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.
As a devout cynic I shuddered mightily when the announcement, followed by the reality, that we were going to (and have done) lose 17,500 Police Officers under Dave Camoron’s ‘Reforms’.
That was bad enough and I don’t need to go over old ground, we have all seen the reality, the constant ‘Crying Wolf’, Cuts do indeed have Consequences and we are seeing them. It was brought home to me JUST how bad things are this weekend, the Notting Hill Carnival. As an established veteran of that event dating back to the most awful events of 1976 I always take an interest in how it’s going.
6,000 officers on Sunday (traditionally Children’s Day) and 7,000 officers on Monday. Over 300 arrests across the 2 days, 44 arrests for Knife-related offences, and at least one if not two Police Officers stabbed. I heard a rumour (unsubstantiated I agree, but neither has it been denied) that the Met ran out of Custody space at 10.30 on Monday night. That is a disgraceful situation,. there must be dozens of redundant Custody Suites dotted around the Met in Stations that have not yet been sold off or closed down, but, oh yes, you need experienced officers to staff them.
Then, to compound my angst, I caught up with the predictions that we are set to lose anything up to 22,000 jobs, and this based on the lowest estimate of a 25% budget cut, it could be as much as 40%.
Several Chief Officers are now coming out of the woodwork to complain about the cuts, with few exceptions, we should have heard from them so much sooner.
In the midst of it all we have whiny, negative Sara Thornton, who I always thought was better than that, banging on about how we can’t cope, we’ll have to stop visiting burglary scenes, etc etc, instead of using her privileged position to properly fight back. Give them some stick Sara, what have you got to lose?
I should be used to negativity from senior officers by now, but it still doesn’t sit well, how can anybody follow a Chief Constable who is hell-bent on apologising and making excuses for problems caused by government?
It’s a good job I’m not a cynical man or I might think that the current furore in the press about Police Cars without sirens being used in a Response mode was designed to deflect public attention away from the bigger problem. That is a separate, and valid, argument/discussion in its own right, but basically caused solely by Camoron’s savage desire to ‘Reform’ the Police Service.
More and more people are beginning to notice that their politicians are lying to them (allegedly) and it is no duty of a politician of any colour to tell outright porkies.
Camoron, Cruella, Milky Bar – You are NOT Reforming the Police Service, you are ANNIHILATING it. Stick THAT in your Manifesto’
Surely it is time for ALL Chief Constables, NPCC, PCCs, Federations and PFEW to join forces and totally condemn these evil practices and show a united front for once. Is that so unreasonable?
Someone suggests that you might need Refresher Training for Stop and Search.
Stop and Search SHOULD be taught in Basic Training and I’d be absolutely amazed if it isn’t, it’s a Bread and Butter tool of Policing, but it does need to be understood and not abused. It is within the abilities of EVERY Police Recruit to understand what is required before conducting a Stop and Search, plus what needs to be done afterwards to comply with PACE and the Codes of Practice.
So you’re probably not surprised to hear that I was a tad pissed off to find this newspaper headline
Hundreds of police officers around the country are to have their prejudices challenged by a training programme that aims to reduce discrimination among those using stop-and-search powers
The new approach has been developed by the College of Policing and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), after the Home Secretary, Theresa May, commissioned a review of the way the police are trained – with “unconscious bias” to be monitored as part of new professional standards.
If I’ve got this right, this new piece of work is going to be led by Nick Glynn from the College of Policing.
Nick Glynn, stop-and-search lead at the College of Policing, said: “This training will explore the impact of stop and search, examine the effect of unconscious bias and ensure officers work within the rules when stopping members of the public.”
OK Nick, I’ll start off with the unpopular line “Who is to say that the bias is unconscious?” The officer may have perfectly valid reasons to conduct the search that they have just made are or just about to make. There maybe nothing unconscious in their bias at all but an Intelligence Led or Evidence Led approach has been adopted quite reasonably (and lawfully).
It seems to me that a HUGE assumption has been made that Stop/Searches are conducted with the benefit of ‘unconscious bias’. Who has decreed this? Who is it, Nick, that has conducted a scientific analysis of Stop/Searches and found that many of them were carried out as the result of ‘unconscious bias’? Could you please provide me a link to this important piece of work so that I can study it?
If I was still serving I would be highly insulted to be told that I was going on Refresher Training for Stop/Search, even if I HAD been selected at Random.
