Part Time Policing

On Thursday morning I found myself spluttering into my Corn Flakes. A headline was staring out at me.

Met announces that Police Constables can now join the Met in a part-time role

At first I convinced myself that it was OK. Officers were working part time in the 90s, what’s different?

When I read the article I became more and more vexed. Before I go any further I want to make clear that I am fully aware that others can, and will, have different opinions to me. That is absolutely fine. Healthy debate is to be encouraged, and you can’t have a good debate if we all think the same. I shall come back to this later.

The full article can be viewed by clicking on the link above, but contains some real gems

Applicants will select from a range of employment types on their application form (full-time, part-time 24hrs or part-time 16hrs). Candidates are also able to self-select their training preferences at the point of offer of employment.

Upon attesting at Hendon, all officers attend a Certificate of Knowledge in Policing course for eight weeks. Part-time officers will have the option to complete this course on a part-time basis.

Students will then have the option to complete their foundation training full-time, full-time with a four-week break clause at week five, or via a bespoke part-time training offer.

The bespoke part-time offer will see students forming a part-time cohort twice a year, attending a four-day foundation course over a 17-week period that will be delivered between 0900-1700hrs.

The working patterns available are:

– Full time (working 40 hours per week and earning a base salary of £30,372)

– Part-time officers working an average of 24 hours per week or 240 hours over the 10-week cycle (earning a base salary of £18,223)

– Part-time officer working an average of 16 hours per week or 160 hours over the 10-week cycle (earning a base salary of £13,149).

This all sounds very complicated. Full Time is simple, nothing much has changed, but who on earth is going to administer the two Part Time schemes, and how?

My next question is how are the 16 and 24 hour Part Time schemes going to sit alongside Graduate Entry and Police Now? I assume that the Apprenticeship route is completely incompatible.

I also have concerns about who would take up this offer and why. What does the Met stand to gain from this except pegs in holes? I make no apology for being old-school. I joined in an era when The Job always came first. If your individual problems and circumstances could be accommodated they were, informally. The over-riding priority was always the Met. Work/Life Balance was skewed very much one way and the managerial attitude was very much “If you can’t take a joke you shouldn’t have joined.” Thankfully times are a bit more enlightened than that, but I am still of a generation that thought that The Job comes first, the breakup of many marriages. I’m not defending it, I don’t think we should go all the way back there, but The Job is The Job and needs to be done.

How will Duties Offices cover all the essential posts, arrange sufficient numbers of officers for Aid etc when some of those officers are on only 16 hours a week?  How does a ‘bespoke Part-Time training offer’ work?

I posted my displeasure with this policy on Twitter and the response was very much divided. Some disagreed with me, and explained how times have changed, whilst others proffered opinions quite similar to my own.

My own, old-fashioned, opinion is that ANY officer should be willing to commit to far more than 16 hours per week. One of the comments included the fact that Part Time working is not new. No it is not, but a 16/24 hour week is definitely new.

As I said at the very beginning, I don’t expect everybody to agree with me, and they haven’t. Obviously I haven’t had this scheme fully explained to,me, but I just don’t see how it is going to work. It should benefit both Met and Recruit, but I have yet to see how the Met will benefit in any meaningful way.

Part Time Policing? It’s not for me thank you.

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Direct Entry Detectives

Time to put some meat on the bones and look at DE Detectives in a bit more detail.

I have restricted my interest to the Metropolitan Police who ‘invented’ the scheme. I should point out that there are some anomalies in their data that I don’t begin to understand.

According to data supplied under the FOIA to somebody else, the initial campaign in June 2017 attracted applications from 4,437 people, 2,134 female, 2,290 male plus 1 who preferred not to say.

The ensuing ‘short listing’ saw 2,293 fall by the wayside leaving 1,292 females and 1,198 males still in the process.  Only 425 candidates are shown as having failed the initial stage of the process, so I can only assume that they withdrew voluntarily for their own reasons.

