Government, Policing and Contempt

I make no apology for concealing the identity of my contributors, but within 48 hours I received 2 pieces that show just how contemptuous the government are of Policing, and, worse, they are dragging National Police Chiefs Council officers along with them.

The first from a friend, an ex-colleague, an ex-pat who wrote thus;

XXXX, on a completely different track. Was recently in correspondence with John Murray who has selflessly fought for justice for Yvonne Fletcher. There’s a number of issues. The government have been obstructive and refused to release information and intel regards those involved and their knowledge of events prior to and after the shooting. The circling of the wagons by Senior Police management and their lacklustre pursuit of those responsible. The lack of support/assistance by the Federation. John has fought and financed much of this out of his own pocket. A truly amazing and dedicated man.

He is working nights to raise funds for the continuing legal fight to get justice for Yvonne Fletcher.

I could not help but draw some comparisons to the Craig Mackey debacle and how Senior Police management, government and the “establishment” have all come together again to cover each others backs. It just brings it home how little value they place on the life of a Police officer. It is all rather depressing and sobering to contemplate that Senior Police Management (I can’t bring myself to call them officers or leaders as that implies that they have some honour and moral compass) really have so little regard for their own officers and are unwilling to fight their corner.

Regards XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The second from an ex-Met officer on an almost identical theme

Update from John XXXXXXX

First of all I must mention our good friend Tony XXXXXXX.Tony, who, amongst others, has been a pillar of strength to myself and the campaign, the information and evidence he had obtained has been second to none and a massive boost. Tony is currently in The London Hospital Whitechapel, after receiving Major Heart Surgery, other complications set in and he has been in the ICU and Critical care Unit for a number of weeks. I have had the pleasure of visiting him twice during this time, and will do so again next week. he is heavily sedated and has a voicebox fitted, but is in good spirits and is slowly on the road to recovery. For those of you who wish to send a card the address is Mr Tony XXXXXX, Ward XXX, Room X, The London Hospital Whitechapel. I have passed on your best wishes and will advise you all when he can have some more visitors.

On Saturday 27th October I received a call from our lawyers. The due date to commence the High Court action is in November, should we miss this deadline then we can go no further and our man ‘ will walk ‘. To this end I have an urgent meeting with them next Tuesday 30th October to discuss the progress to date and find a way forward and proceed. When on a visit to see Tony I updated him, he said to me from his bed in the CCU ‘ For God’s sake don’t give up ‘ I will try my utmost to convince the lawyers to continue, possibly on a pay later basis. We shall see.

I have had more documents delivered to my vis UPS from the CIA, due to my request under the FOIA. These documents prove beyond doubt our legal claim and clearly proves what went on both before and after the shootings that day.

I also have to inform that the TV Drama programme is well advanced,it will be called ‘ The Promise ‘ and at the same time that the series is aired my book will follow, published by ITV Publishing.

It has been a long hard, expensive 34 years, but it all comes down now to the last 3 weeks, I am confident we will get the justice we seek and ‘ The Promise ‘ will have been fulfilled.

As always your continued support is vital, together we will win, and show the establishment how much they underestimated us. They thought they could silence us when they dismissed our Judicial Review, how wrong they were.

John XXXXXXX

The stark reality of how trivially successive governments have the life of a Police Officer. We will never forget the callous murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher, but neither will we forgive those involved in the underhand shenanigans that followed rather than just seek justice for the slain officer.

Finally, on top of all of this the government pretend to augment the fight against Terrorism by giving an ‘extra’ £160 Million to Counter Terrorism Policing. My understanding is that this merely represents the cost of CT operations over the last year or so and is nothing more than a refund.

But we can have a new 50 pence coin.

Throw in the fact that Hammond would rather spend £420 Million on potholes than give the Police Service an equivalent amount to fill the black hole in the Pension Fund (which puts a further 10,000 Police Officers at risk of losing their jobs) and it is crystal clear how much contempt May’s government has for the Police Service

Police League Tables

Not quite the League Tables you might have been expecting though.

