Hello world! I’m Back 😇

I’ve had it with Twitter blocking my posts through no fault of my own. Norton relented and pronounced it Clean, and they’re particularly difficult to satisfy.

Here I am, reborn.

I have replicated the old Retired and Angry here, hopefully it all works. If you find anything that doesn’t please let me know.

Please let me know if anybody flags the blog up as Suspicious or Dangerous. Chrome is particularly likely to do this because I don’t have an SSL certificate. The fact is I don’t need one because I will NEVER ask you for any money, so I won’t be storing any personal or Financial information on this site. NEVER.

Illegitimi non carborundum

Onwards and upwards, let’s be ‘aving ’em.

STOP PRESS

I now have a basic SSL certificate

Spotlight On North Yorkshire – Smoke Or Mirrors, Fact Or Fiction?

It is no longer a secret that our old mucker Mike Pannett (@MikePannett) has declared his hand, he will be standing as an Independent Candidate in the forthcoming PCC Elections on May 5th.  I wish him all the very best and I’m sure he’ll be grateful for any little bit of help that we can give him.  With this in mind, here’s a little bit of help Mike.  Your opponents might not like it, but one thing that you can be certain of is that this post is based on FACT, it is the TRUTH

The current North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (Julia Mulligan, a Conservative if that makes any difference) has made a grand announcement that she is to increase the number of Police Officers in North Yorkshire to 1,400, paid for by a 1.99% increase in the Council Tax precept.   Police officer levels were reduced from the budgeted number of 1,392 to 1,343 after recommendations from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Policing (HMIC).

So Ms Mulligan intends to recruit 57 officers to raise the level not only back to where they were but more.  That sounds like a good idea.  That could even get her a few votes.  If that was the whole of the story that is.

When the previous government took office in 2010 and David Cameron, Theresa May, Sir Tom et al set about ‘reforming’ the Police, North Yorkshire had a total of 1,461 officers as at 30th September that year.

  • September 2011 –    1,432
  • September 2012 –    1,394
  • March 2013 –            1,370
  • September 2013 –    1,374
  • March 2014 –            1,408
  • September 2014 –    1,404
  • March 2015 –            1,395
  • September 2015 –    1,347

I’m not quite sure where her 1,343 and 1,392 numbers come from but the numbers above are only 6 monthly snapshots so between dates the number could have been anything.  The numbers above ARE however OFFICIAL Home Office figures, so they do not lie.

What North Yorkshire Police are actually trying to do is to recruit more officers merely to part-replace those they have already shed.  Replacing experienced (and expensive) officers with recruits at a fraction of the cost.

Even if Ms Mulligan recruits her ‘extra’ 57 officers and attains 1,400 once more, how is that ‘extra’ compared to the 1,461 of 2010?

You follow me on Twitter Ms Mulligan, please feel free to explain in open forum how this works.  The numbers will still be down, most sources now agree that crime is rising for a variety of reasons.  Even 57 new recruits won’t bolster the specialist units that have been savaged (dogs, mounted, rural  etc).

Blow away the smoke and mirrors and let’s all here the real situation.  I am absolutely certain that Mike Pannett will conduct his campaign on a bedrock of truth and fact, not spin or a version of the facts..  Why don’t all candidates do the same?

I Seem To Be Errrrm……..Confused

It only seems like a moment ago that the Police were being criticised for the manner in which they investigated and recorded crimes and how they treated or regarded the victims of those crimes.

There are any manner of ‘anti’ articles in the press, disclosures by officers, dodgy recording practices, unrealistic targets.  The whole thing was a mess.

A review was conducted by our good friends at HMIC, which led to Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Uncle Tom Cobblers,  telling the BBC that the under-recording of sexual offences was of particular concern and more sex crimes would be reported if victims felt they could trust the police.

“The police need to institutionalise a culture of believing the victim. Every time,” he said.

Believe the victim

So we did, our Police Forces did what (sarcasm alert) the nice man in the fancy uniform told them and believed the victims.  This led to an immense number of fresh and historical allegations, mainly in relation to sexual abuse, being reported.  The man at the top said “believe the victims” so they all got investigated.

At this point I would like to make it quite clear, that I am not saying “believe the victims” is the wrong policy.  That is up to the people at the top of the greasy pole to decide.

