I Must Have Nodded Off And Woken Up In LaLa Land

I’m about to phone the surgery and make an appointment to see the doctor.   Either the news of the last few days is absolutely crazy or I really have the lost the plot and need a comfy room with no sharp edges.

  1.  We had the ’email’ asking Police in London not to wear their Union Flag badges. Sir Bernard Hogan-Who has apparently stated that he has ‘no issues’ with it but senior officers are reportedly concerned that the badge could provoke ill-feeling or cause offence in some communities.   What communities?  What ill-feeling or offence?  The Police Community are most certainly offended by the request/instruction.  It has since been reported that this was a local email to one borough only, but I don’t really care, the damage has already been done.  BHH says he has ‘no issues’ with it, why should anybody else go against that.  Produce the intelligence or evidence that will demonstrate the ill-feeling or offence and just maybe I’ll agree with you, whoever you are.  Don’t be a nameless, faceless puppet, who issued this email?  Who is the Senior Officer that thinks it will cause Ill-feeling or offence?  Do we not deserve to know?
  2. BBC Local news this morning reported on the shooting of 4 men in Birmingham yesterday.  Most of the article was taken up by interviewing local residents who blamed the Police for this shooting.  Apparently they did nothing to ‘protect the community’ from this shooting, and one lady even described a ‘cop stood around doing nothing’.  I’m sure he/she wasn’t actually standing around doing nothing while the shooting was allowed to take place, but the BBC reported it well.  Silly me, I always thought it was the fault of the person who pulled the triger, it never occurred to me that 4 people getting shot could be the Police’s fault.
  3. A tweet or tweets from @FHamiltonTimes this morning finally convinced me that I am going mad.  In all my 30 years serving Queen and Country it never once occurred to me that Over Zealous Lawn Mowing should have been recorded as a crime.  To be honest, I have seldom encountered ‘over zealous lawn mowing’ to have even considered the issue.

 

That’s me done for the day, off to lie down in a darkened room before the next person is due to wind me up at about mid-day

Govt PROVES It Doesn’t Care About Policing

just when you thought you were buckling up for a bumpy ride, the whole thing went off the rails.

During the lifetime of the last, inept, coalition government we saw cutbacks to Policing (amongst other Public Services I hasten to add) on a totally unprecedented and eye-watering scale.

At the last count we have lost something in the order of 17,500 warranted Police Officers with a similar number of Support Staff.

Depending upon where you live or work we have lost a significant number of Police Dogs, vital to the fight against Crime and Public Disorder in my opinion. Does anybody outside government disagree please?  In my own Force area we currently have a grand total of 64 Police Dogs to cover this and another Force area on a resource-sharing scheme. 64 dogs to cover 3 large rural counties plus one other smaller county.  Is that reasonable/feasible/sustainable?

Since at least 2010 #DeadBadgerShire Police have had NO Police Horses at all.

The number of Emergency, and Non-Emergency Calls to Police rises year upon year.

The population of #DeadBadgerShire has increased by more than the National Average, by 8% I believe, in the past few years.

Only the government and Sara Thornton persist with the ridiculous lie that crime has fallen.  Even in Theresa May’s own constituency Recorded Crime generally has risen.  Why would she not know that?

Why do the government and NPCC persist with the lie that crime has fallen?  What is their agenda? We probably know the answer to that, but I’m shocked that NPCC are Aiding and Abetting this villainous Home Secretary.

On one hand we have Theresa May saying that crime is down and on the other hand chastising the Police for fiddling the crime figures. Which is it to be?  She can’t assert that crime is down based on dodgy stats, so where is this coming from?  Not Recorded Crime or ONS data that’s for sure.

Knife Crime, Stabbings etc are Up, but Theresa May insists that we cut back on Stop and Search.

Manpower down, Horses down, Air Support arguably down, Dogs down, Police Stations down, Front Counters down, budgets down.

In the face of all this Crime is Up, the Population is Up, Demand on Police Resources is Up and further, staggeringly severe cuts are in the offing.

The National Audit Office recently claimed that the Home Office don’t  understand the cuts they are making, yet, do they call a halt to reconsider?  No they do not, Carry On Regardless.

  

In the latest chapter of the Conservative buffoonery Policing minister Mike Penning announced a funding consultation yesterday, in the wake of a “comprehensive” review of the existing formula. He said the new model would use population levels and characteristics, as well as environmental factors, to determine how money is allocated. The intention is to create a “fair, robust and transparent” system. But at least one PCC remained sceptical, saying it reinforced the need to support the PCC’s Fair Funding campaign. “We will not have another chance to achieve fair funding for at least a decade if this revision fails us,” he said. “Over 1,700 have signed the petition to date but we need to make that figure much higher so that the Home Secretary recognises the strength of feeling from local people who are being discriminated against.