Since 2010 it should be no surprise to anyone that approx 21,000 Police Officers have been culled from the overall strength of the Police Forces of England and Wales.

I shall leave it to others for today to determine how that has affected performance. My personal opinion is that “all you get for less is less”. All these “Work harder, work smarter” mantras are just so much rubbish. It is never my intention to play one Force off against another either.

These League Tables concern how British Policing compares with the Police Forces of other countries viz a viz the number of Police Officers per 100,000 head of population.

The version that the government actually publish is dated 2014 and includes a relatively small number of countries, mainly European.

At just over 200 officers per 100,000 in 2014, even in the government-published figures, we are considerably below the average of 353 officers per 100k.  Figures courtesy of Government Briefing Paper entitled Police Service Strength, published 23rd March 2018.

Out of 33 nations where data was available for 2015, England & Wales was ranked 28th for the number of police officers per 100,000 head of population. Northern Ireland was ranked 11th and Scotland 17th.

What kind of government could be happy with that?

However, I did find considerably more statistics out there, but unfortunately, they do not refer to a common year. However, it does give us an idea where British Policing sits in the greater picture.

 

I apologise for it being a bit clustereed and not showing the names of all of the countries clearly but there are 140 different countries in this comparison and England and Wales proudly rank at #120.

Is it just me that thinks that this is disgusting?

It has nothing to do with wanting a Police State, or a totalitarian regime.  It has everything to do with losing our status as #1 Police Service in the world.  It is totally impossible to provide a decent quality of sevice when the numbers are not there.

Remember someone once said “It’s not about the numbers of police; people often focus on the numbers of police”?  Well I think that this chart demonstrates that it is VERY MUCH about the numbers.

For anyone who is interested you can access the full data here

120th out of 140? Really?  It is absolutely shameful that Theresa May and her government have allowed this to happen.  Worse still, they have MADE IT HAPPEN.  Make no mistake, it is totally the actions of Theresa May, spurred on by her favourite right-wing Think Tanks such as Policy Exchange, that have brought us to where we are.  Police Reform.  Is this what you regard as Police Reform?

Police Forces across the country are finding it necessary to apologise for the quality of the service they provide. Police Officers everuywhere are left feeling burnt out and abandoned, ignored and neglected by ‘the party of Law and Order’ (that’s a laugh). Crime IS rising regardless of what the mandarins tell us, victims of crime are feeling let down, criminals are going unprosecuted due to the lack of officers available to arrest and charge them and put them before the courts, Knife Crime, Acid Attacks, Stabbings, Murders are going through the roof and what is the government response to that?

The Police WANT to deal with these problems that is what every single one of them joined for. Now we have a situation where only Graduates or Apprentices (leading to a degree after 3 years) will be eligible to join the Force and, even better, if they don’t like it after a couple of years the Police will help them to leave and they can be Ambassadors for the Police in a different occupation. What kind of lunacy is this?

Every law-abiding citizen in this country has the absolute right to feel let down and abandoned by the governments since 2010.  All around us their policies are unfolding and shown to be the disasters that they truly are.  NHS, Prison Servvice, Criminal Justice etc etc. Where is their admission that they got it wrong with the Police Service though? There isn’t one. And that is how we ended up at #120 out of 140 in the Police League Table. They simply refuse to listen.

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**

It’s A War Zone Out There

Well, it is war really.

I make absolutely no apology for starting off with a stark image

This is one of the more acceptable images from Camberwell recently where Police and Paramedics encountered a scene of absolute carnage after 4 young men had been stabbed in the street, one of them DISEMBOWELLED.  Nobody, I repeat, NOBODY, deserves that in a so-called civilised country.  I don’t care if you are black, white, Asian, Oriental, gay, straight, trans or whatever, this level of violence has no place on our streets, in our society.

Who do I blame?  That is a complex question with many answers.

I blame the parents, when I grew up my father would have absolutely battered me if I had got involved in some of the crimes we are witnessing today.

I blame the youths themselves.  Presumably they know right from wrong, and in nobody’s book can this be right.