Every allegation provoked an investigation, or so it seemed.  Some could be conducted quickly and simply, some others took months, a year, or more. Some involved suspects who were dead, or dying.  Is that wrong?  Believing the victims necessitates an investigation, so no, I guess it wasn’t wrong.

Now we get to the bit that, quite honestly, confuses me.

Any of you who have been reading this pile of crap for a while will know that I am no fan of Sir Bernard Hogan-Who, but I do think he’s between the rock and the hard place at the moment.

Fast-Forward a couple of years and the media seems to be full of predictions concerning his future, or lack of one, at the Met.

Why?

Because his Force believed the victims and investigated crimes, much to the concern of certain journalists and revered publications.

A series of articles with particularly lurid and ugly headlines have been emerging, such as;

The rotten apple at the Metropolitan Police is right at the top

I would have preferred to see the policeman in the Village People in charge

And

The man who shames the Met: A General called him ‘that wretched man’ but that’s just the start of the charge sheet against top cop behind bungled prosecutions of Leon Brittan and Lord Bramall

And

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: An ugly chapter in the history of the police

I shall no doubt be struck down by a bolt of lightning for saying this, but the media should butt out and leave Hogan-Who to get on with with contending with May’s Mayhem.  Regarding the first article above, I didn’t realise Paul Gambaccini was a respected journalist and commentator, I thought he was someone from over the water who had a contract with the Beeb to play music on the radio. I don’t suppose his arrest under Operation Yewtree, the subsequent investigation and the fact that it was discontinued due to insufficient evidence has clouded his opinion of the Met one iota, do you?

If I have an opinion at all (that I would like to share) it is this:-  instead of playing Where’s Wally, the elusive Sir Tom Winsor should come out fighting and remind the world that the Police in ANY Force are believing the victims and investigating the allegations because he told them to.  It is not for me, or the media, to question or disagree with that.

The final item on the list above, which is far from complete, is an absolute outrage, a vile piece of filth that completely rubbishes victim ‘Nick’.  I have no idea if ‘Nick”s allegations are true but they sure as hell don’t need to be rubbished in a national newspaper in that fashion.  Can you imagine the outcry that the Mail would stir up if a Police Officer made the equivalent statements?

Gambaccini and the Mail can crawl away back into the dark, dank, putrid hole they came from and in a day or two I shall return to slagging off Hogan-Who, but just for today I feel a bit sorry for him, but I’m sure it will soon pass.
ADDENDUM
It just gets better and better

#DegreeGate – Genuine Need Or Cynical Ploy?

And so #DegreeGate rumbles on and still nobody is much clearer, with many simply remaining to be convinced.  Many, like me I suspect, are waiting to see the ‘evidence’ that this is a good idea.

Being a bit of a researcher and a fan of ‘the truth’ I went looking.

I found a video on YouTube put there by the College of Policing.  It is called PEQF: What is the evidence base? and featuress the College’s Director of Knowledge, Research and Education, Rachel Tuffin.  Rachel is clearly a well educated and well qualified woman and has the honour of having been awareded an OBE for services to policing, specifically championing evidence-based policing.

The title of the video implies that herein lies the answer, what is the ‘evidence base’?

Watch the video and see for yourselves

 

I have watched the video several times now, and I must be older than I thought, because I don’t see it.  To be honest, all I saw was a young lady, waving her hands around a lot, saying that it was interesting, important and a challenge, and a good idea.  I didn’t see or hear any ‘evidence’.

Undeterred I tweeted a short poll aimed at current and ex Police Officers

The results of that were 330 people voted of which 95% voted NO, they didn’t think they could have done their job any better with a degree.

This morning Peter Kirkham posted a similar poll on Twatter

So, I still remain to be convinced.  I have known many fine (in my opinion) cops both with and without degrees, and my opinion is still that there may well be a place for a degree as part of the development/promotioon process but I do not see the need or benefit for one at the recruitment stage.

Looking at it brutally, it costs, say, £9k per annum in university fees to get a degree.  Up to £27k if the course is 3 years.  The College of Policing states that it costs £25k to train a Constable, even if I assume that means up to end of Probation, I don’t know why it costs that much, but I can see why they woant to shift the burden of cost onto the recruit.  Unfortunately having spent your £27k, there’s still no promise of a job.  If you join under the old rules and don’t make the grade it hasn’t cost you, or the organisation, anything like £25/£27k.

