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

As with everything within the Police organisations, things change. This is one of the signs of ‘progress’ that the management constantly talk about. Change is always talked about as being beneficial. There are a whole long list of changes that always have benefits, in fact countless benefits if those sceptics amongst us could put aside their obvious doubts and dwell on the positives. All too often the sceptics are deemed to be resistant to change or fail to see the bigger picture. Sceptics are traitors who fail to see the obvious clear wider benefits for the organisation.

It appears that every time there is a change in management, there is a change or reorganisation looming over the near horizon. This change is always deemed a success yet this change always seems to have such a damaging effect on the morale of those who this change affects most of all.

This change and bigger picture only ever seem to benefit one group of people, and that is the ones who insist that change is somehow better for everyone, certainly for them as they need this better to actually be better because they develop and progress their careers on this being better.

In fact we must constantly be in a real mess to necessitate all this change, all the time, whenever the ship is steered to a new and exciting course by the new master at the helm.

All this change never reflects on the previous captain of said ship, the changer of the previous course from the course before that also must have been so deeply and dangerously flawed. We seem to lurch from one flawed course to another, and another.

When you look at the subject of applications for a specialist role as part of your career development you will see that on one side there is a will to operate within the real world.

On the other side there is a distinct determination to operate within the cosy boundaries of fantasy world. 

When these two worlds collide the effects are both dramatic and sometimes devastating.

For CID applicants for example. There has been a change away from………….well CID work in general because the time established traits of CID officers have moved away from links with a practical ability to do the job. I have seen an officer with one of the best interview techniques I have ever seen rejected because there was a lack of particular evidence in a paper application process.

I have seen someone who would have made another excellent positional choice rejected because of the wrong type of strategic experience.

I have seen applicants weeded at a paper-sift stage without consideration for experience, aptitude or skills within a specifically chosen area and lesser able individuals successful because they looked a more attractive case on paper or interviewed better.

These systems of change have been brought in because in the world of all that is perceived to be fair and equal, there is no need to cloud the decision making processes by incorporating skills necessary to do the job. This makes it easier for those who make decisions based on what they know and understand but without having to refer to what is needed for the job to be done.

Consider this. In the fictitious world of the CTC Constabulary we have recently undergone assessments for new dog handlers.

Selection 1: Within the invented world of Constabulary A, the following would form part of the selection process. 

Written application would be important, as this would allow applicants to evidence relevant experiences, skills and prove their qualities as dog handlers. Also evidence from others, perhaps experienced who have trained with the applicants or know any steps taken to find out about the expectations of the role.

 Experience, expertise, ability and aptitude count for everything. As well as these the potential handler must be a team player and be able to interact well with other individuals or groups. 

Selection would be considered by those who possess a good level of knowledge and experience about the subject matter. In this world experience and expertise easily outweigh rank and lack of knowledge within the chosen field. There are also other physical components of the role that are pretty well essential, like the ability to carry or lift your dog, like not being afraid of dogs in case you get bitten or attacked during a dangerous dog incident , during training or in public order situations. Yes this does happen.

 Selection 2: Now consider the fictitious world that exists within Constabulary B. How would the selection processes work here?  The written application would count for everything, as you could face losing out at the paper-sift stage. You would have to write 900 words on the following areas with 300 words allocated to each area. 

(1)  Maintaining standards of professional practice.

(2)  Community and customer focus.

(3)  Respect for Race & Diversity. 

In this world the level of experience, expertise, ability and aptitude would count for little or nothing. 

Selection would be considered by those who possess little or no knowledge and experience about the subject matter. The important thing is to ensure that everything is seen to be fair, impartial and no one is disadvantaged. Great care would have been given to the processes involved. This will ensure there are no grievances about the selection processes that minority groups, which are under-represented at the moment, are encouraged to apply. The usual business case time and activity based costings and will have considered. Performance criteria should be considered as the statistical evidence shows a significant lack of positive search results which impact negatively upon the desired positive outcomes for the corporate forecasts of the current tactical period. 

In one world skills, experience and expertise count for everything, in the other they appear to count for little or nothing and be seemingly irrelevant. 

In one world the ability to promote yourself on a meaningless and possibly irrelevant but in-vogue set of written and evidenced subjects distanced from the core subject seem to count for everything and in the other they are important but not as important as the core subject.

Two worlds……………collision…………..success……………new course.

The circle of certainty is again complete.


3 Responses

  1. Absolutely bang on target. Nothing I could add to that. You have identified and filleted everything that made the old selection system good and everything that makes the new selection systems suck.

  2. WEB you sound like you work for a force very similar to the one i used to be involved in the recruitment and competency boards on (i was an MoP not a PC).

    Unfortunately they’re a bit ahead of you – i left there at least 6 years ago and it had already happened to the ARU, PSU and CID teams. God knows what state it’s in these days.

    Still not to worry the next step is for the Government to de-skill the entire force. Oh wait they’re already doing that – PCSO’s.

  3. […] When two worlds collide. […]

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