Not quite the League Tables you might have been expecting though.
Since 2010 it should be no surprise to anyone that approx 21,000 Police Officers have been culled from the overall strength of the Police Forces of England and Wales.
I shall leave it to others for today to determine how that has affected performance. My personal opinion is that “all you get for less is less”. All these “Work harder, work smarter” mantras are just so much rubbish. It is never my intention to play one Force off against another either.
These League Tables concern how British Policing compares with the Police Forces of other countries viz a viz the number of Police Officers per 100,000 head of population.
The version that the government actually publish is dated 2014 and includes a relatively small number of countries, mainly European.
Out of 33 nations where data was available for 2015, England & Wales was ranked 28th for the number of police officers per 100,000 head of population. Northern Ireland was ranked 11th and Scotland 17th.
What kind of government could be happy with that?
However, I did find considerably more statistics out there, but unfortunately, they do not refer to a common year. However, it does give us an idea where British Policing sits in the greater picture.
I apologise for it being a bit clustereed and not showing the names of all of the countries clearly but there are 140 different countries in this comparison and England and Wales proudly rank at #120.
Is it just me that thinks that this is disgusting?
It has nothing to do with wanting a Police State, or a totalitarian regime. It has everything to do with losing our status as #1 Police Service in the world. It is totally impossible to provide a decent quality of sevice when the numbers are not there.
Remember someone once said “It’s not about the numbers of police; people often focus on the numbers of police”? Well I think that this chart demonstrates that it is VERY MUCH about the numbers.
For anyone who is interested you can access the full data here
120th out of 140? Really? It is absolutely shameful that Theresa May and her government have allowed this to happen. Worse still, they have MADE IT HAPPEN. Make no mistake, it is totally the actions of Theresa May, spurred on by her favourite right-wing Think Tanks such as Policy Exchange, that have brought us to where we are. Police Reform. Is this what you regard as Police Reform?
Police Forces across the country are finding it necessary to apologise for the quality of the service they provide. Police Officers everuywhere are left feeling burnt out and abandoned, ignored and neglected by ‘the party of Law and Order’ (that’s a laugh). Crime IS rising regardless of what the mandarins tell us, victims of crime are feeling let down, criminals are going unprosecuted due to the lack of officers available to arrest and charge them and put them before the courts, Knife Crime, Acid Attacks, Stabbings, Murders are going through the roof and what is the government response to that?
The Police WANT to deal with these problems that is what every single one of them joined for. Now we have a situation where only Graduates or Apprentices (leading to a degree after 3 years) will be eligible to join the Force and, even better, if they don’t like it after a couple of years the Police will help them to leave and they can be Ambassadors for the Police in a different occupation. What kind of lunacy is this?
Every law-abiding citizen in this country has the absolute right to feel let down and abandoned by the governments since 2010. All around us their policies are unfolding and shown to be the disasters that they truly are. NHS, Prison Servvice, Criminal Justice etc etc. Where is their admission that they got it wrong with the Police Service though? There isn’t one. And that is how we ended up at #120 out of 140 in the Police League Table. They simply refuse to listen.
Call me old-fashioned but it is clearly time for Theresa May to go. She has made a complete Horlicks (mustn’t swear apparently) of the Brexit negotiations. Her own party are turning against her in ever-increasing numbers, she has no credibility left in the eyes of many.
My own personal opinion is that she is determined to be the person who delivers Brexit, whatever the cost to the country. I suspect that she sees herself as a modern-day Maggie Thatcher, but she is anything but that.
Yesterday the Superintendents Association began their Annual Conference. The opening speech of their Chairman, Gavin Thomas, contained the following;
It comes rather late but must be seen by many as a damning indictment of ‘Police Reform’. Theresa May’s own personal crusade savaged in public by Gavin. Even the bosses have had enough and are beginning to speak out. Their voices are beginning to swell, soon we will have a choir all using the same hymn sheet.
In 2015 the National Audit Office first issued a report stating, quite clearly, that the Home Office did not understand the cuts it was making to the Police Service.
The Home Office has been accused of making deep cuts in policing without understanding how it will affect the public in a highly critical official auditors’ report.
