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.

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.

Maybe It’s All About The Numbers

When Theresa May was Home Secretary she famously said that it was not about the numbers of police but about the quality of the policing.  Despite a variety of attempts by government  I honestly believe that we still have some of the best Police Officers in the world.  I’m not sure how much longer that will  remain the case, but I honestly believe it at the moment. So quality of the officers shouldn’t really be an issue. Quality of the policing? Theoretically our finest are capable of, and willing to, perform policing of the highest order. That is actually what they want to do. Unfortunately reality does not always match up with potential, and in my view the main reason for that is SHORTAGE OF NUMBERS.

To reference one Jeremy Corbyn :-  it is not possible to police on the cheap, and I don’t only mean cheap, inferior kit, IT  and vehicles

However, after 7 years, a small number of Chief Constables are beginning to break cover and face up to the realities in their Forces.

In no particular order, in the past week or so, I have seen Shaun Sawyer, Chief Constable Devon and Cornwall, tweeting about the need for increased resources.

Despite initially claiming that she had sufficient resources, Cressida Dick, the new Commissioner of the Met, together with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is now admitting  that more resources are necessary.

The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police has recently gone on record highlighting the dwindling number of officers in his Force, due to the cuts, and explaining how he actually needs more.


Merseyside Chief Constable, Andy Cooke, claims that his force is facing unprecedented challenge following the “draconian cuts

In his recent General Election campaign, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn vowed to increase Police numbers by 10,000.

Lib Dem leader, Tim Farron, said police and security services were suffering from a lack of resources, rather than a lack of powers, during a BBC Question Time programme in which he was challenged over his party’s plans to roll back surveillance.

Four Chief Constables, two leading politicians and untold numbers of retired and former Police Officers telling, basically, the same story.  It most definitely IS about the numbers.  I am not naive enough to think that increased numbers are a universal panacea for all problems, but with increased numbers comes increased resilience, increased flexibilty, increased options, increased opportunities.  Corbyn was right. Policing can not be done on the cheap and it’s time that Theresa May, Amber Rudd and our brand new Policing Minister, Nick Hurd, realised that, chewed a parge portion of Humble Pie and put the situation right.  It will take years so the sooner they start the better.

It’s Not About The Numbers

OH YES IT IS

Last night Home Secretary Amber Rudd, appearing on BBC Question Time, repeated Theresa May’s mantra “it’s not  about the numbers”. Well, as political campaigning for the General Election resumes today, I will have the temerity to challenge that concept.
You cannot Police this (or any 1st world country) on the cheap.

You cannot defend this country on the cheap, and

You cannot ‘heal’ this country on the cheap.

I will avoid getting involved in the argument about how much our Police Officers, Armed Forces and Healthcare professionals should be paid, that is for others to decide. However, I will say that their skills, professionalism and dedication deserve better than pay freezes, pension ‘reforms’ for members already in their particular scheme, often resulting in members havingto pay  more for a reduced pension and work more years to qualify.  That is not what they signed up for, they formed reasonable expectations for their ‘old age’ and retirement and then all those plans were torn asunder by this and the previous administrations.  At its most simplistic this is disrespectful. 

There must be, hidden away someone, a number.  A number below which we should not go when policing this country.  Surely there is a definitive minimum number of Police Officers that are required to provide an effective Police Service for the UK. Nobody is in a hurry to tell me what that number is.

There must be a minimum number of soldiers, sailors and airmen that are necessary to defend our country against the multitude of modern-day threats, and their deployment in foreign climes.  Anybody know what that number is?

The NHS needs a minimum number of staff to look after our various health needs;

GPs, Nurses, Nursing Assistants, Hospital doctors and Consultants, ever more expensive equipment for radio-therapy etc, secretarial and clerical support, physiotherapists, Speech Therapists etc etc, and their associated buildings.

Even the most efficient health service, operating at 100% efficiency, cannot continue to do so on reduced resources and funding.

