Just What Have The Tories Done To Policing?

It’s a question I’ve been asking myself since 2010 to be honest. My opinions have never been favourable to the Tories, but apart from the constant, ongoing, reduction in officers I’ve never really put many numbers to it.

I fear that is about to change, but to be easy you, I hope to achieve most of what I have to say with some pretty pictures.

The whole of this project was sparked off by the finding of a government briefing paper on Police Service Strength, dated October 2018, so relatively up to date.

The first item that really boiled my piss was when I saw how well the Tories had truly protected the Front Line, as they have constantly claimed to have done.

Really? Protected the Front Line? We know that this government and previous administrations since 2010, have culled about 22,000 Police Officers from the overall strength. How does that look nationally? Post Code Policing I would call it.

In numbers, it looks like this. How does your Force fare?

How do we fare against our European counterparts? We must be in a quite healthy position surely?

 

European Police Officers per 100,000 head of population

24th out of 27? Is that where we want to be? Is that where we ought to be? Why are we so close to the bottom?

How are we faring at home?

The population of England and Wales is rising, as you may expect

Population of England and Wales 2003-2018
Officers per 100k head of population

So, as we can see, as one goes up the other goes down, quite markedly. Not very good really.

Well, that’s not looking too good so far, the Front Line has clearly NOT been protected, the population increases every year, with the number of Police Officers having been slashed by about 22,000 it is no surprise to see that the number of officers per 100,000 head of population is falling. What is absolutely staggering, and unforgivable is where we stand in comparison to our European neighbours.

How have we come to be in this situation? What is going on in the Police Service? Somebody on Twitter posed the question about crimes per 100,000 head of population. I can’t show that information on a map but I’ll do what I can.

Crimes per 100,000 Head of Population 2002-2017

As I see it, the crime rate was steadily falling until about 2011 and then it has more or less continued to rise ever since. At the same time as the number of Police Officers per 100,000 head of population has been steadily falling. Could there be a connection?

So where have all our Police Officers gone? What has befallen them and who is left behind?

Police Service Age Bands 2007-2018

The youngest age band (under 26) took a bit of a dip but then started to come back in about 2015. The most significant change is in the reduction in the 26-40 band, where, arguably, most of the experience is located. That started to decline in about 2010 and hasn’t really recovered. The Police Service is hemorrhaging experience and the numbers are really only slightly offset by the resurgence in younger officers, with less experience. Numbers are down 22,000 and those left behind have less experience.

Anything else going on with the ‘Leavers’ of note or interest?

Police Service – Routes Out 2006-2018

A bit busy and memuddled this one but one thing is clear that after an initial drop, numbers of officers leaving began to climb again from about 2010 onwards with 2015-2018 seeing record numbers leaving the Service.

In an attempt to inject some clarity I have separated the different exit routes to see more clearly what is going on.

Death In Service 2006-2018
Dismissal From Police Service 2006-2018
Medical Retirement 2006-2018
Normal Retirement 2006-2018
Voluntary Resignation 2006-2018

You’ll be pleased to know that’s the last chart/infographic for today. What do these last 5 tell us about officers leaving the Service? Fortunately the incidence of Death in Service seems to be falling and hopefully will continue to do so. Voluntary Resignations were falling but began to climb again about 2012 and seemingly continue to do so. Worryingly Dismissals began to rise steeply about 2012/13 and remain high. Is this a coincidence or an indication that IOPC/IPCC/DPS/PSD have been complicit in reducing numbers to satisfy the Home Office? I don’t know, but I don’t like the graph. Medical Retirement also shot up after about 2010, is this another way of getting rid of officers who would otherwise have been kept on, to appease the Home Office? Again, I don’t know, but I’ll ask the question. Bizarrely Normal Retirement is all over the shop, I have no explanation for that whatsoever, maybe you can suggest one.