First and foremost I blame OUR GOVERNMENT.  Yes, that is predictable, but I do.  Since the Tories/Coalition came into power in 2010 local Council budgets have been slashed so that Youth Services such as Youth Clus etc are no longer affordable, prioritised out of the budget.  Nothing for ther kids to do.

Police Forces across the land have had to withdraw/disband Juvenile Bureaux.  Once again, prioritised out of the budgets.  So have been Schools Involvement Officers who used to be invited (Yes, I did say INVITED) into schools to talk to kids, mainly young teenagers in Secondary School, about a variety of topics, but this would certainly have been the main priority if it still happened.  Not Front Line enough.

Since 2014 Police Forces across the land have been bullied into cutting back dreadfully on Stop and Search.  Where has that got us eh?  Terrible, horrific scenes like those above is where that has got us.

If you’ve had your Cornflakes and are feeling strong enough take a look at this video shot from above by a Camberwell resident last week.  It shows many things.

  • It shows the compassion and professionalism displayed by Police Officers and Paramedics as they battled to save the lives of the victims.
  • It shows some of the weapons involved scattered on the floor around them
  • It shows (I believe) those Police Officers and Paramedics being attacked or harrassed by young men/youths whilst they were still administering First Aid.
  • You can hear the voice of the person filming, clearly shocked by the scenes below, clearly supporting the actions of the Police and Paramedics and clearly condemning the actions of the thugs.

The government have been directly responsible for the loss of 21,000+ Police Officers from our streets since 2010.  No, they can’t protect everybody, can’t be everywhere all the time but more officers would certainly help. Apart from anything else the criminals KNOW about the cuts and the reducued likelihood of being caught.  They KNOW that Theresa May, as Home Secretary, ordered the reduction in Stop and Search.  They KNOW that Police Officers are over-stretched, burnt out. They’re not daft they also monitor Social Media.

With 21,000 fewer officers and an enforced restriction on Stop and Search the criminals become enboldened.  They know that the odds of getting caught carrying a knife/machete/sword through the streets are greatly reduced.  Combine that with the increased workloads of the Police and there you have it, the Perfect Storm for Extreme Knife Crime.  Every knife, machete or sword that has been used in this multitude of attacks has been carried through the streeets at some point.  Think about that.  Maybe the person sat next to you on the Tube while yu’re reading this?

I do hope you’ll forgive me but I feel so strongly about this that I will crave your indulgence on a couple of issues.

Firstly I’ll repeat a few diagrams that show exactly where the government cuts have left us.

Secondly, something I don’t do very often, but if you only do one thing with this blog I emplore you to forward it to your local paper, the national media, your local MP, or your local Councillors.  Anybody who can help spread the word.  It’s not about the numbers, I don’t care how many ‘hits’ I get on this post, it’s about saving lives, nothing more.

This level of violence in Britain is simply unacceptable and sadly Theresa May is responsible for an awful lot of it with her reckless policies as Home Secretaries and refusal to sanction anything now as Prime Minister.

Police Officers do not want these kids to die, or be maimed, on our streets.  They do not want to witness the aftermath of such savagery.  Their families do not want to be worried about their safety, and neither do the families of the victims.  Lives blighted, and for what?  A few pounds worth of drugs, a bit of ‘dissing’ or simply coming from the wrong Post Code.

The Police Force CAN deal with these problems, but not with one, or both, hands tied behind their backs.  They have the necessary skils and willpower to deal with these problems, yes they do.  However they currently have neither the freedom nor the resources to do it.

  1. Unshackle them from the crazy restrictions on Stop and Search.  Unless I’ve missed it nobody has ever been killed by Stop and Search.  It is vital in today’s society, not just in London.  I have always said that Stop and Search should be conducted with dignity and lawfully.  Make sure the grounds are there and conduct it in a polite, civilised manner.  What is there to object to there?  No section of community can object to that surely?
  2. IMMEDIATELY reverse the crazy, reckless cuts brought about by May and Cameron.  They will take years to get us back to where we should but the sooner we start the better.
  3. Whilst I am not a huge fan of Mutual Aid for such matters (it should be reserved for unforesen emergencies normally) but let the National Police Chiefs Council co-ordinate a series of properly, carefully planned proactive operations around the identifed hotspots in the country and hit them with a civilian ‘Shock and Awe’ campaign.  Let them know who is the boss on our streets and it ain’t the knife-carrying thugs.

