if I wanted to know how to make an atomic bomb (that will definitely get me on a list somewhere) I would ask a Nuclear Physicist.
If I wanted to know how to make a fine Wedding Frock I would ask a seamstress.
If I wanted to know how to cook a fantastic meal for Mrs Angry’s Birthday I would ask a Master Chef.
If I wanted to remove a Brain Tumour I wouldn’t ask anybody, I’d employ a Neurosurgeon.
Do you see what I’m getting at?
So if the government want to know how to Police the country with less resources, why don’t they listen to those who know. The Police Service contains a wealth of experience, and the government should realise that anybody within the ranks can have a good idea.
I’m a tad weary of hearing government ministers proclaiming that the Police Service should change and asking everybody BUT a Policeman how to achieve it.
Neither will they listen to arguments that their proposals won’t work. This government is so profoundly arrogant that any changes brought in wouldn’t dare fail.
Anybody sufficiently “off message” to point out that all you get for less is less, is ridiculed, marginalised, sent to the Naughty Step.
If either of my readers knows how to Police this country with less, I, for one, am perfectly willing to listen, please tell me.
I suspect, however, that Policing is the type of activity that doesn’t really work like that, and I’m perfectly happy to explain that to Mrs May, although I fear she won’t listen.
On the subject of Mrs May, have you seen her new hairdo? Not quite sure what she’s done, but I suspect she’s probably being coached in ‘softening’ her image. Ms till got a long way to go then.
I am grateful to one of my readers for sending me the link to the National Audit Office report from last week. Not the edited highlights that the Press were quick to jump on one way or the other, but the full report.
I’ve only skim read it a couple of times so far, so I haven’t taken it all in yet, but there are some very interesting headline numbers.
£12.5 BILLION – the total amount spent by the 43 Forces of England and Wales 2014-2015 (set that against the £7.2 Billion Gidiot lost on RBS).
25% – the real-terms reduction in funding to PCCs 2011-2016.
36,672 – the total reduction in size of the Police Family (excluding Specials) March 2010-September 2014
£2.5 BILLION – the amount of savings Forces PLANNED to make 2011-2016
35% – real-term increase of Reserves in 39 Forces with comparable data.
3 – number of forces rated as ‘requires improvement’ in their response to the spending review by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary
16,659 – reduction in the number of police officers between March 2010 and September 2014
0% to 47% – variation in the percentage of forces’ savings that came from collaboration in 2014-15
66% – budget increasefor HM Inspectorate of Constabulary for 2014-15
Not only are some of those numbers interesting, but some of the headlines and the stories behind them were worth reading too.
Police forces have insufficient understanding of the demand for services.
This is one of the headlines that the Press fed us last week. The story?
Crime statistics indicate that crime has fallen since 2010-11. However, crime levels are a limited measure of demand because: they do not include all types of crime; forces face increases in more complex risks and threats such as cyber crime and child sexual exploitation, which have historically been under-reported; and because not all demand is crime-related. Forces estimate that crime accounts for only 22% of the number of emergency and priority incidents. However, HMIC estimates that only 10 of 43 forces have a sophisticated understanding of demand. In our view, the College’s recent report on demand provides a limited picture across the service. There are no standards for measuring demand and no comprehensive national picture of demand across policing, including demand potentially caused by funding reductions in other sectors
The Department has insufficient information to determine how much further it can reduce funding without degrading services, or when it may need to support individual forces.