In conclusion, to answer my own question, I believe that, put together, all of the statistics demonstrated above indicate a systematic running down of the Police Service that started under David Camoron and Theresa May and continued under the current Prime Minister and assorted Home Secretaries. Crie is Down, Police Reform is Working clearly doesn’t wash. Police numbers are down, crime, however you measure it is up, and the public have a very much thinned-out and depleted Police Service. The Primary Duty of any government is to ensure the safety of its citizens. I dare to suggest that the combination of charts above categorically demonstrates that this government are NOT ensuring the safety of its citizens. I haven’t even touched on Knife Crime this time round, but that is at horrendous levels at the moment with no support from Central Government for the support and tactics that the practitioners believe will be effective and work.

Since Camoron and subsequently May came to power in 2010 we have lost


  • approximately 15% of our Police Officers
  • approximately 40% of our Police and Community Support Officers
  • approximately 25% of our Special Constabulary
  • approximately 21% of our Police Support Staff
  • approximately 650 Police Stations or Public-facing Front Counters
  • An unknown number of miscellaneous buildings and vehicles

Can we really expect our Police Service (or any other Public Sector organisation) to continue to function at the highest levels in the face of such stringent cuts? There is no capacity for proactivity any more. Theresa May, as Home Secretary, initiated these cuts and then issued a diktat demanding less Stop and Search. Crime is rising, we have fewer officers and our politicians are interfering making sure that we are less effective in maintaining Law and Order. Officers are getting burnt out, many have committed or contemplated suicide or self-harm, almost every Force in the UK owes its officers thousands of hours in overtime and re-rostered Rest Days. This is simply neither sustainable nor good for the health of the workforce. NPCC and government try to convince us that they are concerned about Mental Health, but I see no practical evidence of that fact, just words.

That it is my idea of what the Tories have done to the Police Service. It is my belief that the government cannot even begin to challenge my figures above as, with the exception of SOME population statistics, every single one has been lifted from official Home Office publications or government briefing documents compiled by the Office for National Statistics. You, the reader, can agree with me, or disagree, I don’t mind either, but the argument is certainly worthy of discussion. If not challenged, where will it all end?

Reversing the cuts since 2010 is just the beginning. Crime has risen, demand for Police has risen, numbers have been reduced and those that are left behind have arguably less experience (absolutely no disrespect intended). We need to get back to a situation that is better than 2010 but recruitment and training are not achieved overnight. The government, and others, seem to think that Direct Entry, Police Now and a ‘Healthy Churn’ are the answer to this crisis. I beg to differ. It will take years, and for that I blame David Camoron, Theresa May and any Conservative MP that has voted for these cuts and failed to challenge them. It is a National Disgrace.

That is what the Conservatives have done to our Police Service, once the finest in the world, but sadly no longer.

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Knife Crime Prevention Orders – That Should Sort It.

My thanks to @julieanneda for bringing this article to my attention. Our Home Secretary Sajid Javid has finally got off his arse and done something about the rapidly escalating Knife Crime sweeping the country. He is apparently proposing Knife Crime Prevention Orders.

What are the main features of these Orders?

The measures will place curbs on suspects, such as limiting their use of social media to stop gang rivalries escalating online.

A breach of the order, which can be issued to anyone aged 12 or over who is believed by police to routinely carry a blade, will be a criminal offence that could result in up to two years in prison.

The knife crime prevention orders could also include restrictions relating to social media use. That should be particularly effective. Anybody prepared to carry a blade and stick it into another human being will definitely stay away from Twitter and Instagram if they’re told to.

The Home Office has also announced a £500,000 fund to help trading standards teams secure the prosecution of retailers who repeatedly sell knives to under-18s. I can’t help but think they’re targeting the wrong people here. Yes, it is wrong, they should definitely not be selling blades to youths, but they might eventually work out that they could just take one out of the kitchen drawer

Youths subject of such an order could be required to abide by curfews and geographical restrictions, and attend knife crime awareness courses. Knife Awareness Courses might work to a degree, education is never a bad thing, but curfews? In my humble opinion curfews only work in company with a programme of Curfew Visits designed to make sure that little Johnny is actually abiding by his curfew. Knock on his door and speak to him, don’t just take it for granted that he will abide by it. This won’t happen though for two reasons

    Some Human Rights lawyer somewhere will decide this isn’t a fair tactic (I don’t see why not).
    The government has culled 21,000 officers so the Police Services no longer has the resources for proactivity such as this. This is what a Conservative government under Theresa May looks like.