Next came a ‘Verbal Reasoning’ stage. Of the candidates still remaining 231 did not complete the process, 111 females and 120 males.  Of the candidates who were successful at Verbal Reasoning 1,013 were female and 896 were male, plus 1 who preferred not to say.

The third, and final, stage was an interview.

264 females and 261 males were successful at this final stage, plus 1 who preferred not to say.

That makes a total of 527 successful candidates.

The vast majority of all candidates were in the 20-30 age range.

Compare this to the information that I was supplied by the Met.

Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act could you please provide me with the following information?

How many so-called Direct Entry Detectives have been recruited?

How many of that number have resigned or been dismissed to date?

271 direct entry detectives were recruited since May 17 (joiners since the scheme was launched)

1 dismissed and 19 resigned

That doesn’t really correspond with the data released to A. N. Other previously unless 50% of the successful applicants went off and did something else instead.

Anyway, nearly 4,500 people applied to be Direct Entry Detectives and either 527 or 271 were successful.  I’m not sure what the recruitment campaign and subsequent training would have cost the Met, but I do hope they thought it was worth it.  The only positive that I can take from this so far is that males and females were almost equally represented at every stage of the process.

No ethnicity data was revealed either to myself or A. N. Other.

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Something Is Rotten In The State Of Britain

Nicked from Facebook, it is definitely not mine, but the ramifications of Craig Mackey’s actions, or lack of, just rumble on and on, and the smell is not very palatable.

Like many, I made a formal complaint against the behaviour of Craig Mackey. The Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. This individual locked himself in his car as Pc Keith Palmer was stabbed to death by the animal Masood at the gates of the Palace of Westminster. Like many I have just received a reply to that complaint. It has left me slightly uncomfortable.

Apparently according to the Police Reform Act 2002, I do not have standing to make a formal complaint about this matter and therefore they are not recording my correspondence as a complaint about the Acting Commissioner.

The Act specifies who can make a complaint and in what circumstances. Section 12(1) provides that a complaint may be made by the following people:

a. A member of the public who claims the conduct took place in relation to him/her;

b. A member of the public who claims to have been adversely affected by the conduct, even though it did not take place in relation to him/her;

c. A member of the public who claims to have witnessed the conduct;

d. A person acting on behalf of someone who falls within any of the three categories above.

In my opinion my complaint was justified under b and d above.

b. I have been adversely affected by the conduct of Mr Mackey. Also

d. The complaint was lodged on behalf of Pc Keith Palmer

I am also told:

Section 12(5) further provides that:

…a person shall be taken to have witnessed conduct, if, and only if–

(a) He/she acquired their knowledge of that conduct in a manner which would make them a competent witness capable of giving admissible evidence of that conduct in criminal proceedings; or

(b) He/she has in their possession or under their control anything, which would in any such proceedings constitute admissible evidence of that conduct.

In my case I based the reason for my complaint on the evidence, given on oath, by Mr Mackey to the Westminster Inquest. I can only assume that Mr Mackey was telling the truth during these proceedings. Therefore, in my opinion section (a) above is relevant to my complaint.

The truth is, whilst making the complaint, I fully expected it to be kicked into touch. Not because it was not warranted. But because it does not suit either the hierarchy of the Metropolitan Police or the Mayor of London’s Office. Imagine if you would, that instead of Keith it had been some member of some ‘special interest’ group who was chased and murdered whilst a police officer remained locked in his car………..

But the thing that really surprised me is the inclusion of the following:

‘Well, members of the jury, it’s clear from the evidence of Sir Craig that there was, as I say, nothing that he could have done to have stopped Masood. PC Palmer was under attack practically as soon as Sir Craig saw the attacker. What Sir Craig did was sensible and proper and was intended to protect others in the car with him. None of them, as I have said, had any means of protecting themselves or of resisting an attack, and even if he had got out of the car, it is clear from the CCTV evidence that he would not have reached PC Palmer before Masood had inflicted the fatal wound. Indeed, it’s very likely that Masood would have been past the car even if Sir Craig had got out of it. It’s also clear that after Masood had been shot, Sir Craig did not flee the scene: his first instinct was to get out in New Palace Yard, as we saw on the footage when he opened the car door. However, he was told by an officer to leave, and for good reason’.

