David (Warwickshire) Vs Goliath (West Mercia)

Forget #Brexit, this is much closer to home and just as gripping to some of us.

Before I go any further, beacuase I’m a fair kind of person, I must point out the collaboration between Warwickshire and West Mercia Police Forces came into being in 2012, the present encumbent in West Mercia, my old adversary John Campion, has only been in post since 2016.  He had no say whatsoever in the planning and setting up of the colloboration between the 2 Forces.

Right, that’s got the civilities out of the way, let’s begin.

It would appear that Conservative PCC John Campion has decided to end the Strategic Alliance with Warwickshire, without Warwickshire actually agreeing to it.

Chief Constable Martin Jelley of Warwickshire said

Our two forces entered into a strategic alliance in 2012 which has been recognised nationally for the extensive nature of its collaboration and has demonstrated significant benefits from shared working.


In fact, it has allowed both forces to save more than £35million and maximise resources to Frontline Policing? Excellent, what could be wrong with that.

Save more than £35 Million?  Has to be good.  Maximise resources for Front Line Policing?  An excellent plan.  What could possibly go wrong?

The alliance between Mr Campion and his own Chief Constable is what could possibly go wrong.

As a Council Tax payer contributing to West Mercia’s coffers I have been shocked and appalled by some of the decisions and policies coming from the penthouse suite at Force HQ.

They include (and please feel free to add others in the comments below or email them to me and I will add them anonymised)

  • Withdrawal from the Central Motorway Police Group
  • Sale of VRM AB1, possibly at lower than best market value.
  • Closure of many operational Police Stations leaving (I believe) just one Charging Centre per County serving Shropshire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire, 3 quite large counties)
  • Project Athena, an IT system so frail and flawed it seems worse than some of the antiquated systes in use prior to my retirement. I can think of at least 2 IT systems from my era that could have been brought up to date and function better than Athena.
  • Failing to acknowledge the ‘experience gap’ in the West Mercia caused directly by Conservative cuts since 2010, merely pledging to recruit extra brand new officers.
  • The current ‘divorce’ between West mercia and Warwickshire.

In relation to Athena, I asked the question of West Mercia

1) Could you please tell me the total cost to date to West Mercia and Warwickshire Police of joining Project Athena?

2) Could you please tell me the cost for this Financial Year (alternatively the total number of hours) of overtime incurred by Police Officers in relation to file preparation etc for Project Athena?

The response I received was

The implementation of Athena has resulted in West Mercia Police and
Warwickshire Police force Alliance investment costs to date of £4.423m.
This represents the one-off costs from both capital and revenue.

The overtime cost to date for this financial year 2017/18 is £127,205.

The initial cost for the original 7 Forces was £32 Million over a period of 10 years. I’m no expert but the best part of £4 and a half Million so far for West Mercia and Warwickshire seems a little steep and possibly indicates a bit of creep ahead, but we’ll have to see. £127,205 is surely a scandalous figure for overtime costs on a system designed to be more efficient and save money.

In relation to AB1 I submitted the following FOI to Mr Campion

In relation to the sale of Vehicle Registration Mark AB1 could you please supply me with the following:-
Copies of Minutes of any Meeting where the sale of AB1 was proposed or discussed (redacted if appropriate) including the very first proposal to sell it. I have yet to locate in the Disclosure Log any document containing the original proposal to sell it and ensuing discussion. Decision Notice 8 only records the decision to accept the offer of £160,000, specifically NOT the Decision to sell the VRM.
Copies of any documents including, but not limited to, any correspondence concerning the monetary value of the VRM, any letters or emails between OPCC/PCC/HEO and the successful purchaser
Copies of any other documents or emails, not specifically requested previously, that contain reference to the sale of AB1 and have not been previously included in a Disclosure Log

His response?

