• What You Measure is What You Get.

    Einstein : Not everything that can be counted counts. And not everything that counts can be counted.
  • About me.

    I know enough to know that at 04.00am it gets dark out on the streets. It has done this for the last twenty odd years, to my knowledge and will probably continue for the forseeable future. At some stage in this ‘future’ I shall retire and probably won’t give a damn if it still gets dark at 04.00am. Until then I shall be out there, somewhere, lurking in the shadows because someone, somewhere will be doing stuff they shouldn’t and then, well then I will introduce myself. In the meanwhile I shall try to remain sane and remember why I joined in the first place and try to ignore all the people who piss me off by making the job more complicated than it should be.
  • Opinions

    Any opinions contained in posts are mine and mine alone. Many of them will not be those of any Police Force, Police Organisation or Police Service around this country. The opinions are based on many years of working within the field of practical operational Police work and reflect the desire to do things with the minimum of interference by way of duplication for the benefit of others who themselves do not do the same job. I recognise that we all perform a wide range of roles and this is essential to make the system work. If you don’t like what you see remember you are only one click on the mouse away from leaving. I accept no responsibility for the comments left by others.
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  • C.T.C. Constabulary.

    A Strategic Community Diversity Partnership. We are cutting bureaucracy and reducing the recording of target and monitoring related statistics. Our senior leaders will drive small, economical cars from our fleet surplus to save money to invest in better equipment for our frontline response officers. We are investing money to reinstate station canteens for the benefits of those 24/7 response officers. We have a pursuit policy. The message is that if you commit an offence and use a vehicle, we will follow you and stop you if necessary. It is your duty to stop when the lights and sirens are on. We take account of the findings of the Force questionnaire and are reducing the administration and management levels and returning these officers to frontline response duties. We insist on a work-life balance. We have no political masters. We are implimenting selection processes that take account of an individuals skills and proven abilities for the job. Our senior leaders will have one foot in reality and still possess the operational Policing skills they have long forgotton about and seldom used. All ranks are Police Officers first and specialists second. We will impliment career development and performance evaluation monitoring of our leaders by those officers who operate under that leadership. The most important role is that of Constable. All other roles are there to positively support the role and the responsibility of Constable and the duties performed.
  • Whichendbites

    “We trained very hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we would be reorganised. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganising. It can be a wonderful method of creating the illusion of progress while creating confusion, inefficiency and demoralisation.”......Petronius
  • Just so.

    Taxation is just a sophisticated way of demanding money with menaces.
  • Reality.

    Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.
  • Rank V’s Responsibility

    Don't confuse your idea of how important you are with the responsibility of your role.
  • Meetings.

    If you had to identify, in one word, why we will never achieve our full potential, Meetings would be that word.
  • There is always a bigger picture.

    When there is no answer to your problem, there is always deflection from the need to justify giving an answer.

Send us a postcard 2.

Offender 1 has been convicted for a series of serious offences. He is classed as what we would called a nominal. He is a prolific and priority offender. He has warning signals for weapons (that means he usually carries a knife or other weapon) violence (that means he is violent and will use any level of violence he thinks is likely to prevent his arrest) and fails to appear (that means he will not appear at court on dates when he is due to attend).

Because of these points, there will always be a fight to arrest him, we will have to be careful because of the risk of injury which is, in his view, a deterrent, also we will ask for a remand in custody if he is charged because of his fail to attend history.

He also has an extensive history of substantial convictions from House burglaries, robberies, aggravated vehicle takings, pursuits with Police vehicles in which he has deliberately rammed Police vehicles and assaults on Police officers to try to prevent his lawful arrest.

Offender 2 has got a life sentence for the murder of a ‘friend’ who he stabbed an astonishing amount of times because he upset him. Offender 2 has shown disturbing personality traits, aggression towards other inmates and prison staff and failed to cooperate with treatment designed to ‘help’ him.

These are, no doubt, like many many others who are either convicted and sent to, or moved to because of overcrowding, from normal secure prisons to what is laughingly called an open prison. Not exactly Butlins, but there is normally a security guard behind a barrier to check you when you go in. How reassuring. I wonder if any actually leave the ‘security’ of the prison to go out daily to work in the community ?