The National Audit Office has also concluded that civil servants as well as forces in England and Wales do not have a clear understanding of the demands placed on them or the factors that affect their costs.
The NAO’s findings come weeks after Theresa May, the home secretary, accused the Police Federation of crying wolf about the impact of austerity as she warned rank-and-file officers to brace themselves for fresh cuts.
The Home Office’s light touch approach to overseeing police forces means it does not know if the police system is financially sustainable. Read our latest report: https://t.co/0JJXgDsncS.
Whitehall’s spending watchdog has accused the Home Office of being ignorant of the strain that police officers are under after funding cuts led to 45,000 job losses.
The report from the National Audit Office comes as a debate rages over why crime is rising. Suppressed government research has suggested cuts have played a part though ministers deny this.
The NAO found there had been a 19% drop in funding for police since the Conservatives took power in 2010, and officers were struggling to maintain an effective service.
Suppressed government research? That’s an interesting phrase. Where have we found that before? Oh yes, the suppressed research into Stop and Search.
Your time is up Mrs May, you have had three years since the 2015 report to sort this shambles out but what have you actually done? Carried on with your discredited ‘Reforms’ and made things much, much worse.
Additionally Mrs May was only the second Home Secretary to possess a conviction for Contempt of Court, and, of course, now becomes the FIRST Prime Minister to be so encumbered. How does that look in the eyes of other countries?
Your time is up. Your stewardship of this country has been abysmal, a veritable balls-up, Taxi for Theresa May.
**Sorry, I forgot, we shouldn’t criticise the government**
Late last night I came upon a spat between a retired detective and a serving DE Superintendent. They clearly fundamentally disagreed on the subject of criticising the government.
The Superintendent tweeted that the current trend for being irate and “lambasting” the government for DESTROYING the Police Service had the opposite effect than that intended and was “embarrassing”.
My initial reaction was to think “what the hell is wrong with being irate at this government, and as for embarrassing, please, I have been far more embarrassed than that while I was serving. A large percentage of the general public still support the Police Service, so who is embarrassed? Retired officers aren’t embarrassed by it, why would we be. The general public aren’t embarrassed by it as many of them hold the same views. Front Line officers? I doubt very much that they would be embarrassed by it, they are the very ones suffering the most from government cuts but daren’t openly speak out due to the threat of disciplinary action if they do. That leaves the Superintendents Association and the Police Chiefs. They SHOULD be embarrassed because until today only a very small number of their members has spoken out against the government. They have either acquiesced by their silence or, worse, claimed that they had sufficient resources to get the job done.
Our retired detective had the temerity to challenge said Superintendent. IMHO there was nothing too aggressive about the challenge, robust but perfectly fair. The only sweary word was when retired detective said “are you going to bloody congratulate them for creating a #CrisisInPolicing?” Not exactly the language of the convent but I have heard much worse, occasionally.
Our intrepid Superintendent responded by assuming that there would now be a Twitter ‘pile on’, stated that in his view it was not his place to openly criticise the government and implied that our retired detective was swearing at him and trying to bully him. Apart from a solitary use of the bloody word I did not see any swearing and to be honest did not see any evidence of bullying or an attempt to do so.
Bullying – “use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force them to do something.”
Really? Can’t see it myself.
What concerns me more is the fact that a Superintendent of Police, using an official account, shows such a lack of fortitude. I have encountered far worse during my service, from my colleagues, from my supervisors and on the streets of the Metropolis. I can only imagine what the reaction of my battle-hardened Sergeant would have bern if I had related the experience to him. It’s part of what Policing is. It is also one of my reservations about Direct Entry Inspectors and Superintendents. Here we have one who feels that somebody might be trying to bully him because he has been challenged. No serving officer is ever going to make that challenge unless they are operating under an anonymous account, but nothing wrong with a retired officer launching a challenge surely?
It possibly wasn’t the most respectful challenge, but neither does it have to be. Respect is earned, not given away in a raffle.
If the government and Police Chiefs want to have Direct Entry Inspectors and Superintendents they should EXPECT those DE officers to be challenged until they earn their spurs’.
Needless to say the DE Superintendent was supported in his comments, but what kind of situation are we arriving at if it is ’embarrassing’ to challenge the government. Maggie would have p****d herself laughing. Theresa May might think she is Maggie II but she is not. We still live in a society where we CAN challenge, so nobody should complain or be embarrassed if/when we do.