So, is there reaally a genuine need for a degree or are the College just using smoke and mirrors to deflect the costs of training?  Have the hundreds of thousands of cops trained across the length and breadth of the UK previously been ubstandard in some way?

Speaking for myself, I don’t have a degree.  Did I resent not having one? No,. it was my choice.  Do I feel that I could have performed my duties better if I had one?  Honestly? No, I don’t.  I feel that my training provided by the Met kitted me out adequately for almost all eventualities, and I can think of numerous Front Line scenarios where a degree would not have benefitted me one little bit.

As laws and procedures changed, we were given extra training to bring us up to date.  Some was better than others to be fair, but very little, if any, was computer-based, tick the box, cover your arse training.  It was proper training with an ‘instructor’ wheer one could ask questions until one fully understood the issue of the day.

When it came to participation in meetings and briefings, to their credit, my bosses didn’t just send Tommy because he had a degreee, they sent Billy because he knew what he was talking about and was the best person for that particular subject, degree or no degree.

Finally, for now, the Home Secretary is absolutely furious that the Police Service is “too white”.  I would be interested to hear what Impact Assessment the College of Policing has done to make sure that this proposal doesn’t make the Police Service “even whiter”.

All this, and for £19 a year.  Has that Barista Job at House Of Commons gone yet?   https://houseofcommons-careers.engageats.co.uk/ViewVacancy.aspx?enc=mEgrBL4XQK0+ld8aNkwYmP6f9HQomm5Qwf54UUcmqeJ1Jk+K2ZB1Bb1KXjmvT220Nlzq0ZeMk54lC0lgscJp5+Z8dEZeSGIxbZhu/JU3OZ1sZ9ku75/EfbfVXSw/71YGdDQx9MiV3lOcxIQ+6HfKcQ==

ADDENDUM 

I forgot this one from yesterday

As yet, no response from the College
 

And do you think I will ever get a reply to this one?

And A Happy New Year To You Too

It didn’t take long.  My first post of 2016 is back to questining an old chestnut from last year.

All was going well, I was sitting quietly in the kitchen munching on my Coco Pops when it happened.  I happened upon a Tweet from Jack Dromey MP asserting (once more) that the Police should look like the public they serve.

Why?

I am not opposed to diversity in the Police or any other domain. I am, however, against targets and positive discrimination.  Positive discrimination is not, in my view, helpful to anybody.

I replied to Jack Dromey asking one simple question;

Why is it not more appropriate to recruit the best candidates from whichever race, creed, sex etc they come from?  If I need the Police I don’t give a tuppeny toss what gender, race or ethnic appearance they are as long as they turn up and deal with my problem effectively.

I haven’t had a reply yet.

What do you think? Am I wrong?  Quality of the job applicant or ethnic origin? No sitting on the fence, choose one of the two options, which is more important?

And a Happy New Year by the way.

Some Thoughts On Some Thoughts

Some things just don’t go away, they hang around like an unwelcome guest, or the after effects of Brussel Sprout Soup.

This last week or 10 days, whatever it is, has seen Direct Entry and Graduate Recruitment take centre stage.

The WORST argument (in my opinion of course) in favour of Direct Entry Inspectors and Superintendents comes from the College of Policing themselves.

Never mind he arguments for or against, the main issue that completely stunned me was the apparent disregard by the author of the effects on suitably qualified Police Officers awaiting potential promotion from within, in the traditional manner;

Another frequent question I am asked is ‘will the Direct Entry at inspectors and superintendents be taking promotion opportunities from serving officers?’

I come back to my earlier point that the police service needs to be the strongest it can be with the best person for each role being fairly and correctly selected. 

The numbers of Direct Entry officers that are entering the service are extremely small compared with the numbers in the rank or aspiring to the rank.

We are well aware there are thousands of fully qualified and talented officers awaiting promotion and what we are doing is absolutely not designed to negatively affect their chances. 

In other words, there are so few of them, relatively speaking, that they don’t matter.

MY big question would be “If these Direct Entry Insps & Supts possess such desirable qualities why cant we train our own?”  An officer awaiting promotion to Inspector or Superintendent has built up a whole wealth of experience along the way.  They will have acquired a significant amount of knowledge and assorted skills, yet not the right ones it seems.  So why can’t these officers be simply taught these desired skills that they apparently lack?  