a) Copies of Minutes of any Meeting where the sale of AB1 was proposed or discussed (redacted if appropriate) including the very first proposal to sell it. I have yet to locate in the Disclosure Log any document containing the original proposal to sell it and ensuing discussion. Decision Notice 8 only records the decision to accept the offer of £160,000, specifically NOT the Decision to sell the VRM.
The answer to this was:-
There are no copies of minutes or any other documents regarding the first proposal to sell AB1. Decision Notice 8 implicitly incorporates the recommendation to sell with the recommendation to accept the offer
b) Copies of any documents including, but not limited to, any correspondence concerning the monetary value of the VRM, any letters or emails between OPCC/PCC/HEO and the successful purchaser
The answer to this was:-
The documents and correspondence concerning the monetary value of the VRN and copies of emails between the OPCC/PCC/HEO and the successful purchase are exempt from disclosure under Section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act – Commercial Interests.

And now we have the best of all, the ‘divorce’ and breaking up of the collaboration that was meant to save £35 Million.

A Freedom of Information Request submitted to West mercia PCC by A N Other, asking for the cost of the breakup was met with this response

There is currently no total estimated cost for ending the two force
alliance.

Well, in my humble opinion that is nowhere near good enough.  Mr Campion is controlling a huge budget, he has already increased the Council Tax Precept for Policing, West Mercia covers 3 large counties in rural England and he is publicly accountable for his budgets and decisions.  There seems to be an emerging pattern, common to Conservatives everywhere in Public Office, that they don’t have to do Risk and Impact Assessments, then they can’t be held up as getting it wrong.

In fairness, Mr Campion did record this monumental decision in a publicly available format (for what it’s worth), enjoy (Please note it comprises 4 pages, just use the arrow at the bottom for Next Page)

26-Record-of-Decision-Ending-of-Strategic-Alliance-with-Warwickshire-Police

Now for the really boring bit, this would never had happened if I had been the West Mercia PCC, but Mr Camoron made damn sure that I (and many other Independeent candidates) hastily withdrew from the elections when he craftily increased the deposit payable by all candidates from £500 to £5000, which he did not apply to any other elections, just the PCC elections. Short of remortgaging Angry Towers, that well and truly saw me off without the might of a large, powerful political party behind me and the personal support of Theresa May I was toast.  Surprisingly (well I thought so anyway) Mr Campion didn’t even want to short-list me as an applicant to be his Deputy, but that’s another story entirely.

In conclusion, as a resident of West Mercia, who pays their Council tax (on time as well), takes an interest in the local Constabulary and their problems and interractions with their public I am appalled that such a decisision has been taken by Mr Campion.  I fully understand the anxst of the Warwickshire PCC and Chief Constable.  I truly do not understand how this will benefit ANYBODY, either side of the Alliance.  I can only hope that the people who did vote for him can live with that decision and tolerate the potential damage that will be done to Public Safety if this reckless proposal eventually goes ahead. But what do I know?

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I Am Actually Ashamed

It’s not often you will hear me say that (OK, I know you’re reading it)

Today’s headlines have just stunned me into (almost) silence and left me ashamed that I was ever a member of the same organisation

I locked myself in car as Westminster bridge attacker struck, says Met chief

I could easily swear here, but I won’t.  What made it worse was this one from last year though,

New Year Honours: Officer who witnessed Westminster attack among police recognised

It doesn’t even stop there, whilst one MP, Tobias Ellwood,  was trying in vain to save PC Keith Palmer’s life, another one, Mike Fabricant, had locked himself in his office drinking whisky

MP Tobias Ellwood who tried to save Keith Palmer in Westminster terror attack says murdered Pc ‘was the hero… not me’

I fully accept that it’s a long time since I retired from the Met, and that almost everything has changed, but where has the loyalty to your comrades gone.  If one of our PCs needed help the canteen would empty in an effort to assist.  The Inspector and Sergeants would go and I have even witnessed a Commander administer the Attitude Test.  There is no excuse for an officer of any rank (in my opinion) to lock himself in his car and not assist a man who subsequently died.