This administration, and the previous one, seem to be more concerned in ensuring that the mega-rich pay less taxes.  The bankers that caused this “Austerity” are once more receiving their obscene bonuses.  What is happening to the Public Secor?  Is any of this tair?

The last couple of days have seen soldiers taking to the streets in order to free up armed Police Officers for other duties.  This is most definitely about the numbers.

I’m sorry to keep banging on about it, but when Thersa May and David Cameron set about their infamous ‘Reform’ of policing, incorporating Tom Winsor’s ‘independent’ reviews, NO Risk Assessments or Impact Assessments were undertaken, or the Home Office have lied to me.

As I said earlier, it is not for me to say how much our Emergency and Armed Services should be paid, but I am perfectly entitled to have my say on Public Safety.  I am not trying to say that more numbers would have prevented recent tragedies, but they may have helped, and they would certainly have given us resilience in the aftermath.

So next time you hear a politician state glibly that it’s not about the numbers you’ll know differently.  The Great British Public is being hoodwinked. No party deserves to be elected or re-elected on the basis of untruths and subterfuge.

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.

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

Playing The Hand We’re Dealt

A number has been bothering me recently, a number that I simply can’t get out of my head, but I don’t know what the number is.

What is the number where the Police Service of England and Wales can no longer function? How many more officers can we shed before we reach that number?  Because we know that even more losses will occur before 2020.

Twice yesterday I put the question to NPCC, together with the current and former Home Secretaries via the medium of Twitter

Unsurprisingly no response.

I say unsurprisingly because we know that no Risk or Impact Assessments were conducted as part of the Winsor Reviews.  I asked the Home Office for copies and their reply was that none had been done, so why should I assume that Risk and/or Impact Assessments have been conducted as part of the culling of the Police Service?

Somebody somewhere must know the formula for calculating the bare minimum number of Police Officers needed to keep this country safe and maintain Law and Order, but nobody wants us to know.  How far can we stretch the knicker elastic before it twangs and our drawers fall round our ankles?


Then I happened upon a convo on Twitter between NPCC and Leicestershire Chief Constable, Simon Cole;

To which I contributed the following;

The response I received from Mr Cole was this;

That just isn’t good enough.  All that implies to me is that the Police Chiefs have rolled over and will try to do the best with what they’ve got, but they have given up the fight.

WHY ARE THE CHIEFS NOT FIGHTING?

Are QPMs and Knighthoods the ultimate goal?  By refusing to fight are they not being disloyal to their troops and betraying their populace?  I think so.

Play the hand we are dealt well?  The bloody deck is loaded, a couple of the Aces are missing and a few Jokers have crept in.

To me Reform is about improvement, making things more efficient.  I don’t oppose those two ideals, but how do you improve and become more efficient when you are being culled?

Somebody please explain this to me

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 peril

An Open Letter To Rt Hon Theresa May MP and Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP

Mesdames,

I truly hope that what I have to say is not, and will not be viewed as, a knee-jerk reaction to a single hiccup in process.  It most certainly is not.

Most recently there has been the case of Anthony Long, a retired Authorised Firearms Officer with the Metropolitan Police, who was recently acquitted of murdering Azelle Rodney some ELEVEN YEARS earlier.  After the verdict Mr Rodney’s mother said this

The IPCC still owe me an apology for the wholly inadequate investigation in 2005. A better investigation may have resulted in a trial nine years ago – I can never get those years back – the IPCC must stop failing families in this way.

She was clearly not satisfied with the IPCC investigation.

Today we hear Mr Long’s thoughts on the situation.  In a BBC News report it was reported thus;

He expressed his concerns about the Independent Police Complaints Commission in a Radio Times interview.

An IPCC spokesman said it was “right that when there is a fatality there is an independent investigation”.

Mr Long said scrutiny was expected, but said “the problem is the interpretation of the rules and the way in which officers were treated”.

He added: “Today, the Independent Police Complaints Commission seems to be treating police officers as criminals.