If there is a genuine need for ongoing training in Stop/Search then I suggest that there are deeper underlying problems, an experienced officer should be able to initiate a Stop/Search (or not) in their sleep. If a high number are acting unlawfully then surely this is a Disciplinary as well as a Training Issue. Today’s generation of Police Officers are, in my submission, highly professional, and this should be well within their abilities.
The ongoing effect of this exercise, I suspect, will be that many officers will cease, or drastically reduce, their Stop/Searches, not because they are invalid or unlawful, but because the officers will be reluctant to be thought of as ‘unconsciously biased’, a term that smacks of ‘Institutional Racism’. That is probably what the Home Secretary is not-so-secretly hoping for. What IS unlawful or unethical is using Stop/Search and Hit Rates as a Performance Indicator
I am SO glad that I have retired, it is no mystery to me why serving officers would be reluctant to recommend Policing to their families and friends any more, and exercises like this do not help.
Those of you who know me in my real life will know that I have never backed away from a fight with Management, even when it was blindingly obvious that I was destined to lose. When I have seen injustice and unfairness or something else that wasn’t quite right, particularly in my latter years, I challenged it. Mainly I lost, they were the bosses and I was not, but at least they knew that I had noticed it and challenged it.
Now that I’m retired I can challenge things as much as I like, although the Management have absolutely no reason to listen to me at all any more, but I would feel like I had given in if I didn’t pop up and challenge things that simply aren’t right.
Earlier I promoted Chris Hobbs’ letter to Theresa May, which whilst I accept she’s very unlike to read, let alone take any notice of, I thought it was a powerful letter, and completely fell in line with my ethos of not leaving things unchallenged.
In response I received comments such as;
This letter is a waste of time, she will not even read this let alone take any of the issue mentioned in it on board. We know exactly where we stand with her, what really hacks me off is the fact that yet again she is even attending the conference. How many time do the Fed JEC need to get kicked in the teeth by this women to realise that letters, meetings, and marches around London dont mean squat. We need a massive change at the top of the Fed as those that are there now have shown that they don’t have what it takes to fight this fight. Maybe not everyone’s view but its mine.
I dont think that sending letters is the way to fight as she has shown utter contempt for the Fed and its member and a letter, no matter how well written will have no effect whatsoever. The Fed Jec need to regain the trust of it members in order to be able to fight…a trust which I think has been lost.
A good letter but I am afraid that the present government have no interest in the police other than a source of saving public money and the being able to criticise when things go wrong. Expect more areas to be privatised, more cuts, more demoralised staff, increased sickness for which we will also be criticised, greater pressure on management to deliver more with less, and greater pressure on the front line staff. I wish every serving police officer and member of support staff the bet, you continue to do a great job in incredibly difficult circumstances. I am glad that I cannow look in from the outside.
The present government are committed to dissolution of the police service. Their main strategy is to render the service unfit for purpose and make it desirable that it be fully replaced. The tactics are to cut funding, damage its efficiency, cause poor performance and thereby reduce professional credibility. Why? Well to take it out of the public sector and put it on a paying basis. Follow the money.
Whilst I couldn’t honestly disagree with the sentiments of any of those responses, is the answer then to just roll over and have our bellies rubbed, or maybe slit wide open? Just because The Home Secretary is Cruella and we are just mere plebs, does that mean that we can’t challenge her edicts and diktats? If we don’t who will? The Press aren’t about to jump on any bandwagon against her policies just at the moment.
Make no mistake, the changes she and Camoron and Milky have brought about in the name of Austerity and Reform cannot be reversed. I’ve lost track of the number of Police Stations across the UK that have been closed and sold off, I seem to remember reading a figure of 63 for London alone. If she suddenly had a change of heart and changed her mind tomorrow, those Police Stations are GONE, they cannot be re-iopened and there is no money left to buy or build new ones. As I said, can’t be reversed.
Scotland Yard is planning to sell off more police stations and buildings in London as the force faces a further £800 million in budget cuts.
Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe warned the Met faces a “serious challenge” to find further savings in the next round of Government cuts, which he said would inevitably mean fewer officers and buildings.
He raised the prospect of a slimmed-down police force operating from as few as 100 buildings in the capital.
Is this what we want?
Is this what the Tory Voters really had in mind and supported?
If so, be very careful what you wish for because you might just get it, and it’s looking ever more likely.
As for me, I’ll just keep banging my head against the proverbial brick wall until I knock myself out because I can’t just sit back and say nothing, but don’t have the connections to get my views well known. So if you suddenly stop hearing from me I’ve probably been carted off somewhere and shut in a darkened room.