Sir Craig, then the Met’s acting commissioner, said his first instinct was to secure his chauffeur-driven car. “I was sitting in the car with two other people, one colleague had clearly seen what was going on,” he told Masood’s inquest at the Old Bailey. “I locked the doors — we had no protective equipment, no radios, we had been in a ministerial meeting and literally came out of that.”

His first instinct was to secure his chauffeur-driven car?  What kind of a moron puts steel and rubber before a human being?

No PPE?  No radio?  Welcome to the world of Policing.  I spent all of the years I patrolled the streets armed with a torch, a whistle and a trucnheon. with a radio to call for backup then hit someone with it.  Why were you on the streets of London without even a truncheon?  Is being a Senior Officer some reason not to carry one out on the streets?  Does it exempt you from Policing in some way?  We had to produce ours on Parade before we were allowed out.

Sorry Mr Mackie, your attitude stinks.  I hate to think what Keith Palmer’s widow will make of this revelation.  I certainly don’t think you deserve a Knightood, even it was for saving the Met £400 Million on paperclips or something.  You COULD have stood up to the government  and contested the cuts, but you chose not to.

I look forward to the days that will now follow to see what the public, the Federation and Keith Palmer’s widow have to say about today’s revelations.  If I were “Sir Craig” I honestly think that my resignation would be on the Commission’s desk first thing tomorrow.  The modern day Police Service needs Leaders not Bean Counters.

Dear Public, I feel I have to apologise for our Leadership, they’re not all the same, honestly.Last Updated on

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.Last Updated on

A Heartfelt Plea – Please Read, Share, Whatever

Ladies and Gentlemen, unaccustomed as I am to grovelling, please bear with me just this once.  You may, or may not, know that I have taken a keen interest in the Knife Angel project (or National Monument Against Violence And Aggression) Briefly, this is a 25 foot statue of an Angel made from knives supplied from Knife Amnesty bins across the UK.  To date, about 100,000 knives have been supplied and incorporated into the Angel.  If you are unaware you can find out the basics of the Knife Angel project here, or just Google “Knife Angel”,  She even has her own Facebook Page here

I have been fortunate enough to have been invited to meet the Chairman, Managing Director and the sculptor who created the Angel.  Their passion is immediately evident.  The Angel is HUGE and a very powerful piece of work.  It will be finished next year and their ultimate ambition is to get it displayed on the 4th Plinth in Trafalgar Square, an aim I whole-heartedly agree with, and so, apparently do thousands of others who have signed an online petition.  I think it would send a wonderful message to the public about knife crime.  Some of the individual blades are engraved with messages from the families of knife crime victims.


If you agree, I would ask you to do three, not very onerous, things to help the ‘Angel team’;

1). Please sign and share the petition  supporting the Angel going on to the 4th plinth.

http://surrenderyourknife.co.uk/support/government-petition-to-see-capital-exposure/

2). Please consider writing to your MP asking him/her to support the proposal

3). Please write to the Mayor of London suggesting and supporting this powerful work of art to sit atop the 4th Plinth in Trafalgar Square.

If you, your family, or anyone else you know has been the victim of Knife Crime it is not too late to get a message engraved upon a blade, just contact the British Ironworks Centre for more info.

Finally, please feel free to share this plea anywhere on SM you might wish to.

I thank you, as do the creators.

angelLast Updated on

To Double-Crew Or Not To Double-Crew?

That is, indeed, the question. 

To me the answer is an unequivocal YES.  In my mind there is no option, it doesn’t need thinking about, it’s a No Brainer.

But then, my mind doesn’t always sync with everybody else’s.

It occurs to me that it’s nearly half a century since my boots hit the streets of North West London for the very first time and things were most definitely very different in those days.  We had Reliefs, at first 3,  later 4 and for a crazy while 5 (but that didn’t really work). Each Relief comprised one Inspector, probably 3 Sergeants, maybe 4, and about 20ish Constables. The Division covered maybe 10-12 square miles, and in an ideal world we would aim to field one Area Car (double-crewed possibly with a 3rd officer as ‘Observer’), one Van (normally double-crewed), five Pandas (notionally single-crewed but often seen double-crewed), one unmarked General Purpose car (single-crewed), one Section Sergeant and one Inspector, all patrolling.  Anybody left over was posted to a Foot Patrol and cadged a lift when the Inspector wasn’t looking. And we were busy, although nowhere near as busy as the troops are today.