Is it any wonder that should these offenders be transferred to such an open prison, decide that they have had enough and want to walk out and make themselves simply absconders, there is just a little bit of something that is not right there ? 

They are not exactly enemies of the state, only absconders. Now doesn’t that just make you feel good about the decisions of people who claim to know a great deal about protecting the public.

I’m sure that even incarcerated offenders have rights to be upheld and protected, just like everyone else. Probably more machinery is in place to ensure that these rights are protected and even the most minute thought of a breach is challenged. How reassuring.

These open prison absconders seem to pop up with a monotonous regularity, the public are actively encouraged NOT to approach them so is there a big doubt of why they should be very loosely incarcerated within such a place as an open prison ?

Next one out, send us a post card.

Send us a postcard.

Well the next time you go off for a spot of annual leave, that you will have booked up to a year in advance after the lottery of dealing with minimum staffing levels and trying to fit in with the rest of your colleagues…………please, please, please bear a small thought in mind for our overworked political masters and their partners in opposition who are beginning their well earned rest after their toil, trouble and graft at the hub of British politics.

Our beloved MPs have begun their period of leave from the rigours of shouting “hear, hear”, waving pieces of paper about in the house and seeing exactly how much expenses they can get the tax paying public to fork out for them to spend. They have just started their 75-day summer recess.

Just think…………what could you do if your Station/base or department shut for 75 days ?

Putting on a show.

Well the kids arrived from schools all over the County to see the brave boys and girls from the emergency services doing their bit at the County Emergency Services open day. Good for citizen focus and promoting the brand within the realms of those we can impress with our own style of portrayal of what we do in our efforts to make our part of the world a little bit safer for the population.

With members from the public service family strutting their stuff, the ambulance service, the fire service, search and rescue and various departments from the Policing fraternity putting on a show of truly momentous proportions to fly the flag and show exactly how good we are. Great entertainment for the kids, a break for the teachers and our talents embedded into a section of the community for all the right reasons. Its funny how many Police officers are happy to leave the security of their offices to come along and do their bit for the community in these circumstances without the risk of having to get involved in anything too risky, not even playing a bag snatcher. More of that later. 

The kids enjoyed the large fires, marvelled at the arrival, with all horns blazing, of the Fire Service and I must say that the plumes of smoke as the fires were extinguished was truly impressive.

Kids, being kids, seemed to enjoy all the exciting and gory stuff far more than the entertaining but informative stuff. A great narrative by the presenter describing how the exciting stuff happens, when it happens, is far more focus holding than the safety first but essentially boring things like how to approach a fire, or a good bandaging technique. These things were  lost once the real good things started to happen. Out with the boys toys to cut the top off a car, the ambulance evacuation of a heavily injured casualty (obviously simulated, blood and all, I hope) and the Police car chase around the large arena. All very exciting.

Not, however, as exciting as someone’s sniffer dog pissing on one of the brigade’s displays causing a large degree of cheering. After all they were only going to set fire to it so it didn’t matter. All of this was a mere trifle compared to the sight of a canine hot footing in pursuit of the handbag snatcher who had, by prior arrangement of course, robbed a lady teacher of her handbag and foolishly run off across the large open arena in an effort to escape the clutches of the good guys. Like a cartoon exaggeration of the archetypal pantomime baddie, the boo’s soon evaporated into muted cheers of expectation. Something was going to happen, these kids are not stupid. The National Curriculum must be working.

Enter stage left, trusty Police Dog handler, like some super hero but without the cape or underpants on the outside, large dog accompanied by even larger crown anticipation. The level of cheering increasing in a crescendo to match the closing gap between dog and bag snatcher, followed in due course by canine affixing to a body part of bag snatcher followed by enormous applause as bag snatcher hits the ground in a crumpled heap with canine on top of him. The mad man with the rather large and threatening stick got a great ovation, but only when submerged under 100lbs of determined canine attitude. I wonder how many sanctioned detections or at least NFA’s we might be able to get out of this lot ?

Give’em action every time. They can sit on bikes or in cars, climb ladders and try on helmets, they can talk on radios or be taken for a quick but safe spin in the trucks, turn on the horns and lights but nothing, and I mean nothing, nothing goes down better than one of the dogs chasing and nailing the fugitive. No amount of talking has the same effect. If only everything in life was this simple, the world would be a far better place. We were cooking, and the first bite is with the eye, as it were.