Finally, if we accept that the Police are the Public and the Public are the Police then surely the Police have a perfect right to criticise the government?
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.
It has come to my notice that this site has been blacklisted by Norton and listed as ‘Dangerous’.
Whilst it’s quite good to be regarded as a little bit dangerous I can assure you that my site doesn’t phish, it doesn’t spam (to the best of my knowledge, I don’t Spam unless I’m hacked).
I am in negotiations with Norton to be re-evaluated but that takes time apparently.
In the meantime, just to reassure you, here’s the blacklist report for my site. You obviously don’t have to, but if you want to log my site as an Exception that should be fine. If you don’t want to take the risk, I do understand, and hopefully Norton will move their a***s soon and remove the Dangerous marker.
A few days ago I was having a chat with a couple of other crusties, the current, persistent, furore over Stop and Search was high on our agenda.
In my opinion driving a car or riding a motor bike and getting breath-tested goes with the ‘fun’ of driving and riding. If you haven’t had a drink or just the one, it’s a bit of an inconvenience but it normally ends there. If you’ve had a drink and you fail the roadside test the scenario is very different, but the risk to other road users is neutralised.
Stop/Search is very similar in my view. Walking down the road innocently and you happen to pass through a high-crime area, or an area renowned for recent stabbings. It is possible that you will get stopped and searched. Possible not probable. The officers have to have sound reasons (grounds) for Stopping and Searching somebody. There can and will be occasions when ‘grounds’ exist in relation to a perfectly innocent individual e.g. wearing clothing of a certain colour, a particular style of hat, carrying a certain type of bag etc etc. The officer(s) may stop and search you, hopefully in a civil and polite manner and explain WHY they have taken this action. After only 5 minutes or so (hopefully) you are told that you are free to go and off you trot, hopefully none the worse for the experience.
Not very different to being stopped, given a breath test (negative) and off you go again.
In relation to Stop/Search there is a whole load of fuss being made by certain sections of the Community about people being stopped unnecessarily. It is unfortunate that is for sure, but as long as the officers have acted courteously and in accordance with the law what is the harm? Nobody ever died from being Stopped, Searched and nothing found. People have certainly died at the hands of weapons e.g. huge Zombie Knives carried through the streets, the government in the form of Thersa May has issued an edict to reduce Stop and Search so many of those murderous weapons go undetected.
Everybody will form their own opinion about Stop and Search and a negative result i.e. nothing found. It has happened to me and I was treated courteously, nothing was found and I was cheeriy allowed on my way. I got it, but the opposition to it is very vocal. With Intelligence-led, targeted Stop and Search the Metropolitan Police anticipates that a positive outcome i.e. something found, will occur in about 20% of all instances.
Where is the opposition to breath tests? Statistics for breath tests that do not necessarily arise out of an accident are not easy to come by, but I did find some from a few years ago.
For the years 2009 and 2010 there was a total of 1,747,295 breath tests administered in England and Wales. A total of 177,164 were either Positive of Refused. 11% This means that 89% were negative. Where is the outrage at 89% of drivers passing their breath tests and the Action Groups demanding that Breath Tests are drastically reduced. How would Theresa May have looked back in 2014 if she had publicly demanded a drastic reductiuon in breath tests given by the Police of England and Wales.
Maybe certain factions of Society should take a hard look at their stance. Is Stop and Search REALLY that different to Drink/Drive. Not conducting a Stop/Search because you have been told not to can end in a fatality just as easily as not sdministering a breath test and a drunk driver goes on to have a fatal accident. One is socially acceptable and the other isn’t. WHY?
“At the end of the day they have all been sold so that we don’t have to cut police officers. That is shocking.
“The government talk a good talk, always praising us and saying how brilliant we are.
“But when it actually comes to it, you know, there’s officers around the country using food banks.”
“Closing police stations is the stark reality of crippling government cuts to the police budget which has contributed to officer numbers dropping below 30,000 in London for the first time in 15 years,” a spokeswoman for the Mayor of London said.
Mr Marsh highlights that modern policing has more responsibilities than ever before and says that expanded role is causing strain.
