you with a warm smile, good humour and a hot mail, regardless of the time of day or night. The lease has been relinquished and is now, a training establishment for Vidal Sassoon.

Buckingham Gate Feeding Centre

However, returning to the bottles of water. This situation would NEVER have arisen if we still had Teapot 1. I’m not going to pretend that every time I went on Aid someone popped up at regular intervals and gave us bottles of water, no, that did not happen. What did happen was that we had sufficient troops on the event that we could always be relieved and sent off for a Main Meal or Snacks. No longer does the Police Service have the resilience to allow for such essentials. Not a luxury, an essential.

For smaller events, or for short-notice events that did not allow for planning of Operational Feeding we had Teapot 1 that would turn up with an assortment of Sarnies and drinks so that we didn’t go without anything at all.

An old Tranny Van suitably modified with a crew of 2 Catering Service staff does not cost a fortune. It is a cost-effective method of getting the ‘bottles of water’ to the troops on the ground. Getting rid of it was a huge step backwards, great for morale as well.

The answer to everything is Teapot 1

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Knife Crime vs Stop And Search (Plus a Few Ideas)

You’ll be pleased to know that I’m not going to regurgitate much of what I have previously written about Stop/Search or Knife Crime. Any or all of that is available in previous posts.

This really concerns the views of the Twitterati on the subject.

I posted a Poll on Twitter seeking people’s views on Stop/Search in relation to Knife Crime. I had no control over who responded to the poll and I requested that people retweeted it, so that it wasn’t solely my followers who responded and it became as random as possible.

It was set to run for just three days. Now the results are in.

Quite a comprehensive result, only 3% think that Stop and Search doesn’t have a part to play and should not be increased in some way. HOWEVER, that is just the beginning. The majority of people who responded to the poll don’t seem to have a problem with Stop/Search within the context of Knife Crime. We have just seen the whole of Birmingham subject to a s60 PACE order for a few consecutive days. Did we have any significant complaints against that decision? No, I don’t think so. Did we see rioting on the streets of Birmingham in protest against it? No we did not. Therefore, I assume, that under the current crisis the majority of the public are broadly in favour of the tactic. The modern Police Service should be trusted to carry out Stop/Search ethically and lawfully, and they should be supported in so doing, not threatened like Theresa May did in 2014.

There are some people who think that I am promoting Stop/Search as some kind of silver bullet. I am not, but before I leave the topic I thought it would be useful to examine the long-term correlation between Stop/Search and Knife Crime.

Stop/Search data relates to s1 PACE only

Knife = Knife, Bladed Implement, Pointed Article

Stop/Search data relates to s1 PACE only

Knife = Knife, Bladed Implement, Pointed Article

I cannot state from pure data that there is a direct correlation between certain crimes and Police Numbers, but there is a distinct upturn in Knife-Related violence following Theresa May’s edict about Stop and Search in 2014, that is simply a FACT.

Do I think Stop/Search alone is the solution? Most definitely not. It is a complex problem and will require a bit of joined-up thinking before it is resolved. Dare I suggest a holistic, and multi-agency approach?

What has caused this problem? It didn’t used to be like this.

In my opinion, in 2010, something very significant happened. David Camoron became Prime Minister with Theresa May as his Home Secretary. Between them they dreamt up ‘Police Reform’. They engaged a man with no experience whatsoever of Policing to conduct a number of ‘independent’ reviews and come up with the cure. In tandem with this we conveniently had #Austerity. Just one result of that policy was the culling of approx 21,000 Police Officers. However, that is not the end of the problem. Alongside the cuts to Policing we witnessed cuts in Education, Justice, Probation, NHS and probably many others. We saw blind allegiance to the principle of privatisation in as much of the Public Sector as possible. Were sound, experienced, knowledgeable voices listened to when they spoke up against it? No they were not. The Tories were on a roll and not about to listen to anyone.

In short, all of these cuts and reductions of services has created a void, a ‘Perfect Storm’ which means that no single agency can tackle the problem alone.

Stop/Search has two main benefits, properly and lawfully conducted. It can increase the detections of these weapons. They are all carried through the streets and are ‘in play’ to be found. Secondly, the mere fact that Stop/Search is being conducted should act as a deterrent to youths carrying these lethal weapons. We should see a return of ‘fear’ on the streets. Not fear of being given a kicking by some bullyish Police Officer, but a fear of the consequences of being caught.