John Apter, the national chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales said Javid had missed the opportunity to significantly reduce the problem.

“The government is simply tinkering around the edges of this highly complex and very serious issue. While I cannot fault Mr Javid’s intentions I do not hold out much hope that these measures will have the dramatic impact I am sure he is hoping they will.”

Sarah Jones MP, the chair of the all-party parliamentary group on knife crime, said:

”Knife crime is an epidemic which the government has failed to grip. Ministers have listened to our calls to intervene with young people at an earlier stage – but this proposal is flawed.

Analysis commissioned by the Guardian also showed that searches of black people were less likely to detect crime than those conducted on white people, and most stops found no wrongdoing. I would love to see that piece of work.

A weak proposal in my opinion. Street criminals now have no fear of being arrested. They know that resources are stretched and their chances have improved.

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Taxi For Mrs May

Call me old-fashioned but it is clearly time for Theresa May to go. She has made a complete Horlicks (mustn’t swear apparently) of the Brexit negotiations. Her own party are turning against her in ever-increasing numbers, she has no credibility left in the eyes of many.

My own personal opinion is that she is determined to be the person who delivers Brexit, whatever the cost to the country. I suspect that she sees herself as a modern-day Maggie Thatcher, but she is anything but that.

Yesterday the Superintendents Association began their Annual Conference. The opening speech of their Chairman, Gavin Thomas, contained the following;

It comes rather late but must be seen by many as a damning indictment of ‘Police Reform’. Theresa May’s own personal crusade savaged in public by Gavin. Even the bosses have had enough and are beginning to speak out. Their voices are beginning to swell, soon we will have a choir all using the same hymn sheet.

In 2015 the National Audit Office first issued a report stating, quite clearly, that the Home Office did not understand the cuts it was making to the Police Service.

Home Office making police cuts without understanding, report says

The Home Office has been accused of making deep cuts in policing without understanding how it will affect the public in a highly critical official auditors’ report.

The National Audit Office has also concluded that civil servants as well as forces in England and Wales do not have a clear understanding of the demands placed on them or the factors that affect their costs.

The NAO’s findings come weeks after Theresa May, the home secretary, accused the Police Federation of crying wolf about the impact of austerity as she warned rank-and-file officers to brace themselves for fresh cuts.

Fast Forward to 2018 and this morning the headlines are

Home Office ignorant of strain on police after cuts, says watchdog

Whitehall’s spending watchdog has accused the Home Office of being ignorant of the strain that police officers are under after funding cuts led to 45,000 job losses.

The report from the National Audit Office comes as a debate rages over why crime is rising. Suppressed government research has suggested cuts have played a part though ministers deny this.

The NAO found there had been a 19% drop in funding for police since the Conservatives took power in 2010, and officers were struggling to maintain an effective service.

Suppressed government research? That’s an interesting phrase. Where have we found that before? Oh yes, the suppressed research into Stop and Search.

Your time is up Mrs May, you have had three years since the 2015 report to sort this shambles out but what have you actually done? Carried on with your discredited ‘Reforms’ and made things much, much worse.

Additionally Mrs May was only the second Home Secretary to possess a conviction for Contempt of Court, and, of course, now becomes the FIRST Prime Minister to be so encumbered. How does that look in the eyes of other countries?

Your time is up. Your stewardship of this country has been abysmal, a veritable balls-up, Taxi for Theresa May.

**Sorry, I forgot, we shouldn’t criticise the government**Last Updated on

Smoke And Mirrors? Meet Mirrors And Smoke

Dear reader I am typing this slowly as I know it’s a dry, boring subject that most of us don’t bother with, but unfortunately for you, I do. You may want to make yourself a cup of strong coffee before you read any further.