The only possible explanation that I can think of is that the government simply DO NOT CARE and are following an agenda that many may suspect but has not been openly declared yet.

Please explain to me how I am wrong.

Maybe, somewhere, somehow this whole criminal, reckless scandal breaches the Human Rights of the British Population at large.

Is Theresa May Completely Out Of Touch With Everybody?

Have her advisers and researchers let her down? Is she poorly briefed?

Maybe she just knows better than everybody else and we have yet to realise that.

Maybe she is rigidly toeing the Party Line and doing & saying just what Mr Camoron tells her to do and say.

One thing that is for certain is that she is hell-bent on taking no notice whatsoever of what the Front Line are telling her.  Apparently we are all just “Scaremongering”. I’m sure you all heard her speech at the PFEW Conference or have read the headlines.  Crime is down and those that say otherwise are just Scaremongering.

So please – for your sake and for the thousands of police officers who work so hard every day – this crying wolf has to stop

 

Today, you’ve said that neighbourhood police officers are an “endangered species”. I have to tell you that this kind of scaremongering does nobody any good – it doesn’t serve you, it doesn’t serve the officers you represent, and it doesn’t serve the public.

 

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. What I offer is a positive vision for policing, one in which it is an exciting time to be a police officer, where you have the freedom to get on with your job, where you are rewarded for your skills and hard work, and where policing is fit for the future.

 

So, we’ve established that she’s out of touch with the Police.

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She said the next phase of her police reform programme would include technological changes such as transforming police cars into police stations and the wider adoption of body-worn video cameras. But it would also include moves to reduce demand on policing at a time when crime is falling.

She accused the Police Federation of scaremongering and repeatedly “crying wolf” over the impact of the previous round of cuts in police funding as part of the government’s austerity programme – and rejected their claims that further cuts would force them to adopt “paramilitary styles of policing” in Britain.

 

The home secretary said that a new policing bill in next week’s Queen’s speech would “allow us to go further and faster with reform freeing up police time and putting policing back in the hands of professionals”.

 

Is that really what is necessary or wanted?  Not wanted by the Police, not considered necessary by the Police and I’m reasonably sure that huge chunks of the Public don’t want it or believe that such swingeing cuts are necessary or good for the Country.

So there you have it, I already think that the Home Secretary has lost touch with the reality of what the people on the ground, the practitioners, are saying.   The only organisation she takes notice of is HMIC apparently, need I say more on that subject?

Is she ignoring everybody or is she being worked by a Puppetmaster?

But Mrs May is an elected Member of Parliament and has Constituency matters to occupy her time as well as being Home Secretary.  Surely she would have her ear to the ground and know what was going on in leafy Maidenhead, wouldn’t she?

The town of Maidenhead has a population of about 80,000 and Wiki describes it thus;

Maidenhead is a large affluent town and unparished area in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, in Berkshire,

Not too shabby.  There are approx 75,000 voters in the constituency.

A few, short days ago I wrote a post challenging the idea that Crime is Down.  I haven’t heard anything from the Home Secretary so I presume she hasn’t read it yet, but I’m sure she will.  So, we’ve now established that she’s out of touch with the various bodies that publish Crime Stats.

So how is crime doing in leafy Maidenhead? Down or Up?

Surely Mrs May would know what was happening with Crime in her constituency wouldn’t she? After all, Crime Is Falling.

http://www.ukcrimestats.com/Subdivisions/WMC/65901/ tells us what the crime situation is in the parliamentary Constituency of Maidenhead.

Crime in the Parliamentary Constituency of Maidenhead
Crime in the Parliamentary Constituency of Maidenhead

It gets slightly easier to read if you click on it.

Sadly I can’t extract the whole data table from the website but it it’s clear from the data above that overall, after a dip last year, total crime is now on the increase in Maidenhead.

Graphs of Crime, both with and without Anti-Social Behaviour over the last 12 months show that crime is once again on the increase in Maidenhead, not significantly I grant you, and it peaks and troughs throughout the year, but I see NOTHING in the crime data for Mrs May’s constituency to convince me that CRIME IS DOWN.  You would think that she would know what was going on in her own constituency wouldn’t you?

Crime without ASB Maidenhead

 

Crime including ASB Maidenhead
Crime including ASB Maidenhead

So maybe she’s out of touch with her public as well.