He said: “You get to breaking point because we’re not social workers, we’re not mental health specialists – but now my colleagues are having to deal with all these things on a daily basis.” “That just has a massive drain on your resources. It will eventually crack.”
Mr Hopkins made a very bold, but in my opinion, not only true but long overdue, statement
“There is this growing gap of people in the middle that, you know, expect us to turn up to their car that’s been broken into or their garden shed that’s been broken into or their bike that’s been stolen and they’re then finding out that we don’t,” he says.
“And from my perspective there’s two answers to this.
“People might accuse me of being simplistic, but either the public have to understand that that’s just the way policing is now in the 21st Century and we make difficult decisions around our resource allocation and what we’re dealing with – or there has to be more police.
“And as I say, that might sound quite simplistic, but I don’t see what the solution is in the long term unless there’s either an acceptance of that kind of policing or there’s an increase in resources.”
I fully agree with Mr Hopkins, but I only wish that the National Council of Police Chiefs would get on board and shout with one voice. The government are never going to listen to 1,2,or 3 voices, because that’s about all there are speaking out against the reckless cuts, all in the name of a discredited #Austerity.
More and more Police Officers are being tied up dealing with incidents that are more appropriate for Social Services or the NHS, Mental Health crises for example. Incidents such as those can tie up Police Resources for 6-8 hours easily. Why are the Police dealing with them? Because the NHS and Social Services etc have also been ravaged by #TheCuts and they are unable to deal with it, so it gets pushed over to the Police to deal because they “never say no”. Well maybe they will have to start saying no.
Honestly, how would you feel if you called the Police because your house had been burgled, or you had been robbed of your expensive watch or mobile phone, and they gave you a Crime Number and said “Sorry, nothing more we can do”. Believe me when I say that is NOT because they don’t want to deal with your crime. Every Police Officer I have ever known has always wantyed to attend the scene of every crime and speak personally to every victim, try and find potential witnesses, sucure evidence, forensics etc. It is because they CAN’T do it any more.
Personally I would add a third option to Mr Hopkins’ suggestions. I know that the Police are not everybody’s favourites, but every survey published indicates that they still have an immense amount of public support, consistently higher than politicians of every flavour, but if you have ever been a victim of crime, a member of your family has ever been a victim of crime, someone you know vaguely down the pub has ever been a victim of crime and the Police were unable to respond within a reasonable timeframe, write to your MP and make a reasoned, well thought out argument and formally request that this government reverses these ludicrous, reckless, cuts and starts properly funding the Police Service again and recruiting to fill the shortages. Miracles will not happen overnight, it will take years to recruit, train and replace lost experience, but it has to start soon or it will be too late. The #CrisiInPolicing is here, now, it is real, and from where I’m sitting it is looking terminal.
This is what happens to crime when you slash Police numbers. I do not believe it is a coincidence, I do not believe that is brought about by “better recrding practices” or “historical offences”. If you look at the goivernment’s favoured index of crime rates, the Crime Survey of England and Wales, total crime levels are actually HIGHER than Police recorded Crime, and they don’t even include all of the categories of offence.
If you do write to your MP, do not hesitate to quote the chart on the left, it has been compiled using Home Office data.
Finally we hear a lot about “The Front Line”. The Conservatives have been great at reassuring us how they will always protect the Front Line. Well, this is how they do that, again, Home Office and Office of National Statistics data were used for this chart too.
“Police have the resources they need to carry out their vital work.” – Really?
I make absolutely no apology for starting off with a stark image
This is one of the more acceptable images from Camberwell recently where Police and Paramedics encountered a scene of absolute carnage after 4 young men had been stabbed in the street, one of them DISEMBOWELLED. Nobody, I repeat, NOBODY, deserves that in a so-called civilised country. I don’t care if you are black, white, Asian, Oriental, gay, straight, trans or whatever, this level of violence has no place on our streets, in our society.
Who do I blame? That is a complex question with many answers.
I blame the parents, when I grew up my father would have absolutely battered me if I had got involved in some of the crimes we are witnessing today.
I blame the youths themselves. Presumably they know right from wrong, and in nobody’s book can this be right.