I have been looking at the strength of the various Police Forces post 2010.  The Home Office and HMIC like to quote these numbers as “officers per 100,000 head of population”.  I took a small liberty with this and I used “Constables per 100,000 head of population” as I don’t really care how many top-floor oiks there are, it’s the ground floor that interfaces with the public in the important ways.

Having aquired all the relevant data from official government statistics I laid it out and, unsurprisingly, EVERY single Force now has fewer Constables per 100,000 head of population, but the spread is not fair and even. Some have lost a far bigger percentage than others.

The luckiest Forces have only lost about 2% of their Constables (Surrey) , but others have lost as many as 30% (Greater Manchester, Nottinghamshire, West Midlands). The National Average being 20%.

I then thought that I would look and see if this had had a disproportionale or discernible effect on Crime Levels.

This was where I noticed the first anomaly.  The government quotes Police Officer numbers as “Officers per 100,000 head of population” as I mentioned above.

I soon realised that Police Force Crime Rates are quoted a “Crimes per 10,000 head of population”.  Now I know that we’re all capable of putting an extra zero on the end and making them comparable, but it could be deemed a bit more devious than that.

Measure Police Officers per 100,000 head of population gives you a bigger number, psychologically more acceptable. Dare I say “a good thing”. Makes it sound like more officers than if expressed the other way.

Measure Crimes as per 10,000 head of population gives you a smaller number, more acceptable and another “good thing”.  People might even think that crime is down.

When the post 2010, reduced, Police Force numbers are compared to the Crime Rates, MOST Forces have managed to make noticeable reductions in these crime rates.  The reductions go from 2.3% (Cleveland and Northamptonshire), to 29.7% (Cumbria) with the National Average being 11.6%.  However some have suffered increased Crime Rates between 3.4% (Merseyside) and 22.2% (Staffordshire).

The above results were judged against Office of National Statistics / Crime Survey of England & Wales data, the government’s preferred ‘official’ datase, and definitely caused me to wonder why two datasets that are obviously intertwined are expressed differently by a factor of 10.  If you wanted your audience to understand would you not use the same units for both datasets, thus enabling an obvious and instant comparison?

I did wonder what the same picture would look like, based on ‘out of favour’ Police Recorded Crime statistics.

Using the ONS/CSEW Statistics only 7 Forces did not show a reduction in the Crime Rate post 2010. Using Police Recorded Crime 24 of them (more than half) failed to show a reduction in the Crime Rate.

Those demonstrating a reduction varied between 2.7% (Nottinghamshire) and 22% (Lincolnshire).  The National Average is an INCREASE of 2.7% per 100,000 head of population. A quite different picture I’m sure you will agree,

My dislike of the ONS/CSEW methodology and resultant statistics is well know to a lot of you, and I know there are many academics out there who have tried to explain it to me and persuade me, but I’m a stubborn old git and I prefer things that can be counted rather than estimated. Police Recorded Crime has been under the spotlight for a few yerars now, and I refuse to believe that they are not somewhere acceptably close to accurate, although CSEW figures and Recorded Crime do sometimes include different categories for some bizarre reason that maybe the Home Office could explain to us.

I have deliberately excluded Fraud, Cyber Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour from both sets of figures.

The ONS/CSEW figures are consistently higher than Recorded Crime figures but their behavious is quite different.  They show a ‘decrease’ in crime which I’m sure many of you do not recognise.  They also paint a picture of most Forces winning the fight against crime and bringing it down.

Police Recorded Crime figures are significantly lower than the ONS/CSEW stats so favoured by government. However, they show that MOST Forces are failing to reduce the Crime Rate.

This is most definitely NOT a criticism of the Police Forces, they have suffered real cuts as referred to above.  The government, in the form of the Home Office, is spinning the figures to make Police Numbers appear better, crime rates appear lower and totally disguises how effective the Forces are being at combatting Crime Rates.

It is time for the government to stop crying “Crime is Down. Police Reform is Working” and deal with the reality of the situation.

Just for the sake of reassurance every single number I have used has been extracted from an official government dataset.  No guessing and estimating here ONS.