The police sector is considering how to identify information that might give early warning of a force at risk. HMIC provides regular and thematic information on a wide range of policing areas. Forces provide data to HMIC, which it checks and verifies through inspection. However, in our view there is currently insufficient information to identify signs of the sector being unable to deliver services, unclear links between financial reductions and service pressures, and limited data on police productivity. The previous government removed public service agreement (PSA) targets in June 2010 as part of its move towards greater local accountability. Instead, commissioners and forces decide what information to collect and monitor in response to local priorities
This one is quitepossibly the most significant in my opinion and it’s the one that seems to have slid under the door with hardly a comment;
Forces will need to transform the service they deliver if they are to meet the financial challenge and address the changing nature of crime
The Department did not have its budget protected during the last Parliament, and forces will face further significant funding reductions. Although we have seen examples of innovation and good financial management in some of our visits, overall many of the savings so far could be characterised as tactical or efficiency savings, rather than service transformation. The Department and HMIC consider that forces can achieve higher levels of savings by increasing collaboration across forces and with other public sector partners. There is information on the total costs and savings of collaboration but limited analysis of the variation in savings achieved to date
Thus opening the door for Regional or National Forces, local mergers and, most definitely, outsourcing/privatisation.
Snuck away in the Summary was Para 17, also unremarked upon by the Press I believe;
Police forces have successfully reduced costs since 2010-11 and crime hasreduced over the same period. But this is an incomplete picture; the available indicatorsof financial stress are limited, and there is insufficient information on service stress.Crime statistics do not capture all crime, and the police do more than deal with crime-related incidents. However, most forces do not have a thorough evidence-based understanding of demand, or what affects their costs. It is therefore difficult for them totransform services intelligently, show how much resource they need, and demonstratethat they are delivering value for money.
Change is coming.
All references to The Department above refer to The Home Office
Osborne does it again, he really does have a total contempt for ‘ordinary’ folk.
George Osborne is to start selling the state’s £32bn stake in Royal Bank of Scotland at a loss, telling a City audience that delay would be bad for the economy, taxpayer and bank.
I know it was Gordon Brown who bought into. RBS and not Gideon, but independent bankers Rothschilds have estimated that if Osborne goes ahead with the sale, at today’s share prices, then he would make a loss of £7.2 Billion on the deal, and this would be good for the economy, taxpayer and bank?
I can see immediately how it would benefit the bank, but a £7.2 Billion loss good for the taxpayer and economy?? In whose world?
Just how many Police Officers, Nurses, Soldiers would £7.2 Billion fund? How many more officers on your beat? How many Police Stations would be saved from closure?
Next we hear that the Met is participating in a warts and all, fly on the wall, TV documentary. They always go well, and we have already had a ‘leak’ that Bernie fluffed his lines and got the caution wrong when cautioning his prisoner (no comment).
Finally, I heard from Delbert who works in the New Scotland Yard restaurant (yes, canteen) that nearly 300 support staff have been put on notice that their jobs are ‘At Risk’ and that less than 50% of them will ultimately keep their existing jobs, the remainder hoping to pick up some other vacancy in the raffle.
If ever I needed proof that the government have succeeded in hoodwinking the great British Public it was served up in abundance on last night’s BBC1. One Show.
Firstly we had Richard Garside from The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies. I assume that this is some kind of Think Tank that the government has commissioned to come up with crap ideas. His astoundingly brilliant theory last night was that we actually have too many Police Officers and the Austerity cuts are to be seen as an ‘Opportunity’.
I was so busy spluttering over this contribution to the problem that I completely missed what Jabba the Hutt was saying afterwards.
Richard Garside’s contribution led to this exchange of Tweets later
@Alanw47 I don’t know, What kind of plank is Richard Garside?
Then we were treated to a series of street interviews with a random assortment from the Public at Large. Some, surprisingly if you believe in stereotypes, bemoaned the shortage of Police Officers and were not comfortable with it. These appeared to be given slightly more prominence by the BBC. Star of the show was a delightful old lady, just like your favourite, slightly odd, aunt. She was absolutely convinced that the Police were perfectly capable of dealing with any challenge or scenario that comes their way. She then came out with the quote of the night which seemed to set the tone for the entire piece. If there were to be a major outbreak of rioting (for example) or any other similar problem that the Police actually struggled to deal with, then the Police would tell the government and they would be given more Police Officers, completely ignorant of the fact that a) Theresa May WON’T be giving us any more and will continue unchecked with her cuts, b) it takes time to recruit, select and train Police Officers and c) the current budgets and government policies will not sustain wholesale recruiting by the Police.