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.
It’s only Tuesday, and my quill is already getting blunt.
Yesterday I discussed the (yet again) vindictive reports coming out of HMIC and IPCC, you can find that here if you haven’t already read it.
Today I’m occupied by the proposed cuts looming for the Met. I know that the Met is not the only Force facing cuts, merely one of 43, but what staggers me is the size of those cuts and what that means for the future of, what is undoubtedly, the largest Force in the land.
With 31,500 warranted officers it is far and away the largest force, and by comparison the second largest is West Midlands Police with 7,155 warranted officers, all the way down to Warwickshire with a mere 788.
I’ve learned a lot about the Met since I retired and I’m no longer certain that I would describe it as the Best Force, but nobody can argue that it’s the largest and probably best-resourced. In retirement I have spent some wonderful hours sharing many cups of coffee with colleagues still serving in Constabulary Forces and been made aware of the ‘Bleeding Obvious’ The Met do it differently.
In all the time I was serving I was blissfully unaware of just how lucky I was. We used to moan that we didn’t have a widget for so and so, or a gizzmo for this and that, but basically we were incredibly well off compared to our County Cousins.
I don’t know if it is still the case but the Met used to survive on that dirty word ‘Overtime’. Entire Public Order events were policed by officers on overtime sometimes, almost inevitably a third to half of a PSU would be on overtime. Rest days being cancelled, with, or without, notice was a frequent occurrence.
In August 2012 I asked the Met how many Rest Days were still outstanding, waiting to be re-rostered and taken, the reply I got was this
“There are 165,624 rest days (as of 5th July 2012) that are currently shown
as either cancelled, outstanding or waiting for officers to re-roster
However please note there are 43,355 rest days that have been re-rostered
to the future.”
I have read elsewhere that this figure is now closer to half a million.
I remember fondly that when overtime restrictions were first brought in (for welfare reasons allegedly) we were not allowed to incur more than 100 hours overtime a month without a supervisor submitting a report supporting it. The Met truly did run on overtime even though they had even more than 31,500 officers in those days, and considerably less demand.
Which brings me to the point of today’s post. In the last round of budgetary cuts in the name of Austerity, the Met lost £600 million from its budget. Even a behemoth like the Met must have felt the pain. In fact I’m sure they did. In an attempt to ease the pain Police Stations were sold off, Front Counters closed, manpower lost, back office officers moved back onto the Front Line, even Peel Centre hasn’t escaped untouched.
No, they’re not carrying out improvements, that bit’s been sold orft. Training Centres, Feeding Centres – gone.
Now we hear that the Met has to suffer a further £800 million of cuts and my honest question is simply HOW?
I can’t sit here and pretend that cuts are not necessary, I’m not convinced that they’re being applied fairly and evenly (why ring-fence the Overseas Aid budget for example?) but how on earth can the Met survive? And what hope is there for the rest of the country if the biggest (by far) Force is suffering?
My loyalty (if I have any left) is obviously to the Met, but I am capable of seeing the bigger picture and I’m convinced that it’s not a good one. I’ve said before that even if we elected a new Government this Thursday, the changes brought about by May, Camoron and Winsor will take decades to reverse, if ever, and now it’s set to get to worse.
Home Office Stats for Policing Strength are already listed under 10 Regions plus BTP so maybe that’s what’s in store for us. Or maybe a National Force under a new Chief
Commissioner, who knows.
I have previously writ that I’ve heard a rumour that the inner sanctum of the Home Office contains a document predicting a total National Policing Strength of 80,000, may your god help us if we’re ever reduced to those levels, but it would solve the budgetary problems which is the only priority the ConDems seem to have on their list. They don’t seem to care about the strength of the Armed Forces or any of the Emergency Services, who knows what they’re agenda is?
All of the above seemingly apply to you Home Secretary, although you’re not really the Home Secretary are you? You’re just another Tory Puppet trying to make Camoron’s 2006 visions become a reality.
A REAL Home Secretary, of any party, would CARE for his/her Police Service.
I know the Federation upset you, but oh deary me, you’re supposed to be a big girl and rise above all that. Be PROFESSIONAL FFS.
Since your ill-fated appearance at the Police Federation Annual Conference a while ago you seem to have it in for the Police.Vengeance seems to be your main priority. Unlike any of your predecessors that I can think of (and they have not all been perfect have they Jacqui Smith?), you appear to be conducting a Vendetta against a Police Service (Force) once the admiration of the entire world.