First and foremost I blame OUR GOVERNMENT. Yes, that is predictable, but I do. Since the Tories/Coalition came into power in 2010 local Council budgets have been slashed so that Youth Services such as Youth Clus etc are no longer affordable, prioritised out of the budget. Nothing for ther kids to do.
Police Forces across the land have had to withdraw/disband Juvenile Bureaux. Once again, prioritised out of the budgets. So have been Schools Involvement Officers who used to be invited (Yes, I did say INVITED) into schools to talk to kids, mainly young teenagers in Secondary School, about a variety of topics, but this would certainly have been the main priority if it still happened. Not Front Line enough.
Since 2014 Police Forces across the land have been bullied into cutting back dreadfully on Stop and Search. Where has that got us eh? Terrible, horrific scenes like those above is where that has got us.
If you’ve had your Cornflakes and are feeling strong enough take a look at this video shot from above by a Camberwell resident last week. It shows many things.
It shows the compassion and professionalism displayed by Police Officers and Paramedics as they battled to save the lives of the victims.
It shows some of the weapons involved scattered on the floor around them
It shows (I believe) those Police Officers and Paramedics being attacked or harrassed by young men/youths whilst they were still administering First Aid.
You can hear the voice of the person filming, clearly shocked by the scenes below, clearly supporting the actions of the Police and Paramedics and clearly condemning the actions of the thugs.
The government have been directly responsible for the loss of 21,000+ Police Officers from our streets since 2010. No, they can’t protect everybody, can’t be everywhere all the time but more officers would certainly help. Apart from anything else the criminals KNOW about the cuts and the reducued likelihood of being caught. They KNOW that Theresa May, as Home Secretary, ordered the reduction in Stop and Search. They KNOW that Police Officers are over-stretched, burnt out. They’re not daft they also monitor Social Media.
With 21,000 fewer officers and an enforced restriction on Stop and Search the criminals become enboldened. They know that the odds of getting caught carrying a knife/machete/sword through the streets are greatly reduced. Combine that with the increased workloads of the Police and there you have it, the Perfect Storm for Extreme Knife Crime. Every knife, machete or sword that has been used in this multitude of attacks has been carried through the streeets at some point. Think about that. Maybe the person sat next to you on the Tube while yu’re reading this?
I do hope you’ll forgive me but I feel so strongly about this that I will crave your indulgence on a couple of issues.
Firstly I’ll repeat a few diagrams that show exactly where the government cuts have left us.
Secondly, something I don’t do very often, but if you only do one thing with this blog I emplore you to forward it to your local paper, the national media, your local MP, or your local Councillors. Anybody who can help spread the word. It’s not about the numbers, I don’t care how many ‘hits’ I get on this post, it’s about saving lives, nothing more.
This level of violence in Britain is simply unacceptable and sadly Theresa May is responsible for an awful lot of it with her reckless policies as Home Secretaries and refusal to sanction anything now as Prime Minister.
Police Officers do not want these kids to die, or be maimed, on our streets. They do not want to witness the aftermath of such savagery. Their families do not want to be worried about their safety, and neither do the families of the victims. Lives blighted, and for what? A few pounds worth of drugs, a bit of ‘dissing’ or simply coming from the wrong Post Code.
The Police Force CAN deal with these problems, but not with one, or both, hands tied behind their backs. They have the necessary skils and willpower to deal with these problems, yes they do. However they currently have neither the freedom nor the resources to do it.
Unshackle them from the crazy restrictions on Stop and Search. Unless I’ve missed it nobody has ever been killed by Stop and Search. It is vital in today’s society, not just in London. I have always said that Stop and Search should be conducted with dignity and lawfully. Make sure the grounds are there and conduct it in a polite, civilised manner. What is there to object to there? No section of community can object to that surely?
IMMEDIATELY reverse the crazy, reckless cuts brought about by May and Cameron. They will take years to get us back to where we should but the sooner we start the better.
Whilst I am not a huge fan of Mutual Aid for such matters (it should be reserved for unforesen emergencies normally) but let the National Police Chiefs Council co-ordinate a series of properly, carefully planned proactive operations around the identifed hotspots in the country and hit them with a civilian ‘Shock and Awe’ campaign. Let them know who is the boss on our streets and it ain’t the knife-carrying thugs.