Finally, the Force that lost the biggest percentage of its Constables has experienced an INCREASE in crime of 5.2% against the Crime Survery figures and 16.5% against Police Recorded Crime.

Smoke and Mirrors have got nothing on our government.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

Reform Is Down, Crime Is Working

Well, honestly, it makes much more sense than the Crime Is Down, Reform Is Working mantra that we’re used to getting rammed down our throats doesn’t it?

On the matter of “REFORM” my view is clear, I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll have to say it again, but ‘Reform’ is simply NOT working, and it is not working on so many levels.

The Oxford Dictionary defines Reform:-

Make changes in (something, especially an institution or practice) in order to improve it.

Please tell me in which areas the Police Service has been improved because I’m struggling to think of one this morning.  Which other Public Service has been improved by Tory Reforms?  Again I’m struggling.  NHS, Fire & Rescue Service, Coastguard, Education, Justice have all been hugely improved by the Tories since 2010.  Armed Forces?  Don’t get me going on that one, suffice to say I don’t believe that successive governments have invested sufficiently in the Armed Forces.

There are some things in life that the government (of any hue) simply has to afford.

For as long as I can remember we have been subjected to politician after politician, PCC after PCC telling us that Crime Is Down.

Is it?

The government’s current favourite, the Crime Survey for England and Wales has this to say about Police Recorded Crime

The police recorded 4.5 million offences in the year ending March 2016, an annual rise of 8%. However, this series is not considered a reliable indicator of trends in crime; most of the latest rise is thought to be due to improved crime recording practices and processes leading to a greater proportion of reports of crime being recorded in the last year than in the previous year.

So, Front Line Police say that Crime Is Up, but we don’t like that so we’ll go with the CSEW version

Latest estimates from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), the best measure of crime trends for the population and offences it covers, showed a 6% fall in the number of incidents against adults for the survey year ending March 2016 (6.3 million, compared with 6.8 million in the previous survey year).

So, let me get this straight, the CSEW figures show that crime is at a level approx 50% higher than Police Recorded Crime but because it shows a small dip, and Police Stats can’t be trusted, the CSEW version suits their soundbites better.

How does “Crime is down but it’s much higher than the Police think it is” sound?

My final Gripe Of The Day is violent crime in London and the Police & Government response to it.

The charts below relate to the last 12 months, see what you think

KNIFE CRIME


GUN CRIME


STOP AND SEARCH


In response to such awful gun and knife crime figures, what do we do?  We reduce Stop and Search by about 70% is what we do.

The blue line looks better, we’ve improved our arrest rate from 8.3% to 19%, well done everyone.  By my lack of a degree reckoning 8.3% of 533 thousand is about 44,000.  Whereas 19% of 160 thousand is about 30,000.  Not looking so impressive now is it?  Contrary to how the chart looks, arrests are actually DOWN by about HALF.

What do the government have to say about that?  Absolutely NOTHING.  They have a vision for how the Police Service should look and what it should do and they’re not going to deviate from that, and heaven forbid that should actually listen to the practitioners.

So, YES, Reform IS Down and Crime IS Working, particularly gun and knife crime.  How on earth can they just sit quietly and ignore all those shattered or damaged lives?

This tweet just about says it all for me

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An Englishman’s Home Is His Castle

Or is it?

I can’t begin to speak for the County Forces, I have absolutely no idea what their rules are or were. However, back in 1972 when I joined the Met I had no say in it, I simply HAD to live within a 25 mile radius of Central London.  I can’t remember now whether it was Hyde Park Corner or Charing Cross, but there isn’t much difference.

It didn’t end there either.  Once my family and I had found a house we would like to live in I had to submit a report to the Senior Management to obtain permission to live there.  Partly to ensure that my choice of abode was within the dreaded circle, but also in order that the neighbours could be vetted, to ensure that I would not be living next to a drug dealer, murderer or bank robber etc.  I understand why, I understand completely, but it completely rode roughshod over the rights and wishes of my wife and family.

Over the years the rules were relaxed and eventually officers were moving out of London for the more affordable accommdation available just a few miles outside, or maybe even as far away as the South Coast if you were really lucky.