There will no doubt be comparisons to Operation Swamp, but if NPCC earn their corn and do it properly, involving Community Leaders at an early stage,  the arguments should be self-evident.  Do we really want to wake up every morning hearing about another knife attack or shooting on the streets of our country?  Do we really have to emulate Trump’s America? Can we really defend doing NOTHING? What exactly has Theresa May DONE about this issue?  NOTHING. Too wrapped in her pathetic Brexit campaign to bother about an emergency much closer to home.

Please share the **** out of this post to all and sundry who might be able to bring pressure on the Cruella, and finally, enjoy your Bank Holiday Weekend, and if you are on duty at the Notting Hill Carnival, best wishes and stay safe.

Crime Is Down, Police Reform Is Working

Does that sound familiar? How long have we been hearing that particular mantra? By my reckoning we’ve been subjected to it since 2014.

Is Crime down? I leave it to others to decide if Police Reform is working, but my personal opinion is that it has been an unmitigated, ill thought-out, vengeful policy that has far from worked. The words “unmitigated” and “disaster” spring readily to my mind.

To return to crime, for the last four years whilst the government have been trotting out that tired old mantra crime (as per the statistics published by the Home Office) looks like this

From 2014, the year Mike Penning uttered those immortal words, crime has inexorably risen. In 2017/18 it was substantially higher than 2010 when Cruella’s Crusade first began, yet we currently have 21,000 fewer officers to contend with rising crime, not to mention the other demands upon Police resources that are nothing to do with crime.

Whilst I was immersed in the Home Office crime stats I thought I would have a look and see what the scale was, nationally, of officers being assaulted and injured in the course of their duties. I was shocked to find that those figures were not available until 2017/18. This is actually a shortcoming of ALL governments, but it was rectified last year. However, whilst I was rummaging I came across a set of stats that might make you smile. For years and years, governments of all hues have totally ignored Assaults on Police Occasioning Injury. But they did regularly retain, and publish, the number of Unnatural Sexual Offences coming to the attention of Police. To be more important than injured officers the numbers must be huge, surely. Well, no actually.

It seems to have peaked at about 40 offences in 2016/17, whereas the first year of publishing Assaults on Police Causing Injury there were over 8,000 offences recorded in England and Wales.

It makes my heart flutter to know that keeping an eye on the rise of Unnatural Sexual Offences has been far more important to successive governments than injured Police Officers.

The serious point is, why have successive governments totally ignored Assaults on Police causing injuries, yet they have collected and published stats relating to significantly less prevalent and less serious offences? In an era when government openly criticise Police for ‘fudging’ Recorded Crime stats, why have successive governments constantly changed which, and how, crimes are counted? Total Crime should be exactly that.

The government definitely prefers stats from the Crime Survey of England and Wales because that survey frequently shows that overall crime is falling. What they don’t tell you is that not every category of crime is included in the survey, plus the resulting crime levels may be falling, but are considerably higher (by a few million) than Police Recorded Crime. Cake and Eat It comes to mind.

It seems that it is the government that needs reforming rather than the Police Service (and those deviant sexual offenders 😱😱)

Crime is Down (in an upwardly sort of way), Police Reform is actually a vendetta

Who Co-Ordinates The Co-Ordinators?

Mustn’t swear, honestly, but yesterday provided me with a  true WTF moment.

Following the recent visit of that nice Mr Trump to the UK, it became obvious via news and Social Media, plus personal observations on the M40, that many Police Officers had been deployed on Mutual Aid to assist with the Policing and Security for the visit.  Nosey old me wondered just how many cops had been disrupted by Mutual Aid.  It allegedly cost Police Sotland £5 Million for Mr Trump to enjoy a round of golf.  Even my local Golf Club isn’t that expensive.

