No, not the legendary Think Tank, but Police Reform.
Where are we with Police Reform? Quite honestly I’ve had enough of hearing about it, and I’m somewhat bemused by it.
In 2010 we were introduced to Reform because it was a necessary part of the Austerity Programme, the Police Service needed to be ‘Reformed’ to save the country money and contribute towards fixing the carnage caused by greedy bankers.
What a load of bollocks.
So, what IS Reform?
The Oxford Dictionary defines Reform thus;
Make changes in something, (especially an institution or practice), in order to improve it:
‘the Bill will reform the tax system’
So where have the government “Reforms” improved the Police Service?
Police and Crime Commissioners? I don’t see any improvement over the old Police Authorities. They may possibly save money, but are they better?
Rationalising the National Police Air Service. What has this improved?
Almost 20,000 fewer Police Officers in England and Wales. What has that actually improved?
Fewer Traffic Police patrolling our roads? Any improvements there?
Fewer detectives investigating more crimes, an improvement?
Police Officers working into their 60s after the government, with the assistance of Tom Winsor, ‘Reformed’ their Pension Scheme. This is an improvement how?
I could go on, but I won’t. Please feel free to add further examples of government ‘Improvements’ in the Comments section below, every single one will be published.
But probably not the News that Camoron and the BBC want us to read.
The BBC News website proudly carries a story this morning about a West Mercia Detective who got paid £20,000 in overtime in a year, so what?
They completely overlooked that ALL overtime has to be approved by a Supervising Officer and is therefore necessary presumably. Overtime of that magnitude would certainly be questioned, even if it was justified and necessary.
However, try as I may, I could not find the ‘real’ main story on the BBC News site.
Acting like a throwback to the Stasi, Camoron has come out with some brilliant one-liners such as;
“Britain is too “passively tolerant” and should not leave people to live their lives as they please just because they obey the law“
“For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone’,”
“It’s often meant we have stood neutral between different values. And that’s helped foster a narrative of extremism and grievance.”
So where exactly does Camoron get off interfering with the lives of law-abiding citizens? If people break the law then they should expect proportionate retribution, but I’m not at all comfortable with the State interfering with people who have done nothing illegal.
No wonder Camoron and his gang want to scrap the Human Rights Act.
Was it a total coincidence that we were all looking at a West Mercia tec’s overtime when it seems only the Indie has reported Camoron’s over-zealous ambitions?
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.
Loads of opportunities. Never be Bored and Fed Up again. Let’s take a look and see some of the opportunities Volunteering has to offer.
Territorial Army – OK I know it’s not Voluntary Work in the accepted sense, but I’m sure you get my drift. “They have sometimes been dismissed as “weekend warriors” who lack the fitness, discipline and commitment of regular soldiers.
But the Territorial Army (TA) – in the process of being rebranded the Army Reserve – already makes up a sizeable part of the British Army’s manpower and will soon be playing an even greater role.”
Under the government’s Army 2020 review, the size of the regular army is being reduced by a fifth and reservists will have to help meet the shortfall.
The intention of the MOD is that by 2020, the British Army will have 120,000 soldiers, of which 84,000 will be Regulars and 35,000 Reservists (a ratio of 70/30).
I am most definitely knocking the TA, they do a fine job, but what kind of half-arsed mentality would have 30% of our Army as Reservists? Or is it just me? Maybe I’m the half-arsed one and everybody in government and MOD is normal. And that’s just the Army, not taking into account the fine chaps of the RAF and Navy.
It is intended that by 2020 10% (1,800 personnel) of the RAF will be High Readiness Reserves.
It is intended that by 2020 the trained strength of the Maritime Reserves will be 3,100 sailors and marines
So there you are, plenty of opportunity, go Volunteer.
Policing – Theresa May has got that one sussed;
The number of the voluntary officers would increase more than fourfold – from the current 15,000 to the peak levels of 67,000 last seen more than 50 years ago, said Theresa May, the Home Secretary [in 2010]
She also outlined plans for a volunteer “police reserve force” to bolster the country’s 141,000 (Ha!!!) front-line police officers, whose numbers are said to be under threat because of public sector spending cuts.
Mrs May disclosed the volunteer plans as she outlined a wide range of police reforms, described as the most radical for half a century.
The trouble is that her plan has gone a little wobbly and Specials numbers have actually REDUCED.
There were 17,789 special constables in the 43 police forces on 31 March 2014, a decrease of 1,222 or 6.4 per cent compared with a year earlier By 30th September 2014 this number had gone down even further to 16,792, or a further 5.6%.