This statement is the comment made by the Coroner during his summing up at the Inquest. At the time a great many people queried why the Coroner made such an overt defence of Mackey.

It should be remembered that the purpose of an inquest is to answer four questions:

1 Identity of the deceased

2.Place of death

3.Time of death

4. How the deceased came by his/her death

Evidence must be solely for the purpose of answering these questions and no other evidence is admitted. It is not for the inquest to ascertain “how the deceased died” or “in what broad circumstances”, but “how the deceased came by his death”, a more limited question.

The Coroner’s defence of Mackey had no place in the Inquest. There was never any doubt as to who caused it. The complaint against Mackey was in relation to his behaviour, or lack of behaviour, as a police officer at the time. The complaint was very much along the lines of that made in 2015, against several police officers who failed to get out of their patrol car to assist a Tesco security guard with a violent shoplifter. A complaint which led to the justified sacking of one police officer. I can see absolutely no difference between that incident and the issue around Mr Mackey’s behaviour.

But as out of place as the comment was at the Inquest, it is it’s regular appearance in the official responses from the likes of Cressida Dick (Commissioner of Police) and the Mayors Office for Policing and Crime that worries me. It appears that this statement was a deliberately structured ‘key’ designed to aid in the release of Mackey from his predicament. Prepared and pre-empted, in my opinion, even before the end of the Inquest.

The real cancer that is killing the police service resides in the top floors of the Yard and other Police HQs around the land. Yes, there are many Chief Constables and senior officers who still hold true to the traditional values of policing. But they are growing fewer in number. Seeing how the system has rallied around to protect one of its own, many genuinely good senior officers must be tempted to avail themselves of such patronage.

There is corruption in the police. It stinks of politics…….

That is all

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#MackeyGate Rumbles On

Just a quick one today, but I’m still Apoplectic, Incandescent and any other crap descriptions I can think of.

Scotland Yard have now issued a statement on the (in)actions of ‘Sir’ Craig Mackey, Acting Commissionaire.

It reads:-

“Neither he [Mackey] nor the two civilian members of police staff he was in the car with during the time of the attack had any protective equipment with them … His initial reaction as a police officer was to get out of the vehicle. However, an operational decision was made with a police officer at the scene that the then acting commissioner should not get out and that he and the two police staff should leave New Palace Yard immediately.

“It was evident that there were officers already present with the necessary skills to neutralise the threat and to administer advanced first aid. At this stage, the full extent of the threat was still unknown.

“Mr Mackey then returned immediately to New Scotland Yard, where he carried out his responsibilities as acting commissioner; namely to lead and coordinate the strategic response across the Metropolitan police to protect London during what was an ongoing terrorist incident.”

My initial reactions to this statement are

When was any Commissioner ever needed to run any operation personally?  I don’t care what it was (and it was serious obviously) the Commissioner was not needed in person, although it would have been helpful if he had his official-issue mobile phone with him.

Swear Alert

Why the fuck could he not remain on scene and as a warm, loving human being (OK I made that bit up) have comforted a dying officer?  He was THERE For Fucks Sake.  One of his officers had just been savagely attacked and was dead or dying, with a Tory MP of all people trying to save his life.  Did Mackey go out without his First Aid Certificate and humanity as well?

For those of you who have not seen it and have suggested that maybe the Press reports were biased or exaggerated, here is a link to the official transcript of Mackey’s evidence to the Inquest.  It seems to me that Media Reports were not biased or exaggerated and, in fact, could have been worse.

I really need to take a couple of Aspirin and study the transcript armed with my trusty quill and papyrus, but I’m not quite sure how well his recollections fit with the accepted timeline of events, but then I am pretty angry at the moment so my judgement might be clouded.

 

Off to lie down in a darkened room now.

 

ADDENDUM

It has been brought to my notice that many posts and comments regarding Mackey have ‘disappeared’ from Farcebook overnight, so if you have posted or commented you may wish to check it’s still there

 

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Senior Met Police Officer Awarded Knighthood For Successfully Arresting Fewer People

Like many of you I noticed that Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey had been awarded a Knighthood in the New Years Honours List. Like a few of you I actually thought “what the **** did he get that for?”