There are no boxes of Reserves that a Chief Officer can open and unleash on any given Policing problem. We cannot just open another box of Policemen.
The two presenters seemed quite comforted by the old lady’s contribution and studio guest Clive James, who I have always credited with more intelligence, did not seem to feel the need to contradict ‘old lady’.
So, there we have it, the government has succeeded in hoodwinking the Public, they are getting away with it. If only we could open another box of politicians and replace some of them.
Ii have heard many eloquent people highlighting the problems faced by Police and Public alike caused by the government’s reckless policy of repeatedly cutting the Police Budget.
I know that this problem applies to other PublicSectors also, but today I am concentrating solely on the Police.
It is frequently stated within the Police Service that if the reasons for doing something (for example Stop/Search, Kettling, Tasering) are explained to the public in a calm and reasonable manner then they will probably understand and possibly even support the action, or at the very least become less vociferous in their opposition. A calm explanation as to why I was Stop/Searching an apparently innocent person, the grounds and reason behind it, was frequently all that was required to defuse a tense situation and the person quite frequently went off perfectly happy.
So, Theresa May, David Cameron, why don’t you tell us, the Police and Public, just exactly why the cuts that you have already enacted, and the cuts that you have cued up for the next five years are actually ALL NECESSARY.
I have pointed out previously, on more than one occasion, that many of the 43 Forces have already shed more officers than they needed to to attain their 2015 Austerity Target set by HMIC. Please explain to us calmly, in a language that we can all understand, why this was necessary.
Please explain to us why, when other public services find their budgets ring-fenced, the Police Budget is not.
Why is the Foreign Aid Budget ring-fenced and the Police Budget not?
Please explain to us why we keep hearing the mantra “Crime Is Down” to justify the cuts when overall demand on the Police Service is UP.
So would you please explain to us all quite calmly all of your reasons for decimating what used to be the finest Police Service in the world. If you try and explain in a non-confrontational manner we might just understand and agree with you, possibly not, but go on try it, what do you have to lose?
The impression amongst the Police Service is that you are on a mission to destroy the Police Service, well you need to remember that the vast majority of the British Public have no connections with the Police Service whatsoever, but they still need for a Police Service to exist to report their crimes, deal with their Anti-Social Behaviour, maintain their public tranquility ( The Queen’s Peace) etc etc.
Demand UP, Establishment DOWN please explain to us why, JUSTIFY IT.
The people voted and it seems that the people voted for five more years of Cuts and Austerity, and that is absolutely the country’s right, if that’s what they want.
However, within 36 hours of the result being confirmed we had civil disorder outside Downing Street.
I am neither condoning nor discouraging civil disorder, but I AM anticipating it.
Are we heading for a new Summer of Discontent? Because if we are, think on this, you and Milky have already disposed of over 17,000 warranted Police Officers since 2010, PCSO and Special Constabulary numbers are also down I believe, as are Police Staff. If this isn’t bad enough you’ve kept your job and are about to embark on 5 more years of cuts leading to the loss of a similar number more.
What are you going to do when the wheel comes off? When the Met has to ask for Mutual Aid like it did in 2011 something has gone terribly pear-shaped. We’ve got even less than that now, more destined to go, where will the Mutual Aid come from. 17,000 officers, as has been pointed out elsewhere, is the equivalent of FOUR entire Police Forces along the South Coast, and you intend to DOUBLE that? Think about it I implore you.
Nearly 17,000 trained Police Officers have been discarded by the current coalition since they came to power.
A similar number of Police Staff (civvies in old money) have also been turfed onto the scrap heap.
It is estimated that a similar scale of carnage will be committed in the following years due to the coaltion’s absolute refusal to ring-fence the Police Budget.