Clearly Mr Long isn’t satisfied with the IPCC investigation either.  Both sides of the fence claiming that the IPCC were incompetent, or worse.

At the very beginning of August we had the nonsense in Manchester where the IPCC requested a Judicial Review to quash their own report because they had got it wrong.

Police watchdog granted judicial review to quash own report into death of Jordan Begley

The unprecedented move by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) comes after criticism of the Greater Manchester Police during an inquest last year. In their report of the incident, the IPCC cleared GMP of blame.

An IPCC spokesman said: “At the coroner’s inquest into the death of Jordan Begley concerns were raised about the conduct of the officers involved that may not have been consistent with the IPCC’s findings.

“In light of this, the IPCC reviewed its investigation and decided to seek permission to quash its independent investigation report in order to ensure all the available evidence could be considered.

Surely ALL of the available evidence should have been considered before the final report was even written?  On face value that seems very shoddy practice and consistent with that found within the IPCC elsewhere in England and Wales.

Jordan Begley’s mother also attacked the competence of the IPCC, she clearly has no confidence in them, neither can I see why the Greater Manchester Police should have any.

At the end of July we had the case of Edric Kennedy-Macfoy, a firefighter who alleged that he was Tasered and racially abused by three officers from the Met.  This case has been well reported in the media, and the case against the officers collapsed not only due to wholly negligent (being generous) procedures by the IPCC but also the fact that there were numerous witnesses who allegedly supported the officers’ version of events.

The Guardian reports it thus

IPCC bungled case against officers accused of abusing firefighter

In a statement the IPCC vowed to review the case to ensure it did not repeat the blunders. It said: “The withdrawal follows procedural shortfalls identified by the IPCC. They related to disclosure of relevant material and the need for further investigative work, including witness interviews, which it became clear were not conducted during the investigation.

Even the IPCC admitting that their investigation did not come up to standard, leaving both Mr Kennedy-Macfoy and the 3 Police Officers lacking confidence in the IPCC.

The Guardian also had this to say

The watchdog admitted it failed to take into account statements corroborating the officers’ accounts from independent witnesses, did not interview those witnesses and then failed to disclose those statements during disciplinary proceedings.

Admissions like these can hardly instill confidence in anybody.

At the end of 2015 we had an Authorised Firearms Officeer arrested for ‘homicide’ following the fatal shooting of Jermaine Baker.

In the IPCC’s most recent update on this case Commissioner Cindy Butts says

As part of the IPCC’s homicide investigation, an MPS firearms officer was arrested on 17 December. That officer has now been interviewed twice by IPCC investigators under criminal caution and remains on bail.

In total, the IPCC has so far obtained more than 450 documents, gathered in excess of 250 exhibits of evidence and obtained more than 250 witness statements.

The investigative work is now focused on scrutinising the planning, risk assessments and decision-making of the MPS operation.

Right from Day 1 Cindy Butts sensationalised this case by bandying words such as Homicide about and her handling of a Public Meeting in North London

“There is disgruntlement among armed officers because their colleague was arrested and is facing the possibility of a homicide charge or whatever other pretend words the IPCC is thinking of,” said Mr Marsh.

Clearly the Police Federaqtion are not impressed with the handling of this investigation so far, although I do accept that it has not reached its conclusion yet.

Prior to this we had the disciplinary process involving ex Chief Constable Nick Gargan of Avon and Somerset Police.

Concerns raised over IPCC’s handling of Nick Gargan investigation

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said

I believe the IPCC acted with good intentions to protect and support witnesses and not betray the confidence of those that did come forward, but clearly the way they managed the process in this case has caused concern, as any failure to follow the disclosure process could have led to the proceedings being compromised or worse still collapsing.

The disclosure process needs to be reviewed by the IPCC so it is clearer for all concerned in future investigations and I will be writing to the IPCC Chair Dame Anne Owers to request this.

Disclosure is clearly an issue with the IPCC, not restricted to one isolated investigation.

