The Demise of Democracy – Tory Style

The slow death of the Police Service and other Public Services cannot be denied, however that is linked to something equally, or far more, important, the death of Democracy itself.

Those of you who have followed my posts for some time will not need reminding that over a period of time Policing, and other Public Services, have been politicised. On a more discrete level this probably began many years ago but the current incarnation of Conservatives have taken it to a whole new level. No pretence of discretion here, just blatant political interference in full view, with the hope, if not the expectation, that the public will either not notice or can be easily fobbed off.

The coalition government of 2010 saw one Theresa May at the helm of the Home Office. Stories of her, and her department’s incompetence are many and easily found on t’interweb, but I will confine myself to the ones that are most relevant to me and this post.

Unless I’m having a total Saga moment, it all began with the Winsor Independent Reviews of Police Officers’ and Staff Remuneration and Conditions. The two parts of this ‘independent’ report started off Theresa May’s infamous ‘Reforms’ of the Police Service of England and Wales.

One or two things struck me as a tad unorthodox about these reports.

Mr Tom Winsor, ex Rail Regulator, was appointed to this task by Mrs May at the same that his employers, White and Case, were engaged advising G4S in delicate negotiations in relation to privatisation of certain functions within Policing. Worth £200 Million apparently. We have been assured that there was no conflict of interest.

Mr Winsor was assisted in this enterprise by Sir

Edward Crew (an ex Chief Constable) and Professor Richard Disney of Nottingham University.I find it slightly unusual that Sir Edward and Professor Disney both received the appropriate recompense for their labours whilst Mr Winsor did not. Neither Mr Winsor nor his employers, White and Case, claimed the estimated £125,000 fee for Mr Winsor’s work on the reports.No doubt there will be some who don’t find this unusual in business, but I wouldn’t have turned it down.

Moving on from his reviews, and absolutely not connected in any way, we find that Mr Winsor has applied for, and is ultimately described as Theresa May’s ‘Preferred Candidate’, for the post of Chief Inspector of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.  The main thing that strikes me as unusual about this is that it always used to be a post awarded to an experienced Chief Constable.  Never before has the post been filled by an ex Rail Regulator.

Fast Forward to 2015 and Tom Winsor becomes Sir Tom Winsor in the Law and Order category of the New Years Honours list, “For Public Service”.

In 2017 the Fire Service was added to his empire when he was appointed as the first ever Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Fire & Rescue Services despite never having served in the Fire Service either.

In the meantime November 2012 saw the first appearance of publicly elected Police and Crime Commissioners to replace Police Authorities.  Most candidates represented a defined Political Party and constituted an absolote political interference in Policing, a profession traditionally viewedd as politically neutral.  However, so Independent candidates were successfully elected and went on to become thorns in the side of Theresa May’s Home Office.

2016 saw the next round of elections for the next full term of PCCs.  However, for these elections the Tory Government had some very unpleasant surprises in store for Independent Candidates.  Despite the Electoral Commission recommending that traditional deposits be done away with, for the PCC elections only, the deposit was increased from £500 to £5,000, a sum guaranteed to deter all but the wealthiest Independent Candidates.

To rub salt into the festering wound the Cabinet Office then decided to withold funding for the candidates to have a ‘free’ mailshot.  Again this greatly disadvantaged Independent Candidates, and smacks of the Tories smothering the opposition into submission.

The final straw, for me at least, was the intervention of Mrs May in the local PCC Elections here in DeadBadgerShire, ordinary members of the puiblic, including people who had never shown any political allegiances before, were bombarded by email purporting to come from Mrs May encouraging voters to vote for their Conservative candidate. Interference in an election? Disadvantaging Independent Candidates? You decide.

In more recent times Theresa May has been found to have been in Contempt of Court, Contempt of Parliament (twice I think) and has now been accused of attempting to get her own way on Brexit by effectively running down the clock in relation to her proposed ‘deal’ on Brexit, again interfering with the Democratic Process for her own ends in my opinion.

