• 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.
  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    whichendbites on Try saying……..inst…
    Diem Burden on Try saying……..inst…
    Diem Burden on Who am I ?
    Dogman on Section within a section, with…
    annettes blog on Ghost of Christmas past……
  • 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.

The management make the rules and answer to……………..?

Well we have finished with the interviews. The management have not found anything unusual from other dog units in our family of Forces as it is clear that we all play by the same rules, the recommendations from the manual. With all handlers and trainers interviewed it is again clear that there has been some form of a witch hunt where the insurgents have been protected no matter how poor a handler they are or how unsubstantiated the allegations are. Some of the handlers are worried as they have absolutely no idea why they were asked some of the questions. After several months we hope that we can start training again. The management want change but without consideration and apparent lack of concern for the animal side of the working relationship. They also have no understanding of what it takes in the area of dog training and have been able to cherry pick snippets that fit the profile of their own agenda. Even to the position of getting other trainers in to train the trainers of dogs how to train handlers but without the specialist knowledge, proven experience and aptitude. They would be happy if the roles were reversed and rightly so.

But with the federation assuring us there is nothing to worry about and management clearly gunning for someone to prevent egg on their faces for a massive over-reaction, the transferees have had their disciplinaries behind closed doors and been found guilty without the chance to get witnesses in to support their own case. Having got the cases against them ‘proved’ they are back at work almost doing what they did before which is very hypocritical of the management who want to be seen to stamp out what has been alleged.

The insurgents will not be happy as they will have hoped as their little list of allegations have, almost without question, held no water at all. Handlers are back at work and the section is firmly split into 2 factions. The handlers on one side and the small group of insurgents whom nobody trusts on the other. Everyone is supposed get on as though nothing has happened and to treat it as no knives were pushed into no-ones backs. All this despite some of the handlers not being of proven ability or having been nursed through their limited specialist support career. The only winners appear to be the management who have got some form of result and are the only real bullies in the whole sorry situation. Only damage has been done, personal reputations have been sullied at the bottom of the food chain. Handshakes all around at the top table whilst the bottom dwellers now have to pick up the pieces. Slowly but surely the management faces will change but the damage this has caused goes a lot farther.

The fact is that everyone the management has brought in has been forewarned of the management position and has been expected to follow the management lone no matter what the facts were. Some handlers and trainers have been very badly prejudged as a result as a result of spurious and unsubstantiated allegations. The management have bent over backwards to help and protect people who are now untouchable. Not a single bad word will be heard against them and several reports will never see the light of day, no matter how relevant, honest and evidence based they are. There is little doubt that some of them have seized the opportunity to score some important career enhancing points.

All this leaves a very bad taste in the mouth. The cynical hypocrisy and double standards, the secret agenda and the bullying of the management are to be expected as in this case rank clearly believes it is right, even without being in full possession of all the relevant facts.

 

The management are always right…………yet again….

Well after a weekend off and the possibilities beginning to sink in about our future at the CCTC Dog Training wing, we have been introduced to the new faces that are going to turn us around and get us up to the management’s liking. We have been told that we are not fit for purpose, what ever that means? Without any disrespect to those new faces involved, they have clearly been told that we have some problems and need to be sorted out. We have been painted a new and erroneous shade and the paint is still not yet dry.

Despite regular feedback from confused handlers are very supportive but who know less about somethings and have only been given the management side of the picture and will all be interviewed, at some stage. What exactly is going on.

To make things worse and more confusing, the management’s general who has been allocated to resolve our issues, with or without us, has now told us we have done nothing wrong. With all our collective years of experience we know that something stinks but it is clear that the generals are after someone or some of them after something.

We face weeks of being re-chipped by people who don’t know the first thing about training working dogs, have never handled a working dog but think that it is some kind of stroll in the park. We should be able to say exactly what state of development any dog should be at any given day in any given exercise during a course that lasts for up to 12 weeks. Despite all dogs learning at different paces, becoming proficient at different paces and some excellent dogs pick things up late in the course and sometimes overrun by a week or two for some individuals. Their philosophy seems to be that anyone who is any kind of trainer can train the handlers to train the dog. All the ‘knowledge’  to do this is contained in the manual.

The type of prescriptive layout the generals want may suit most of the other areas of training but dogs need a great deal more flexibility as they are not blessed with the same level of understanding and ability to learn as human counterparts within the CCTC. The assessment methodology is also different prior to selection and through constant assessment and evaluation done by proven and experienced dog handlers-instructors, many dogs complete to the licencing criteria level.