Just to rub salt into her wounds I suppose I should remind us all that she remains only the second serving Home Secretary to have a conviction for Contempt of Court, so I guess she’s out of touch with the judicial system as well.  On the first occasion, in 1991, Kenneth Baker ignored an instruction from a judge in an asylum case and the ruling against him was backed up by five law lords in a landmark judgement.

Crime Is Down

How many times have we heard that in the past few months?  Apart from the fact that Crime and Policing seemed to play no part in any party’s manifesto for the 2015 General Election the mantra coming out of the Home Office doors and windows is that Crime Is Down.

Repeat after me, Crime Is Down, Crime Is Down, Crime Is Down.  Believing it yet?

The fact that crime is down has been very convenient for the Home Office’s intended policy to reduce the number of Police Officers on our streets. Not only is crime down, but under the Tory-led coalition government since 2010, Police Officers are down, Police Dogs are down, Police Horses are down, Police Helicopters are down, Police Vehicles are down and Police Stations are down. So, all in all it’s a damn good job that crime is down or it could be a bit #awkward for Theresa May.

But that isn’t actually true is it?

Crime has RISEN by 4% in Wales.

Whilst it’s not strictly speaking part of our problem, crime has RISEN by 2.3% in Northern Ireland.

That august, and respected body, the Offiice of National Statistics has published a bold headline story that Crime in England and Wales is down by 7%.  This would be the same ONS that declared above that crime had increased by 4% in Wales would it?  Crikey, people in England must be experiencing a fantastic reduction to juggle those two arguments then.  But then you find the much smaller story in their report that RECORDED CRIME for England and Wales is UP by 2%.  The Crime Survey figures for England and Wales do indeed show a reduction, but they also show crime at a MUCH HIGHER level than Recorded Crime, so take your pick.

Next, we have CrimeStatsUk.com who have released figures for the period ending end of March 2015 (see the 2 graphs below) and whether you  include Anti Social Behaviour or not, they show a sharp rise at the beginning of 2025 and still rising.

All Crime Including ASB

 

All Crime Without ASB

Finally, and most importantly, we have the cops on the ground.  I distinct impression from listening to serving Police Officers on Social Media that crime is rising.  They may not know the numbers but they do most definitely know how frequently they are called upon to report or investigate a crime.  They are perfectly well qualified to comment on whether they are generally busier or not.

To return to the ONS data, if I believe the Crime Survey data just for a moment, it does indeed show a reduction from 2013 to 2014, BUT the Crime Survey figures are more than twice the level of Recorded Crime, so to boldly claim that “crime is down 7%” may be technically accurate it completely ignores the fact that they believe that crime levels are more than twice the level we think they are.

Well spun ONS, I salute you.

You can find the ONS comparison of Crime Survey vs Reported Crime over the years here

Not only do #CutsHaveConsequences but it seems that they are partly based on a false premise.

Oh No, Not Statistics Again?

Last year we had one hell of a kerfuffle over #CrimeStats, they were, quite rightly, shown up by James Patrick for exactly what they are and what they’re worth – Nada.

Any Police Officer or ex Police Officer who chooses to be honest would tell you that at the very least the figures are ‘massaged’ and in the worst case scenarios outright fiddled.  I’m absolutely certain that the degree varies from Force to Force, and they may each have their own unique reasons for cooking the books, but I’m equally certain that it’s a universal problem and I’m not convinced it’s properly mended yet.

#CrimeStats are not the only controversial set of figures however.  How about Unemployment levels?  How ‘fixed’ are they?

For absolutely decades we have seen “Unemployment is down” only for a corresponding increase in the number of sick and incapacitated.  There wouldn’t be a connection surely?  The government wouldn’t be that cynical would they.

Then DWP decide they want to get people ‘back to work’ off the sick, and Unemployment rises again, but still no connection between the two you understand.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way in favour of fiddling the #CrimeStats, I’ve long since advocated publishing the true figures, good, bad or indifferent, and deal with what comes out.  This is also true of Unemployment, Sickness and Incapacity etc.  People should not be shuffled off one list onto another to suit the Policy of the Day, but whichever list they happen to be is presumably where they properly belong and steps should be taken within that context to get them back to work if possible, not onto somebody else’s list.

So, if anybody is listening and not too busy banging the table to welcome Mr Camoron into the room (how very childish) (that’s one tradition he doesn’t mind observing but can’t bring himself to thank the Police after the Election) I call the government to get THEIR house into order.  The Police are trying to sort the nightmare that is #CrimeStats out and get some accurate figures out, and until they do, we don’t really know whether crime is up or down, I’ve yet to find an accurate method of measuring Unreported Crime.  Let the government finally publish ACCURATE figures on Unemployment etc which don’t swing backwards and forwards on a whim.

Not too much to ask is it?