Since you and your cronies came to power we have had a constant ‘thinning’ of the ranks, unfailingly blamed on Labour, but in reality Camoron’s dream.
You were quick to jump on the Andrew Mitchell Bandwagon, calling for Police Officers to be disciplined for their part in the ‘conspiracy’ to bring down Mr Mitchell. That all ended well didn’t it?
We, the Police Family, are tired of your constant sniping and criticisms. Dragging up the past, events from a quarter of a century ago may indeed have been wrong, but had NOTHING to do with the vast majority of today’s generation of Police Officers. That is Vindictive.
Constantly the mighty Police Service is being not only kicked in the face by you and your government, but kicked while it is down. Anybody still serving who tries to put things right from within gets a right good kicking too. Where the hell is the justice in that? More Vindictive behaviour, and the Home Office just sits back and lets it happen.
Judging by the latest set of figures we are now almost 17,000 officers down on what we had 5 years ago. Are you proud of that? We know that Austerity means cuts, but do try to be sensible for once, some things are actually important to the country. The Health Service is important, and that is finally being recognised and something, hopefully done about it. The Armed Forces are important but they have been slashed also by your colleagues in Defence. Education is important and has some of its budget ringfenced.
The main losers in all of this seem to be the Police under YOUR leadership (ha!!)
Some things are too important to be cut. Even if Austerity ended this weekend it would take generations to get the Police Service back to where it was. Are you proud of that?
Instead we get Uncle (sorry, Sir) Tom Winsor telling us to ‘work smarter’ and ‘get upstream of the offending behaviour and give proper priority to the need to prevent crime”. How sanctimonious and condescending is that? Does he think that Police Officers ever forget their Primary Objective which is drilled into them Week 1 of Basic Training.
In 1829 Sir Richard Mayne wrote: “The primary object of an efficient police is the prevention of crime: the next that of detection and punishment of offenders if crime is committed. To these ends all the efforts of police must be directed…….”
We do NOT need reminding by someone who has NEVER been a Police Officer about the need to prevent crime. More Vindictive comments.
In recent weeks we have seen the tragic attacks on off-duty officers, thankfully not terrorist-related, but every bit as serious and tragic. Where have the, admittedly unwanted, words of comfort and respect that are traditional from the Home Secretary at times like these? Nobody wants to hear insincere platitudes, but that doesn’t mean you’re excused from offering them.
Then we did have threats of Terrorist activity aimed at Police Officers, both on and off duty. WHAT HAS BEEN DONE, OR IS BEING DONE, TO PROTECT THEM? I don’t want you to reveal the details but I do demand reassurance that something is being done. YOU HAVE A DUTY OF CARE TO THEM HOME SECRETARY.
The security of our nation is now a real concern, and you and Tom Winsor are not helping. At a time when we need a physical presence to maintain security, you are slashing numbers to the bone, with promises of more cuts to come. You can hardly call the Army in to help out thanks to the MOD’s far-sighted Human Resource Policy.
How many officers have been ‘lost’ from the Department that provides your (and others) personal security? Can we do without them? Are you somehow more important that ordinary folk? The answer has to be NO, because you come from the public and are elected by the public. You can be replaced.
How long will it be before the tragic events in Paris over the last 24 hours will be repeated in London, Birmingham, Manchester or Edinburgh? Or even Much Wenlock? It doesn’t matter where, it is far more likely to happen somewhere than nowhere. What are you doing about that?
One thing is certain, the officers that you so clearly despise will, to a man (and lady) DO THEIR JOB, because that is what they do.
Not that you really care but up until this government came to power I always voted Tory. I will NEVER vote Tory again, EVER. You and your coalition chums have ruined everything that was ever Great about Britain. Well, we have seen what has happened, and I for one can never forgive you for it.
We’re not stupid, like you clearly think we are, we know that some cuts are necessary, but making cuts all across the board and then pretending you don’t know why things are failing “it must be Labour’s fault” isn’t going to wash any more. We have seen this government for what they are.
Vindictive, fuelled by Vengeance, conducting a Vendetta.
Make cuts by all means, but you could start by cutting things that are not going to cripple the country. There is no use in having the ‘strongest economy’ in Europe if everything else about the country has gone to the dogs to achieve that dubious status.