With the College of Policing’s plans for the Special Constabulary it has seldom been a better time to Volunteer.
Especially when you take into account the College of Policing’s marvellous tome, Leadership Review.
You don’t need to read all 37 Pages, the bits that refer to the benefits of Volunteering are here;
“As well as having access to leadership development, police staff and members of the special constabulary should have the opportunity to be considered for police officer positions, via direct entry routes.Developing leadership opportunities for police staff is discussed further in recommendation 7.”
5.6.4 “Specials cannot currently progress beyond constable, and the ranks they have are administrative grades. They should be entitled to seek promotion to different ranks, provided they meet national standards and pass the selection process. If they attain a rank and are deemed proficient they could be considered for direct selection to full-time roles. In doing this, it is important to ensure that the essence of volunteering is retained, and a two-tier culture is not created within the special constabulary.”
Specials do a fine job, of that I have absolutely no doubt, but I do feel that they are being used as a Tactical Option in the war on the Police Service being waged by Imelda and the Milky Bar Kid..
…………….and every other Police Force you can mention
CHARITY SHOPS – one of the traditional locations for anybody wanting to give up some of their time and help the less fortunate. Well, actually, don’t bother. Charity Shops have now become de rigeur for anybody on Job Seekers Allowance, to maintain their benefits they are being sent to work (unpaid I believe) in the nation’s Charity Shops. Mrs Angry is less than impressed. Her sanctuary at the local Charity Shop has been invaded by a veritable army of Job Seekers sent their by the Job Centre, who don’t want to be there and just clutter the place being sulky like Kevin the Teenager, and generally spoiling the atmosphere to the extent that quite a few of the Blue Rinse Brigade (duck!!!) have left because they felt so uncomfortable.
But if you still feel lie a bit of Voluntary Work, fret not, Sir Dave has come to the rescue with his Election Pledge
Every public sector worker and anyone working in a company with at least 250 employees – more than 15 million people in total – would be entitled to the volunteering leave.
Who is going to pay for this three days extra leave? The Employer? – That will just be added on to the end cost and prices and inflation will ultimately rise accordingly, it will not come out of profits you can rest assured on that. The Government? Well if they can afford to fund that, they’ve got more money in the kitty than they’re letting on and they should put into one of the struggling Public Services instead.
Finally I thought that the whole concept of Volunteering was based on the principle of giving up some of your own time for the benefit of others.
Sorry Mr Shakespeare, but it was quite appropriate and almost right.
According to an article in the Police Federation’s POLICE magazine, morale has hit rock bottom and thousands of cops are thinking of quitting.
“Reforms to pay and working conditions have left thousands of officers saying they are planning to leave the service and not recommend policing as a career, revealed in a survey on morale by the Police Federation.
The poll, which surveyed 32,606 serving officers, found that nearly 5,000 said they were planning to leave the service in the next two years, andhttp://www.policemag.co.uk/editions/nov14_news_morale_plummets.aspx 94 per cent believed morale was either low or very low in the police service.”
I’m sure that this is not news to any of us, it isn’t even new news, dating from November last year, but it occurred to me that our ‘friends’ in the media don’t seem to like reporting on too many similar stories all at once. People might be able to work out what the wicked government is up to if they did.
Teachers are another profession targeted by Camoron’s Army, and getting ready to quit.
I see no evidence that Fire Fighters are leaving in droves in protest against the reforms but there is plenty of evidence that Fire Fighters are being shoved out of their profession as a result of the government’s swingeing, and reckless, cuts across the whole country.
Finally for today, the Marine and Coastguard Agency. I truly don’t know what to make of what’s happening with them. About 50% of Coastguard Stations around the country have either been closed, or marked for closure. Yet the remaining stations are reporting that they are under-manned, at levels lower than previously agreed.
Like the majority of the others, the continuance of an efficient Coastguard Service is essential for public safety, but instead the figures below just go to show one more example of how the government are cynically uncaring of public safety in their headlong rush to be voted “the best economy in Europe”.
So it seems that there is a pattern, once the government have got a Public Service in their sights they either make conditions so unbearable that everyone wants to leave, Instil such a lack of confidence that the end result is the same, or they simply get rid of them. Whichever way you look at the Public Services, particularly the Emergency Variety, are cut to the bone and beyond, and make no mistake, whatever happens in May, this cannot be rectified overnight, it will take years, assuming that the damage has not already gone too far.
Camoron, Osborne, May, Winsor, Mordaunt and all the rest, I HOPE YOU CAN SLEEP AT NIGHT
Don’t have nightmares, you’ve got rid of the people who can keep you safe.