Who co-ordinates Mutual Aid in England and Wales. Answer:- The National Police Co-Ordination Centre, part of the National Police Chiefs Council.

So, I fired them off a Freedom of Information request thus;

1. How many Mutual Aid deployments have there been in England and Wales?
2. For each deployment, which force received the Mutual Aid?
3. How many officers were sent on Mutual Aid?

To be helpful I even added the foillowing rider;

“I specifically DO NOT REQUIRE any details concerning the nature of the deployment”

To be fair I never expected an actual answer, I always anticipated a Refusal.  Over the cost limit is normally a good one, or we don’t comment on operational matters for security reasons.  Either of those would have done.  However, they broke new ground.  Yesterday I got my eagerly awaited response

NPCC Response:
The NPCC does not hold information captured by your request. NPoCC coordinates national assistance only. They do not record all mutual aid, for example, if forces within a region send resources to each other.
A consideration may be to make a request with individual forces. On this occasion, I am unable to assist you.

That was it, in its entirety.  Not a single word have I omitted.

So, for the biggest Policing operation for quite a while the NPoCC knew NOTHING about the Mutual Aid.  A whoie world of stink was being kicked up about some of the sleeping accommodation.  Leaves were cancelled in many Forces.  Mutual Aid was certainly provided froom somewhere.

So I ask you, readers of mine, did your Force send Mutual Aid to the Met for Trumpy’s visit? Are you outside of the ‘Region’?  Who the hell does monitor Mutual Aid and co-ordinate it if not the National Police Co-Ordination Centre?

To the National Police Chiefs Council I say this, many, many people think that you are nothing more than servants of this government.  Certainly not enough opposition has been voiced to the stringent cuts to Policing Levels and Budgets, just “we must work harder or smarter within our new budgets”.  We all KNOW that the loss of approx 21,000 Police Officers, and many of them are from the Front Line, can only impact adversley on Law and Order.  I suspect that many areas are being Policed at dangerously low levels, particulary in Ruralshire and at night.  The first duty of the government is to protect its citizens.  They are failing in their duty if their cuts and policies are seeing rises in murders, assaults, Knife Crime etc etc.

“The primary object of an efficient police is the prevention of crime: the next that of detection and punishment of offenders if crime is committed. To these ends all the efforts of police must be directed. The protection of life and property, the preservation of public tranquillity, and the absence of crime, will alone prove whether those efforts have been successful and whether the objects for which the police were appointed have been attained.”

Please, NPCC, please tell me how the Police Service of 2018 is fullfilling its Primary Objective?

I may well challenge your response to my FOI request, but far more important than that, PLEASE answer my question above.

The State of Policing 2018

Fortuitously there has just been a release of Police Manpower (sorry, I still call it that, no offence intended) and the latest Crime Data for England and Wales.

Much has been made of these latest figures both in the Press and on Social Media.  This Crime has gone up by this percentage and all that sort of stuff.  Very useful, it really is, but if you want to look at more than just the big, bold headlines your head will soon be spinning.

Well, I still have some crayons left, none of the real academics have tried to disable my abacus or nick my pencil box, so I thought I’d try and make sense of the bigger picture and how it affects both Policing and the Populus in 2018.

Firstly, how many Police Officers are there in England and Wales since the disastrous election of 2010?

Not including the British Transport Police (for no particular reason other than they are shown separetely in the stats) it looks like this

It’s all well and good producing a pretty chart I hear you cry, what does that actually LOOK like?  It’s a tad worse after this week’s figures release but basically it looks like all the areas coloured pink having NO Police Officers whatsoever, not a single one.

It doesn’t look very good does it,  but we keep hearing that Crime is Down and Police Reform is working, so how are the much-reduced Police Officers coping with crime and stuff?

My word, it looks to me like a few years after Theresa May’s cuts started to bite, Overall Crime started to increase.

Violent Crime, we’ve heard a lot about that recently, how does that look?

The reason for the bizarre drop in the middle of the graph of that the Home OPffice keep changing exactly which crimes they want to list, and a lot of the lesser asssaults, whilst recorded by the Police, did not feature in the Home Office stats, but now they do again.  And they complain about the Police fudging stats eh?

