Last updated on September 21st, 2023 at 04:51 pmReading Time: 3 minutes
TJF, that was one of the very first things I was told when I left the cocoon that was Hendon Training School and appeared at my very first nick.
I suspect that it has been common parlance for generations.
Looking at various Tweets and Facebook posts over the past week. Thinking about the tragic events of last week, and the response and reaction to them. It troubles my aged brain.
Before you waste your time telling me, I know, I’m Old School, a Dinosaur even. However, this does not mean that my opinions are not valid, my ideas out-dated and useless. Some may be, some might be excellent. Who knows? I do still have Freedom of Thought, and this is what I think.
When Theresa May, either of her own volition, or doing the bidding of one David Camoron, set about the destruction, sorry Reform, of the Police Service, myself and others questioned her intentions. We questioned the intentions and acts of (then) Mr Tom Winsor. We questioned the intent and activities of certain Think Tanks. Most unhealthy in my opinion. Sadly the majority of the public were hoodwinked by it all. Some of Winsor’s ‘facts’ were completely unscientific is the best way to describe them.
Chief Police Officers were either hoodwinked also (unlikely) or were working to a totally different agenda. Almost none of them came out into the open and stood up for the Front Line.
What does that matter? So we’ve trimmed down the excesses of the Police Service. That must be a good thing surely? The Canteen Culture has effectively been smashed by the simple act of closing and selling off the canteens.
- Approx 21,000 (or so) Police Officers have been lost since 2010. The government can assure you if they want that the Front Line has been protected, but where do you think these 21,000 have come from? Almost entirely Constables and Sergeants, who are, incidentally, very important to the Front Line.
- Approximately 18,000 Police Staff too. It got do bad that a certain Police Station in DeadBadgerShire had to put a PC into an office job because the last remaining civvie had been moved or dispensed with. How crazy is that?
- Over 600 Police Stations sold off or closed to the public.
And now we get to the worst of my vexations, for I am surely vexed;
- Policing Degrees (or equivalent) as a pre-requisite to join the Police Service as a Probationary Constable.
- Direct Entry Superintendents
- Direct Entry Inspectors
- Direct Entry to Detective for Specials
- Politically aligned Police and Crime Commissioners
- Appointment of a civilian Commissioner for the Met. She MAY have BEEN a Police Officer, and I’m not disputing that she is suitable, but the precedent has been set. Stand by for more.
- Proposals for Direct Entry as Chief Constable
- Police Now and their willingness to assist and support officers seeking alternative employment outside the Police Service after a handful of years, and their infamous ‘Healthy Churn’
- College of Policing, there are just so many things there that I can’t bring myself to begin.
- The Police Federation – I’m not totally convinced that they’ve been very good at identifying the threats and playing the Long Game.
- An increase for the budget of HMIC
- An increase for the budget of IPCC
Where does this bring us?
The Perfect Storm. Everything is now in place to support the government’s dismantling (some prefer the term destruction) of the Police Service as we knew it. The Front Line will doubtless cease regarding it as a Job For Life (I much prefer Vocation). Five years then offski, take the experience learnt into the Private Sector for more money, better prospects, a company car and weekends at home.
So there we have it, TJF – Very F, very possibly Terminally F. And it is most certainly NOT the fault of the officers queueing up to buy a sandwich in a supermarket, a coffee in Starbucks or Costa, or the officers taking too long to get through their lists of outstanding calls. The substance and appearance of the modern day Police Service has changed substantially, and with crime and demands on the Police Service rising steadily, is it really a good idea to cull 40,000+ posts?
I think we can all see where this started. Even a Dinosaur.