Yet the generals have been in touch with one of our neighboring family of forces at the Shire Constabulary to see what they do, to see if our methods are any different to theirs and as bad as the generals think they are, also to see how their ideas and implimentation are so much better than ours and what we do, also to see if they get their blades honed any sharper by a level of great shock and horror at what we seem to be doing so badly. All this in total secrecy of course. In fact, nothing beats open and two way cross border collaboration to exchange views and improve what you do.

Some early warning of this secret tryst became apparent after an unnamed source spoke to another unnamed source wanting to know what the hell was going on. The doggie related interests mirror thousands of other similar interests and it became fairly obvious that there was some form of witch-hunt underway, with the generals already having their agenda set and their views of individuals clear in their own minds. Despite anything else, nothing was going to alter their perspectives or their plan. At least we knew some more about how we were all being pre-judged by our own generals.

So we are expected to re-write everything we do at the behest of people ignorant of what we do, how we do it and in contravention of the really big plan we use ourselves  based around our training and care manual. They appear to have missed the fact that dogs are only part of the issue and appear reluctant to add the human factor into the equation, making up the ‘team’.

Some of the spiders are beginning to crawl out from under the leaf litter on the ground and it will be interesting to see how things progress, or deteriorate, depending which side you are on that is how it has become.

The management?    Well they are always right…………….Rank over knowledge, experience and credibility every time.

 

The Management are always right…………..again……..

Another shining example of how the management are always right…………again. Thanks TBL.

There are also details of  Met officer James Patrick, who claims he was forced to resign from the force after raising concerns similar to those in the report.

Of course, management would never pre-judge someone, bully or intimidate them, because they are always right.

One day when I came into work…….

I arrived at work after the morning ritual exercise and response activities with the dog. Something was different. Instructor A had been called to HQ and has been suspended. The office is in shock, what on earth has happened? Whatever is going on in the CCTC?

It also transpired that  handler A has also been suspended. this was via rumour central and we were keen to get some meat on the bones of this one.

All training has been suspended, we still don’t know why but one of the generals is coming to have a bit of a chat with us. So we carry on with the dogs we have in. Whatever the management have in mind does not alter the fact we have feeding, cleaning and general welfare to consider. These responsibilities do not go away. 

We find out that Instructor A is subject of an investigation by the CCTC professional standards, as is Handler A. His dog is in kennels and someone has to try to make friends with it. Enter Instructor B from stage left.

As things unfold and more information is passed on we get the first idea of things that have been alleged and are told that things will change, we are out of touch and the new way forward will be either with us or without us. We face re-deployment.

Now this is a bit odd. We haven’t done anything. Yet the CCTC specialist support services management appeared to have allocated us prejudged guilt by some weird form of association at the least or, more importantly, spotted an opportunity to initiate plan A. Their plan not ours.

We are treated as though we have done something wrong.

We have not.

Slowly, a little bit at a time, day after day, the picture becomes clearer. The nature of the ‘allegations’ are laid before us. It appears that the specialist support training unit is deemed to have too much power and influence by some. Some handlers do not like, it appears, to be criticized about their performance and have taken issue with certain unnamed instructors.

All handlers will be interviewed and the way in which specialist training is delivered WILL change and be brought in line with another area of specialist training on the specialist support district and bench-marked against it for quality control purposes.

What about the manual?

You can’t just forget about the manual because you are a general?

Or can you?

You see, the management are always right…………….

I wonder what will happen tomorrow?

Management are always right…………..

Whenever the current management fancy a shake up within the specialist support resources of the Special Support Services Dept within the CCTC, for their own reasons camouflaged under whatever section of corporate speak is in vogue at any given time, they always get their way.  The smoke and mirrors of some form of reduction or redistribution concealed under the cloak of reorganization by stealth to prevent the real intent becoming general knowledge. With demands increasing reductions are the key to increased ‘efficiency’ to allow management to justify their position without a care how this impacts on those at the bottom of the food chain who are unaware and unable to grasp even a small understanding of the bigger picture. Whilst greater efficiency leads to shared, but greatly reduced, specialist resources the CCTC has teamed up with the County Constabulary and the Greater Shire Constabulary to forge new and combined links to ensure that more offenders are brought to justice and our streets are safer.  The end result is cost saving to allow the management to hit their budget saving targets at the expense of which ever specialist unit is least popular. If you don’t have the right sponsor then tough luck I am afraid. Following on from the reorganization of specialist dog training within the CCTC,  when the management deemed that the dog training specialists did not understand how train dogs and handlers and were incapable of doing so, it appears that steps are made to incorporate them within the Corporate training structure at the CCTC training wing at HQ. In fact the suggestion is that no specialist experience is necessary as anyone can train the handlers to train their dogs. Now it is all so easy peasy. More than this, every handler will have to apply for their role and selection will be based on the ability to perform in interview and not on the ability to get a dog to perform to the relevant benchmarks. So this suggests that if your face fits or you are fortunate to have some form of management backer as you have stabbed people in the back with spurious allegations that have affected non-related people, for whatever reason,  you are more likely to get a continuing role as a handler. You may be deemed to be untouchable, no matter how bad you really are. Such selection decisions will be made by a level of management who seem unaccountable to some for their actions and decision making processes. Although the faces may change and some of them may move, they seem answerable to no one and believe they are invincible and not subject to the same bullying, unfair and pre-determined views that directly affect how they treat the bottom dwellers who may have incurred their wrath for legitimate reasons or by association.

