Mustn’t swear, honestly, but yesterday provided me with a true WTF moment.
Following the recent visit of that nice Mr Trump to the UK, it became obvious via news and Social Media, plus personal observations on the M40, that many Police Officers had been deployed on Mutual Aid to assist with the Policing and Security for the visit. Nosey old me wondered just how many cops had been disrupted by Mutual Aid. It allegedly cost Police Sotland £5 Million for Mr Trump to enjoy a round of golf. Even my local Golf Club isn’t that expensive.
Who co-ordinates Mutual Aid in England and Wales. Answer:- The National Police Co-Ordination Centre, part of the National Police Chiefs Council.
So, I fired them off a Freedom of Information request thus;
1. How many Mutual Aid deployments have there been in England and Wales?
2. For each deployment, which force received the Mutual Aid?
3. How many officers were sent on Mutual Aid?
To be helpful I even added the foillowing rider;
“I specifically DO NOT REQUIRE any details concerning the nature of the deployment”
To be fair I never expected an actual answer, I always anticipated a Refusal. Over the cost limit is normally a good one, or we don’t comment on operational matters for security reasons. Either of those would have done. However, they broke new ground. Yesterday I got my eagerly awaited response
The NPCC does not hold information captured by your request. NPoCC coordinates national assistance only. They do not record all mutual aid, for example, if forces within a region send resources to each other.
A consideration may be to make a request with individual forces. On this occasion, I am unable to assist you.
That was it, in its entirety. Not a single word have I omitted.
So, for the biggest Policing operation for quite a while the NPoCC knew NOTHING about the Mutual Aid. A whoie world of stink was being kicked up about some of the sleeping accommodation. Leaves were cancelled in many Forces. Mutual Aid was certainly provided froom somewhere.
So I ask you, readers of mine, did your Force send Mutual Aid to the Met for Trumpy’s visit? Are you outside of the ‘Region’? Who the hell does monitor Mutual Aid and co-ordinate it if not the National Police Co-Ordination Centre?
To the National Police Chiefs Council I say this, many, many people think that you are nothing more than servants of this government. Certainly not enough opposition has been voiced to the stringent cuts to Policing Levels and Budgets, just “we must work harder or smarter within our new budgets”. We all KNOW that the loss of approx 21,000 Police Officers, and many of them are from the Front Line, can only impact adversley on Law and Order. I suspect that many areas are being Policed at dangerously low levels, particulary in Ruralshire and at night. The first duty of the government is to protect its citizens. They are failing in their duty if their cuts and policies are seeing rises in murders, assaults, Knife Crime etc etc.
“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. The protection of life and property, the preservation of public tranquillity, and the absence of crime, will alone prove whether those efforts have been successful and whether the objects for which the police were appointed have been attained.”
Please, NPCC, please tell me how the Police Service of 2018 is fullfilling its Primary Objective?
I may well challenge your response to my FOI request, but far more important than that, PLEASE answer my question above.