Or is there a totally different agenda at work at the College?

Moving on, the very same College thinks that all recruits into the Police Service should possess a degree in Policing Skills.

Under the proposals, new police applicants would need to complete either a degree in practical policing or a conversion course after graduating in another subject.

Dr Sam Peach, who has put together the plan for the college, said: “The majority of other professions have graduate entry in the UK.

“There’s a lack of parity with other professions and because of that the police is not recognised as a legitimate profession.

“We are looking to have degree-level qualifications for constable and masters for superintendent.”

Why would 100% of recruits in the future require a degree?  I fully accept that Policing has become complex over the years, but I never once felt that I was missing out, inadequate or incompetent in any way because Ai didn’t have one.

Let me say here and now that I have absolutely no problem with Cops With Degrees, my issue is entirely with the perceived need for 100% Graduate Cops, and not just any old degree either.

Would we be having this conversation if ACPO hadn’t ‘dumbed down’ recruitment over the years?

What effect will this policy have on the Home Secretary’s edict to increase Ethnic Minority Officers in the PolicecService.  Surely recruitment of ALL Ethnic Origins will FALL?

Does anybody think that this policy will INCREASE the numbers of recruits of ANY. Race, Gender, Sexuality or Religion etc?

If establishment numbers mysteriously rise more than normal during the pilot study I will happily shut up and never mention it again, but I truly don’t see how it will.

I have also heard it mentioned that Police Officers without a degree, addressing an audience predominantly of graduates, may feel inadequate and awkward.  In my experience if you know what you’re talking about and are comfortable with your subject this should not be an issue for the majority.

Can we cope with fewer, better educated officers?  I doubt it, some scenarios just need numbers, pure and simple.  If a PSU full of graduates turns up at a riot, wil the rioters pack up and go home in the face of that particular opposition? Maybe, time will tell.

What do the College intend to do with the tens of thousands of officers across the ranks that don’t have a degree?  UPP abounds.  The Federation will be busy, assuming that they have their degrees.  

Existing officers will be encouraged – but not required – to improve their qualifications to degree level.

There is definitely a place in Policing for Officers with degrees, particularly on promotion.  However, I seriously question the need for 100% Graduate Profession.  I remain to be convinced, but for those of you who may think that I am ridiculing our current crop of Graduates in somecway, I most definitely am not, nor do I defend the alleged use of Bag Carrying comparisons.  I didn’t see it, nor did I use it, but I do still have the right to hold and express an opinion, I do not have to fall in line and agree with Dr Peach and other proponents of the scheme.

Job for life?  Vocation? The only job I’ll ever have/want?  Or just a 5 year ‘tick box’ posting.  Cut back on training costs, cut back even more on pensions.  Oh Cruella WILL be pleased.

The 2015 RetiredAndAngry Jobsworth Award

Goes to…………..

You’ll have to wait just a little longer to find out, sorry.

I’ve been more successful this year, I haven’t received anywhere near as many Refusals to my Freedom of Information Requests, even the Home Office, whilst far from perfect, have definitely improved, although I’m still awaiting their response to my request regarding The a Curious Case of the Disappearing Mr Winsor, but you can be assured if I ever get an answer I will share it with you.

In the matter of Police Station closures I have written to all 43 Police Forces in England and Wales, and asked them all the same 2 questions

1). How many Police Stations or Front Countersh have closed since May 2010?

2). How many Police Stations or Front Counters are envisaged to close within the next 5 tears?

To date I have received responses from slightly more than two thirds of the 43.  I have received just one Refusal notice.

You may find my two questions quite innocuous, they’re certainly not intended to cause angst, they are intended to inform the public of the scale of the Tory cuts in real terms bricks and mortar, the family silver.

As I said, I had one Refusal Notice, in a reply from Northamptonshire Police.  They answered Question 1, but less enthusiastic about Question 2. The reasons quoted were these;

”  The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner which oversees the estates are not obliged to provide the information you have requested under the Freedom of Information Act. In accordance with the Act, this reply represents a Refusal Notice for this particular request.