In addition to the above, the CTC Constabulary, in true Police Dogs tradition, is hosting the 15th No12 Region Dogs trials with competitors from Ruralshire ConstabularyBlandshire Constabulary and it is expected that PC Plod will be the only entrant from the Northern Sector or the Region in attendance. I haven’t had a reply from BP so don’t know if any representative will be coming from there.This is as long as they are free from all their excessive form filling and target hitting. It could be embarrassing with just the three of us but at least we can keep all the trophies. We will be doing the stuff at the weekend so there will be plenty of space to park in the car park. The budget has been cut for this so we will have to bring our own packed lunches and drinks for the dogs.

You couldn’t make it up.

It seems that Police Dogs can be scary. Some times at least.

I presume this is not the cuddly but somewhat hyperactive little springers or cocker spaniels, the sociable but eternally affable labradors often used in the realms of drugs and explosives detection work. I can only assume that this is aimed at the larger and less understood larger and often deemed ‘bitey’ dogs.

The malleys, rotties, GS Dees of the general policing dog world. The ones used to support the response officers by finding the miscreants and general unlikeable elements of our crime ridden and imperfect society as well as the lost and vulnerable or eternally stupid. 

According to one daily rag there are concerns over the use of Police dogs. As a result the liberal and weak kneed are running for cover following another serious bout of arse covering for a perceived deluge of compo claims because our Dean-Dale-Darren-Shaun-Shane-Carl-Dom or whatever name exists has a bit of a problem with canine allergies or the like. Not just the problem with the sharp bits but also the lustrous and furry coat of said beasts.

Police dog handlers have been told to consider whether criminals could be frightened of dogs before using them in raids or searches.

They should also think carefully about the possibility of suspects being allergic to dog hair, according to draft guidelines drawn up by senior officers.

The proposals follow fears that suspects with medical conditions affected by dogs could sue forces which authorise the animals’ use during arrests or raids.

Peter Vaughan, the Association of Chief Police Officers’ adviser on dogs, explained the principle behind the proposals.

‘The draft guidelines outline a general principle that forces should consider what steps can be taken to avoid offending people during operations.’

Mr Vaughan, a deputy chief constable of South Wales Police, added: ‘This might include different categories of people such as those with a fear of dogs, for example, or asthma sufferers who may be sensitive to dog hair.’

PC David Heaps, a dog handling trainer at Derbyshire Constabulary, added: ‘We are very mindful not to cause offence.’

However a serving dog handler, who asked not to be named, declared: ‘I have never heard anything so ridiculous. What’s next? Sparing people custody because they have a fear of enclosed spaces?

‘This is just another example of namby-pamby policing laid down by people who haven’t been on the beat in years.’

One thing is for certain. If you commit crime, try to escape, engage in acts of violence or threats of violence and there is a large Police Dog deployed in the area, unless you comply with the instructions you might be given if the circumstances allow you are likely to face a good chance of an introduction to some serious canine dentistry. This is likely to smart a bit and might even require a visit to hospital. Itis also quite likely that you will carry a visible reminder and a hard learned memory as a result of your actions.

Oh yes…………..we also find lost and missing people who do not face hospitalisation or the need to be sewn back together after a meeting with our dogs.

I am beginning to understand why the warning on a packet of nuts states…….quite clearly………This product contains nuts. Its time for that darkened room again.

Progress and change.

Progress and change are at the forefront of Policing advancement. They suggest moving forward in a positive and meaningful way. They are the bywords of those who have the power to change things, sometimes for the better. they are the words used to create an upward and positive picture at times when negativity and reluctance need clarity to focus the mind towards the bigger picture that only the gifted and visionary few can really see and understand.  Change appears to be the sibling of progress and one is bereft of any worthy existence without the other. To oppose change is to deny progress and be a traitor and blind to the positive outcomes that progress and change can bring.

To the eyes of everyone ?            Possibly not.

 At the CTCC it appears that we are having a bit of a problem.

There simply do not appear to be enough Police Officers to go around. We appear to have run out and have no reserves to draw on.

