Shhhhhh     It’s A Secret

Yesterday saw the less than glorious story that officers I n Humberside had been threatened with the Official Secrets Act by their very own PCC.

The Grimsby Telepgraph broke the news that Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Grove had stated that officers were not to discuss staffing levels with the press. This follows on from an earlier story when that very same newspaper ran a story that at one Station there had only been 4 officers on duty between 3am and 7am, instead of the required 8.

Mr Grove (Conservative, surprisingly) stated that if any officers told the press how many were on duty they would be in breach of the Official Secrets Act and would “become criminals”

Official Secrets Act? Criminals? Really? This kind of political bullying really has to stop.  It is no surprise that a Tory PCC would want to help play down the drastic effects of government.  The boys and girls who inhabit Westminster are all grown ups allegedly and can quite capably defend their own actions, we don’t need a PCC bullying and threatening the troops for telling the truth.

Is it even a Secret? No, of course it isn’t.  Hidden away in the reams of stats that the Home Office and HMIC publish ad nauseum is the number of officers per 1,000 (might be 10,000 but you get the idea) head of population,  not a secret of any kind, particularly not an Official one, it’s more or less a published stat.

The Front Line is frayed and ragged, stretched to unbelievable levels.  None of us need PCCs like Mr Grove threatening quite awful sanctions for telling the truth. Let’s be honest, if the Tories had somehow managed to double the number of officers on patrol the likes of Mr Grove would be shouting that from the rooftops. No threats for breaking the Official Secrets Act there.

No officer anywhere should be bullied or threatened if what they have said is the truth.  Sanctions against anybody who speaks the truth leads us all to a very dark place, and I, for one, don’t want to be in that place.

I have said it many times before, and no doubt I will say it again, good, bad or indifferent our public deserve to be told the truth.

Give Bullying The Boot

Let’s be honest bullying of any sort has no place in modern society, I don’t think very many would disagree with that’s.

The irony is that many who vow to stamp out bullying are, in fact, some of the biggest bullies themselves.

I was having an e-chat yesterday with somebody yesterday and we agreed that (as highlighted in Alex Stewart’s article in the press) that many Police Senior Officers were guilty of bullying.   “If you don’t like it you can leave”‘ “Just Fucking Do It” and many more similar examples.  Those attitudes belong in a totally different era, and have absolutely no place in modern day Policing, or indeed, in modern day life.

Our Thin Blue Line is thin enough already. We certainly do not need any officer, Front Line or not, to be BULLIED out of the Service. Alex is the latest, not the only, example.  I don’t need to name them but we have seen several examples in the last year or two of CORPORATE BULLYING and are the culprits brought to account for it?…………Silence.

What chance do we stand though when our leaders set us such a terrible example?  It’s almost as though it’s a course of conduct which is condoned at the very top.  Intelligent, educated people resorting to bullying to control the underlings and get their own way.   Governments who change the law because their policies are unlawful.  BULLYING in my humble opinion.

Then there are the unforgettable statements such as

Reform or I will reform you – “The Federation was created by an Act of Parliament and it can be reformed by an Act of Parliament. If you do not change of your own accord, we will impose change on you.”

“So that is my offer to you: more reform to make your lives better, to save police time, and to give you more discretion so that you can get on with the jobs you are trained to do.

You can choose to work with me. Or you can choose to shout from the sidelines. ……..;;”

That is not a choice, that is the Home Secretary BULLYING the Federation to get in line with the agenda.  Like a playground bully “if you don’t do as I say you’ll be sorry”

I know we won’t normally have another election for a few years now, but it is incumbent upon us to let our politicians know that BULLYING has no part to play in our society, no part to play in a democracy. Politicians are supposed to be better than that.