 

Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires Northamptonshire Police, when refusing to provide such information (because the information is exempt within the provisions of the Act) to provide you, the applicant, with a Notice which:

 

a) states the fact that an exemption has been applied

b) specifies the exemption in question, and

c) states why the exemption applies (if that would not otherwise be apparent)

 

The exemptions applicable to the information you have requested are as follows:-

 

Section 31 (a), (b) and (c) – Law Enforcement (Qualified and Prejudice-based)

 

Disclosure of information, which would be likely to prejudice the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension or prosecution of offenders or the administration of justice.

 

Section 43 – Commercial Interests. Disclosure of this information would breach the commercial interests of the company if its disclosure under this act would, or would be likely to, prejudice commercial interests of any person.

 

This is a qualified and class-based exemption . This means that the legislators, when writing this piece of legislation, considered that the release of this type of information would cause harm to either the authority or individuals involved. Therefore the authority does not need to carry out a harm test for this exemption.

 

Harm test

The Business Case/Feasibility document is in use and forming Northamptonshire current strategy at this moment in time. The document is being used to form our current thinking and it would not be appropriate to release a working document at this time as it would affect those working on this strategy. The document is commercially sensitive to our organisations / landowners and the consultants involved. The document also contains operational information in regards to our estate and the occupants. The review is a review of the whole estate. It also includes a review of the Fire Service estate. This document was preceded by an options paper which was the basis to carrying out this estate review.

 

Public Interest Test – Section 31

 

Factors favouring disclosure

 

By disclosing the information, the public would be aware of where their public funds are spent and there would be better awareness which may reduce crime or lead to more information from the public.

 

Factors favouring non-disclosure

 

Law enforcement tactics would be compromised which would hinder the prevention or detection of crime and impact on police resources and may increase the commission of crime. Disclosure would enable the geographic mapping of our resources throughout the county.

 

Public Interest Test – Section 43

 

Factors favouring disclosure

Accountability – the public should be aware of how funds are utilised that reflect the effectiveness and efficiency of the Force

Factors favouring non-disclosure

Interests of third parties – Third party interests might be jeopardised by release of information relating to sensitive commercial information held about business, financial, contractual or operational issues.

 

Balance test

 

The Police Service is charged with the prevention and detection of crime and they would not divulge information that could undermine this important role. There is no decision in respect of the disposal or otherwise of the current estate and release of information contained in the document would cause unfounded speculation and distress to those connected with the decision making. The public interest test is centered on whether this information should be released to the world so that any person can view this information not just you as the requestor. Thus, although this information may be interesting to the public I do not see how its release can benefit the community at large. Having weighed up the argument, I feel the balance lies in withholding this information in order to protect those working on the strategy and staff affected by its outcome.

 

I trust you find this information to be satisfactory but if you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact me.”

Not wanting to roll over and give in I took to Google, and found several articles in their local press where the PCC and/or Chief Constable had briefed the local press about planned closures, but they couldn’t tell me because I might be a criminal or I might tell a criminal.

On the basis that some or all of the information was freely available in the media I immediately asked them yo conduct an official Review of my request and their response.

The reply to this was priceless;

“Dear Mr Wright

 

With regards to your reply, I have made further enquiries with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire as they have the responsibility for managing the Northamptonshire Police estate. They are still not in a position to release information as outlined below in the exemptions I have already applied, and which remain the case as of today”

I can only assume that Northamptonshire are feeling a little prickly as their PCC is apparently being investigated by the IPCC for allegedly disclosing information regarding an investigation to a third party.

I have now demanded that they conduct a proper Review under the Act, but for all the above reasons I have no hesitation in awarding the 2015 Jobsworth Award to Northamptonshire Police Freedom of Information and Data Protection Team

Sorry Everybody, It’s Tom Winsor and G4$ Again

I need to be careful with this one so I’ll stick to demonstrable facts and I’ll invite you to join the dots yourselves.

It was pointed out to me recently  that the recent HMIC inspections identified Lincolnshire as best Value for Money Force.Yesterday the BBC reported that G4S were claiming that companies such as theirs could save Police Forces up to £1 BILLION per annum by outsourcing back room functions etc.

G4S entered into a £200 million contract with Lincolnshire Police in 2012, with G4S now carrying out many back room functions for them.

During the initial negotiations G4S were represented by law firm White & Case.

Their website says “White & Case is an international law firm that serves companies, governments and financial institutions.”