A total loss to the Police Service of somewhere in the region of 68,000 by the end of the next term.
In whose world does that make sense?
Blunderwoman. That’s who.
In tandem with the decimation of Policing as we know it comes the predictable onslaught on Stop and Search. Apparently it is a much over-used and misused tactic. Allegedly a disproportionate number of ethnic minority citizens are finding themselves on the receiving end of a Stop and Search conducted by an overwhelmingly white Police Service.
“Crime is down is” the constantly repeated mantra churned out by the Home Office and Senior Officers alike.
Is it? Is it really? Do we actually have a reliable set of #CrimeStats that we can feel comfortable quoting yet?
Have the number of Stabbings and Shootings really gone down, is it only in my head that there seem to be more? Those weapons are transported through our streets, under our very noses, and we are expected to conduct LESS Stop and Searches. Before an officer can conduct a Stop/Search on a person of ANY ethnicity he/she has to have ‘grounds’ to conduct that search. Every officer is accountable for every Stop/Search he/she conducts. If those ‘grounds’ exist, are we saying that the Stop/Search should not be conducted, despite those ‘grounds’ just in case the person being Stop/Searched is upset by it? If one of our officers failed to Stop/Search a person who was subsequently found to have been carrying a concealed weapon which was used to kill somebody, at the very least the Daily Fail will be crying for that officer’s career to be terminated, but maybe it’s just better not to risk upsetting anyone out on the streets?
Every Stop/Search must be recorded including the ‘grounds’ for it, and the subject of it is entitled to apply for a copy of that record. I wonder how many are actually requested, or is this just another smokescreen?
Now I read that HMIC are recommending/requiring that all Traffic stops are now recorded as there are concerns that these too might be unduly weighted towards certain ethnic groups
HMIC: Police England/Wales must record stops on car drivers amid concerns black & minority ethnic motorists are disproportionately affected
And this following on from Imelda’s promise to cut red tape and bureaucracy.
So, maybe now we need to scrap all ANPR machines, together with mobile and static Speed Cameras just in case they catch too many citizens from certain ethnic groups.
All I know is that if I were still serving I would be hugely offended that Imelda and the Milky Bar Kid didn’t trust me enough to use my professionalism properly and account for my actions, having acted ‘without fear or favour’ in my quest to uphold the law and maintain Public Safety.
It’s not about Ethnicity.
It’s not about Institutional Racism.
It is about professional officers trying to do their duty in the face of a barrage of diversionary tactics.
So you want to extract your revenge for your treatment at Conference? Give the Police a damn good kicking? Make them know their place, reduce their effectiveness so that they can never again show you such disrespect? Is that it? Well remember who the Collateral Damage is in your campaign, the Great British Public! or The Electorate as they are sometimes referred to. I refer you back to a previous post Home Secretary.
With rapidly dwindling resources, an increased terrorist threat and Stabbings and Shootings, not to mention the myriad of other assorted crimes, just how are we to achieve the Primary Objective’ i.e. The Prevention of Crime?
The numbers don’t make sense, they are stacked against us and smug soundbites like a Smaller, Faster, Smarter Police Service don’t really hold up to the reality of what is happening, and that is that #CutsHaveConsequences and we don’t need any more ostriches thank you, we have enough of those already.
The only thing more ludicrous than these proposals would be to hear that my old friend Sophie as standing for Parliament or was going to be a PCC somewhere.
Finally, one last number that bothers me personally, is to do with pensions. This government has royally screwed up the pension arrangements for thousands of serving officers. I haven’t heard of many officers who won’t be worse off in some way. But what about the already-retired? I have always understood that there is no ‘pension fund’, that our pensions are paid from the contributions of today’s members. So what happens when ‘today’s members’ have been slashed by 30,000 or more? Less contributions going into the kitty but the same amount going out surely? The government picks up the shortfall?
As I said, the numbers Just don’t make sense Imelda.