There are undoubtedly many similar events in other Public Services and I would welcome their addition in the comments below. Mrs May bangs on about protecting democracy, but her actions suggest the complete opposite.

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Reform

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.

I thank you, obliged.Last Updated on

The 43 Forces Of England And Wales Are Recruiting

Volunteers.

According to Saturday’s Grauniad Her Regal Highness Theresa May has decided that volunteers can be given what she calls ‘Police Powers’ and used to investigate ‘Sex Crimes’ and ‘Terror Offences’.  Since the staggering number of frontline officers that have left the Police Service since the beginning of ‘Reform’ the government are refusing to set limits on what these volunteers might actually be required to do.

Asked in the House of Commons last week whether their use would be limited in cases of child sexual exploitation, serious crime and counter-terrorism James Brokenshire revealed that no such limits would be set.

“Our consultation on the reform of the roles and powers of civilians and volunteers demonstrated the demand from forces for flexibility in how they deploy volunteer staff, and therefore we should not make assumptions about the operational areas where volunteers can make a contribution.   These reforms will place the individual decision-making as to which personnel perform which roles firmly in the hands of chief officers, who have the professional expertise and local knowledge to know which powers are needed in their area.”

Or, in plain English, “Oh shit, we’ve got rid of too many experienced Police Officers and now the Forces can’t cope.  We have to do something to make it look like Reform is working or we would lose face.  Using volunteers fills that gap without government having to back-pedal”

To be clear I have no objection to the use of volunteers, in appropriate scenarios.  I would suggest that these are NOT appropriate scenarios.  Let these thousands of volunteers join the Specials.  The Special Constabulary have done stirling work for decades, but this is not what Cruella is suggesting.

It isn’t that long since Gidiot was bollocked for his claim that he was, after all, going to protect the Police Budgets, when in reality there are cuts of £160 million looming, the equivalent of 3,200 officers over the next two years.


So, as I see it, Gidiot has got his figures wrong, Cruella has slashed and burned far too hard and now she’s trying to sell volunteers as the saviour of the day.  You can put this right at any time, you just have to say the word and we can begin rebuilding the Police Service, but volunteers are not the way to go.

What do you think?Last Updated on

Will The Last One Out Please Turn Off The Lights – UK PLC Is Heading For The Badlands

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?

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You Know You’re Old And Crusty When…….

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

Stop-and-search: Police training will challenge ‘unconscious bias’ of officers to cut down on unlawful use of tactic

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.Last Updated on

Is Theresa May Completely Out Of Touch With Everybody?

Have her advisers and researchers let her down? Is she poorly briefed?

Maybe she just knows better than everybody else and we have yet to realise that.

Maybe she is rigidly toeing the Party Line and doing & saying just what Mr Camoron tells her to do and say.

One thing that is for certain is that she is hell-bent on taking no notice whatsoever of what the Front Line are telling her.  Apparently we are all just “Scaremongering”. I’m sure you all heard her speech at the PFEW Conference or have read the headlines.  Crime is down and those that say otherwise are just Scaremongering.

So please – for your sake and for the thousands of police officers who work so hard every day – this crying wolf has to stop

 

Today, you’ve said that neighbourhood police officers are an “endangered species”. I have to tell you that this kind of scaremongering does nobody any good – it doesn’t serve you, it doesn’t serve the officers you represent, and it doesn’t serve the public.

 

So that is my offer to you: more reform to make your lives better, to save police time, and to give you more discretion so that you can get on with the jobs you are trained to do.

You can choose to work with me. Or you can choose to shout from the sidelines. What I offer is a positive vision for policing, one in which it is an exciting time to be a police officer, where you have the freedom to get on with your job, where you are rewarded for your skills and hard work, and where policing is fit for the future.

 

So, we’ve established that she’s out of touch with the Police.

