• 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.
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    “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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Lets face the music.

The latest round of budgetary and finance meetings at the CTCC appear to have generated more fervour over the need to slash all district and department budgets as well the really big budget with nothing being too radical for the bean counters to ensure that they hit their targets of cutting costs…………………making efficiency savings……………….making Policing affordable…………………ensuring greater value for money………………….or any other of the trendy buzz words or phrases that mean that severe savings will be made during the next few years.

As is the trend, when we show that we can operate within the new, tighter fiscal constraints it will be accepted that this will be the norm and the relevant mouth-pieces will claim how much more efficient and affordable Policing has become under their watch. Target achieving bonuses could be the order of the day.

The CTCC will start by stopping recruitment to give an early boost to the projected efficiency figures. Reduction in fleet and fleet maintenance could help offer more to the coffers and consideration to the removal of the PCSO scheme provides a huge savings. With less PCSO’s out there there will be less need for Police officers to sort out the mess and deal with whatever can’t be dealt with straight away. In the long run this will be cheaper than all that extra training and just think about what could be done with those extra vehicles.

As many skilled, dedicated  and experienced officers retire from CID, traffic, specialist support units, dogs sections, etc etc etc and are not replaced or continue with lesser numbers to limit the damage done to response teams, the real issues over how we deal with core response and specialist support response business will raise their heads and the political statements will be made to claim how much better everything is.

Every facet of the service delivery has been measured by the CTCC and its leadership legions, converted into whatever is the current in-vogue of business case comparisons that allow the time and motion multipliers or the business models to evaluate performance figures and show what is worthy of selection to score the most short-term political gain and the most positive headlines.

All this against the latest list of crackdowns that are promoted at every short-term headline generated problem. All this against the constant illusion the is portrayed that everything is somehow alright. All this against the never-ending workload that continues 24/7 to overpower the reducing numbers of officers available to keep the ship afloat. All this against the backdrop of layers of accountability and micro-management by people who really should know better and have long since forgotten how difficult the job can be on occasions.  

Add all this and multiply into the public sector pot of education, medication, incarceration and local council services and there will be trouble ahead.  The layers of corporate accountability will continue to make positive noises as if nothing has happened and everything is under control.  No dancing,  no moonlight or time for romance.  Just who will face the music will probably be those at the bottom of the food chain because they are the ones who get put firmly in the limelight by those who manage and administrate.

On a wider point, for all this financial mess that no-one appears to have become accountable for (despite government claims of transparency and accountability) yet almost everyone will suffer by. The road network which appears to be totally under maintained in far too many places despite the amounts of money collected by car tax and tax on petrol. Where has  all our money gone ?  I suppose that something must support those non-contributers and scroungers who are supported care of the benefits  system. 

Come to think of it, just about everything is taxed, including motoring and fuel. What is not will soon be under the keen telescopic sight of whichever colour claims to have the electoral mandate.


3 Responses

  1. As most forces move towards ‘All Crime Attendance’ and follow-up visits to victims of crime that clearly aren’t going anywhere… are you suggesting these jobs should be done by LBO’s or officers on shift?

    I think not.

    All I see at the moment is that radical increase in workload that the Police Officers I work with would have, were I not to be there.

    “With less PCSO’s out there there will be less need for Police officers to sort out the mess and deal with whatever can’t be dealt with straight away. In the long run this will be cheaper than all that extra training and just think about what could be done with those extra vehicles.”

    Mess? I’ve never called a Police Officer out when i’m on patrol. The only time I’ve had to pass things on to a Police Officer are when they’ve already come through the Control Room or the Enquiry Centre… ergo they would end up in the hands of a Police Officer anyway.

    As for vehicles…. I don’t drive Police vehicles? Nor do any of my colleages. We walk and we cycle, as per our role.

    I’m not being bitter, just putting a few corrections in. I understand that many who haven’t worked directly on Neighbourhoods/Beats do not understand what PCSOs do or how their work interacts with that of a Police Officer.

    Again, don’t want to sound like i’m having too much of a moan… but I don’t tend to make a habit of creating work for others. If I make something, I do it myself.

  2. Paul. Since you have taken on only part of the total message I will stick with that. PCSO’s were introduced to try to get more uniformed ‘officers’ on the street, seen and highly visible, as a cheaper alternative to Police Constables. The overwhelming duty hours chasing targets that change on a regular basis do not necessarily reflect the crime trends but seem to be used to show how well one station/district/force is doing when compared with another against business case comparisons after the ‘service’ is measured to be understandable by people who have no inclination to look at the ‘service’ provided. PCSO’s are a cheaper form of uniformed presence than Police Constables. Some are good, some are bad, such is the way. The certain thing is that there are nowhere near enough Police Constables to do all the things that it is claimed we can do so PCSO’s filled some of the space. There will never be enough so the government tried to convince everyone that this was the answer, at a lot less cost as well. This is part of following continental Europe where there are tiers of Policing for a variety of social problems that require some form of Policing intervention. The uniformed Police dealing with serious crime and offences and the uniformed support levels dealing with normal activities that are deemed to be non-urgent or of lower importance. In the UK we are in a transition period between what we have done for decades into what the bean counters and politicos want to achieve to save money and create the illusion that nothing has changed. Any Police officer with decades of service will tell you this. Not because they are dinosuars, resistent to change or want to rock the boat. simply because they have seen dramatic change, most of it to score political points and to make short term headlines or statements. When the axe is swung to save money, under the heading of making things more efficient/affordable etc, nothing is exempt. Not even PCSO’s. These were not singled out but are part of the bigger picture which you appear to have chosen not to see. At the CTCC the streamlining of the PCSO role is a polite way of saving money but, at the same time, still being seen to promote the brand. As the funding from the government dries up and the costs are included into the next budget nothing will escape the swing of the axe. Only things like health & safety, diversity and recording of statistics will be safe. Bonuses for hitting targets will ensure that targets are met and the politicos get their way without having to be at the sharp end yet still making all the rules.

  3. I agreed with your overall article… it was just the “mess” remark that I thought was bizarrely out of step with the rest.

    I agree with everything else you’ve said and think that’s a perfectly fair response.

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