Well I have heard (again) that the Government wants to reduce bureaucracy, reduce paperwork and get us out onto the streets more. After all, thats what the public want. Thats the way to deter crime and increase public confidence and the feeling of safety. How many times have we heard this before.
The problem is that all these efforts to do this seem to be utter rubbish. As the tide of reducing paperwork ebbs the tide of accountability and measuring paperwork flows. They don’t even cancel each other out.
The increase in statistical information is the only boom industry we have, all in the name of micro-managing the distrust the management have in the troops and the efforts to justify how they manage us. There are positive efforts to ensure that this information is submitted daily, weekly or monthly, depending for when the next management meeting is likely to be.
More time than ever is being used to complete and submit these electronically originated numbers so itis easy for the management to collate them and ‘see’ what we are doing without actually finding out for themselves.
Constantly, and I mean constantly, we are reminded that we are Police Officers but this only seems to apply applies to what Noddy called the ‘bottom feeders’ within the Force. The blame for this doesn’t all rest with the Government, some of it lies with the levels of management who insist that this is the best way forward.
We haven’t really looked forward from the audit commission report, some years past,that regarded constables on the beat as a waste of space and not really productive. They believed them to be an inefficient use of resources. This was because so much of what they did was not measurable within the big business context of how things work.
The efforts seem to be to show how well the machine runs, how efficiently itis maintained and managed without the same regards for what the machine actually does.
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