We are failing to answer calls received at the Communications Suite that is now strategically placed at the hub of the multiverse within the Constabulary HQ. Despite the gradual reduction from a control room on each district we are down to one. Less staff collectively, more efficient computers, an alarmingly effective progression and a good sign of the progress we have made. After all the seats now don’t only swivel, they have low friction casters instead of wheels and the backrests are adjustable. Message reminders and other various levels of threats covering the host of operational jobs can be emailed to the unfortunate recipient at the simple touch of a button. 

A sign of the change, therefore also progress, from several control rooms to one control suite, less staff, more efficient and effective ? No need for local knowledge in the world of technological development.

There are umpteen thousand more calls received reporting everything from a burglary in progress to the loss of our sister’s cat called Einstein. There are equally more calls that require what is now deemed to be ‘Policing Intervention’. Exactly what that means I am not quite sure. I expect it has its own strategic definition as well as its own risk assessment protocols.

Add to these ever increasing calls received at the Communications suite, answered, graded, forwarded to a separate dispatch wing of the Communications conglomerate with its own logo and catchy mission statement, you then have the devolvement of responsibility to the ‘resource’ allocated to deal with the incident requiring this Policing Intervention.

The Response part of the chain of Policing Intervention then deals with the incident that requires such intervention…………..I shall reword that. The Response part of the chain then adds the incident that requires Policing Intervention to its already long list of similar things that require Policing Intervention.  As a result the regrading merry go round spins and things reorganise themselves in the shuffle to prioritise the workload.

With all the other resources deemed available, the dog handlers, traffic officers, firearms reaction teams, the big vans you are always glad to see turn up, the community beat officers, the PCSO’s and we move onto the various squads of targetting teams and tactical detection squads and one would think that there are more than enough around to deal with what is always a simple & minor incident that is always claimed can be dealt with in a few minutes.

A call allocated, another call sheet written off, only thing needed is an incident closure detail finalisation to get this one out of the way. Following the call, after the suitably timed closure details reminder message from he/she who checks such stuff, it turns out that the unit has not attended yet. What are response, or whoever was allocated this particular incident for Policing Intervention, doing that has delayed them so. After all we have targets to hit for answering calls, for allocating a resource to attend and for finalising the incident closure sheet. This is how the cut throat and devisive world of things that be measured operates.

The one big spanner in this otherwise faultless plan, is there are simply not enough Police Officers out on the ground to make this system work. We have sunken to almost an entirely Fire Brigade type of response towards Policing Intervention incidents.

There are not enough Community beat officers.

There are not enough Police Officers on the response groups.

There are not enough dog handlers, traffic officers, teams of burly and fearless officers who arrive at times of disturbance, distress or to look for things in ways that only they know about.

There will never be enough because there are no more locked away in the ranks of the back-up legions in the secret resourcing room waiting to be unleashed in case of emergency at times of Policing Intervention need. 

In times of need, the need to have bods on the streets to deal with the high demand for Policing Intervention of the responce nature but where have all our Police officers gone ?

Some have swelled the layers of the firearms response teams neatly hidden amongst the ranks of the traffic departments. Their numbers look great but they have less to deal with the major road networks and their own targets.

Some have formed into various crime, tactical or strategic legions of targetting squads dedicated to hitting the places that other beers cannot reach by way of the latest crime or other antisocial and trendy concern of the community, political agenda or media.

In real terms the Police Officers working what , for years, have been our core shift pattern, and providing the 24/7 response have fallen to a staggeringly low level.

The numbers of specialist support officers who perform the basic levels of specialist support to these 24/7 officers have had additional workloads placed on them because of the need to prove they are worthwhile, effective and efficient. This takes then further away from their core purpose of supplying a specialist support role to the 24/7 operation response officers.

The modern, business led, tactical and strategic phraseology dresses up business related protocols and evaluations to try to somehow justify the cost of the service we provide. The insistence on following the business and market trends to somehow provide a balance sheet of effectiveness that is understandable in the free trade or business environment but holds little sway with genuine and service provision.

Service is viewed through the balance sheet and the focus of the provision is lost on people who control what is provided under a cloak of corporate accountability and effective management of their business case strategies.

If a shop keeps selling out of baked beans the answer is to get in more baked beans to keep the punters happy. This is all about supply to your demand. A business scenario based on the need to make profit.