There will no doubt be comparisons to Operation Swamp, but if NPCC earn their corn and do it properly, involving Community Leaders at an early stage, the arguments should be self-evident. Do we really want to wake up every morning hearing about another knife attack or shooting on the streets of our country? Do we really have to emulate Trump’s America? Can we really defend doing NOTHING? What exactly has Theresa May DONE about this issue? NOTHING. Too wrapped in her pathetic Brexit campaign to bother about an emergency much closer to home.
Please share the **** out of this post to all and sundry who might be able to bring pressure on the Cruella, and finally, enjoy your Bank Holiday Weekend, and if you are on duty at the Notting Hill Carnival, best wishes and stay safe.
I shall probably be called Racist by people who don’t really get it, but, hey, I don’t care. Some things are more important than that. I shall stick my head, with my tin foil helmet, above the parapet and proffer my opinions.
During my working life I have worked the streets of Brent and Southall, both areas with a very high percentage of immigrants. I tried to avoid South London, even Cab Drivers don’t want to go there, but occasionally I was sent to Brixton to give them a hand with some disorder. I do know a bitabout violence and racial tensions.
The Home Office, and the Police Service have to grasp the nettle (I’d better not say bite the bullet) and do a bit of serious racial profiling (waits for shocked gasps and glasses of Prosecco being dropped). No, I absolutely mean it.
There are people out there, and you all know the sort of person I mean, who delight in calling the Police “Racist”. We were branded “Institutionally Racist” and it has stuck, folk love to kick the Police Service with it.
If politicians and Senior Police Officers are serious about dealing effectively with the current, seemingly out of control, gang violence in London and elsewhere they need to acknowledge two blindingly obvious factors.
1. There is far more, and worse, Racism between different shades of black and brown than there ever was between simply White and Black/Brown. To pigeon-hole people as White, Asian, Black etc does nobody any favours. Even British Asian, British Black and all the other variations we see are not sufficient. We really do need to mine deeper. Which African country do they originate from? Are they Sikh or Muslim? What sort of Muslim are they?
When I worked at Southall there were horrendous, and violent, problems between the Sikhs from Southall and the Muslims from Slough, but the suspects and offenders were all recorded as simply “Asian”.
The arrival of youths from Somalia complicated the issue further. To get to grips with issues such as these we need to look much deeper than skin colour. What is their religion, which country, or African State do they originate from? How are they treated by the authorities in their country of origin?
Despite the allegations that the Police are Racist or use undue/excessive force towards these groups of people, many of them actually view the British Police as ‘soft’. I was once told by a male prisoner of Somalian origin that he had no fear of the British Police whatsoever as we would not treat him anywhere near as badly as he would be treated back home in Somalia. We couldn’t even come close to the levels of threats and violence he would experience at the hands of the authorities back home. How do you even begin to understand that by describing him as Black African?
Youths from the Caribbean Islands experience similar levels of violence at the hands of the Police back home. Here they complain about being stopped and searched whereas at home they are likely to receive a blow from a rifle butt at the side of the head for not wanting to account for their movements.
I will no doubt receive some criticism for that comparison but that is exactly what I was told by a former Sergeant of Police from Barbados. It may or may not be the current experience but it certainly was according to him.
2. There is nothing for the current younger generations to do to occupy their time. The Tory Cuts mean that we no longer have Youth Clubs, the Police no longer have Juvenile Bureaux or Schools Involvement officers. The Police used to be invited in to schools to talk to the children, of assorted ages and ethnic origins, about the assorted dangers out there in the real world. It used to be Strangers, Railways, Risk of Drowning etc etc, with a library of suitable films to show to reinforce the messages. In today’s world it would be Knife Crime, the Gang Culture, Moped Enabled Crime etc, with some suitably hard-hitting DVDs and victims, or families of victims, to give first hand accounts of where this Gang Culture leads to. Intervention and Education at an early stage.
Only this doesn’t happen. Youth Clubs seem to have been consigned to history. Local Councils have also suffered some brutal cuts at the hands of this government and the previous coalition, and now all departments are literally fighting for their share of the meagre resources there are precious little left for averting Gang Crime. Police no longer have sufficient resources to dedicated any number of officers to go and give a presentation to a group of schoolkids.