Now I know the answer. This morning I stumbled upon this

Met Police Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey has been made a knight for services to policing.

In a citation he is commended for reducing stop and search by 70 per cent while doubling the arrest rate and overseeing a dramatic improvement in the recruitment of officers from ethnic minority backgrounds.

To say that I was shocked is an understatement.

Back in May 2017 I wrote a piece entitled

A Scoop For George Osborne – R.I.P. Stop And Search

The reason I wrote it, at the time, had naff all to do with (Sir) Craig Mackey, but more to do with a set of Stop and Search statistics issued by the Mayor of London’s office. Nobody is going to offer me a Knighthood so I can’t be arsed to bring the stats up to date but I don’t suppose the current stats are very different to those forming the basis of a Knighthood.

If you look at the above graph, the arrest rate has more than doubled from 8.3% to 19%. Brilliant? No?

Well actually no.

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 reality those figures show that the Met arrested only 30,532 people, almost 33% FEWER

I won’t challenge the 70%, I’ll give him that, but I do think the stats above represent a reduction in Stop and Search of about 70% over the rolling 12 month period. However, a doubling of the arrest rate? No, I’m not having that. 33% fewer people were arrested over the identical period. To state that the arrest rate was doubled is just a cynical manipulation of the stats. Surely the Public at Large would rather have more prisoners in the Custody Suite than juggle with percentages. Smoke and Mirrors.

Stop and Search is Dead, RIP Stop and Search .  Theresa May should hang her head in shame, she is personally responsible for this latest trend.  Amber Rudd has done nothing, I think literally nothing. I can’t remember her most significant contribution, and NPCC have done little or nothing to challenge Mrs May or her successor on it.

So, ultimately, the Deputy Commissioner was actually awarded a Knighthood for producing an outcome desired by Mrs May, reducing Stop and Search by 70% and reducing clutter in the Custody Suites at the same time, but do not pretend to have doubled the arrest rates.

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A Clear Illustration Of How Crime In London Is Falling (Rising)

Much has been made in recent months of Acid Attacks and Moped Crime, not exclusively, but mainly, in London. The media have (rightly in my opinion) made much of it, but nobody seemed to be putting any numbers to the problems. Never one to shirk away from numbers I did some digging.

Acid Attacks

Acid attacks across London are on the increase, from 259 in 2011 to 431 in 2016 with the London Borough of Newham consistently top of the League Table.

For the 2017 Calendar Year there were 149 offences recorded up to 31st May.

Moped Enabled Crime

It’s fair to say that there has been an absolute explosion of ‘Moped Crime’ across London. In 2011 there were a ‘mere’ 365 offences recorded in the Calendar Year, rising dramatically to more than 17,600 in the first 9 months of 2017.

The London Borough of Newham has had a reprieve but the new ‘Super Borough’ of Camden and Islington has taken a right hammering this year.

Two questions immediately come to mind.

  1. How has this crime flourished so dramatically this year without the Home Office getting involved and insisting that something is done, with extra funding being being made available to tackle this extraordinary rise in crime?
  2. Why is it that whenever the Metropolitan Police use clearly defined, and approved, tactics to try and deal with the problem they are lambasted by Press, Armchair Experts and even the occasional politician? Talk about a No Win Situation.

In the background we have the omni-present Tory Mantra so beloved of Theresa May, Amber Rudd and Damian Wassisname telling us that Crime Is Down.

Well, is it?

Don’t just take the word of a dinosaur, the figures above have been extracted from the Met’s Crime Recording system, CRIS. I haven’t even retyped them. Official figures.

And this monstrous explosion of certain crimes has all taken place under the guardianship of the Conservative Party.

They have no right to call themselves the Party of Law and Order. They are a disgrace, spouting out that same old cracked record trying to assure us that all is well.

Is it?

