October 6th, 2006

We’ve got Form(s)

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Oh joy, it’s Activity Analysis again soon.

This is a time when the tax-payer of this great nation gets to pay police officers up and down the land lots of money for not doing police work. (should that be even more not doing police work?).

For two weeks each year we have to fill in forms which shows exactly what type of activity we’ve been doing every 15 minutes for the whole 8-10 hour shift. We have big forms, they’re like multiple choice exams which have all the usual types of police activity listed and we tick which ones apply every 15 minutes. There are things like responding to incident, at scene dealing with incident, incident-related paperwork, dealing with arrest,  dealing with shite job which has nothing to do with the police  (OK that one’s not in there but if it was it would account for most of the ticks each day).

One problem with filling in the forms is that unfortunately, nothing takes 15 minutes to deal with. If you take 8 minutes to travel to a job and 8 minutes dealing with it, is that particular box meant to show travel or incident? I have no idea, oh, and it’s 16 minutes so does one minute worth of tick go in the next box?

Another problem is that nobody is actually interested in assisting the department of bean counting with their meaningless stats so nobody takes it seriously, most people don’t actually have time to complete them, nobody is willing to stay after the shift unpaid to fill them out, consequently like 79.56 per cent of all other stats, they are simply made up. There are cases where officers have ticked exactly the same boxes every day for two weeks and nobody notices.

The biggest problem is, of course, that they are completely pointless. The only possible use I have ever heard for them is that some politician on TV sometimes says'”did you know police officers spend less than 33.67 per cent of their time on patrol?” Nobody actually does anything about it so what’s the point. I can’t remember when they started but it must be 10 years or more and I have never, ever, heard of any changes being made as a direct result of anything we ever recorded on these forms, yet every single officer is expected to do it every day for two weeks each year. There are departments of HQ whose entire job is to deal with the forms, I’m sure there are departments at the Home Office whose sole purpose is to count all the ticks and there must be a department responsible for disposing of the forms into some black hole somewhere since they are never acted upon.

I’m led to believe that PCSOs also have to do them, only at a different time of year which is, I assume, to make sure there is at least some kind of uniform presence on the street whilst everyone else is form-filling back at the nick.

I fill these bloody questionnaires in ever year and nobody ever tells me whether I”ve passed or not and you can’t take them home for the kids to draw on because they are covered in damn tick boxes.


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