If we ever needed help (and we did often) it was never far away. Whilst we frequently moaned that we were ‘short’ we were NEVER as short as things are today.

We had more cops, we had more vehicles, we had more overtime, and we just about kept afloat, and we undoubtedly had fewer jobs.  It was a matter of personal and professional pride to get all your jobs done.  Handing too many over to the following shift frequently resulted in raised eyebrows.

Now I know that there’s a balance to be struck here, but more jobs, fewer cops, fewer vehicles and less overtime makes the officers more vulnerable. Yes, there is better PPE available but use it at your peril, particularly Taser, you’ll have Sophie and IPCC on your case. However, an officer off sick, or worse, in hospital, due to being assaulted and injured on duty is no use to man nor beast.  What little officers we have left need to be fit, available and on duty.  Assaults on Police Officers are escalating all the time.

The mere sight of a double-crewed vehicle will deter some idiots from taking on the officers.

I fully understand that numbers are down, but is that a valid reason NOT to double-crew?  The safety (and thereby availability) of the officers MUST be paramount surely?  Like many other public services the NHS, for example, has a Zero Tolerance policy on violence (or even threats) towards staff.  When will the Police Chiefs adopt this policy?

Going back to the beginning, my old Division was only 10-12 square miles.  Bronwen’s boyfriend Dai tells me that on Night Duty he (single-crewed) is frequently the only Police Vehicle to cover 400 square miles.  One of my Twatter contacts told me last night that they were frequently the only DC to cover a large, busy county on nights.  How can that be right?  Either case, not right, reckless.  What about Elf n Safety?

The population at large is increasing.  Police numbers are still reducing.  Just how low will the Populace/Police ratio go before it is unsafe?  Has it already reached that stage?  Is anybody from the NPCC or various Staff Associations ever going to stand up to the Home Secretary and demonstrate how unsafe this lunacy is?

We may not have sufficient officers to routinely double-crew, but that doesn’t mean “Double-Crewing Bad”.  It means the bosses should be finding their voices and fighting back.  What was that old expression? Acquiescing by silence.  That’s exactly what is going on.

I know from last night’s conversations that there are Police Officers out there who don’t agree with routine double-crewing, all I can say is that I hope you never experience the need first hand before you become convinced.

In this day and age, nearly half a century later, the world has moved on. Double-Crewing or Single? Double every time in my book, and NPCC can fight for the resources to sustain it.Last Updated on

Budgets Before Public Safety?

I hope not.

I know that it’s Christmas.

I know that means overtime for the Police Forces.

I know that can be expensive and so careful thought is usually given as to how many to have on duty.

I also know that the terrible rains and floods in certain parts of England have been the subject of Met Office weather warnings for more than 24 hours.

We were being warned on 24th December about the risk of fresh rain and flooding following on from the carnage wrought by Storm Eva.

None of us can change, stop or divert the weather, but we can listen to the earnings and take notice.  That is, after all, what they are for, and when RED warnings are being issued for rain and further floods maybe we should take notice.

So I asked Lancashire and West Yorkshire Police if they had called in extra PCs to help with the effects of the flooding, the severity of which has been all too clear.

So far, no answer to either.

This does not mean, of course, that they didn’t bring extra cops in, but it would appear that maybe they didn’t.  There may be perfectly vslid reasons for not doing so, but I do hope that the cost of the excercise wasn’t the main reason.

If either Force answers me I will happily circulate their reply.

I know we can’t stop the floods but I’m sure extra cops would be most useful preventing people driving or ealking into floods, reinforcing closed roads and generally just helping people in distress, many of whom had had to leave their homes AGAIN.