In 2010 Tom Winsor was writing his Independent Review, he was employed by White and Case.
At the 2012 Police Federation Conference, Theresa May was asked

When you appointed Tom Winsor to carry out your independent review of policy, did you know that the law firm Tom Winsor is part of, which is White and Case, was negotiating the multi-million groundbreaking deal for G4S with Lincolnshire Police?

Mrs May replied

Tom Winsor did his review entirely independently. He did not do that review as part of the firm – he did it as an individual.

Barrie Young, Chair of the then Lincolnshire Police Authority chipped in with

My understanding is the work he’s done for the government in relation to his report on pay and conditions was as Tom Winsor and not the firm White and Case. I see no conflict of interest whatsoever

A spokesperson for White and Case added

There has been absolutely no conflict of interest: Mr Winsor has not been involved in any capacity with the legal team which advised us on our contract with Lincolnshire Police.

“Furthermore no member of the G4S policing team has even had contact with Mr Winsor.”

So, absolutely no doubt whatsoever, no conflict of interest, all parties say so.  Mr Winsor was not representing White and Case when he wrote his Independent Reviews, he was acting as an individual.

Being a cynical old bugger I submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Home Office as I was curious how much his report had cost.

“In relation to Mr Tom Winsor’s Review of Police Officers’ & Staff Remuneration & Conditions I request that you furnish me with the following information

1) What was the total amount of money paid to Mr Winsor’s firm, White and Case, for his services in compiling the report in relation to this review. ”

Their reply?

Q1. Neither White & Case nor Mr Winsor has received any remuneration in respect of Mr Winsor’s work on the review.

The terms and conditions of Mr Winsor’s appointment provided for £300 per day to be paid to him in remuneration for his work on the review. However, the Home Office has received no request for payment from Mr Winsor. I understand that he does not intend to claim this money.

Mr Winsor has submitted expense claims that amount to £3,910.19, incurred during the production of his report, although these have yet to be paid.

One more requestor was given an identical answer to mine, absolutely identical.

However, a third person got a subtly different reply to his request

Q.   ………how much Tom Winsor has either been paid or will be paid to carry out his review on remuneration and conditions of service for police officers and staff in England and Wales?

A.  The law firm White and Case, at which Tom Winsor is a partner, will receive £300 per day for his services.

Do you see the subtle difference?

It may or may not be relevant that his request and response significantly predate my own.

So by now the Merry Go Round has gone round and round, and now we’re back at the beginning.

HMIC declare Lincolnshire the best VfM Force in the country.

And the head of HMIC is………………

fish soup
ADDENDUM

I have also now found FOI 22527 at HomevOfficecwhichbreads like this

We have received a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for the following: 

How much has Tom Winsor been paid for carrying our his review of police pay and conditions. I would like the total amount of any salary, and or claimed expenses and if possible this to be broken down into what has been claimed.

I would also like the details of any other expenses paid to persons in relation to this review, again broken down.

 The following information was released on 20th June 2012:

Tom Winsor led the review on a part-time basis. The law firm White and Case, at which Mr Winsor is a partner, will receive £300 per day for his services. He has not yet claimed for his services. Mr Winsor has claimed £3,910.19 in expenses. Please see the attached PDF document for a breakdown of his expenses.

Sir Ted Crewe and Professor Richard Disney provided advice and research support to Tom Winsor during the course of the review.

Sir Ted Crewe was paid £23,493.45. This is broken down into travel costs (£2,043.45), consultancy/advice at a daily rate of £300 (£16,350) and consultancy/implementation at a daily rate of £300 (£5,100).            

The University of Nottingham was paid £15,464.25 for the services of Professor Richard Disney. This is broken down into the following: travel and subsistence (£545.25) and overhead costs, including salary costs (£14,919). 

Tom Winsor had a small secretariat team during his review. They were paid £1,433.84 in expenses. This is broken down as follows:

o Travel – Late Working before 9pm (£30.50)

o Taxi Official Travel (£568.80)

o Rail, Bus, Coach (£66.00)

o Subsistence Allowance (£ 119.63)

o Other Travel – General (£80.80)

o Reimbursement of Unusual items (£5.99)

o Hotel/Bed & Breakfast cost (£550.24)

o Staff Meeting / Away day / Team Building (£11.88)
In May 2012 Theresa May denied a conflict of interest saying “Tom Winsor did his review entirely independently. He did not do that review as part of the firm – he did it as an individual.” But in June 2012 her own department said “Tom Winsor led the review on a part-time basis. The law firm White and Case, at which Mr Winsor is a partner, will receive £300 per day for his services. “

You must make your own minds up.