Alongside the private sector there were alays Section Houses and a small number of flats for single officers, and a range of 2,3 or 4 bed Married Quarters for families.

Eventually, along came Boris, and to help the Met achieve its Austerity targets most, if not all, of the Section Houses and Married Quarters were sold off to property developers.

House prices in London, and private rentals, are now sky high, so now more than ever, officers are forced to live further and further away from London in order to find a reasonable house, at an affordable price, in a reasonable area.

Next hing we know we have Policy Exchange recommending that officers should live within the communities they Police. Forgetting the price of housing just for one second, why does the officer’s wife/husband/partner have no say in where they live? Why do their rights and expectations get absolutely squashed by the Police Service?

Police Officers and their families living on a Council Estate that they patrol during their working hours?  What could possibly go wrong?

Today we have the press running a total non-story about Met Officers living in Cornwall, or even the South of France.  So what?  They don’t commute that journey every day.

Officers could,and probably would, live much closer to Londn if they could afford it.  House prices have risen, officers’ take-home pay has decreased thanks to the May/Winsor coalition ‘Reforms’. Section Houses and Married Quarters are no longer an option.  They have been sold off to the highest bidder.

The basic reasons for all of this can be traced back to Central Government, Boris and no doubt Police and Crime Commissioners across the land.  Short-sighted, stupid, sucking up to May and Winsor?  Who knows, but a disastrous policy that would have prevented mischievous headlines lke we saw today.

Met terror warning as report reveals ‘commuter cops’ live as far away as Cornwall and the South of France

Police Officers’ partners, wives, husbands have rights. Ignore that at your perilLast Updated on

A Post-Apocalyptic Dawn

Apologies for the duplication, I had a technical problem with the url after correcting some typos

Well, it’s taken 4 years but the Horsemen finally seem to have earnt their corn.

The votes have been counted and verified and I can announce that the winner is Theresa May.

Results in Wales are not set to be announced until Sunday but it seems that the Tory Machine has won the day.  Having lost Cheshire, Leicestershire  and Humberside to Labour, they went on to take Hampshire from Independent, Kent from Independent, Lincolnshire from Independent, Norfolk from Independent, Surrey from Independent, Warwickshire from Independent and West Mercia from Independent.  So, apart from 3 losses to Labour it seems that ALL of the Tory gains were at the expense of the Independents.

I don’t really see why we should be surprised by that, the Tories seem to have targeted the Independent seats with some very (in my view) questionable tactics.

Firstly we had the Cabinet Office decision at a very early stage to withdraw/withold funding for a free mailshot.  Not everyone agrees with me but it is my view that this seriously disadvanaged the Independent candidates without the deep pockets of Party candidates.

We have seen Spin, More Spin and downright untruths from some of the Tory candidates in this campaign.  What on earth is wrong with simply telling the truth?  The story you are telling might not be a vote winner, but your proposals for dealing with it might well be.  Don’t keep telling us that Crime is Down, when it demonstrably is not, tell us that crime has risen and what you propose to do about it.  Way too simple that one for some candidates, they had to have a waltzer ride instead.

In Surrey we saw the late entry of two more Independent candidates which caused a few raised eyebrows and split the Independent vote, but having said that the Tory candidate attracted more votes than all three Independent candidates added together.

Here in DeadBadgerShire we had the (unwelcome) intervention of Mrs Theresa May, MP, Home Secretary.  She seemed to be targeting undecided voters with an email assuring us all that Tory was the only way to go.

A certain amount of spin surely?  Not only the Conservative PCCs that have had the power to ‘Hire and Fire’.

Not only the Conservative PCCs that have set the Policing priorities and overseen multi million £ budgets.

Crime is down by more than a quarter since 2012?  Really.  CrimeStats have endured all kinds of problems over the last few years.  The Home Secretary knows full well that the Counting Rules have chsnged more frequently than my socks.  Recorded Crime is on the increase once more but no mention of that.