If any other Party had presided over a ‘decrease’ in crime from 365 to (probably) almost 20,000 annually the Tories would be baying for blood.

Surely it is time for the gloves to come off the Metropolitan Police Service and witness the rebirth of the Metropolitan Police Force? The Met is full of lads and lasses perfectly willing to tackle this explosion, but their morale has been shattered by the Cuts, threatened job losses, and fear that the IPCC will be on their backs if poor Johnny were to fall off his moped.

What say you?

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Bloody Civvies

Behind every good cop is a bloody civvie.  The oft-forgotten backbone of the Police Service is the Police Staff, affectionately known as the bloody civvies. Many people don’t realise it but the relationship between officer and civvie can be a very intense one sometimes. At the coal face they frequently work closely together and almost rely on each other equally.  For example, Police Officers have to rely on and respect the skills and judgement of the Control Room staff. Nobody wants to split the traffic in rush hour for 5-10 miles only to find a civil dispute over a hedge at the end of it, or NOT be given the true status of an active ‘Suspects On’ or ‘Officer Requires Assistance” shout. Teamwork.  They are part of ‘The Team’.

What gets forgotten is that the ‘bloody civvies’ have suffered equally, or more, during ‘The Cuts’.

I don’t have the greatest amount of time for the Corp Comms or HR staff. They tend to inhabit their own world, but the Comms Staff, Intel Assistants, Analysts, CID Clerks  (showing my age now) and the like can rightly regard themselves as ‘important’ even ‘indispensable’.

Rightly, much is made of the ever-shrinking number of front line officers. The cuts to the Police Staff make just as much difference but often pass without comment.

Well, I, and others, am commenting.

Nationally the Police Service has lost almost 20,000 Police Support Staff (NOT including PCSOs and Specials) since 2010, and that looks something like this

However, in attempt to minimise Police Officer losses,  the Met has lost proportionately more, NEARLY HALF since 2010, and that looks very much like this

It’s tempting to make a politically incorrect comment at this point, but surely ANYBODY can see that no organisation can lose almost half of its staff and continue to function as though nothing had happened.  This has to be hurting the Met in every area of its business, on top of the Police Officers they have already lost and will continue to lose.

THIS is why there is a #CrisisInPolicing

Come on Mr Khan, London can’t go on like this.  Neither can the rest of England and Wales.  It’s about bloody time that the Mayors, PCCs, Commissioner and Chief Constables joined together, and with one voice, point out to Theresa May and Amber Rudd that #CutsHaveConsequences. Not just boots on the ground, but behind the scenes.  I know of at least one Police Station where the Police Staff have been cut so hard that a warranted Police Officer has had to be taken off the streets to do the job that the redundant civvie had been doing. How mad is that?

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The Chickens Have Come Home To Roost

Following on from this week’s tragic events, the pressures on the Metropolitan Police have possibly never been greater since WWII.  I don’t mean that to sound dramatic, but I happen to believe that it’s true.

Quite rightly, the Met has increased Policing levels in London in order to reassure residents and visitors alike, and in an attempt to deter any further terrorist activity in the aftermath of the events at Westminster.

In the main this has been achieved by use of extended tours of duty often ending at 2 or 3 am.  Numerous officers are apparently finding themselves dismissed from duty and unable to find public transport to get home.  This has apparently led to officers sleeping on the floors of their Police Stations so that they will be available for duty the following day.

This is less than desirable for any number of reasons.  In the last 12 hours I have seen appeals circulating on Twitter and Facebook seeking reasonably priced (or free) hotel rooms for officers to get their heads down for a few hours.  To be fair, I don’t know how successful those appeals have been.

Apart from accommodation, those hundreds or thousands of extra officers drafted in to Central London need feeding.  There was a time when the Met was RESILIENT, Self-Sufficient.  It had an enormous feeding centre at Buckingham Gate, capable of feeding officers 24/7/365.  SOLD OFF by the (previous) Mayor of London.

Accommodation?  The Central London Section Houses may just possibly have had some empty rooms, or a room large enough to take some camp beds.  SOLD OFF.