The Police are not a business. The Police are service providers. The Police Officers who work on the streets, in all their guises and specialisations, provide that service.

At the CTCC it would come as no surprise if we will be billing for specialist support soon. The Specialist Dog Support units will be billing our customers for our kind of specialist support. Our customers will not the public, or the victim. They will be the district of whatever geographical area might consider it necessary to call a dog handler to attend an incident that requires Police Intervention that has a business case for the need of canine support.

I can picture the scene……………………….Officer A, from Area K attends a domestic intrusion with accompanying theft of property marker. Officer A carries out an initial scene evaluation in accordance with the relevant tactical instruction policy. Officer A relays this information to a supervisor who further evaluates this to see if the criteria fall within the necessary band of specialist strategic support. Supervisor is able to produce initial evidence of a suitable business case for a request of a dog support team to attend. Communications are informed and given the appropriate coding to call for dog support.

Dog support is requested and arrival time estimated at 1.35 hours because of centralisation and travelling time. Dog support arrives, offers relevant specialist support and leaves without location of suspect although property possibly linked to domestic intrusion has been located and seized for possible Scenes of Crime Officer examination, subject to a likely business case accepted and approved for this to take place.

District K will be invoiced for Dog Support attendance, including travelling. District K will also face likely costs for Scenes of crimes examination costs.

Should offender be traced/charged/convicted then costs recovery arm of asset recovery unit will try to reclaim costs as part of compensation package. A form of debt recovery.

The future is bright…….the future is business…………and that is progress. That is the only thing that some people can understand. That will never change. Thats progress.

Send in the dogs.

Not being a particularly great lover of the square box, I would like to recommend this program for a bit of a look. Four part docu-real life thingy shown on ITV with glimpses of how the canine support is utilised for a whole variety of reasons. Everyone knows the dogs can track, search and bite, but this will give a greater insight into all things canine as part of the specialist support our dogs provide to the front line response Police Officers on the streets for 24 hours of every day of every year.

I am recording it and showing it to the SMT of the CTCC so they get an idea of what dogs can offer by way of specialist dog support, hopefully they will then consider less reduction in numbers.

The troops will already know how we can help them, that is what matters.

If you missed it for any reason, forgot to set the times correctly on the vid, then you can watch it here. 

Enjoy.

3 hour rule.

Moving onto the three day rule reduction………now to be the three hour rule……………Guidelines ordering police to respond to emergency calls within three hours and to attend less urgent incidents such as burglaries within three days have been drawn up by the Home Office.

The astonishing proposals were designed as ‘national standards for local policing’ in England and Wales.

They laid down a three-hour target for officers to reach an incident which ‘requires policing intervention’.

What is an incident that requires Policing intervention ?

The leaked draft targets were to be included in the Government’s long-awaited Green Paper on police reform.

But after a barrage of criticism from the Opposition yesterday – which accused the Government of being out of touch with the public – Home Office officials insisted the targets will not appear in the final version of the paper when it is published tomorrow.

The apparent disarray follows Home Secretary Jacqui Smith’s startling U-turn over proposals to force knife-crime offenders to confront victims in hospitals. That plan was floated and ditched within 24 hours.

The proposals for response times – part of a ‘Police Pledge’ to the public – appear to be so modest that they would be of little value as performance targets.

At present, each police force sets its own response target times.

The Metropolitan Police aims to attend 90 per cent of emergency calls within 12 minutes and 90 per cent of non urgent incidents within one hour, for example.

Here at the CTCC, the approach is far more pragmatic. If we have not got the officers to attend because they are committed elsewhere, them you will have to wait. And targets…………don’t get me going on these.

We have formed a steering group to set up a review panel who will oversee the set up of a tasking team who will have a series of meeting to discuss the proposals and evaluate a response by the end of the next fiscal review period where the implications will be discussed over coffee. The meetings will be minuted and forwarded to the steering group so they will be able to evaluate any variations in the short term trends of the developing incident attendance audits. Lunches, of course, will be provided, at a venue away from the CTCC HQ to allow for better free-thinking and better environmental tactical strategies to make a positive issue from this. There will be consideration to a secondary review over a possible re-organisation.

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