You see, at the end of the day, Management are always right………………..

Try saying……..instead of

Within the CTCC, they have recently undergone some ‘training’ in an effort to enlighten them and bring them up to date with the currently political correct hot subjects that appear to be put in place as some form of arse covering exercise. One of these diversity type issues included inappropriate language in the workplace, known locally round our way as swearing. I have some of my own views on this but have included some advice and some alternatives that could well be deemed to be appropriate.

Having a very mix of strategic geographical areas to cover with the CTCC (City, Town & County Constabulary) the various bases have collective terms by which they relate to each other. None of the comments are intended to be offensive or offer personal insult but are the friendly banter that has been taken and given as a small offer of humour to offset the darker things that exist. Not only is it now forbidden to engage in these so called inappropriate greetings or friendly banter but also a professional attitude at all times is the order of the day. Spontaneous outbreaks of morale by general piss-taking must stop forthwith. The ping pong of social friendly abuse between City ****ers, Town ****ers and County ****ers simply has to stop. We do not want people to be offended and get upset now do we.

And so it goes………………….

It  has been brought to management’s attention that some individuals throughout the  organisation have been using inappropriate language during the course of normal  conversation with their colleagues.

Due  to complaints received from some employees who have been offended, or some employees who might have been offended if they had been present when this type of inappropriate language may have been used, this type of  language will no longer be tolerated.


We  do, however, realize the critical importance of being able to accurately express  your feelings when communicating with colleagues.


Therefore,  a list of 13 New, strategic and Innovative “TRY SAYING” phrases have been provided so that  proper exchange of ideas and information can continue in an effective  manner.

1.
Try  Saying:
I think you could do with more training
Instead  Of:
You don’t have  a f***ing clue, do you?
2.
Try  Saying:
She’s an aggressive go-getter.
Instead  Of:
She’s a  f***ing power-crazy b*tch
3.
Try  Saying:
Perhaps I can work late
Instead  Of:
And when the  f*** do you expect me to do this?
4.
Try  Saying:
I’m certain that isn’t feasible
Instead  Of:
F*** off , you got no chance…..
5.
Try  Saying:
Really?
Instead  Of:
Well f*** me.
6.
Try  Saying:
Perhaps you should check with…
Instead  Of:
Tell someone  who gives a f***.
7.
Try  Saying:
I wasn’t involved in the project.
Instead  Of:
Not my f***ing  problem, mate.
8.
Try  Saying:
That’s interesting.
Instead  Of:
What the  f***?
9.
Try  Saying:
I’m not sure  this can be implemented within the given timescale.
Instead  Of:
No f***ing  chance mate.
10.
Try  Saying:
It will be tight, but I’ll try to schedule it in
Instead  Of:
Why the f***  didn’t you tell me that yesterday?
11.
Try  Saying:
He’s not  familiar with the issues
Instead  Of:
He’s got his  head up his f***ing a*se.
12.
Try  Saying:
Excuse me,  sir?
Instead  Of:
Oi, s*** for brains.
13.
Try  Saying:
Of course, I  was only going to be at home anyway
Instead  Of:
Yeah, who  needs f***ing holidays  anyway. Do you want blood as well.

Section within a section, within a section

Well the stuff has hit the proverbial fan somewhere deep within the inner sanctum of the CTCC management labyrinth of power. It seems as though an, as yet, unknown number of officers have made comments on pieces of paper at a conference that suggested that all is not well within the specialist field of canine specialist support. These comments, normally confined to fall on selectively deaf ears have, it seems, got a sponsor, who seeks to develop their career by stamping out such insurgency and has made sufficient ripples that the usual  brand of ignoring such trifles is not going to go away. This could turn out to be just too good an opportunity to miss. It is amazing how some stones remain un-turned but others, the small ones, get turned over and over again, despite absolutely nothing crawling out from underneath.