Sentencing is woeful. Long, strong sentences just for merely carrying a knife should be introduced and enforced. If you actually use a knife the sentence should be doubled, at least.

What has happened to Youth Clubs, After School Clubs and similar? Gone, another lamented victim of ‘the cuts’.

More and more kids are being excluded from school because the kids get frustrated and the schools don’t have the resources to adequately deal with them.

An absolute eternity ago, when I was a Community Bobby, we had any number of ways of engaging with the local youths. I worked in Brent at the time. It doesn’t get more multi-racial and multi-cultural than Brent. Did we have a problem with youths stabbing and killing each other? No we did not. Why not? Possibly because we engaged with the children at an early age. We were invited into schools and gave talks, and showed videos on the perils of playing near water, playing on railway lines, and other such dangerous pursuits.  Were we laying down the law and forcing them to “do as I say”? No. I spent a week at a Teacher Training College learning how to talk to children. This was followed by an attachment to a school. We were not trying go bully them we were trying to educate them and save their lives.

Was I lefty, liberal officer that let the kids get away with everything? No. Ask anyone who knew me or worked with me. There was a line and if you crossed it you got nicked. I would happily hold my performance up against any other officer of my era, confidently. There is nothing wrong with being ‘busy’ but at the same time caring about the safety and well-being of the kids on your patch. Whatever their ethnicity, who knows what they will grow up to be, and become? They deserve to be taught how to stay safe and not to kill or injure others. We invested time, often our own, in the youths. In the main it paid off. Some invariably strayed from the path, the majority (from all cultures and backgrounds) did not. I am not aware that any of the youths I or my colleagues were involved with went on to kill or maim anyone. Knife fights and stabbings in general were almost non-existent, and it most certainly was NOT the norm to carry a ‘blade’.

Their parents supported us too. When the politics of the local council changed we were no longer invited into the schools as the ruling councillors had a problem with that. Was that the end of the programme? No it was not. The parents clubbed together and hired the local church hall for a session outside of school hours. Were those children resentful? No. Some of our number played football with them or coached them. In the streets it was “good morning Mr Smith” or whatever. They had respect, for us, and more importantly, for each other.

I was even invited to join the Board of Governors of the local Secondary School, so somebody outside of the Police Service must have thought we were doing something right.

Can we reintroduce this policy/practice? No we can not. Not any time soon. Even if there is a political and social will to do it, we can’t because we have lost 21,000 officers. We don’t have enough officers available to function at that level any more.

In short, the government have caused this. Specifically David Camoron and Theresa May. They have created all the factors that have led to the Knife Crime Crisis. Government policies have created a hole, a void, a vacuum that we cannot now fill. No, or little, intelligence now comes out of the communities to tell us who are responsible for these horrific crimes.

Increase Stop/Search? Yes, but that will not cure it alone.

Recruit xx000 more Police Officers? Yes, but they will not hit the streets for approx 6 months and then need to get up to speed on the streets, so that won’t be a quick fix. To replace the experience already lost will take literally years.

Give the Police £xx Million? Yes, but again, that will pay for certain things, but it certainly won’t cure the epidemic overnight.

Bring back Youth Clubs and After School Clubs etc? Yes, but where are the resources to allow it, and that won’t change children’s mentality/culture overnight.

Education? Vitally important to educate the children about the consequences of Knife Crime. Not “this is illegal, you must not do it” but a bit of a shock with graphic, if necessary, examples of Knife Crime, addresses from the various charities set up to help the victims of Knife Crime etc.

The government have starved many different services of resources. Some joined-up thinking needs to happen to identify how these shortages can be reversed. However this will not happen until Theresa May stands up and says “Sorry Britain, we got it wrong”. Can you see that happening?

This is not a quick fix problem. This is not a single agency solution. Anybody who thinks I was ever suggesting otherwise doesn’t know me very well. It shouldn’t really be a political football. Our children are being massacred, and the people who created the circumstances in which that crisis thrives are saying and doing precious little about it. I don’t care what ethic origin the kids are, neither the offenders nor the victims. The majority of them are children or young people and whatever they may have done, they do not deserve to die.

