The Dishonest Politician’s Guide To The Police
Nope, nothing to do me this one. This catchy little title is the brainchild of Professor Tim Hope, Professor of Criminology at the University of Salford, which is a place near Manchester if I’m not mistaken.
Following on from TMIC’s (sic) report on #CrimeStats Prof Tim has written a little blogette with the above title, and I must say it is absolutely SPOT ON, I’ll highlight the best bits for you, but for the full effect you can read it here. It’s not too long and quite an easy read, give it a go.
Having read Uncle Tom’s latest tome Professor Hope has published a five point plan for governments on how to improve their ratings by destroying the legitimacy of the Police;
1. Give the impression that you know how to reduce crime (but don’t be too specific)
2. Pretend that police recorded crime statistics are a true measure of crime and of victims’ needs (but don’t believe this yourself; use your own surveys)
3. Pretend that the police don’t belong to you any more.
4. Start waving a big stick.
5. Don’t bother to upgrade the skills of the rank and file police officer
Once you have achieved 1-5 just sit back and see what happens.
Once you’re confident that crime is going down long-term, start wondering out loud why we still need all those police officers.
Sit back and wait for the police to start fiddling the figures to make themselves look better, knowing that they have always done this, ever since there were figures to fiddle.
Talk about how the police must also share the pain of austerity cuts, look for efficiencies, etc. like everyone else. Actually abolish all those performance targets and red tape because what police officers really want is to be out there on the front line fighting crime (instead of sheltering from the elements inside a warm, comfortable police station with their workmates).
Selectively shine a torchlight into the affairs of a few police forces in areas where your voters (honest taxpayers) are concentrated; let a few scandals come to light, a few brave whistle-blowers sacrificed (knowing how nastily they treat ‘traitors’, you can then further dramatise the Chiefs’ iniquity at the same time as you leave the whistle-blowers hanging out to dry)
Finally, you’ve left the police without a leg to stand on, so that you can then blame them for their own failings.
Meanwhile, let the real victims of society rot; the inner city poor (who don’t vote) can be left to their own devices; do nothing about the hatred and violence festering away; do not exempt the safeguarding services from the cuts; make it difficult for the police to protect the vulnerable or prosecute those who harm them; and then blame the police for dimming the Blue Lamp in the face of the futility of it all.
Either way, it isn’t YOUR fault, and that’s all that matters….
His very last sentence is one I suspect we would all agree with. Thank you Professor Hope, and thank you also from hundreds if not thousands of my former colleagues for these, your final words on the subject;
For Heaven’s Sake, give us a Royal Commission to sort out this mess
Tim Hope was appointed to the newly created Chair in Criminology in September 2010. Previously, he worked at the Home Office Research and Planning Unit (latterly as Principal Research Officer), where he also earned a Ph.D. in Sociology through part-time study; and as Senior Consultant, CACI Ltd; Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Missouri-St. Louis, USA; Senior Research Fellow, University of Manchester; and Reader (1994) and Professor of Criminology (1997), Keele University, serving as Head of the Department of Criminology and director of the Keele Community Safety Group.
He has been Director of the ESRC Crime and Social Order Research Programme (1993-1998); honorary research fellow of the Quantitative Criminology Group, Centre for Census and Survey Research, University of Manchester; Visiting Professor, Vauxhall Centre for Criminology, University of Bedfordshire; and Senior Visiting Research Fellow, Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, University of Edinburgh (2007-2009).
He is Scientific Advisor to the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime, and Editorial Advisor for Safer Communities, Criminal Justice Matters and the European Journal of Policing Studies. He has also been an expert consultant to the UK Statistics Commission, the Audit Commission, the National Reassurance and the Neighbourhood Policing programmes, the European Forum for Urban Safety, the Regional Government of Emilia-Romagna (Italy), the Czech Republic, the European Commission evaluation of the European Crime Prevention Network, and given evidence to the parliamentary Science and Technology Committee. He coordinated the Work-package ‘Local public policies of crime prevention’ of the CRIMPREV Co-ordination Action of the European Union Sixth Framework Programme.
He has authored over 100 research publications, (some works appearing in translation) both in the UK and also in the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Poland, and Portugal.