The American President gets to give a State of the Nation speech so, in an Election Year, I thought I’d give it a go.
Unaccustomed as I am to Public Speaking here are the Highlights
Police – Threat levels rising, the threat from International Terrorism is at unprecedented levels and what are we doing about it? At the last count we’ve got rid of nearly 17,000 fully trained and experienced Police Officers and we’re promising to shed more over the next 5 years. An unconfirmed rumour circulating is that Camoron and co want to cull the total down to about 80,000. Can you imagine that? 135,000 a few years ago, down to 80,000, cracking idea.
How many Police Stations or Front Counters have closed across the country? Too many.
The Armed Forces, they’re very important right now. In my humble opinion they deserve the best kit, and basically the best of everything because I’ve always been immensely proud of our fighting heroes, they’re well-trained, do a fantastic job, often in the worst conditions, and are regularly shat upon by successive governments. Having already been decimated to nothing much more than a decent-sized Defence Force rumours abound that they too are to be cut further, to as little as 60,000. Under the Government’s current Army reforms, the number of regular soldiers is already being cut from 102,000 to 82,000, and the number of Territorials is meant to increase to help take up the slack, only it isn’t, they’re actually getting smaller too, not by a huge amount but over 10,000 short of the government’s target of 30,000. At the end of 2014 our Army consisted of 14,080 Officers and 80,101 Other Ranks. Current plans appear to call for an Army of 112,000 by 2020. This would result in a Regular Army strength of 82,000 and a Reserve strength of 30,000. Figures include 2,790 Gurkhas and 1,240 Full Time Reserves. (FTRS).
The National Health Service – despite Camoron’s constant reassurances that the NHS is safe in Tory hands, there appears to be a shortage of approx 20,000+ Doctors and Nurses, whilst the pay of NHS Chief Executives is climbing so much that one of them now earns more than the Prime Minister (allegedly).
Social Care cuts for Local Authorities have resulted in NHS Bed Blocking as Councils no longer have the funding and resources necessary to care for many patients on their discharge from hospital. This results in the patients failing to be discharged even though though there is no medical reason for them to remain and blocking a bed needed by somebody else. Government blames Local Authorities, but in reality it is Government Cuts that have brought this about.
The Fire and Rescue Service. I don’t know what the figures are nationally, but almost every region has seen Fire Stations closed, Fire Engines sold off or scrapped. Jobs lost or at risk this is another example of an area we can’t take risks with.
Her Majesty’s Coastguard Service (or Marine & Coastguard Agency). There’s another Emergency Service that’s been decimated Camoron and Co. I’ve blogged about them numerous times before and I make no apology for including them here. We don’t think about them enough. The one thing I will repeat is this, if you swim in the sea, scuba dive, surf, let your kids on the water on inflatables, take a ferry to France, Ireland or anywhere else for your holidays then you absolutely NEED the Coastguards when this go wrong. According to Ordnance Survey the UK coastline is a smidgen over 11,000 miles long. Other agencies, however, have the coastline as anywhere up to 24,000 miles http://coastguardsos.com/how-long-is-a-piece-of-string/ After Camoron and co have had their way there will be just NINE Coastguard Stations left open.
The new National Maritime Operations Centre plus
Plus a 1 man station in London Port Authority (which so far failed to be manned at least once)
Do you REALLY, HONESTLY think that’s enough? Human lives are at stake daily. How many major incidents at sea have we heard about just since Christmas?
The last one I shall mention today is the Border Force and the monumental cock-up by the Home Office there (remind me someone, who’s in charge of the Home Office? Anyone we know?)
The Home Office has managed to come up with its own version of an IT catastrophe. Having hired Raytheon, a US company, to put in place “e-borders”, a computer system to log every person who crosses the UK border, it now turns out that Britain will not only be without the e-borders system, we will also have to pay more than £220 million for not having it. That’s in addition to the hundreds of millions of pounds that have already been spent on a system that does not work as intended. Thousands of people are slipping into Britain illegally and in-noticed. How many of them are returning Jihadists?
So there we are. The State of the Nation? Comprehensively ‘Cattled’ would be my assessment. In addition to posts lost, both the Police and the Armed Forces are ‘losing’ experienced personnel and replacing them with cheaper, untrained personnel. The loss of experience to this country is staggering, and cannot be replaced or reversed quickly.