I am quite clear in my mind who is responsible for this disaster, and I have a reasonable idea what it will take to begin to end it, a combination of education, robust Policing, tougher sentencing and an appropriate level of resourcing, what I don’t know is how the hell we’re ever going to achieve it, and if we do, how long it will take.

ADDENDUM

The story of Stop and Search under all legislations since 2001

The chart above tells the tale of Stop and Search across the 21st Century. I have my views but I’m sure that others more highly qualified than me will tell us that all is well.

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No Direct Link Between Certain Crimes & Police Numbers

“I have to tell you that this kind of scaremongering does nobody any good”

“This crying wolf has to stop.”

“No direct correlation between certain crimes and police numbers”

All of these quotes come from Theresa May. Since her disastrous time at the Home Office she has clearly no intention of changing her views. For years she has bashed the Police Service and now she is Prime Minister, no subsequent Home Secretary has been very successful at doing right by the Police Service.

No direct correlation? I’m not totally sure what she means exactly by ‘direct’ or what evidence she has to support this claim, but lets’s take a look at some lovely figures.

Total Knife Crimes in England and Wales have risen slowly from 2014, and then more steeply after 2016. Anything significant happen in 2014?

“I want to make myself absolutely clear: if the numbers do not come down, if stop and search does not become more targeted, if those stop-to-arrest ratios do not improve considerably, the government will return with primary legislation to make those things happen,”

Theresa May addressing the House of Commons in April 2014

Let’s take a look at what happened after that cracking little speech

It is possibly no surprise that the reduction in Stop & Search steepened after Mrs May’s 2014 diktat. Police Reform so far has Stop/Search declining and Knife Crime rising. How do mortalities look?

Initially peaking around 2008, then a steady decline until 2014 when the figure rises to its highest since 1977.

Let us not forget that all of these offences are reported and investigated by Front Line Officers, how have they fared?

Not very well perhaps.

Thanks to Theresa May’s ‘Police Reform’ it is incontrovertible that Police numbers have shrunk dreadfully. I believe that there is a direct correlation between Theresa May and Police numbers. Stop and Search numbers have fallen off the cliff, but don’t be fooled by the ‘better arrest ratio’ argument, a higher percentage of a much smaller number equates to less prisoners in the bin, and that is NOT an improvement. In parallel with this Knife Crimes are at some kind of record high. All those knives are carried through the streets, and even if there are no deterrents left, fewer Stop/Searches means a reduced opportunity to seize the weapon and arrest the offender. I heard a Professor from Loughborough University state that increased Stop/Search did not work, it merely criminalised more people. Carrying knives through the streets makes them a criminal before they ever get stopped. For these reason I believe there is a direct correlation between reduced Stop/Search and increased Knife Crime (but I’m no professor).

Just before I close this post, in an attempt to inject some context and corroboration into my piece, a few more (final) charts.

Stop/Search down, Knife Crime up, albeit only a 3 year study.

Total Crime also started to increase after 2014

Police Strength down, total crime up.

The population is steadily rising.

The number of officers per 100,000 head of population is steadily decreasing. Not to worry, we’re Great Britain, we’re still OK, surely? Really?

24th out of the 27 European countries studied in 2016, and since then the population has increased and Police numbers have shrunk further.

IN CONCLUSION

I have heard Theresa May described as ‘deluded’ or ‘delusional’. I don’t think she is. She is intelligent enough to know that she has caused this crisis, and she is arrogant enough to never say “Sorry, I screwed that one up”.  She has got many things wrong during her political career, but I have never heard her once own up to it and set about putting it right.

I have no idea if there is a direct correlation between certain crimes and Police numbers, but I believe that there is. I also believe that there is a direct correlation between Theresa May’s policies and increased Knife Crime (and crime generally).

I would now like to see Theresa May personally address a conference hall full of Knife Crime survivors and the families of deceased victims. Would she dare to accuse them of ‘Crying Wolf’ and ‘scaremongering’? I suspect that they would rip her to shreds, metaphorically speaking.

In the meantime the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, is having an urgent meeting today with some NPCC types. I bet there isn’t one single practitioner in the room. Way to go.