I have no idea what steps the Met hierarchy are taking to secure feeding and accommodation for their fine troops, but I suspect the answer is “not a lot”.  I have seen at least one well onown name suggesting Westminster Hall as a suitable location.  Yes, it would be a magnificent gesture by Parliament to allow its use, but in reality that venue is not available 24/7/365, it has a life of its own. 

I know events such as these, fortunately, don’t happen every day or week, but the Met has lost its legendary resilience, instead officers (or people acting for them) going cap in hand looking for a cheap bed for the night.  Is that really what we want for our chaps and chapesses?

I’m not naive, I know the clock can’t be magically turned back, but surely the events of the last few days have tragically highlighted the folly behind some of the savage cuts?  There has to be some wriggle room to sensibly restore some of the worst excesses of the cuts and go some way towards restoring the resilience and operational self-sufficiency, not only of the Met, but all the Police Forces.

Or are the chickens here to stay?

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Where Has The Police Force Gone?

When I joined the Met in 72 it was a very different animal to what it has become today.  Some of the changes have been an improvement, many, in my opinion, have not.

The first thing I noticed was that the instructors were SCARY, especially that Drill Sergeant, Sid Butcher, who seemed to think that I couldn’t march properly.  He was right of course.  He threatened me all kinds of dire consequences but he succeeded in getting me to closely resemble a march.

Out to Division, my reporting Sergeant was an old sweat from the Palestinian Police with a metal plate in his head.  Never upset him I was told.  I saw what happened to people who upset him, but we just seemed to click, chalk and cheese.  “You’re an enigma son” was the best ‘compliment’ I ever got out of him, but he was good.  All kinds of ‘wickedness’  was waiting for new probationers, including (allegedly) the Station Stamp for WPCs. Yes I did say WPC, I was never renowned for Political Correctness.  I would like to think that I was polite and respectful, but Politically Correct?  Possibly not.

Some of the very first Inspectors I met were brilliant, I won’t repeat some of things they said to me, but it was character building and exactly what every fledgling Police Officer needs to hear, for any number of reasons.  I had a Chief Inspector who delighted in reducing people to tears, but I came to learn that (in his way) he wasn’t a bully.  What he wanted was for the officer to turn round and tell him to F*** Off. No bollockings, no discipline, for that one won his everlasting respect. Old School, right or wrong, it was right for me.

Some of you who knew me then might remember a Welsh Indian Chief Superintendent.  All kinds of crap was rained on him by the lower ranks because he was the worst example of an officer promoted beyond his ability, several times.  I could tell you many tales of life with him at the helm, but most of them you probably wouldn’t believe.

My first two years were hard. No sitting at the Drivers’ Table in the Canteen (yes, we had a good one), day duty invariably meant School Crossings, Shoplifters, Reserve Room duties, but most importantly learning one’s craft.  Fast cars and glamorous postings were for after the magical 2 year period, where if you passed, you were trusted with all manner of important jobs, Driving Courses, Specialist postings, looking down on Probationers and “Wind Ups”.  Instead of being the butt of Wind Ups one was allowed to participate at other Probationers’ expense.  But it was fun but the Job most definitely got done first, that was always the main priority.  Nowadays there’s seldom time to down a pork pie never mind have fun between assignments.  If we handed 6 jobs over to the following shift there was a shit-storm to follow, unforgivable.  Nowadays I can imagine dozens of jobs being handed over to the next shift.  Too many calls and not enough cops.

I had a serious wobble at about the 15 years and told my Inspector that I wasn’t coming in to work and he could do whatever he ******* pleased about that.  Don his name was.  He was brilliant, he appeared at my house, alone, and sorted me out in the best possible way.  He got me to see that it was ‘just’ a wobble and what could we do about it?  A change of direction within my career, a hilarious application to work at Buckingham Palace that didn’t go very well, and I was back on track again, different role, different responsibilities and fully re-energised.  After that point I never looked back.  If I ever meet up with Don again I shall surely buy him a large pint or two.  I owe him a lot.