We need a PCC that will take the job seriously and work with the government?  Is she implying that ONLY a Conservative candidate will take the job seriously?  Why is it essential to work with government?  It isn’t, it is essential to make Policing work properly, and to serve the public properly.  Mind you, it makes Theresa’s life easier to have a compliant PCC, that could well explain why she wants a PCC that will work with government.

How did she choose who to send it to?  How did she get their email addresses (that could be a worry)?  I didn’t get one so it wasn’t sent to all.

Even if wasn’t wrong to chip in (and some think it wasn’t) just because she COULD, doesn’t mean that she SHOULD have.

In Dorset she progressed to a rather more controversial video, promoting the same message as the email but targeted at Dorset.

Some of you know, most of you don’t know, but I was originally standing as an Independent Candidate for my local Force.  I had received all my registration paperwork from the Electoral Commission, I had sorted my £5k deposit, was designing a campaign website and was well over half way through getting my initial 100 nominations as required when the Cabinet Office withdrew mailshot funding. I was left in a similar position to Mike Pannett but with three entire counties to cover I certainly couldn’t afford leaflets for 3 large counties, I couldn’t effectively ‘Press the Flesh’ over such a large area.  Rightly or wrongly I took the decision early that the field was being tilted and manipulated by government so I withdrew.  Ultimately the sole Independent candidate here finished 4th, so it is highly unlikely that I would have won.  The Tories overthrew a reasonable Independent majority, despite the fact that the only candidate I knew anything about was the surviving Indie, and I was taking an interest unlike the average voter.

Do I regret withdrawing? I most certainly do.  Do I think I could have won?  Almost certainly not, but I am immensely grateful to those who supported and encouraged me, and I’m sorry if you feel that I let you down, but realistically I am convinced, with the benefit of hindsight, that success was far from assured.

There is an element that doesn’t believe that an ex Police Officer would make a good PCC.  Whyever not?  Almost anybody from a School Leaver to a 100 year old pensioner is eligible to stand.  How is any knowledge and experience, at whatever level, be a negative thing?

With just the Welsh votes to be declared the Tories have 20 out of the 36 PCCs elected in England.  More than half.  Labour have 13 PCCs in England, leaving a meagre 3 Independents. THREE!!

Party Politics now play a HUGE part in Policing of England, and I’m sure Wales will follow suit.  Who is to blame?  Personally I blame, partly, Theresa May, for her questionable interventions, but mainly, our old friend APATHY.

The government did a wonderful job of keeping the elections low-key, but I’m sure more people COULD have voted but presumably didn’t think it was important.

Finally I want to pay my own personal tribute to Mike Pannett.  I know the administrative hoops that he had to jump through in the background.  He had to endure some pretty tacky tactics along the way, but he did so with head held high.  Well done Mike.  You have lost no friends or supporters here.  The boy done good.Last Updated on

It’s All The Police’s Fault (No It Isn’t)

I am grateful (again) to @NathanConstable. I had the read the article about West Yorkshire Police and dutifully spluttered coffee into my All Bran but Nathan tweeted that we should read he comments, which I had failed to do. 

The gist of the article was about the reduction of Police Officers and PCSOs in West Yorkshire Police since 2010.  Nearly 100 fewer officers in Bradford alone.

To offset these losses more Specials have been recruited.

The comments, however, were shocking.  Some quite vociferous condemnation of West Yorkshire Police for what? For carrying out government policy, Reform if you wish.

Has one person from the Home Office stood up and said “It’s our fault, not the Police’s. We told them to do it”?  NO

Cruella and the Milky Bar Kid are the architects of this reform, and they remain notably quiet.

We tend to be a bit parochial and most of us only take notice of the Police Forces a) Where we live and b) any Police Forces we may have served in.  This story may be being repeated all across the land.  I don’t know because I haven’t looked, but as Nathan points out, the detail is in the Comments. It seems that at least some of the Public have been taken in by the government snd HMIC and do actually beieve that it’s the Police’s fault.