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The Crucifixion Cycle (As Amended)

The Crucifixion Cycle

Stage 1

Slash Resources

Government slashes the resources of the public body in question.  Be it NHS, Armed Forces, Police, Education, Coastguard, Fire Service, Probation, Barristers, Junior Doctors……the list just goes on and on.  They have all had their resources slashed to the bone (and possibly deeper) by this failing government in the name of Austerity. Be under NO illusions, more cuts are coming, Gideon said so.

Stage 2

Highlight The Failings

Next Step is to commission a report highlighting the failings of said public body. Policy Exchange (other Think Tanks are widely available) are normally good at issuing reports that seem to support government’s plan of action.

Stage 3

Get the Press to Crucify the Public Body for Their Failings

Certain sectors of the British Press seem only too willing to publish articles, splashed across their front pages, or 1st item on the 10 o’clock news etc, crucifying the public body for their failings. They never seem to mention slashed resources at this stage, just how serious and awful the failings have been, whip up some public backlash, and launch a “heads should roll” theme to move it forward.

Police and NHS are currently suffering at the hands of Stage 3.  Whose turn next?

Stage 4

Privatisation.

These public bodies can’t be trusted to organise a beer-drinking event in a brewery.  Just look at the headlines at Stage 3. I know how to sort this out, we’ll privatise them.  We’ve got some Lords with interests in suitable private companies, let’s give them a shot at sorting it all out, perfect solution.

Stage 5

Ignore the findings of Review Body.

Continue to undermine public body by not even awarding miserly pay review body amount

Stage 6

Rob Peter To Pay Paul

Use money stolen from cops pay to pay off your incompetent chums in private sector

Am I wrong?

Is this NOT how it happens?

Where are you on the Wheel of Fortune?

Have you been crucified yet?

With thanks to for his contribution of Stages 5 and 6, thus bringing the Cycle up to date.Last Updated on

The Government Has Most Definitely Forgotten

Not being subject to the rules of Purdah, I can have a moan.

The term ‘purdah’ is in use across central and local government to describe the period of time immediately before elections or referendums when specific restrictions on the activity of civil servants are in place. The terms ‘pre-election period’ and ‘period of sensitivity’ are also used.

Being neither politician nor Civil Servant **** you!!

What is it that the government has forgotten?

The first duty of any government is to protect the public.

How do they do this?

Well not by reducing the numbers of Police Officers available for duty at any one time that’s for sure.
The picture doesn’t look much better when you look at the TOTAL Police Workforce

Where are all these officers (or not)?

Sadl some areas are much better served proportionately than others, but ALL have seen a reduction in Policing levels.

Somewhere in the region of FIVE Polices have been culled since 2010.  What might that look like?

This is one I made earlier when there were only 17,000 fewer officers, you’ll have to imagine the rest.  Colour Avon and Somerset black also and you’re almost there.

this Is What 17,000 Fewer Cops LOOKS Like

Just imagine driving round the black area, not seeing a single PoliceOfficer and KNOWING THERE WERE NONE anyway.

In the background, relentlessly bubbling away, is a population constantly growing


So, THIS is how our government are complying with their first duty.  THIS is how we are being protected.  Or NOTLast Updated on

I Have Seen The Future – TJF, Very F

TJF, that was one of the very first things I was told when I left the cocoon that was Hendon Training School and appeared at my very first nick.

I suspect that it has been common parlance for generations.

Looking at various Tweets and Facebook posts over the past week.  Thinking about the tragic events of last week, and the response and reaction to them.  It troubles my aged brain.

Before you waste your time telling me, I know, I’m Old School, a Dinosaur even.  However, this does not mean that my opinions are not valid, my ideas out-dated and useless.  Some may be, some might be excellent.  Who knows?  I do still have Freedom of Thought, and this is what I think.

When Theresa May, either of her own volition, or doing the bidding of one David Camoron, set about the destruction, sorry Reform, of the Police Service, myself and others questioned her intentions.  We questioned the intentions and acts of (then) Mr Tom Winsor.  We questioned the intent and activities of certain Think Tanks.  Most unhealthy in my opinion.  Sadly the majority of the public were hoodwinked by it all. Some of Winsor’s ‘facts’ were completely unscientific is the best way to describe them.