I shall stop now before I get called worse things than normal. If some of our Community Leaders wish to regard me as Racist that is their prerogative. I don’t think I am. I think I am a realist, pointing out what Government and NPCC need to consider instead of blaming others.
Government and NPCC really need to start listening to the people who have actual experience of this problem, whether they be retired or serving Police Officers, Community Leaders or the families of Knife Crime victims. They might not always speak the same language but there is a genuine desire out there to resolve this problem for once and for all, but other people need to stop, take notice and take the appropriate action.
Do the youths of Great Britain REALLY want to go round killing and maiming each other? They may do at the moment, but they have no viable education or advice. They do not see their options. They make bad choices. That can be altered over time, but not if we carry on the way we’re going.
I feel that I must begin by acknowledging that I have been retired from Policing 16 years this month. I am out of touch. Things have changed, oh how they have changed. However that does not automatically invalidate my thoughts and concerns.
For a variety of reasons I have turned my attention recently to Mutual Aid. For those that are not familiar with it, basically, when a major event, such as the recent Wedding of Prince Harry, takes place and the local Force has insufficient resources they can draw in Police Officers from a nearby Force to bolster their numbers. The deployment of officers from Force A to assist, and be under the operational control of, Force B is known as Mutual Aid. Historically it has been used to send reinforcements for events such as The Miners’ Strike, Greenham Common and latterly ‘Fracking’ demonstrations, the visit of the Trump and the Royal Wedding. All large-scale, but relatively uncommon, events. The turning point for me was 2011 when the Metropolitan Police called for Mutual Aid to help quell the rioting that had broken out. Unthinkable and possibly without precedent. I can’t state categorically that the Met had never needed Mutual Aid before, but I can’t recall it happening before. The Met has always been big enough, with sufficient resilience, to handle almost everything ‘in house’.
After the recent visit of The Trump I set about finding out how much Mutual Aid had been involved. Who better to ask than the National Police Co-Ordination Centre?
So I sent them this request under the Freedom of Information Act
For the 2018 Calendar Year to date (16 July 2018) could you please give me the following information
How many Mutual Aid deployments have there been in England and Wales?
For each deployment;
Which Force received the Mutual Aid?
How many officers were sent on Mutual Aid
I specifically DO NOT REQUIRE any details concerning the nature of the deployment
The response I got to this was
The NPCC does not hold information captured by your request. NPoCC coordinates national assistance only. They do not record all mutual aid, for example, if forces within a region send resources to each other. A consideration may be to make a request with individual forces. On this occasion, I am unable to assist you.
So the national Police Co-Ordination Centre don’t have the information, it seems Mutual Aid is mainly Regional.
Not to be beaten, and with a large portion of tongue-in-cheek, I replied with another, simpler request.
What is the purpose of the National Police Co-Ordination Centre and please supply me with a copy of their Terms of Reference How many times have the NPoCC been used in 2018?
For each occasion above please provide the reason for the Mutual Aid, e.g. Royal Event, Civil Disorder etc, the identity of the Force requiring Mutual Aid, the Forces that supplied that Mutual Aid and the number of PSUs sent. Thank you
The response to this was, as predicted, a further refusal to answer the basic question;
The NPCC can refuse to handle an FOI request for information under Section 12 of the Act if it reasonably estimates that it would take more than 18 hours of work to carry out the above four activities in relation to that request. If the limit is exceeded, there is no requirement for the NPCC to conduct work up to that limit – the limit applies to the whole request and there is not a requirement to answer other parts of a request even if only one area of the request on its own engages the limit.
Outside of the Act, I can advise that there have been 829 events since January 2018. To determine the event, the host force and donor force for the specific resource type would require accessing four separate indices for each event. A conservative estimate of five minutes per event would take approximately 69 hours. This would by far exceed the cost limit.
After reading it a couple of times a few things about their answer intrigued me.
They cannot answer within the cost restraints of the request because there have been 829 Mutual Aid deployments up to July this year, and at 5 minutes per deployment it would take them too long to collect the information I requested. Fair enough you might think, but in their first refusal they claimed they did not have the information.
