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To Crust Or Not To Crust?

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Last updated on October 15th, 2023 at 07:18 pm

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Those of you who know me will know by now that I can be a bit ‘crusty’ at times.  I don’t often suffer fools gladly and whilst reluctantly acceptant of change, I’m definitely NOT a fan of ‘Change for Change’s Sake’, which we seem to witness far too often in the world of Policing, which leaves me with the eternal dilemma, To Crust Or Not To Crust?

Like literally thousands of others on here, I did my 30 years with pride and came out the other end with a sistifikit that says Exemplary (I had to look that one up), so I kind of think that gives me the right to hold opinions on how things are going.

You may not wish to hear those opinions, and that’s fine by me, just scroll on by, I’ll never know.

Almost everybody on Social Media expresses an opinion on something.  That’s absolutely fine too, because I can scroll on by, or I can respond depending upon how my mood takes me.  We can either engage in civilised debate or ignore/block/mute each other.

Unusually for me I’ve thought long and hard about this post, but decided to write it anyway, if only for my own benefit.

What has really wound this old dinosaur up this week is a number of the current generation complaining about us retired officers and suggesting that we should (and I’ll paraphrase here) STFU and leave them to get on with it.

I can only speak for myself here, and I’m sure others will chip in if they want to.

I don’t believe that I have EVER said anything detrimental about the current generation of Police Officers, especially individual officers.  I have the same respect for them as my generation, and the ones that went before me.  We all do/did the Job as it is/was in our time.

I don’t agree with suggestions that the current generation do the Job ‘better’ than we did.  It’s different times and can’t be compared.  The Job is certainly done ‘differently’ now, because it has to be.

From what I can see from the outside and from current officers who actually talk to me, it’s exceedingly demanding, busy and often complex, with unknown numbers of competing priorities.

I acknowledge that, and am totally happy to accept it, and the demands that places on a reduced workforce.

HOWEVER, I most definitely do not agree with some of the ‘reforms’ of Policing that are being forced upon us and the one that has gripped me so much this week is Graduate/Apprenticeship Entry.  I’m not going to repeat myself too much here, my thoughts on that are well documented within this blog. BUT (never start a sentence with BUT) these are criticisms of the ‘system’ not the recruits, apprentices, probationers, whatever you want to call them.

If you want to join Policing you are quite obviously obliged to follow one of the routes available in the area within which you would want to work.  As pointed out in my previous post, not every Force offers all of the options.

I don’t have any kind of problem with a recruit (or established officer) wanting to obtain a degree, as long as it’s relevant to Policing.  My point has always been that it should not be a prerequisite to join, or follow the Apprenticeship route with the qualifications that requires to join.

Those conditions would mean that some of the most brilliant Murder Squad Detectives I have ever known would no longer be eligible to even join, and that cannot be good for them, the Job or the Public.  They were the very best in their field some of them with hardly a handful of O Levels between them.

Anybody reading this who is currently on a Graduate Entry or Apprenticeship Course I genuinely wish you the best of luck. I don’t blame you one bit for taking the path you have taken, I can assure you that it is the system that I am critical of, not yourselves.

Policing has always had good, bad and indifferent officers, and that will continue despite what bits of paper you have in your portfolio.  Policing needs a certain type of person which is rarely reflected on a piece of paper.

I would highly recommend a Degree (but not necessarily Pre Join) for officers who want to follow the promotion route, but you don’t need a degree in anything just to understand the law, that’s something you either can or can’t do.

I’ll leave you with one final thought, not all of the voices joining in on Social Media are who they purport to be.  There have been a few ‘Walts’ detected over the years.  All I’ll say is read back through their timeline, and you’ll get a feeling for whether it’s Walt or No Walt.

Anyway. that’s enough from me, I’ll quit before I anger the whole of Social Media.  Enjoy the weekend, sounds like it will be a hot one.  I’m off to enjoy an ice cold glass of Blue Nun.  See you back here soon if I don’t get blocked.

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7 thoughts on “To Crust Or Not To Crust?”

  1. Alan,
    I have long been puzzled at the seemingly relentless push to make professions and occupations graduate entry only. Now many years ago nursing decided it would follow this route and I was at university alongside some of the first such students, both were already nurses with years of experience. Forty years later the NHS struggles to recruit and retain nurses, so much so it now relies on overseas recruitment – though I don’t know if these recruits have a degree. Should we require all members of the House of Commons, even the House of Lords to have a degree before entry? Imagine the reaction – “Hell no” I would wager.

  2. Like you, I feel deep indignation when I read the comments of the young, who will never know what did work because they live in a different world:- as we do! Policing is a people job; our clients were the same as todays. When police officers selected and trained the recruits, they use their well-proven experience in dealing with young people and produce Police Officers. The harvesting of representatives from political groups to be trained in academic theory by political fantasists instead of realistic policing has brought us to the worst state ever. Dark humour is a well-tried mechanism to salve the mind through traumatic stress situations can now put you in front of a ‘Woke’ court. Senior Officers that rush to camera to make statements about ” I will not tolerate” are serving their prospects and certainly not the Police Officers under them by delivering factual statements about how police officers actually have to fight violent people. We, the public, want police officers who will turn up and deal with all, not those selected on the prospect of good performance figures.

  3. Head of Crime Scene Investigations for two counties. Major Crime Scene Manager. Fire Investigator trained at Fire Service College. One ‘O’Level in English Language gained in 1963. Retired in 1996. Today I’d probably fail the paper sift as a Special Constable. How times have changed Alan.

  4. This probably reflects the thoughts of the majority of former warrant holders. Nothing can have a firm base when the only constant is change.

    Those responsible for implementing such a policy are to blame when standards inevitably fall, not those forced to toil within such a system.

    1. Absolutely, there are some politicians and senior officers who have played there part, and should be held to account

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