Chief Police Officers were either hoodwinked also (unlikely) or were working to a totally different agenda.  Almost none of them came out into the open and stood up for the Front Line.

What does that matter?  So we’ve trimmed down the excesses of the Police Service.  That must be a good thing surely?  The Canteen Culture has effectively been smashed by the simple act of closing and selling off the canteens.

  • Approx 21,000 (or so) Police Officers have been lost since 2010.  The government can assure you if they want that the Front Line has been protected, but where do you think these 21,000 have come from?  Almost entirely Constables and Sergeants, who are, incidentally, very important to the Front Line.
  • Approximately 18,000 Police Staff too.  It got do bad that a certain Police Station in DeadBadgerShire had to put a PC into an office job because the last remaining civvie had been moved or dispensed with.  How crazy is that?
  • Over 600 Police Stations sold off or closed to the public.

And now we get to the worst of my vexations, for I am surely vexed;

  • Policing Degrees (or equivalent) as a pre-requisite to join the Police Service as a Probationary Constable.
  • Direct Entry Superintendents

  • Direct Entry Inspectors
  • Direct Entry to Detective for Specials
  • Politically aligned Police and Crime Commissioners
  • Appointment of a civilian Commissioner for the Met.  She MAY have BEEN a Police Officer, and I’m not disputing that she is suitable, but the precedent has been set. Stand by for more.
  • Proposals for Direct Entry as Chief Constable
  • Police Now and their willingness to assist and support officers seeking alternative employment outside the Police Service after a handful of years, and their infamous ‘Healthy Churn’
  • College of Policing, there are just so many things there that I can’t bring myself to begin.
  • The PoliceFederation – I’m not totally convinced that they’ve been very good at identifying the threats and playing the Long Game.
  • An increase for the budget of HMIC
  • An increase for the budget of IPCC

Where does this bring us?

The Perfect Storm.  Everything is now in place to support the government’s dismantling (some prefer the term destruction) of the Police Service as we knew it.  The Front Line will doubtless cease regarding it as a Job For Life (I much prefer Vocation).  Five years then offski, take the experience learnt into the Private Sector for more money, better prospects, a company car and  weekends at home.


So there we have it, TJF – Very F, very possibly Terminally F.  And it is most certainly NOT the fault of the officers wueueing up to buy a sandwich in a supermarket, a coffee in Starbucks or Costa, or the officers taking too long to get through their lists of outstanding calls.  The substance and appearance of the modern day Police Service has changed substantially, and with crime and demands on the PolicecService rising steadily, is it really a good idea to cull 40,000+ posts?

I think we can all see where this started. Even a Dinosaur.

POLICE REFORM 2017
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The Chickens Have Come Home To Roost

Following on from this week’s tragic events, the pressures on the Metropolitan Police have possibly never been greater since WWII.  I don’t mean that to sound dramatic, but I happen to believe that it’s true.

Quite rightly, the Met has increased Policing levels in London in order to reassure residents and visitors alike, and in an attempt to deter any further terrorist activity in the aftermath of the events at Westminster.

In the main this has been achieved by use of extended tours of duty often ending at 2 or 3 am.  Numerous officers are apparently finding themselves dismissed from duty and unable to find public transport to get home.  This has apparently led to officers sleeping on the floors of their Police Stations so that they will be available for duty the following day.

This is less than desirable for any number of reasons.  In the last 12 hours I have seen appeals circulating on Twitter and Facebook seeking reasonably priced (or free) hotel rooms for officers to get their heads down for a few hours.  To be fair, I don’t know how successful those appeals have been.

Apart from accommodation, those hundreds or thousands of extra officers drafted in to Central London need feeding.  There was a time when the Met was RESILIENT, Self-Sufficient.  It had an enormous feeding centre at Buckingham Gate, capable of feeding officers 24/7/365.  SOLD OFF by the (previous) Mayor of London.

Accommodation?  The Central London Section Houses may just possibly have had some empty rooms, or a room large enough to take some camp beds.  SOLD OFF.

