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    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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We have another new initiative at the CTCC. We at the support services department are going to be inundated with Sumo’s as part of the new leadership team’s effort to get us doing all that is right and proper, despite our leader’s pledge to rid us of this evil that is bureaucracy. They have taken the step to move us from teams into groups, to make us more effective. Our leaders are now the only ones in teams as this sounds far more corporate and strategic whilst the bottom dwellers have been moved into groups, or perhaps herded into groups.

We got Sumo’s.

Not a number of large and robust oriental wrestler types trying to force each other out of a small rope circle, but Ssu’MOS.

Or to give it the trendy name,  Specialist Support Management Output Statistics…………… hence S-Su- M-O-S, shortened to SsUMOS.

We will have to record everything we do, keep a log on a weekly basis and submit monthly figures to our line supervisors, formerly Sergeants, by the 6th of the following month so it is available for the leadership team meeting. From there we can be identified as supporting the brand or as workshy, incompetent slackers. This new strategic method of recording will enable us to justify our existence, although some sceptics may say that it is another leadership tool that allows for the troops to managed by one person from behind one desk.

Effective and efficient for the leader but a damn sight more time consuming and inconvenient for those who will have to complete said statistical documentation. That is if there are enough computers terminals available to get the job done.

I dare say that the only wrestling taking place will be by the legions of personal assistants who will be grappling with the statistical data inputted for the benefit of the desktop leaders as they assemble their brigades for the next tactical period directives.

Don’t even mention trust and experience as it seems that we cannot be trusted to work some things out for ourselves.

From the data we will submit, for the benefit of someone else as usual, there is no account for the time it will take to complete these new, wonderful and totally auditable forms. We will be judged on what our leadership perceives to be their idea of core functions in an effort to be seen to be making us better performers in the target and statistics charts. Our perceived downtime will no longer be filled with things that only those who work with animals can understand, as we can apparently be far better utilised elsewhere in direct support of the far bigger plan.

We cannot evaluate our own best use of ‘non-committed’ time for directed patrols at the latest crime hot-spots, some training with our canine companions or district support and must now explain why we are not supporting the latest strategic tasking as allocated by one of the legion of intel analysts. Not only do we have to tell them what we are not doing, but also tell them why we are not doing it.

I feel the need for an Indian head massage coming on.

Perhaps we will follow suit and introduce these as well or we will invest the money in increasing our spin levels to promote the brand.

Someone has to finish last.


7 Responses

  1. FFS has it not occured to the powers that be you are meant to be police not inititivers no wonder the crime rate is through the roof. About 90% of posts of all police blogs seem to have so many initiatives that it is no wonder the police can not police.

  2. As a salesman, I once had a Sales Manager who wanted detailed reports of every sales visit, enquiry, site survey, quotation-request etc, etc. So he got them. Reams & reams of them.

    A enquiry from my Sales Director as to why my sales had plummeted received the response that I was too busy doing non-productive reports.

    Actual revenue-generating business reverted to “Priority 1”; I survived, the Manager was sacked!

    ?A lesson there, somewhere?

  3. Further to my above post, my enlightened current employer trusts his salesmen.

    We only have to submit one brief ‘report’ (1/2hr to complete) each month. The rest of our time is free to achieve the objective (sell as much as we can for the best price we can achieve.)

    He’s a good Manager. He knows his Team & their potential(s). If or When an individual’s results appear to be tailing off – he find’s out why.

    Has anyone explained to your Management that a Group can have disparate (& sometimes conflicting) objectives; yet a Team is actually a ‘Group’, who are all working towards the same objective?

  4. As in SUMO – the objective is to be the last one to step outside the marked area.

    As a one-time Collator (of local intelligence) I was aware that any initiative with a reporting ‘deadline’ can easily become a last minute rush of activity . A sort of ‘treasure hunt’ for flavour-of-the-month offences to make a good showing.

    To a truly dedicated ‘manager’ the important thing IS that “Someone has to finish last” – they can then point to their skill in aligning the beans in order. There will ALWAYS be a ‘worst school’ for Ofsted to criticise, a ‘failing service provider’ to upset Ofwat &c. – thereby justifying their continued existence.

  5. Excuse me but, is not the ‘U’ in SsUMOS. redundant? Or is it ‘useless’

    Joe, I once worked for a firm that ‘micromanaged’ its workforce. The more it micromanaged, the more hacked off the employees got. The more hacked off, the more managed… I left to work for another firm doing exactly the same job, My Customers are happy.

  6. We have a new boss who micromanages (although when he’s on shift with us “all night” he goes home two hours earlier than anyone else.)

    All this nonsense gives me a headache. Honestly, I can’t even bring myself to read about it properly never mind implement it. Can’t I just go out and arrest bad people??

  7. New Initiatives? Oh yes. They just love them don’t they? Blow the dust off something that was done back in the eighties, re-write a few bits and call it a new initiative.

    Someone will be calling for more bobbies on the beat again soon.

    If you want an example of something that really was a welcome and necessary new initiative, take moment to read the detail of the Police Pension Regulations – especially the bits that promise a pension for officers injured in the line of duty.

    You will see that injured officers were promised a pension for life if they suffered an injury that was not their fault, was permanent and so bad that they had to be required to retire.

    A great initiative, but the Government is now saying, ‘Well, we didn’t really mean that.’ In the interests of ‘fairness’ the Home Office issued some advice (they call it guidance) to Police Authorities in their Circular 46/2004.

    In Annex C to the Circular you can read this:

    ‘Review of Injury Pensions once Officers reach Age 65

    Once a former officer receiving an injury pension reaches the age of 65 they will have reached their State Pension Age irrespective of whether they are male or female. The force then has the discretion, in the absence of a cogent reason otherwise, to advise the SMP to place the former officer in the lowest band of Degree of Disablement. At such a point the former officer would normally no longer be expected to be earning a salary in the employment market.’

    So, former PC Plod, you are still crippled, unable to work and now you have had the gall to live to the ripe old age of 65? You ungrateful blighter! We will just have to finish you off then. Cutting your income in half should do the trick.

    Most of the forces in England and Wales have taken the Home Office guidance to heart and are enthusiatically applying it to disabled former officers.

    Many former officers are facing pension cuts of over £10,000 a year.

    If your readers feel strongly enough about this issue, would they please consider signing my petition, calling for the Home Office to rescind its guidance?

    The petition is on the No. 10 Downing Street web site at:


    Many thanks,

    John McCall

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