So, we have had 8 years now of #Austerity and #PoliceReform.  What does that look like? How do the numbers stack up after 8 years?

Apologies if you find the chart above a bit ‘busy’ but basically Police Numbers down, Stop and Search down has resulted in Total Crime and Violent Crime going up.  Where will it all end?  Theresa May and her colleagues must be really proud of themselves. There you have it encapsulated in one chart, the state of (Crime and) Policing in 2018.

How Safe Are Our Streets Exactly?

As you are all aware, I am not an Academic, and I do not possess a degree in anything.  However, spurred on by  this warm weather and an increasing foreboding of doom, I dusted down my crayons, and with a little help from my 4 year old grand-daughter, I managed to produce some nice pretty pictures, based on the premise that the first duty of any government is to protect its citizens.This doesn’t often happen, but I will shut up for a while and let the music and the pictures fill in the story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hmm, it seems as if most of the violent crimes were on their way down prior to about 2011/12 and then started to go up again. I wonder what happened to cause that? I’d better get my crayons out again and see if the whole of England and Wales looks the same.

Before I do there’s a few things about these piccies that you might think I’ve forgotten.  Despite slating the Police for the manner in which they record crime, the Home Office, amazingly, have never published data for Possession of Knives or Firearms prior to 2008, at least not publicly.  They do not publish figures for Assault on a Police Officer causing Injury.  They did not publish data for ANY Assault causing Injury prior to 2012  Why would that be?  Not just the Tories, Labour didn’t do it either.  The stats for 2017/2018 are not yet publicly available.

Anyway, back to my crayons, the pictures for the whole of England and Wales.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking at all of these pretty, colourful pictures it does indeed seem that most, if not all, of the columns start to rise 2012/2013   What on earth could be causing that?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What about England and Wales, does that look any different?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, we can see that the MEt has (to now) been sheltered from the worst of the cuts, but more are coming in the next two years.  They have still ended up with a net loss however.  England and Wales as a whole has seen quite a sharp falling off of officer numbers since 2010.  Could anything else be a factor?

 

 

 

 

 

 

For whatever reason, Stop and Search in London has fallen sharply since 2008, in 2017 the lowest for a decade by far.  How does the rest of the country fare?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One more for luck, how does Total Crime look like against Total Stop/Search?

So, there you have it ladies and gents, girls and boys.  Are the government protecting its citizens?  Are they complying with their ‘First Duty’?  More importantly, how safe are our streets.  Just a wild thought I know, but getting those 21,000 Police Officers back might help, but the only problem there is that there is no Magic Bobby Tree,  Even if the government did the most massive u-turn in their history, they cannot replace the lost skills and experience.  No wonderful Graduate Entry schemes, no Direct Entry Insp.Superintendent/Detective schemes can fix this.  The Police Service is broken.  Can we fix it?  I don’t know.  I hope so, and I will carry on writing posts such as this til  I either stop breathing or the government u-turns.  I can’t change their minds, but YOU can.  Every one of you joined together can lobby your MP.  Send him/her a copy of this post if you haven’t got time to write.  I don’t care how you do it, but the swell of public opinion and support is our best chance (in my humble opinion)

I shall now put my crayons away until at least next week, thank you for your patience.

 

We Were NOT Crying Wolf Prime Minister

I’m sure you can all remember back in 2015 when the then Home Secretary told the Police Federation to “stop crying wolf”.

She said nearly every year the Federation warned that the public was at risk or that the force would be destroyed but it had not happened.

She told officers: “This kind of scare-mongering does no one any good.” And she added: “This crying wolf has to stop.”

Mrs May gave them an ultimatum, telling them: “You can choose protest and continue to shout from the sidelines for the next five years or choose partnership.”

Fast Forward 3 years and where are we?  I think almost everyone apart from the most hardened lunatic Tories will admit that crimes of all types have risen by various degrees.  More importantly though, Murders in the capital, and beyond, are rocketing.  Knife Attacks, Acid Attacks, they are all getting out of control.