Camoron and Co think that it’s all about saving money, well it isn’t. We can’t go on haemorrhaging skills and experience yet still expect our response to assorted threats to remain the same. That doesn’t work. Those that are left behind are disenchanted, having seen their pensions and terms of employment turned on their heads. Work Longer, Pay More, Less Pension seems to be the Mantra these days, unless you’re an MP That is. They claim that the Law does not allow them to decline their over-generous pay and pensions package. Well I’ve got a suggestion for you there Dave; change the bloody law like you did for hundreds of thousands of decent, hard working folk in order to make your unlawful pension reforms lawful. There’s a challenge for you.
I no longer care which party or parties form a government in May, but I do care about TWO things. They should have the good of the country in their hearts and all of their policies should be for the benefit of the country, not themselves or their fat cat business associates.
I shall keep it short, you don’t want we twittering on, especially not on Christmas Eve.
It is now 24th December, a full 6 days since Constable Neil Doyle of the Merseyside Constabulary was tragically killed in Liverpool. I don’t wish to comment about the circumstances of his death but would rather let Justice run its natural course.
However, following on from Chris Hobbs’ rather excellent post on Monday I would just like to repeat his statement that we have yet to hear a single, solitary word from our esteemed Home Secretary, Theresa May, on the subject.
On the same subject, I can’t actually find any comment from David Cameron either.
I find this most unusual as they normally have such a lot to say about the Police. It must surely be an oversight. I can’t believe that they think so little of the British Police that they wouldn’t pay tribute to a fallen officer.
I can’t remember the last time a serving Home Secretary failed to acknowledge an officer tragically losing his/her life in similar circumstances. If anyone can provide me with a link to a relevant statement by the Home Secretary I will happily delete this post.
My sincere condolences go to the family, friends and colleagues of PC Doyle, may you receive all the support that you will need and that you deserve.
David Camoron, we’ve had enough, WE’RE not gonna take it any more, and if you don’t do something about it you may find the results at the ballot box next May.
I know you’ve been busy, I saw you on my telly box at Stonhenge the other day. Have you become a Druid? When you’re not busy being busy I invite you to take a look around you;
On Tuesday we had the announcement that PCSOs and Police Staff ACROSS THE COUNTRY had voted to take strike action.
In the not too distant past we have had lawyers on strike bringing chaos to the Courts, do you remember that?
Teachers have been striking.
Local Councils have been striking.
Fire Brigades across the country have been striking, and indeed (I believe) some of them have lost their jobs over it.
Health Service workers have been striking.
Probation Officers have been striking.
Prison Officers have been threatening strike action.
Public sector workers from courts, museums, driving test centres, Job Centres, airports and other facilities have all been striking.
Do you want to know why all these, normally loyal and law-abiding people have been striking? Well, I’ll tell you anyway. It’s all to do with your Pay Restrictions, messing with people’s pensions and your dangerous privatisation plans.
If you add up all of those people either striking, threatening or contemplating strike action it would come to a very big number indeed. What on earth would you do if they all chose to strike on the same day? Once you’d summoned COBRA or RATTLESNAKE or whatever it’s called you’d panic because you would then be told that there weren’t enough Police Officers left to deal with the problem. Plan B, call in the Army. Ooips, can’t do that either, same reason, got rid of too many already. Maybe the French could let you have some CRS Troops on Mutual Aid, after all, the Mayor of Calais is asking for British Police to go and sort out the carnage with illegal immigrants there. Oh how I laughed at that one.
Police and Armed Forces aren’t allowed to go on strike, so you’re reasonably safe there. Although I am informed that we are the only country in the EU that does not give our Police Officers Employment Rights.
Maybe you could explain to us exactly why it is that you politicians are reluctantly accepting your generous pay and pension awards? If the problem is that the law doesn’t a;;ow you to decline them, then maybe you’ve got enough time left in the government to change the law, to make it lawful. After all, you managed to do that with so many public sector pensions, why not your own? #JustAsking.
While you’re at it, in the week that another 5 years of Austerity has been announced, more cuts, 5 more years of no, or inconsequential, pay rises, how is that we have money to spare to drive a road tunnel underneath Stonehenge? Could that money not have been better spent elsewhere? #JustAsking
Does none of this bother you? Are you even aware of the carnage you’re causing? Silly question, you must be.
In 2010 we were fooled, many of us voted Tory but got lumbered with a toxic coalition that nobody had voted for. Many of us will not make that mistake again, we won’t be fooled by your insincere rhetoric. Maybe you don’t get it, but many of us have seen through what you’re doing. We may be small in number but your own actions and those of your ridiculous collection of ministers is doing our work for us. You are spreading the word yourselves. More and more people are realising what you’re doing.