There was a time when there was a Contingency Fund to cover such emergencies, I doubt that still exists eh Cruella?

Budgets should never come before Public Safety, and I hope that they haven’t.

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When The Politicians Are In Charge

Strange things happen.

We used to have Police Authorities, even the Met had one eventually.  Then some bright spark at a well known Think Tank came up with PCCs.  Needless to say, most of the elected PCCs represent one political party or another, the Independents have a particularly hard time of it.

My old friends at Policy Exchange actually conducted a poll, and far and away what the public want is someone who is ex Police or ex Military, but what did we end up with.

Kevin Hurley, and others, seem to be doing an excellent job as Independents but I feel like the government regard them as a real irritant.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the should ALL be Independent.  Politics and Policing should not mix.  What we now have is a generation of politicians, embroiled in Policing (no other Public Services too) and simply refusing yo listen to those who actually know what they are talking about.

Home Secretary, Policing Minister etc. What did they KNOW about Policing prior to their appointment? What experience did they bring yo the post.  It’s very much like me bring elected as an MP and given the job of Chancellor of the Exchequer.  I would be an unmitigated disaster because I know nothing of Economics beyond a Household Budget.  Having a Health Minister with no background in the NHS.  SON of a Naval Admiral, educated at Charterhouse and Oxford, degree in Philosophy, Politics and Education. Where is his relevant experience for steering our NHS?

I digress.

All around us are politicians of similar background forming our current government.  Arrogant Oxbridge Graduates who do absolutely nothing that their electorate actually WANT.  Do the great British Public WANT the Police Service slashed? Do they WANT the Armed Forces cut?  Do they WANT their NHS sold off to the highest (or maybe not) bidder?

We have a bunch of toffs with no relevant experience who seem to truly believe that they don’t need to listen to the practitioners who actually know what they’re talking about.  Instead they embark upon a media campaign to discredit whichever Public Service is in their sights this week.

If they listened do you think we would be having discussions about terrorists sneaking in amongst the refugees?  We could have predicted that.  Border Force emasculated, I’m perfectly sure that there are many of us who have crossed the Channel via the Tunnel and witnessed a TOTAL LACK of any form of security checks on either ride of the Channel.  When I lived in France I made the journey from London to the South of France, by road, without ever once being stopped and checked, on several occasions the booths were simply not manned.  We might just as wel have signed up to Schengen for all the good the checkpoints were.  I just hope that it is better now.

Any function that includes Crime, Public Safety or Terrorism etc should not be left in the hands of politicians.  They have proved time and time again that all they are interested in is that their spreadsheet balances.  Bean counters the lot of them.

Policing, along with other Public Services, is not a business.  It does not make anything that can be sold. It cannot be expected to show a profit.  If the politicians get their way and chunks of it are sold off to G4$ or $ERCO then profit will be everything.  THEIR Primary Objective is to make a profit for their shareholders, the Clear Up Rate for example is of far less importance than that.

Many things have changed in the world over the last 10-15 years and yes, the Police Service does have to change the way things are done in order to keep, but that does not mean that it has to have change forced upon it by arrogant (young) politicians with no life experience, never done a proper job, and have no idea of the subject they are changing.

If we are to make Regorm a success maybe we simply need a few panels of experts to work things out and report back to the government with their recommendations, a clear debate in Parliament and accompanied by a permanent record (Hansard) of why the recommendations were or were not accepted.

Some things cannot be fun on a shoestring.


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Is It Time To Arm The British Police?

The question is really aimed at my former colleagues but please feel free to join in whoever you are.

The world has changed after Paris 2015. First Charlie Ebdo and the accompanying attacks at the beginning of the year. Then, tragically, Friday the 13th.

The events unfolding within the Bataclan Theatre must have been horrific and unthinkable when relayed to the Gendarmes by the survivors that managed to escape.  Faced with horrendous consequences for not doing anything the French launched s rapid strike on the theatre in a desperate attempt to rescue what they could from an unthinkable situation.  I can only imagine imagine how the cops on the street and their leaders must have felt, and they had very little time in which to act, it seems that theatre-goers were being murdered one by one.

