December 31st, 2009

Police are Wasters – Fact

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

At least they are according to Justice Minister Jack Straw.

Interviewed on Radio 4, in response to a point that police officers were often overworked, he said: “Some police officers, whatever they say, actually quite enjoy being in the police station in the warm. We are dealing with human beings, but we are also dealing with the kind of discipline and culture in the police service.”

In response to criticisms that officers were taking up to four hours to complete their paperwork on a case, he said: “good police officers will take an hour to fill in the same forms because they want to get out and catch criminals”.

Naturally, the Police Federation are up in arms about the comments. Simon Reed, vice-chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said the remarks were “irresponsible and inflammatory“.

It wasn’t police officers who brought in 3,000 new laws, it wasn’t police officers who brought in a 30-page prosecution file and it wasn’t police officers who brought in multiple forms and authorities to use a pair of binoculars,” he said.

This was all done by politicians. Police officers are not the architects of bureaucracy, they and the public are the victims of it.”

It probably won’t go down too well with the Federation or many readers of this blog but to deny Mr Straw’s comments out of hand is to deny an uncomfortable truth that there are officers who would rather spend their time in the warmth of the police station. There are officers who have made a whole career out of it. Many of them are not front line officers, they are people who spend a few years trying to get into the uniform, done their two years’ probation on the streets & then made a career out of going from one office job to the next. I know officers in my own force who haven’t been on the streets for 27 years or more.

There are also a certain section of frontline officers who spend more time trying to avoid jobs than they do actually attending them. Mr Straw is quite correct in some respects, though I’m not sure the problem is as widespread as his comments appear to suggest. I defy any of the many, many hardworking – and yes, overworked – officers not to be able to come up with an example of someone at their nick who always seems to take so much longer doing their paperwork than the rest of the shift, or who often ‘don’t hear’ the radio when the control room is trying to send them to a job, or take the long way round in the hope that another officer will get their first & pick up all the work.

When I worked the streets, I knew officers like this & now I’m in the control room I know it even more. When you work with the same people all the time you soon get to know who are the workers & who are the shirkers.

The shame is that the loudest comments about the police are always the critical ones, the vast bulk of very hard working & dedicated officers hardly get a mention. And, thinking about it, I guess this post is just another in a long line of that type from many quarters. I’ve always said that we in the police are good at doing ourselves down & rubbish at bigging ourselves up.

Perhaps 2010 is the time to start talking more of the good news in the police service.

Happy New Year & a prosperous & safe 2010 to you all….

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  1. Tony F says:

    It all comes down to leadership. Our ‘leaders’ cant lead. Anyone depending on them to lead will certainly fail too. We are stuffed.

    Anyway, Have a good one folks!

    December 31st, 2009 at 19:46

  2. Crime Analyst (Steve - Ex West Mids) says:

    How stupid and out of touch is this man and this party? Slash the overtime budget, open door immigration with 14% of our prisons overcrowded with foreign nationals, a criminal justice system that’s on life support, single manning and now he accuses coppers of preferring a nice cosy nick with a warm cup of tea to locking villains up. The blokes lost the plot as well as any vestages of hope for police support!

    Ok, every job has its shirkers, but they’re certainly not in the majority. A bloke in his position is totally irresponsible making such public statements. Any shirkers that do exist should be dealt with discreetly by supervision NOT by public media trial. And this idiot heads up the gang that say the only true measure of performance is by increasing public confidence, and pushing a policing pledge that promises officers on the street 80% of the time. Yeah well Jack, you really know how to inspire public confidence don’t you? What a complete and utter pillock.

    The Independent seem to have captured the feelings best :-


    Simon Reed, the vice-chair of the Police Federation, said that Mr Straw’s remarks were “irresponsible and inflamatory”. He added: “It was not not police officers who brought in 3,000 new laws. It wasn’t police officers who brought in a 30-page prosecution file. And it wasn’t police officers who brought in multiple forms and authorities to use a pair of binoculars. This was all done by politicians. Police officers are not the architects of bureaucracy, they and the public are the victims of it.”

    Mr Reed said that he had received messages of anger from officers around the country following the broadcast, adding: “New Year’s Eve is probably our busiest night of the year and for police officers to hear that from a politician who will be in the warm while they are out dealing with violent and drunken individuals will upset a lot of officers.

    “I’ve had emails from various officers telling me how outraged they are. Many of them have mentioned the name of PC Bill Barker who died protecting the public during the floods in Cumbria. He did not stay inside in his warm office. It is fair to say that the mood of frontline officers upon hearing these comments is outrage. We are livid.”

    Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary, said: “What we have now is a group of ministers who are utterly out of touch with what is really happening in policing. They heap more and more bureaucracy onto our police, leaving them filling in form after form, often with the same information on it, and then pretend that nothing is wrong. It is not police officers who are sitting at their desks in the warm – it is ministers stuck in their ivory towers. They should get out a bit more and find out what is really going on.”