So, the worst kept secret of modern day policing is out, our old friend and valued colleague, Tom Winsor, is to become a Knight of The Realm. It is to be noted that this award has been given for ‘Public Service’ and not for ‘Services to Policing’, although the joke is maintained by including it in the Law and Order section. Cressida Dick, it should be noted, is receiving her award for Services to Policing.
Let us examine this more closely, what exactly has Uncle Tom done to deserve this?
He has re-written an old David Camoron speech and called it
Independent Review of Police Officer and Staff Remuneration and Conditions.
He has admitted, on national radio, that his method of estimating the fitness levels of bobbies on the beat were flawed and unscientific, he just didn’t know how to do it, so that whole section of his independent report is flawed in my opinion.
He omitted to draw his fee for writing his independent report, merely taking the expenses.
He saw off all opposition to become the Chief Inspector HMCIC, despite being the first and only CIHMIC not to have ever been a Police Officer.
Winsor has overseen the introduction of the new all-force annual Police Effectiveness, Efficiency and Legitimacy (PEEL) inspection programme.
Winsor has also overseen the publication of a number of vital HMIC reports on issues such as domestic abuse, crime data integrity and policing in austerity.
Home Secretary Theresa May said:
“As Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Mr Winsor has worked tirelessly to ensure that the Inspectorate is able to successfully shine a light on policing outcomes and value for money.
He established the PEEL programme, which is giving the public a clear, independent view of the quality of policing in their local area, and delivered thematic inspections on important issues such as stop and search and domestic abuse to ensure police forces are dealing with them appropriately.
I’m delighted to reappoint Thomas Winsor as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary and I very much look forward to working with him in the future.”
So December has really been a good month for the good Chief Inspector (sorry chaps), not only reappointed for a further 5 whole years but a Knighthood to boot. Makes his unclaimed fee for his independent review pale into insignificance really.
They do say respect has to be earned, well I think this demonstrates quite clearly that Sir Tom has finally earnt our respect and maybe we should all now bow down to him, his words are obviously wise ones and he has been rewarded accordingly.
The first is obviously Neil Rhodes’ voiced opinion that his Force will go out of business if the current unsustainable funding arrangements continue.
The second is Bernie Hogan-Who’s belated entrance into the fray, in which he claims that “The police and other emergency services are looking at years of austerity. We must slash the number of forces and make a host of other radical changes if public safety is to be maintained”
My initial reaction was “About bloody time too, why have they taken nearly 5 years to speak out, we all know that already?”
And then I got to thinking……a dangerous pasttime I know
In July this the Uncle Tom’s organisation released a report updating us on how our 43 Forces were meeting the challenges posed by Austerity. Three Forces were highlighted as needing to do much more to catch up and survive, these were Bedfordshire, Nottinghamshire and Gwent.
The Met, for example, was graded GOOD on the grounds that
HMIC is assured that the MPS is using a range of methods to understand the demand placed on its services and the consequences of that demand, for example the numbers of staff required for prosecution file preparation and for crime investigation.
Through the use of a ‘star chamber’, the MPS has an efficient way to align human resources to emerging threats and retain staff in critical posts.
The force has maintained its drive on crime reduction and victim satisfaction throughout the spending review period.
Within this effort, it is recognised that securing the satisfaction of victims of crime in the capital is challenging.
The MPS is introducing ever more innovative means of interacting with the public ranging from greater use of social media to replacing traditional police station front counters with more flexible drop-in centres.
Well that’s all fine and dandy then. Or is it? This HMIC report is now yesterday’s chip wrapper. Nobody remembers it. It was news for about one day in July and then……..nothing.
We had headlines from the Fed such as
More than a third of forces could struggle to provide the same service to the public if cuts continue, says HMIC
So what if the public proclamations of Bernie and Neil Rhodes are nothing more than Cruella May leaking her vision for the future through the ‘trusted’ media of the Police in order to soften us up. In the main we trust what the Police tell us more than we trust our politicians.
Is it vaguely conceivable that a couple of highly-placed cops could become government mouthpieces? Surely not? No place for politics in policing, wouldn’t happen would it? Would we be more receptive to the Home Secretary’s (and Camoron’s) Reform Agenda if it came out of the mouths of our Police Leaders who were seeming to be on ‘our side’ for once.
Or have ACPO finally grown a pair. You decide.
Personally I have been predicting a National Police Force, Fire Brigade policing and a higher level of front-line involvement for PCSOs and Specials for over a year now. Is this what Bernie is suggesting? At least the uniforms and vehicles will be cheaper if they’re all the same.