How would we have dealt with a similar scenario?  It does seem increasingly likely that we might have to, someday, somewhere.

We have Armed Police available, every Force (I believe) now fields a number of Armed Police in ARVs routinely, 24 hours per day.  These men and women are fantastically well trained and superbly equipped, they will put their lives on the line at a moment’s notice in an attempt to resolve whatever problem they are faced with.  I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that our armed cops would have done their very best to resolve the ‘Bataclan’ scenario if they were faced with it.  Their courage and professionalism is right up there with the very best, no question.

The biggest problem, as I see it, is that even if you can find a senior officer with the balls to use the assets at his/her disposal, how long would it take to muster SUFFICIENT resources at the scene to be effective.

In this respect the French had it easy, their Gendarmes are routinely armed, and there seemed to be plenty of them available.  An ‘elite’ unit was on scene very quickly.

In the UK we have a Chancellor intent on slashing budgets, a Prime Minister who gives every impression of an ostrich with its head stuck in the sand and a Home Secretary and her entourage who seem to be intent on destroying the very fabric of British a Policing, and by extension our ability to mount an effective First Line response.

Systems are in place across the country to move suitably equipped and trained Police Officers to wherever they are needed.  The system is tried and tested and it works.  Where it is weak is when that help is needed NOW.  We can move cops from Manchester to London for example, but the two main issues are a) it takes time, and b) in the initial stages it leaves behind a void, which, initially, represents a vulnerability to a secondary attack.

The victims trapped in a nightclub being shot one by one, wouldn’t be terribly reassured to be told “help is on way, it will be here in 2 or 3 hours”. They needed appropriate help IMMEDIATELY.

As a cop I never wanted to be armed.  I never for one moment wanted ‘my’ Met to be paramilitary, routinely armed to the teeth and visible everywhere.

However, two things have changed since I was serving

1). The face of International Terrorism has changed.  9/11 happened in the dying months of my career. 7/7 after I had retired.  The events in Paris and elsewhere now getting more frequent and moving closer to home.

2). The face of Policing has changed since I retired.  The Home Secretary’s ‘Reforms’ have made it slmost inevitable that we could not mount an Immediate Response consisting of anything other than Cannon Fodder.  Mrs May has insisted on ruthlessly cutting budgets and resources.  In response PCCs have sold off Police Stations by the score.  The necessary resources are fewer and further away.

DeadBadgerShire actually consists of 3 large, rural counties.  To be honest I don’t actually know how many ARVs are available to the Force at any given moment, but even with the advantage of blue lights and sirens it would take a while to get them all together to mount an Initial Response.  Even in London they would encounter similar problems.

In theory we can call on the Army, but they are also being systematically reduced, many are already deployed abroad somewhere,  and where will the next attack on UK soil be?  It doesn’t have to be London, there are plenty of international airports to choose from for example.

So what do we want?  Is it time to complete the change in British Policing and, at the very least, train all of our Front Line cops, even if they are not routinely armed they will be trained and available to be armed.  Do we put firearms and trained officers in ALL of our Response Vehicles, locked in the boot etc until needed? Or do we go the way of our Continental Cousins and just arm all of our Cops on the streets 24 hours a day?

I don’t pretend to know all the answers, but I’m quite happy to provoke a debate.  Cop, Ex Cop, Member of Public, what is your view.

All that I think I know is that in the modern world Islamic State and Dixon of Dock Green probably can’t co-exist.

What think you?Last Updated on

When Exactly Is This Home Secretary Going To Listen?

Crime Is Down, Reform Is Working.

How many times have we heard that?

Is Crime down?

Not according to figures released a few days ago, massively up when you include Fraud and CyberCrime, and just becasue we have never counted them before does not mean that don’t impact upon our resources.

Is Reform working?