We had our Gene Hunts, Jack Reagans, a few Jack Frosts and even fewer Barnabys.  Dixon of Dock Green existed but he really wasn’t very well.  Did I like working for Hunt and Reagan?  You bet I did.  I knew exactly where all the lines were drawn, I knew what was expected of me, and I knew what I had to deliver and how to deliver it. In the 90s I was introduced to the newest breed of DIs and DCIs.  Not for me I’m afraid, and those people were destined to be the Senior Management Team of the future.

It was about the same time that the Met started universally going down the pan.  PCs started calling their Sergeants John (or whatever their given name was), things became too pink and fluffy.  Having been given an assignment some officers were heard to say “I’d rather not do that, can’t you give it to somebody else?”, ‘bosses’ would surround themselves with their friends rather than take who they were offered, or choose the best people for the job, Chumocracy had arrived in the Met and it made me uncomfortable, calls would go unanswered and (Once) I even witnessed officers finishing their meal rather than turn out for an Urgent Assistance call.

Slowly and almost imperceptibly, the really senior officers changed from being proper cops to academics and weasels.  Not all, but very many.

From the late 80s to the present time the Met has tragically gone from being the envy of the world to (almost) a laughing stock.  Who do I blame for that?  May, Camoron and Winsor most definitely.  Hogan-Who must shoulder a large part of the blame too.  Too late speaking up in his last month before retirement,  the Winsor ‘reforms’ was the time when any true leaders needed to be heard.  I certainly didn’t need to turn the volume down there.

I do need to get my glasses out.  Where exactly has the Metropolitan Police Force gone and what is this thing that has replaced it? How did that happen?

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Mixed Messages From @NPCC, @Police_Now @MetropolitanPolice and @CollegeOfPolicing?

I’m old, I’m confused and my brain hurts.

Firstly, the much-revered College of Policing has proposed completely shaking up the entry route into the Police Service;

The three proposals are

Proposal 1. Establish a qualifications framework for policing so that individuals can gain recognition that has meaning and credibility

Proposal 2. Opportunities for existing officers and staff to gain accredited and publicly recognised qualifications for their existing skills, if they wish to do so

Proposal 3. Develop three entry routes for new constables

undergraduate degree in policing

graduate conversion programme

higher level apprenticeships 

Hardly confusing at all, all about improving the professional image and status of Police Officers.  No bad thing per se but it fails to recognise that Police Officers already have a good, professional status but it does need to be formalised and recognised.

Then we have the Gold Service from much-vaunted Police Now.

To get with the Police Now programme, In brief, you will need to:

be between the ages of 18-57 on application

have lived in the UK for the last three years

have indefinite leave to remain and work in the UK

be working towards or have achieved a 2:1 at undergraduate degree level or non-UK equivalent

have received a GCSE grade C or above in English language and be fluent in the written and spoken word.

So, sign up to the flagship Police Now programme to fast track to tomorrow’s leaders.

The Metropolitan Police contributes to my eternal confusion by offering Direct Entry to the CID for Specials, and this is where I need some help.

Will the successful applicants from the ranks of the Specials become part-time detectives, as and when their main job permits?  Is this a back door into the Met and they will become warranted, Regular Tecs? 

If they remain as Specials will they need to be graduates first?  How do they fit in Detective Training School with their ‘proper’ jobs? If they don’t achieve some formal accreditation in Investigating Stuff their work will be torn up,for **** paper the first time they appear in Crown Court.

If this is actually back door DE entry as a Tec, this is surely demeaning the role of the traditional Constable.  He/She needs a Degree or equivalent, a Tec needs to be a Special with who knows what academic qualifications.

I am not against Specials, I knew some very good ones and counted them amongst my friends, but this is really worrying and confusing and urgently needs clarification.  The government has already tried bolstering the Armed Forces with Reservists and that did not go well.  Policing is too important to risk getting it wrong.

Not for nothing are some Tecs in the Met labelled Cops In Disguise.

Sort yourselves out please, all of the above, work together, openly, and come up with a sensible solution that is acceptable to current and future officers alike.

It cannot be impossibe.

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