I do not know of one single Police Officer who thinks that the Police Service should be unanswerable and unaccountable.  What they do expect is that ALL SIDES are examined equally, fairly and truly independently.  Anything less than that lets the Police down and it lets the Public they serve down, and neither side wants that.

I emplore you to initiate a programme of reform of the IPCC that goes beyond rebranding, rebadging and an increased budget.  A Root and Branch reform of working practices, policies, abilities etc etc is what is needed, plus a proper INVESTIGATION into the cases above where serious shortcomings have been highlighted.  A Review or a Scrutiny is simply not sufficient.

I’m obliged.

How Much Does A Police Recruit Earn?  Please Remind Me

I’m a wee bit out of touch but the last I heard was that they were being paid about £22-£23k with a recommendation from the Tom and Theresa Show that they should be paid £19k.  Those figures might be slightly out of kilter but you’ll get the gist of it.

So you will be able to imagine how much my flabber was ghasted when I read in this morning’s online version of The Mail that one of our illustrious Chief Constables had received a £26,000 PAY RISE last year.

As bad as that might seem, that is only the tip of a gold-plated iceberg.

The £200,000 boss who makes you pay his daily lunch bill: Essex Police chief claimed £32,000 in ‘allowances’ for food, internet and phone bills

More than half of the £32k ‘Allowances’ is apparently accounted for by a mysterious ‘Chief Officers’ Allowance’.  This allowance apparently is provided to cover items of expenditure such as home internet and phone bills and contributions to his lunches, coffees and snacks, and no receipts are required to be provided.

Now call me old fashioned if you want but as a Police Pensioner I haven’t seen an increase in my Pension for ages.  Serving Front Line officers have received derisory pay rises packaged together with controversial increases in Pension contributions etc. The average Front Line Bobby is now paying more in contributions, retiring later, earning less and receiving less pension upon retirement.  This apparently is known as REFORM.  When applied to Chief Constables REFORM seems to involve awarding them HUGE pay rises.  

Is it only me who thinks this must seem like a slap round the face with a dead cod to our fantastic Front Line officers, risking life and limb every day, not sitting in an ivory tower with quite possibly a protection officer for good measure.  

As much as I detest the current and previous Prime Ministers, why does a Chief Constable warrant a higher salary than the PM?

But if you think that’s bad it doesn’t stop there;

Police chief’s 64 days off a year: Top officers paid more than the PM use loophole to choose how much holiday they get… then moan about cuts to budgets!

How much Annual Leave?  How much does the average Front Line PC get?  Can they actually take their alloted Annual Leave or are the government’s viscious cuts preventing offiicers from enjoying their summer holidays en famille?

Unbelievably, a handy loophole in police regulations states “all officers above the rank of chief superintendent with more than ten years’ experience are entitled to ‘not less than 48 days’ of holiday a year” – but can effectively decide how much holiday they want or need.  Well, that’s alright then.  Why hasn’t that part of Police Regs been reformed?

Home Secretary urges police forces to set out pay and perks of senior officers amid ‘allowances’ of up to £32,000 a year

Mind you, it could be worse.  Yes really, imagine how much worse it would be if they were being paid their Private Healthcare costs.

In some cases senior officers are having private medical insurance written into their contracts.

The practice appears contrary to government regulations which state that private medical treatments should be funded by the taxpayer only when an officer is injured in the line of duty.

Hardly any forces are declaring the spending in accounts, meaning it took months of Freedom of Information requests to uncover the full picture.

In 2014-15, at least 14 forces paid for private medical cover

A cynical person might think that these perks have all been awarded, or gone unchallenged, in order to keep Chief Officers ‘onside’.

Personally I’m appalled. Politics in Policing is bad enough with PCCs but this smacks of Home Office puppetry of the highest order. “Our reforms are NOT going to go down well with our Bobbies, how can we make things easier?”

As I said, a cynical person might think that this all stinks, but smelly or not, one thing is for certain, Chief Officers are NOT sharing our pain.