IMG_0387.JPG

She said the next phase of her police reform programme would include technological changes such as transforming police cars into police stations and the wider adoption of body-worn video cameras. But it would also include moves to reduce demand on policing at a time when crime is falling.

She accused the Police Federation of scaremongering and repeatedly “crying wolf” over the impact of the previous round of cuts in police funding as part of the government’s austerity programme – and rejected their claims that further cuts would force them to adopt “paramilitary styles of policing” in Britain.

 

The home secretary said that a new policing bill in next week’s Queen’s speech would “allow us to go further and faster with reform freeing up police time and putting policing back in the hands of professionals”.

 

Is that really what is necessary or wanted?  Not wanted by the Police, not considered necessary by the Police and I’m reasonably sure that huge chunks of the Public don’t want it or believe that such swingeing cuts are necessary or good for the Country.

So there you have it, I already think that the Home Secretary has lost touch with the reality of what the people on the ground, the practitioners, are saying.   The only organisation she takes notice of is HMIC apparently, need I say more on that subject?

Is she ignoring everybody or is she being worked by a Puppetmaster?

But Mrs May is an elected Member of Parliament and has Constituency matters to occupy her time as well as being Home Secretary.  Surely she would have her ear to the ground and know what was going on in leafy Maidenhead, wouldn’t she?

The town of Maidenhead has a population of about 80,000 and Wiki describes it thus;

Maidenhead is a large affluent town and unparished area in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, in Berkshire,

Not too shabby.  There are approx 75,000 voters in the constituency.

A few, short days ago I wrote a post challenging the idea that Crime is Down.  I haven’t heard anything from the Home Secretary so I presume she hasn’t read it yet, but I’m sure she will.  So, we’ve now established that she’s out of touch with the various bodies that publish Crime Stats.

So how is crime doing in leafy Maidenhead? Down or Up?

Surely Mrs May would know what was happening with Crime in her constituency wouldn’t she? After all, Crime Is Falling.

http://www.ukcrimestats.com/Subdivisions/WMC/65901/ tells us what the crime situation is in the parliamentary Constituency of Maidenhead.

Crime in the Parliamentary Constituency of Maidenhead
Crime in the Parliamentary Constituency of Maidenhead

It gets slightly easier to read if you click on it.

Sadly I can’t extract the whole data table from the website but it it’s clear from the data above that overall, after a dip last year, total crime is now on the increase in Maidenhead.

Graphs of Crime, both with and without Anti-Social Behaviour over the last 12 months show that crime is once again on the increase in Maidenhead, not significantly I grant you, and it peaks and troughs throughout the year, but I see NOTHING in the crime data for Mrs May’s constituency to convince me that CRIME IS DOWN.  You would think that she would know what was going on in her own constituency wouldn’t you?

Crime without ASB Maidenhead

 

Crime including ASB Maidenhead
Crime including ASB Maidenhead

So maybe she’s out of touch with her public as well.

Just to rub salt into her wounds I suppose I should remind us all that she remains only the second serving Home Secretary to have a conviction for Contempt of Court, so I guess she’s out of touch with the judicial system as well.  On the first occasion, in 1991, Kenneth Baker ignored an instruction from a judge in an asylum case and the ruling against him was backed up by five law lords in a landmark judgement.Last Updated on

Don’t Let Apathy And Despondency Win

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.

and

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.

and

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.

and

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.

This evening sees the latest doom and gloom proposals, from the Met, in the Standard.

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.Last Updated on

Come On Cruella – Explain It To Us

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.


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Ponder This Cruella

Thursday saw a bizarre event.

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.

Take a look at what happened only yesterday.

Can you hear the people sing?

Can You?

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It Has Never Been A Better Time To Be A Volunteer

It’s Official.

Be a Volunteer.

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;

5.4.17
“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..

 

milkybar

…………….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

15 million workers to get three days’ paid volunteering leave each year

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.

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