Hence a really big investigation is underway and those who do not play by the rules are to be ruthlessly sought out and redeployed if compliance is not total.

The established rules of engagement between the tried and trusted methodology of those with the experience, credibility and particular skills that have been assessed and honed at one of the country’s relevant training establishments, have become subject to the misguided claims of a small, but sufficiently supported minority, who seek to deflect some of the alleged short-comings they may have.

I dare say that the management will delve, seek to find something to justify their one sided beliefs and cast unfounded aspersions on a handful of specially selected individuals without listening to the other side. A cunning management plan will, no doubt, identify something that they want out of it all and nothing will get in the way of their aims. If all else fails, they could always tar everyone with the same brush to ensure that no one slips through the net. Heavens forbid, they might even decide to totally change the way the training is done by bringing in someone with no credibility or qualifications in the world of specialist dog training support, all this despite accredited documents and practices in place.

The taste of sour grapes from a particularly poor vintage are in the air, clouded only by the misguided and agenda based smoke and mirrors that accompany such events.

As is usual in such cases, their will be a few random scapegoats to allow the management to show their quest was somehow honorable and the originators will be given an effective shield of invincibility, immune from the slightest critique no matter how bad they might just be. Everyone will be expected to bury the chips on their shoulders and get along as though it really never, ever happened.

Glass houses and stones?

There you have it, effective management at its best…………. You really can’t beat it.

Ghost of Christmas past………

This is one from the archives……………………

 

Its a few days before Christmas.

Dave, as I’ll call him, an only son has come back on home leave. He’s in the Army.  He has been looking forward to coming home for months. A chance to relax, unwind and to have some quality time with his family and friends. He’s 18 years old and is looking forward to time with his family after a tour abroad and some beer with his mates.

He meets up with his best friend who I will call Steve. They go out for a couple of bevvies, meet up with some more friends and over the night and the talk of foreign places, catch up what they have been up to and keep no count of what they drink, why should they ?

Steve plans on leaving his motor bike in the pub car-park and walk home with Dave, who will be staying at his parents nearby. It gets late, too late and somehow the decision is made for the both of them to ride home on the bike.

Don’t know who made it, no one will ever know, but its too late to change it.

The tree at the roadside, on the bend, never even flinched.

The bike ?

Well, that was left in bits all across the road. Amongst the bits were two dials that gave up their secrets. They gave the road speed and the engine revs at the time the bike, Dave and Steve met the tree.

The people who can work these things out gave about 70 mph. Some of us tried to help them, to help the bendy-toy like bodies and the mess inside the helmets. They still groaned for help but nobody, anywhere, could have helped.

Some of us preserved the scene but we were unable to preserve their lives whilst the ambulance crew told us what we already knew. Others busied themselves with directing the passers by out of the way and towards the detours around the scene.

Then some of us had to go to visit the homes of these unfortunate lads, just young boys out for a great time.

The parents of Dave knew exactly. They knew that we brought bad news, even before their doorbell rang.

Parents can sense things, read your body language.

Just exactly how do you tell someone that their only son, who had come home for Christmas, was not coming home for Christmas ?

How on earth do you try to share their dread to try to make it easier for them, or perhaps easier for yourself ?

You can’t, no training can prepare you for this moment.

Are you the parents of Dave ? etc etc etc. You know and they know. You know that deep down inside they know what you know, not the exact details but that you hold a horrible secret.  But they still hope that you have somehow made a mistake, a terrible,terrible mistake.  Perhaps they have not heard you properly, in their personal moment of momentary denial that they have not heard you correctly, that this is some sort of a nasty dream.

But it is not.

Your mouth is dry, you got that funny thing fluttering in your stomach, you try not to stutter or mumble and get your message across clearly, concisely, as humbly and respectfully as possible. In their eyes are the questions that they simply do not know how to begin to ask you out loud. Someone has to go with them, luckily not me. No more awkward questions and no more awkward silences.

The parents of Steve wondered what trouble he had got himself into this time and couldn’t see the signs, too quick defending their son against all comers and thought there had been some form of conspiracy. Another case of mistaken identity or the wrong crowd he had got in with.

There had been no conspiracy. No wrong crowd. Not this time.

Only some terrible, terrible news. Then they were quiet.