A couple of years ago I posted The Crucifixion Cycle and sadly it seems to be coming true, whilst we still (in the main) enjoy a good level of Public Confidence, there are those who would seek to crucify us, and government and HMIC are doing NOTHING to correct the opinion of those who believe that it is the Plice’s fault. NOTHING.Last Updated on

Some Very Good Questions

This post is not mine.
It has been reproduced from another site with the consent of the author. It raises some very good points, that could really do with some good answers.
Enjoy
In my opinion this government will go down in history as the government that destroyed the greatest police service in the world. I also believe that in the future, historians will ask….’Why?’
In the last days of communist Poland, Solidarity sought to isolate public good will from the police as it was, in truth, an organ of suppression used by that government. Even in the 1920’s in Ireland, the IRA sought to turn the common population against the Royal Irish Constabulary. That force was perceived as being the eyes and ears of Dublin Castle. Collins and the IRA did a very good job. Glasnevin cemetery in Dublin is filled with many RIC and Dublin Metropolitan Police fatalities. Historians today can quite easily see the motivation for such acts. Few remember the names of the dead.
But in the future historians will not be able to put so clear a finger on the reasons why this Conservative Government ended the effectiveness of the British Police. Each and every question they ask will find no sensible answer. Only more questions.
Why, for instance did they reduce the number of police officers on the street by replacing them with PCSOs? Was it to increase the presence of a police (like) uniform to reassure the public? Well if that was the case, why have they now (in most forces) reduced the PCSOs but failed to increase police numbers. By doing what they have done they have merely decreased the overall police presence, the very thing they sought to maintain or increase. But then again, they have done so under the smokescreen of reducing PCSOs. A clever sleight of hand.
Why did the Government bring in a graduate entry scheme to an occupation where experience is all important? Was it to ensure that the day to day control of the police service was put in the hands of those who saw it as little more than a branch of Government? In the same way that Inland Revenue collects taxes for the government, there is now a police management that see their task is to enforce government will. Why, the historians will ask, did the government turn policing away from something that was a public service into one that became an arm of government? Why did it get rid of senior police officers and replace them with senior civil servants in uniform?
Why did the government engineer negative publicity at every opportunity and become directly responsible for endangering individual officer’s safety? Could it have been that as part of their attack on the institute of the British Police their proven method was to create or exaggerate any story that could be whipped into an attack on the boys and girls in blue. Could it be that this government have seen how effective Solidarity was in isolating the police? Could it be that they admire the effectiveness of Michael Collins in turning the population against those sworn to defend them?
Why did the government lie to the people about the true state of the country? How could they have ever got away with such a blatant lie? Well that should not be too difficult a fish to catch for the historian of the future. Quite quickly, having read old copies of the Mail and other government rags, they will realise that the press merely printed lies upon the request of the government and continued to do so. As both the Communists and the Fascists discovered, tell a lie often and loudly enough and it will be believed. The public believe what they read. The papers print want the government want the public to read. This will explain to historians why, despite people being stabbed and shot on a daily basis; despite burglaries and thefts occurring as they always have; despite all of this the average person’s fear of crime is diminished. The only place in the UK where crime is not an issue is on the newspapers that this government control.
Historians may recall Theresa May as a politician who bravely stood against a wall of inflexible, racist, sexist and dishonest police. She weathered a storm where they tried to bring down a member of parliament. She stood proudly beside the Black Police Association and felt their pain. She destroyed a corrupt Federation, the most powerful union in the country. She made police more accountable. She brought down crime. She removed the fear of crime. She brought professionalism back to the ranks of the police service. 
Historians, if we are unlucky, will say all these things. 
Yet you and I, those who have served or those still serving will know how false all these things are. We will know that far from doing a single positive thing for the police service of this country Theresa May destroyed it. She changed it from a thing of pride to a tool of the Conservative government. She turned it into a political animal. She has done so by the black arts of propaganda and media cronyism. She has created a police service that one day will be isolated even further from the people as it becomes identified solely as an arm of the political world. Then maybe some ‘Solidarity’ type figure or organisation will have to do to us what was done to the Polish police in Gdansk and other Polish cities….
That is all.Last Updated on