Even the Tories’ favourite newspaper is carrying unprecedented headlines

Shire towns face unprecedented 140 per cent surge in robberies and violent crime with rise blamed on police cuts and ‘county lines’ drug gangs

Since Theresa May first came to ‘power’ in 2010 she has stedfastly refused to listen to us old codgers, the Police Lobbyists, she has ignored Academics, Pracademics, the Federation and that species the NPCC officer who dares to speak out.  She very recently managed to stick in a leopard-print boot to the majority of Public Services by promising the NHS £20 billiom.  Yes, they do deserve it, but they are not alone in that.   She has chosen the NHS to be the sole beneficiary.  The #MagicMoneyTree only bore a few fruits obviously. Wait a moment, maybe this was just a cynical vote-winner.  What other Public Service is likely to provide as many votes as rescuing a floundering NHS?

Well Mrs May, let me tell yo now that the #MagicBobbyTree is dead, killed off by some over-zealous pruning by a ‘lady’ gardener.

Sadly though, it doesn’t even end there.  The skills and experience that have been lost over the past 10 years, frivolously discarded in some arrogant crusade, will take decades to replace, EVEN IF, the cuts were reversed tomorrow.  The damage has been done.  It can NOT be simply reversed, not even by some fancy-pants Graduate Entrry Folly dreamt up by the College.  That scheme, flawed as it is, does not touch the problem of dwindling PCSOs and Specials, alongsisde the Regulars.

Mrs May you have broken the morale, fibre and being of the Police Service.  You personally are responsible with your flawed policies and abject refusal to listen to reasoned argument.  This is YOUR legacy, young kids’ blood on your hands.  Oh no, you must stop that wicked Stop and Search immediately, it does no good and it is racist.  Really?  Ask the families oif the dead children (yes, children) that you pretend to care about.  What have YOU actually DONE to stem the tide of knife-related murders, attmpted murders and assaults on our streets in broad daylight?

NOTHING

We were NOT crying Wolf (and at the end of that fable there was actually a wolf)

Does The Home Secretary, Sorry, Prime Minister, Have Blood On Her Hands?

The answer to this, I think, very much depends on your opinion of Stop and Search. It is controversial, undoubtedly, but is it legitimate? Is it effective? Is it necessary?

Once upon a time, in 2014, Theresa May, as Home Secretary, instructed the Police Service of England and Wales to reduce their use of Stop and Search stating that it was disproportionate towards certain sectors of the community.

Home Secretary Theresa May said:

  • Nobody wins when stop and search is misapplied. It is a waste of police time. It is unfair, especially to young black men. It is bad for public confidence in the police.

  • The proposals I have outlined today amount to a comprehensive package of reform. I believe that they should contribute to a significant reduction in the overall use of stop and search, better and more intelligence-led stop and search and improved stop-to-arrest ratios.

  • But 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 these things happen.

No such instruction was issued to Police Scotland, or Police Service of Northern Ireland.

As early as 2013 Mrs May had decided upon a reform of Stop and Search, and most definitely let everybody know her intentions.

She had been ‘informed’ that young black men were seven times more likely to be ‘targeted’ than whites.

Mrs May launched a consultation on her proposals in July 2013 and told MPs she wanted to make sure stop-and-search was used fairly and only when it is needed.

In answer to a couple of points in the last paragraph in the extract above, have the numbers come down?

Have they ever.

The above pretty chart is based on figures obtained by me from the 43 Forces in England and Wales, and may not align with figures quoted by our beloved media.

So, the first answer is an unambiguous YES.

Has the stops-to-arrest ratio improved?

The chart below represents the stops-to-arrest ratio for a rolling 12 month period in London in about 2016

At the beginning of his graph 8.3% of 533,427 people stopped were getting arrested.  This means that 44,274 people stopped were getting arrested.  Fast Forward to 19% of 160,694 people arrested as a result of “better”, “more intelligence led” application of Stop and Search.  It seems like we’re doing SOOOOOOO much better.