    Get back in the warm Jack, your tea’s going cold! Oh and don’t forget your expense form for the BBC interview.

    Bring on the election to get shut of this shower!

    December 31st, 2009 at 20:02

  3. Stressedoutcop says:

    Yes of course some avoid – and the controller would control and ensure that the work was shared out. Always that weary job for the shirker.

    Do you think the centralised dispatch room works better than the old control room?

    BTW Happy New Year – SOC

    December 31st, 2009 at 21:31

  4. 36 years to 200 weeks says:

    Happy New Years everybody.

    Anyway, I think it’s unprofessional for a politician to make these comments. A minister shouldn’t be criticising police for such a minor issue as a few lazy police officers, especially when it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that the police are able to do their work as efficiently as possible.

    You get lazy-asses in every job, the only job I can think of where people actively always pull their weight is the Armed Forces.

    Oh, and and I don’t think the Conservatives will be the ones to solve the CJS: Cameron is already pledging 16,000 more prison places, which at a cost of £120,000 each is not going to come cheaply. Just hope they don’t take that money from the police.

    December 31st, 2009 at 21:44

  5. Crime Analyst (Steve - Ex West Mids) says:

    36 years to 200 weeks …. Well there are 11,500 foreign nationals in our prisons, I wonder if he’s got the bottle to expatriate the bleedin lot of them? The prison service say it costs the taxpayer £30k each = £345million every year. That would be a big chunk out of the 16,000. Be interesting to see how he plans to do it.

    Having looked at the social reform policy, if they stick to their word (politicians? what am I thinking??)- Then the police will be well looked after. Anyone remember the maggie years? Not sure if our Dave has her bottle, we’ll see eh?

    December 31st, 2009 at 23:12

  6. RocketDodger says:

    Trust me, there are lazy bastards in all walks of life, including the Armed Forces. It’s just unusual for a politician to concentrate on that fact. Unless of course they are up to something!

    Stand by for a ripping, new, go getting, load of crap incentive ‘target’ from NuLabor boys and girls that will reduce the amount of paperwork you have to complete by……giving you 10 new forms to fill in

    December 31st, 2009 at 23:18

  7. quantum interface bomb... says:

    well- think what you want- check out the bbc ‘have your say’ on this subject…

    the vast majority- are supporting Jack Straw. In fact they are much more damning.

    Most people seem to think- that we are not value for money, tax collectors for gov- and at worst, useless and in-effective…

    That’s what people think of us… including the most snr polititians…

    January 1st, 2010 at 08:48

  8. quantum interface bomb... says:

    still… i cant wait for the Lab/tory/lib MP/canvasser to turn up at my door…

    ‘can we depend on your vote sir?’

    ‘well, since your people, despite being proven to be a bunch of lying cheaters, accuse me of being a lazy, institutional racist- why would you want my vote?’

    ‘spin, blah, spin, mis-quoted, spin, blah’

    ‘I would rather eat my own liver than vote for you… get lost.’


    January 1st, 2010 at 08:53

  9. Tony F says:

    If there was any honour of honesty in Westminster, the whole lot of them should have gone. If they really want to know, one Response Officer is worth more than all the politicians put together.

    January 1st, 2010 at 16:07

  10. 36 years to 200 weeks says:

    Steve, I agree that we need to limit the amount of people we have in jail instead of increasing the prison places, and getting rid of foreign nationals who have committed crimes is a logical part of that.

    But it has to be taken further, really. You can’t be “tough on crime” and keep the prisons free: do we want to have an ever rising prison population like America, or do we want to only lock up those who present a direct threat to the public?

    January 1st, 2010 at 17:28

  11. quantum torpedo says:

    well- the prob with sending all of the foreign nationals home is …

    the other countries will send our morons back to us…

    January 2nd, 2010 at 18:52

  12. Jabadaw says:

    Having witnessed the ex-pat community in several countries I for one would not relish the thought of some of them returning to these shores. I would cringe at the attitude some of these morons held. Here in the U.K. they had menial jobs, but due to the rise in their property values made some money and moved abroad. The way that some of them treated the natives was/is appalling,as if they were the Lieges of the land.

    No we do not want these Little Englander/Britishers back within our shores!

    January 3rd, 2010 at 14:15

  13. Sam Browne says:

    I would like to add that whilst I defend the country you (The UK Police FORCE) do an excellent job looking after my nearest and dearest and the rest of the population, whilst I deploy.

    And when not away I have been helped by the police more than once too.

    I have written to a Chief Constable & Phoned a control before now to tell them that I was very pleased with the service I recived!
    (I got a very nice letter back from the Chief).

    So well done to all of you and may I wish you all the best for the future.

    January 11th, 2010 at 21:25

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