That was the subject of a very heated debate on Twitter last night between some of our beter-known Twitterati, and I have to be honest I gave in and went to bed before the combatants reached an agreement I think.

However, my meagre contribution to the debate was this;

Returning to Mrs May’s speech to the Federation Conference earlier this year;

“So police reform is working. By cutting bureaucracy and central targets, we have saved up to 4.5 million police hours – the equivalent of 2,100 full-time officers.

The frontline service has been maintained and the proportion of officers in frontline roles has gone up to 91%.”

Frontline roles filled to a level of 91%>   Really?  In your Force are they?

4 and a half million hours freed up, 2,100 officers.  Sounds impressive.  Except that we have already lost 17,500 officers due to ‘Reform’, so that’s -15,400 in my book, working?  Really?

What do the Chief Constables think about it all?  They’ve joined in a bit late for my liking, they should have been banging their drums alongside the rank and file 4-5 years ago, but that doesn’t mean that what they have to say isn’t valid.

So what have they said?

The Chief Constable of Lancashire has said that his Force “will not be viable after 2020”  Mr Finnigan said the county faced the harshest budget cuts in England, which could potentially see the force becoming a “blue light” service, responding to emergencies only.   Mounted and dog sections along with road policing units could be lost and community policing cut.  Lancashire’s PCC called the cuts ‘Savage’ and predicted that they would have a ‘devastating effect’ on policing in Lancashire.

Jerry Graham, Chief Constable of Cumbria Constabulary, had thisa to say

Simon Bailey, Chief Constable of Norfolk Constabulary says that his Force is in a ‘Critical Condition’ due to the cuts.

Chief Constable Simon Bailey said the public needs to “think differently” about how the area is likely to be policed in future.

He said: “The scale and pace of cuts to the policing budget, taken together with unparalleled growth in complex crime and new demand, means the service has reached a critical point.

“The next round of public sector budget reductions will be a game-changer for policing in Norfolk

Even Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Met Commissioner, believes that London will be put at risk by proposed police cuts that would see up to 8,000 officers axed.

London put at risk?  Aren’t the Police supposed to protect the Public?

I could go on, but I won’t. I’m sure you’ve got the message.  Not Theresa’s message, but the truer message.

How IS Police reform working?  If I have missed it, or the discussion on Twitter has solved the riddle please let me know.

In the meantime exactly when IS Theresa May going to listen to the people who know.  The people on the front line doing the job. The Chief Constables and PCCs in charge of them all.

Just in case that never happens I’m off to lie down in a darkened room and do my homework.

Crime is down, Reform is working,  Crime is down, Reform is working, crime is down, Reform is working.Last Updated on

An Open Letter To Nigel Evans MP

Dear Mr Evans,

I was sorry to see that you had been pelted with an egg, and subjected to abuse at the recent Conservative Party Conference in Manchester and I have noted your comments since.

May I ask you please;

Was it a Police Officer that threw the egg at you?

Were the Police Officers present at the Conference shouting abuse at yourself and other delegates?

If either of these scenarios is true then please feel free to make a complaint against the officer(s) concerned.

As for allegations of ‘Race Crime’ I cannot accept that unless you and your party really do consider yourselves to be a ‘Race apart’.

Consider this;

Maybe the people who were there throwing eggs and shouting abuse were, in reality, members of the Public, fed up with the Tories slashing and destroying all of the British Public Sector, and maybe they were showing their disapproval?

What do you think? Could that be a possibility?

While you’re thinking about it, because it might take you a while to work it out,  how is any of this the fault of the Police?

Any party that cuts the Police Service to the bone (and beyond) must anticipate that the Public might actually be on the side of Law and Order, and can understand that if you want to cut Police numbers, you simply cannot expect, or demand, the same level of protection that existed previously.

Stop wasting the valuable time of the Police demanding answers to your ridiculous allegations, simply accept that #CutsHaveConsequences and that #AllYouGetForLessIsLess.  It really isn’t difficult to work out.

Regards

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