We leave them to their grief. Here we are necessary trespassers but only for a short time.

Whilst we were left with protecting the scene for a closer examination the following day it dawned on me.

At 3 o’clock in early hours of a cold and frosty December night a new picture emerged that no-one had seen before.

A tyre mark, illuminated by the frost that ran for an awful distance around the bend, that bend, nearer and nearer towards that damned tree. Clear and vivid as though it had been painted onto the road.

No-one else had seen it, just me.

Closer and closer until it also met the same tree. Again the tree never even flinched. It all came back again, more vivid than before.

People moaned because the road was closed, how inconvenient for them. But they would probably enjoy their Christmas. They would be the lucky ones. I never slept for 3 days, never slept properly for weeks but I did have a Christmas, of sorts.

Like the birth of your child, the laugh of your loved one or the thoughts that make you smile, somethings you never, ever forget.  There are darker, helpless moments when you realise just how insignificant and useless you really are and how little you are able to change. no matter how hard you try

We never found out who was driving or who was pillion.

We only knew that two families would have a miserable Christmas. Lots of friends of the two families would be full of sadness. This would be a Christmas to remember, but for all the wrong reasons.

We just put it down to another life experience that helps us to deal with the next life experience in the hope we make a better job of it next time.

The bosses say to you, ‘be professional’.  But they never tell you about this.

Nobody tells you about this.

Police and Crime Commissioners

Having seen the new way forward of the election of PCC’s across the country, it was quickly apparent how low the turnout was and how lacking in interest many of the population were.

The CTCC Police area has got one newly ensconced and due to be sworn in to take up the reins of power.

There have been assurances that they will not be deciding Policing priorities but will be setting budgets.

How clever of the Government.

To deflect from the cuts in Policing budgets, why not spend a shed load of money to bring in a new regime of Police Commissioners to deal with setting the Policing budgets for all areas.

Then, unlike before, when there are complaints about lack of budget finances, the Government that brought in the system can claim it is somehow not their fault. It is the fault of the Commissioners, an elected person, as they have set the budgets, not the Government.

Yet again we see the Government deflect from the dwindling Policing budgets by being able to put the blame on someone else.

Delegate or sell off the problem and then blame everyone else when it all goes wrong.

At the same time expect all sorts of positive brand promotion to come out at every possible opportunity to show that the whole show has been an outstanding success. We will be assured that we will be getting the same or better service for a fraction of the cost. With this new, better, more efficient and effective Police service in far better value for money.

But out there in the real world…………………………away from the think-tank state of mind, or the offices where they dream up ways of cutting budgets to ‘save money’ because the current system is not sustainable, who do they think they are trying to get to believe them?

Guidance or Rules. Is there a difference?

In all the years I have been involved with Police Dogs, the one thing we tried our best to adhere to was the Home Office manual on the training and care of Police Dogs.

This manual of guidance was the bible. Over many years it was amended and modified and known under different names but the fact that it set out its parameters never changed.

Anyone who disregarded the rules deserved to be dealt with appropriately, be it in training, deployment or on matters of care and welfare.

More importantly, if you were not very good as a handler, or lacked the ability to train your dog(s) this could be evidenced and you could face the appropriate, ultimately removal from the world of working a Police Dog.

It appears that in some areas the ‘guidance’ now offered by the current document, despite being a Nationally accredited and accepted document, holds no sway with some members of the management in the CTCC and some parts of it can be disregarded. The inconvenient parts that is.

On the scales of the bigger picture, the one side of following the guidelines to show best practice and to protect handlers, instructors and the organisation is heavily offset by the other side where the state of mind in some areas is that the guidelines are exactly that. Only guidelines which we do not need to follow. Add to that a great deal of risk managing things and all handlers are safe in the knowledge that when their arses are on the line the organisation will be firmly behind them with relevant answers to the questions of why certain ‘guidelines’ may have been selectively ignored.

I hope this never happens as the management responsible for zephyrs of selective ignorance will have moved on and poor handler X may find themselves in the spotlight trying to justify things that have occurred as a result of management ignoring the rules, sorry guidelines.

There have been instances where training has become a dirty word, an activity that produces nothing measurable so can be reduced to provide more time for handlers to become more involved in doing things that can be measured and therefore better managed. Or the management already has a pre-determined agenda, their agenda.

Training is essential and vital.

This is because of a number or reasons.

The fact that the guidelines state so is one reason.

Producing better Police dogs is another.

Ignoring the guidelines for convenience is like juggling eggs.

Eventually someone will drop one.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.