I have no idea what steps the Met hierarchy are taking to secure feeding and accommodation for their fine troops, but I suspect the answer is “not a lot”.  I have seen at least one well onown name suggesting Westminster Hall as a suitable location.  Yes, it would be a magnificent gesture by Parliament to allow its use, but in reality that venue is not available 24/7/365, it has a life of its own. 

I know events such as these, fortunately, don’t happen every day or week, but the Met has lost its legendary resilience, instead officers (or people acting for them) going cap in hand looking for a cheap bed for the night.  Is that really what we want for our chaps and chapesses?

I’m not naive, I know the clock can’t be magically turned back, but surely the events of the last few days have tragically highlighted the folly behind some of the savage cuts?  There has to be some wriggle room to sensibly restore some of the worst excesses of the cuts and go some way towards restoring the resilience and operational self-sufficiency, not only of the Met, but all the Police Forces.

Or are the chickens here to stay?Last Updated on

Seems Like A Reasonable Question To Me

There was a time, I agree, when Police Officers were paid handsomely. I don’t think many would dispute that. They were paid handsomely BECAUSE OF WHAT THEY DO AND WHAT THEY MIGHT HAVE TO DO. They accepted that and were, in the main, happy with the balance. Contrary to what Mrs May and others think, they went about their duties professionally, and carried them out to the very best of their abilities. Untold numbers of meals went uneaten. Untold numbers of social engagements were cancelled. Untold numbers of marriages broke up. Collateral Damage at the hands of Policing. Untold numbers of Police Officers just pitched up for work the next day and did it all over again, soaking up more of the same, willingly. It is what they did.
Then along came Camoron, Cruella and Winsor and destroyed all that.

Now they get paid much less in real terms. Their pensions have been slaughtered. They will be as old as Methusalah before they can retire. And the government, the NPCC, IPCC, HMIC and Uncle Tom Cobley expect more and more and more, and offer less and less and less in return.  Don’t forget that there is also 20,000 fewer of them too.

It isn’t even all about money. They cannot pursue a car, draw a Taser or even use force in the act of arrest or restraint without picturing themselves as The Defendant. The scales have swung too far the other way, and weak management is allowing or even encouraging it. We are very much in danger of losing Policing as we know it.

To the detriment of many things, I loved my 30 years. The best job ever.

Would I do it all again?

Never.

Do I miss it?

Not any longer, but I still miss the people I worked with immensely.

Look around, the NHS, the Police Service, the Armed Forces.  We used to have the finest Health Service in the world, now we are recruiting from foreign climes to get cheap nursing cover.  We used to have the finest Police Service in the world, now a mere shadow of its former self, and running round in ever decreasing circles till they disappear up their own fundament trying to do all the jobs that every other service thinks they can lumber the Police with and save a few bob along the way.  Nearly every nation in the world feared our Armed Forces, now our Army is not much bigger than a Defence Force, our carrier borne aircraft are a bit of a joke thanks to successive government cuts and U turns.

The nurses, the doctors, the Police officers, the soldiers, sailors and aircrew (and their relative support staff) etc are all some of the finest people availabe, but they are hamstrung beyond belief by ‘The Cuts’.  They WANT to do their best but can’t.

“Do More With Less” is the same mantra we hear for all of the Public Sector, except, of course, the politicians, they are getting more now. Austerity does not apply to them.

All of these cuts and the associated ‘wastage’ will take years to put right, if ever. “Work Smarter” then.  Don’t be ridiculous, there is only so much that can be achieved with reduced resources.  Many of the functions carried out by the NHS, Police, Armed Forces (and many other, comparable services) simply need PEOPLE to carry them out, and a certain number of people at minimum.  Below that and we are in the mire.

So Home Secretary, Mrs May, Sir Tom, Sara Thornton “What does your Strategic Risk Assessment tell you is the absolute minimum number of Police Officers needed to provide an efficient PolicecService for England and Wales, and maintain Public Safety and Tranquility?”Last Updated on

It’s The Cuts, That’s All

The Armed Forces are at their lowest strength since before the Second World War.  Successive Strategic Defence Reviews have seen to that.  Only this week we waved goodbye to HMS Illustrious, off to a scrapyard somewhere.  Heaven knows when her replacement will be in situ with some fast jets aboard.  It’s the cuts you know, damned Armed Forces trying to save money, don’t they realise our country is at risk NOW?