829 Mutual Aid deployments in 6-7 months is a HUGE number, approx 4-5 per day on average. The NPoCC response actually says 829 EVENTS. Can this be right, or is it 829 deployments? Being charitable I’ll go with deployments, there can and will be more than one deployment per event. If it truly is EVENTS that’s 4-5 per day on average, a totally staggering statisitic.
At the end of the NPoCC response is this paragraph
In wishing to assist you, there is information on the NPCC website which describes the purpose of
NPoCC which details their role in coordinating the deployment of police officers and staff from
across UK policing to support forces during large scale events, operations and in times of national crisis.
So, what are these large-scale events/operations, all 829 of them, or are we in a time of “National Crisis”? Some of the large-scale operations we know about, or can guess, but certainly not 829 of them.
Sorry NPoCC/NPCC but I’m not buying it, I think you are hiding behind the Act and covering things up. I haven’t asked for any ‘senstive’ information, but I have asked for information which, if supplied, would assist us lesser mortals in quantifying the size of the #CrisisInPolicing that many of us believe exists in England and Wales. For roo long ACPO and now NPCC have been totally silent and declining to criticise Theresa May as Home Secretary or Prime Minister, or her subsequent Home Secretaries. One or two have put their heads above the parapets and spoken out, but nowhere near enough. The destruction of Policing should be highlighted and oppsed by all members of ACPO/NPCC not just a few, it weakens their arguments totally if the majority of their peers do not openly support them.
The public are beginning to realise that there is a crisis, a few opposition MPs are being vocal in their challenges, but still woefully too few. An even smaller number of Tory MPs get it and ask questions but then withdraw back into their shells, presumably chased there by the Whips.
Despite government assertions that Police reform is working (it isn’t reform and it isn’t working) the reality looks like this
The first chart shows why the public are seeing fewer and fewer Police Officers on their streets.
The second shows how the Front Line has definitively NOT being ‘Protected’ as the Tories would have you believe.
The third one shows how Recorded Crime has steadily risen as Police Officer numbers come down.
The fourth shows how the Central Government Funding for Policing was increased between 2010-2016, only it wasn’t was it, despite government assurances this government document shows that it fell steadily.
Where does all of this leave us?
Firstly, and it is only my personal opinion, Mutual Aid is definitely being used to prop up a failing Police Service, moving resources around the country where needed, but at what cost? Routine abstractions such of these have a knock-on cost to the Force sending the Mutual Aid. They either create a shortage in the donor Force or result in cancelled Leave Days which have their own knock-on effects later in the year when officers want to take their re-rostered Rest Days. Sadly, we have already seen a, mercifully small, number of officers take their own lives as they can no longer cope with the stresses and ‘burn out’. Yes, Mrs May, I do blame you.
The population is rising, Police numberrs are falling, and will continue to do so until someone stops this madness. Therefore it is blindingly obvious WHY 86% of the public surveyed felt that the Police don’t have sufficient resources to protect them etc.
The Front Line and Front Line Support functions have fallen steadily since 2010, so where is all this “the Front Line has been protected”? How exactly has it been protected. Bizarrely, and perversely ‘Business Support’ (whatever that may be) has increased in the last 12 months. Why?
Recorded Crime has increased as Police Numbers dwindled, surely there must be some connection there.
Crime is Down, Police Reform is Working.
Crime is NOT down.
Reform? Reform is defined thuus in the dictionary “to make an improvement, especially by changing a person’s behaviour or the structure of something” I know where the structure of Policing has changed. Where is the improvement? I think we all know that Policing is no better now than it was before the #Cuts began, so no Reform is categorically NOT working, it is an unmitigated disaster.
So really this government under Theresa May is failing drastically. It is failing in its First Duty to protect its citizens, and whilst they would no doubt call it’spin’ I call it LIES. Theresa May’s savage cuts are NOT working, not by anybody’s undertstanding of ‘working’. At the very best the NPCC are acquiescing by their overwhelming silence. Surely it is their DUTY to highlight the problems and air them publicly so that the people who pay fopr Policing (you and me) know what’s going on. Stop telling us thatg Police Reform is working, it is not Reform it is Destruction, and whatever you call it has not improved the situation for the General Public.