According to MI5’s website the Threat Level for International Terrorism today is SEVERE, which is only one less than the maximum of CRITICAL.
Since March 2010 this unelected coalition, led by a man intent on become the least popular Prime Minister ever, has reduced the strength of the Police Forces of England and Wales by almost 17,000 officers, not counting PCSOs and Specials, whose numbers are also being slashed. The government was hoping to make up the slack by recruiting more Specials, but the evidence doesn’t seem to support that happening.
“The full time trained strength of the UK Armed Forces was 147,660 at 1 September 2014, down from 148,160 at 1 August 2014 and down from 150,890 at 1 April 2014. This trend is likely to continue due to the SDSR’s decision to reduce the size of the Regular Armed Forces by around 17,000 posts (around 5,000 each from the RN/RM and RAF and approximately 7,000 from the Army). A further reduction of 12,000 to the Army was subsequently announced as a result of the 3ME, bringing the total reduction of 19,000 to the Army.
The requirement for full time trained UK Armed Forces was 154,890 at 1 September 2014, down from 155,460 at 1 August 2014 and down from 159,640 at 1 April 2014. This is likely to continue to decrease as the Services move towards the targets identified in the SDSR and 3ME exercises (RN/RM 29,000 Army, 82,000 and RAF, 31,500) in 2020.
The deficit for the UK Armed Forces trained strength was 7,230 (4.7 per cent of the requirement) at 1 September 2014, compared to a deficit of 8,750 (5.5 per cent of the requirement for trained UK Armed Forces) at 1 April 2014 and a deficit of 2,230 (1.4 per cent of the requirement for trained UK Armed Forces) at 1 April 2013.
At 1 September 2014, all three services the RN/RM, Army and RAF were in deficit (50, 5120 and
Closer scrutiny of that document shows that the strength of the UK Armed Forces has been below the Required Level since at least 2008.
So the Threat Level is increasing. We have allegedly 100s of disaffected Jihadis making their way to Syria and elsewhere to fight for a cause.
An unprecedented number of arrests are being made for Terrorism-related offences, Border Controls are virtually non-existent. It is absolutely impossible for the Police and Security Services to maintain surveillance on even the most serious of suspects for any length of time, resource-sapping activity that one.
So what are our illustrious government doing about it?
I’m not quite sure is the answer. I’m reasonably confident that SB, MI5, MI6 and GCHQ will be doing absolutely everything within their remits and abilities to keep us safe, but I’m left seriously questioning the sanity of a Prime Minister, Defence Secretary and Home Secretary that can sanction wholesale slaughter of our trained Defenders in such times. Maybe they’re hoping to just ‘wing it’ till after next May and that any disasters will be on someone else’s watch?
I do hope Alexander the Meercat is standing for election next year, he must be able to do a better job than this crowd.
Go swimming? Surfing? Fishing off the rocks? Do your kids use a lilo? Do you take a ferry, belong to a yacht club?
If the answer to any of those is YES then I would suggest that you need the Coastguard Service.
I’ll bang on till the cows come home about the government cuts to Police and Armed Forces etc, but the Coastguards are taking a mighty hit.
Coastguard stations all around our coast are not being ‘slimmed’, they are being shut down.
Hands up all those who think this is a good idea.
I might be wrong, but I BELIEVE that it would cost a mere 15 pence a year on each of our Income Tax bills to fund keeping them open.
Personally I would give my 15p year after year.
The RNLI is a Registered Charity so ‘Call Me Dave’ can’t close them down, but who calls them out and co-ordinates their brave rescues? The coastguards do.
I have blogged previously about the closure of Coastguard stations on another site, you can find them here if you missed them.
The closures are HAPPENING, the moronic coalition government originally thought that it was a great idea to reduce 19 Coastguard Stations down to 8 to cover the entire UK coastline. 19 isn’t many, 8 is preposterous. That has now been revised upwards to 11. If I have understood it correctly it was originally intended that only THREE of them would remain open and operational 24 hours a day, this has now been corrected.
This is how little regard the ConDem government has for the sanctity of human life.
All I am asking from you is that you remember that HM Coastguard is an Emergency Service, we should all stand together, united against Camoron and his cronies.
Proportionately the Coastguard Service has suffered massively with nearly 50% of it’s stations earmarked for closure. Imagine if that was mirrored in Police Stations, Hospitals and Fire Stations.
If you use Twitter please follow @CoastalJoe1, @ChrisCr999, @Coastguard_SOS and take a look at their website for much better info than I have on what’s really happening.