In a 12 month period the stops-to-arrest rate has increased from 8.3% to an impressive 19%, by doing fewer Stop/Searches more effectively.

Really?

In reality those figures show that the Met arrested only 30,532 people, almost 33% FEWER. The total number of people paying a visit to Custody Suites across London as a direct result of being Stopped and Searched was about one third less.

In the meantime, Knife Crime in London soared. Once again, don’t be bamboozled by some of the huge figures quoted by our media, they include Knife-Enabled Crime, a Robbery for example where a knife was produced but not used to injure anybody. I am referring to Deaths and Non-Fatal stabbings.

Sadly I don’t have Knife Crime data dating back to 2012 as this is not the post I anticipated writing and events have overtaken me.

 

What can’t speak can’t lie.  Force figures provided under FOIA and replicated without ‘massage’.  As Stop and Search declined over the three years, Knife Crime rose.

In London the pretty chart looks like this

The increase in Knife Crime is very much of the same order as nationally, but the reduction in Stop and Search has been much steeper.

As a faux-academic I am not qualified to proclaim that there is a relationship between decreased Stop and Search and increased Knife Crime, although a) It looks like there might be and b) Every weapon is carried through the streets at some point and the deterrent effect diminishes with reduced Stop and Search.

If you are a regular reader you will know that I strongly support the lawful use of Stop and Search i.e.  complying with the requirements of s1 of PACE and not conducting random searches for the hell of it.  Nothing here changes my view on that, but in my opinion it should be considered as a perfectly valid tactic if used properly againt the surge in Knife Crime.

Ordinarily that would have been the end of it.  Here’s the problem, this is what I think of it, you might like to try this……the end.

Oh no, nothing so simple this time.  Since writing my previous articles on Knife Crime and/or Stop and Search I have found this article in The Spectator.

Written by Alasdair Palmer, a former speech writer at the Home Office, one assumes that he writes with a degree of authority.

He was allegedly informed by one of Theresa May’s Special Advisers that stop and search was  a policy which consistently alienates members of the black community. He was told, allegedly,  that it would help the Home Secretary’s standing with Afro-Caribbeans if she made a statement that was critical of the police’s use of stop and search.

Her statement would include the fact that the Police’s use of Stop and Search was racist and that one was 7 times more likely to be stopped and searched if one was from an ethnic background.  The reality was that the Home Office had conducted research in the reent past and that the statistics produced did not actually support this proposal.

If you want to know if the police are stopping and searching members of particular ethnic groups in a biased and possibly racist way, then what you need to know is who is available to be stopped and searched on the streets at the times that the police are stopping and searching people.……….

The team of Home Office researchers felt it was important to know the ethnic composition of the population available to be stopped and searched in the places and at the times the police were implementing that tactic. So they went out and counted it: they identified the percentage of the street population made up by each ethnic group. They then compared that with the percentage of stop and searches that were made up by each ethnic group. They discovered that, when you looked at who was available to be stopped and searched when the police were actually stopping and searching on the streets, the ethnic bias disappeared.

The Home Office research actually indicated to them that the Police did NOT seemingly target any section of the community in particular, but actually conducted their Stops and Searches in areas of high crime.

Many years later it appears as though that piece of research has been ‘buried’.  Nobody at the Home Office knows about it or can find any trace of it.

Much has been made of Disclosure recently, but it seems that at least one piece of work was totally ignored when Thersa May made her politically inspired diktat on Stop and Search.  SOMEBODY within the Home Office knew the truth (allegedly).  Was it her SPAD?  Did she herself know and choose to ignore this inconvenient piece of research?

My last quote for The Spectator (I hope they don’t mind, all acknowledgemnts given) is this

The special adviser re-wrote the statement in the way he wanted it, with the misleading statistic, and she gave the statement to parliament as he had written it on 2 July 2013. And the rest is history.

At the time in question I am informed that she only had two SPADs, one was female, the other was (allegedly) Nick Timothy.  I presume the female was Fiona Hill.

All of this leaves me with one question really. Does Theresa May have the blood of untold youths on her hands, or is she totally innocent of all blame?