Hospitals are closing their Maternity Units, A&E Departments etc etc.  Patients are inconsiderately cluttering up the corridors for hours before taking up a bed somewhere.  Surely they could be a bit more thoughtful. Oh? It’s the cuts you say?  Tight National Health Service trying to save some money while patients die eh?

The Prison Service have gone off piste and have decided to recruit some new Prison Officers.  They got told about the cuts but the prisoners weren’t having any of that so they started a few riots, prisoners and Prison Officers got injured so the soft Prison Service decided to recruit a few more to keep the prisoners happy.

Local Councils across the land have got the message.  They are moving books OUT of libraries to make space for staff and desks and computers etc.  It’s the cuts, stingy councils trying to save themselves some money.  Meals on Wheels? Remember them? Care for the elderly?  Leave them in hospital blocking the beds, that will save us a few thousand.

The Coastguards, they’ve done their bit too.  Shut a few of their coastal stations, outsourced their heliborne rescue service and shed a few coastguards.  That will help.  Who needs safety on our waters, a smaller bill is all we need.

20,000 fewer Police Officers, about 650 fewer Police Stations, savaged Pension Schemes.  The Police are doing their bit.  The only problem there is that crime is going UP. With fewer officers to deal with it, prevent it or solve it that’s a tad problematical, but never mind it will sort itself out, it’s only the cuts after all.  Now, apparently, the Police are somehow responsible for monitoring, or caring for, everyone who is released from Police Custody back into Society.  Where on earth are the resources for that coming from.  Never mind, the cuts will sort it out, they can stop doing something else instead.

As I got to the end of this far-from-exhaustive ‘list’ it occurred to me that there is in fact a Common Denominator.  Her Majesty’s Government.  Now led by Theresa May she has continued with all the old policies of Camoron, and her own as Home Secretary, and it is actually THE GOVERNMENT that are responsible for all these failings.  The BBC and The Mail have been criticising individual organisations for years, but it has now become crystal clear to me, the Government did it. Not the Prison Service, not the NHS, Not the Armed Forces, not the Coastguard Service, not the Police.  It was the government all along.  How did the BBC and The Mail not notice this? Crikey, it seems so simple now.

Maybe if we ask Cruella of the £1000 trousers nicely she’ll put it all back the way it was, except I fear that it’s far too late for that. The damage is done and the damage is deep.

Well done Mrs May. You must be very proud of what you and your party have achieved.Last Updated on

Doing More With Less

Never forget that we have to do more with less, it is the en vogue diktat.

Speak to any Police Officer, Doctor, Nurse etc and they will tell you how they are doing more.

How do we know that they are doing it with less though?  Because the government tells us?

Not exactly.

The latest Police Strength statistics were released recently, showing that in the 12 months to end of September 2105 the Police Service strength had been reduced by a further 1,893 officers or 1.5%. almost all of that number in the second 6 month period, March to September.

A few lucky Forces managed to bucjk the trend and actually recrtuited a positive number in the second 6 months of the year;

  • Cheshire – 21 Officers
  • Lancashire – 24 officers
  • Northamptonshire – 9 officers
  • Warwickshire – 27 officers
  • West Mercia – 72 officers
  • Bedfordshire – 14 officers
  • South Wales – 45 officers

Everybody else lost officers.

The 43 Forces have also lost a total of 1,062 or 1.7% of their Police Staff in that year, 960 or 7.5% of their PCSOs and 722 or 4.3% of the last bastion, the Special Constabulary.  ALL DOWN.

The ‘good news’ does not end there though.

I submitted FOI requests to the 43 Forces to enbquire how many Police Stations have been closed between 2010 and 2015, and how many more were earmarked for closure in the next 5 years.

I have received meaningful replies from 39 of the 43 Forces.

Dorset, Durham and West Midlands don’t seem to want to reply and the idiotic Northamptosnhore Force refused, despite the fact that the information was available in the local paper.

In England and Wales, between 2010 and 2015 at least 605 Police Stations have been closed, or at the very least, closed to the public.

A further, minimum, of 125 have been earmarked for closure by 2020.

So, there you are boys and girls, that is how we are doing more with less, much less, and it keeps on going.Last Updated on