The Policing Debate 4th November 2015

The Motion:-

That this House notes with concern the loss of 17,000 police officers in the last five years; further notes the most recent Police Recorded Crime statistics, which show sharp rises in some of the more serious crimes including knife crime and sexual assault and that, alongside evidence that some crime is rising, there is evidence that crime is changing and moving away from traditional forms such as burglary and car theft and is being increasingly replaced by cybercrime; is concerned by reports that the police budget could face between 25 and 40 per cent spending reductions in the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review; notes warnings from senior police figures that this could result in over 20,000 further reductions in frontline staff, the effective end of neighbourhood policing and much of the public being exposed to much greater risk; accepts that further efficiencies can be made in the police budget for England and Wales but believes that budget reductions over 10 per cent would be dangerous; further notes the ongoing concern surrounding the Scottish Government’s oversight of Police Scotland and the findings of the recent staff survey which found only 30 per cent of staff thought they had the resources necessary to do their job properly; and calls on the Government to secure a funding settlement for the police that maintains frontline services and does not compromise public safety.

The Debate

  
The Result

Ayes 214, Noes 343

So the motion was defeated by 120 votes, that’s how our government values the Police.

How your MP voted:-

Rather than reproduce a long list here, you can check out your MP and how he/she voted here on Hansard.

Looking at the photo, I assume that it’s possible to vote without actually being there, or maybe it’s simply necessary to merely pass through.  I accept that the picture doesn’t show the full House but 550 votes presumably represents more people than are visible, but equally there are more MPs than represented by the total votes, so many don’t seem to have voted.

I am disgusted.  Andy Burnham’s motion was perfectly reasonable and was, I believe, what the PUBLIC want. However the vast majority of our politicians are NOT concerned by the cuts to the Police Service, the results of the debate do not lie.

Police Chiefs – Let Me Introduce You To The Hymn Book

This is the Hymn Book  

 and we should all be singing from the same one.

For the last 5 years Rank and File Police Officers, Retired Police Officers and a large number of members of the Great British Public have been pointing out to an unheard get, uncaring government that enough is enough, you can’t cut the number of Officers across England and Wales to the degree that is being proposed without subsequent consequences.  I think that is quite realistic.

Some time later he Federation got on board and kicked off what, in my opinion at least, was a highly effective and informative #CutsHaveConsequences campaign with huge billboards and a series of videos.

Finally, just in the last few days or weeks really, the ‘Chiefs’ have begun to speak out, but what they have to say really is too little, too late.  They should have been shouting from the hilltops 5 years ago, not leave until the absolute, critical, last minute.

What bemuses me is this.

In a situation where everybody outside of government is agreed that there aren’t enough cops why, oh why, would anybody even consider making cops Compulsorarily Redundant.

The fact that NPCC are even having a vote on the issue speaks volumes.

You do not solve a critical shortage by making people redundant, so why do we need to vote on it.

What we need to do is to be as efficient as we can be, save money wherever we reasonably can, and when that limit is reached TOUGH. When the money finally runs, and it will, the government of the day will have a choice

a). Properly fund an adequately resourced Police Service or

b). Allow the Police Service to fail, pack up and go home.

Our Police Officers are Warranted Officers, Servants of the Crown, answerable and accountable to The Queen. They are NOT, and should not be treated like, Political Puppets.

You can bring in G4$, $ERCO or T$G Policing, but they are all private companies, answerable only yo their shareholders.  The Queen doesn’t get any say in their activities whatsoever.

Whilst certain politicians, for whatever reason, might want to include and involve Privatisation in Policing, but do any of them really want to be responsible for its total collapse and death?

For the Front Line there is the #DoItRight approach.

For NPCC there is the approach of “doing the right thing” and steering the Police Service as best they can, looking after it and keeping in as good a condition as the government will allow. Their consciences will be clear and they will have earned the respect of their troops in doing so.

Or they can just vote YES to Compulsory Severance, then we will all know who’s who and where we all stand.

Get the hymn book out before Wednesday and make sure we’re all on the same page.