January 23rd, 2010


Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

The government say they have done away with all the targets &  replaced them with just one; public confidence. They want all forces to raise public confidence to 60%. I don’t really know what this means but it doesn’t seem particularly high. I expect the government doesn’t have much confidence that we can get any higher presuming that 60% is achievable. I don’t know about you but if I was wanting to get something on eBay the seller only had a 60% rating, I wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole. I’m not sure what, if anything, that says about that state of British policing.

Anyway, the Home Office have told chiefs not to let ordinary coppers talk openly about crime & anti-social behaviour. They are concerned that if officers talk about the true levels of crime & bad behaviour, the public confidence in the police will plummet & we won’t be able to hit the already abysmally low target, which will cause an equally low opinion of the government, and we can’t have that.

A report, ‘Improving public confidence in the public service‘ concluded that one of the pitfalls to raising public confidence was employees talking negatively about their organisation. It said that officers talking about the apparent pervasiveness of crime could stimulate feelings of threat or fear among those listening and in turn lower opinions of the police service.

I don’t think anyone in the government mentioned this to the Justice Minister who recently announced the police were lazy & preferred staying in warm police stations stringing out the paperwork rather than fighting crime & anti-social behaviour. I’m guessing that he has probably done more to harm public satisfaction than a few local coppers telling it how it really is.

Not much hope for government support of police bloggers, then.

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  1. Cogidubnus says:

    Low expectations…but in a government that’ll be bloody lucky if it gets 40% in the forthcoming election….

    January 24th, 2010 at 04:34

  2. Paul says:

    “Public Confidence” means bullsh*t PR in my experience, probably driven by loaded questionnaires “Do you have confidence in the Police or are you a child molester”.

    We will see if our coppers are given discretion and no targets. I’m not betting on it.

    January 24th, 2010 at 07:54

  3. Paul says:

    NB: The Police Bloggers do more to raise confidence in the Police than any government rubbish. They don’t make things any better, but at least we know why things are the way they are.

    January 24th, 2010 at 07:55

  4. R/T says:

    Paul – right. Along the lines of “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”

    January 24th, 2010 at 10:11

  5. rafanon says:

    Is there an MP with a printing business that’s going under? Usually if anything new is introduced it’s purely to line an MP’s pockets or those of an old public school buddy.

    CRB anyone? Cha Ching!
    Commissioning a report? Cha Ching!
    New survey’s? Cha Ching!
    New policy or procedure? Ch Ching!
    New uniform? Cha Ching!

    etc etc etc etc infinitum!

    January 24th, 2010 at 10:20

  6. bender the robot says:

    gee thanks massa Grant!

    Lazy, corrupt and dishonest? lol…

    you are soooo mad… no wonder you live on your own.

    January 24th, 2010 at 11:08

  7. Justin says:

    To be fair (!) I would hope that the “low” target of 60% recognises that, in many cases, the poloce are damned if they do and damned if they don’t – they can’t please both sides in a dispute and in many cases will displease both. There will also be many instances where a “satisfactory” outcome is impossible, given the underlying circumstances. Expecting a high satisfaction rating would therefore be completely absurd.

    That said, “public confidence” has sweet FA to do with proper policing – it is a politicians’ wheeze and I agree: the best way, currently, of improving public confidence is transparency, at the moment only really provided by police blogs

    January 24th, 2010 at 11:22

  8. Civ_In_The_City says:

    How this government has the bare faced cheek to talk about the police needing to work on public confidence, when the same public are queueing up with voting slips to get shot of this government.

    We know MP`s are lying, two-faced, self-serving, perks-milking, arse-covering twits. But even with that poor starting point this present shower have set new lows in lying, scheming and money-grubbing.

    Gordon will probably leave a plate of haddock to rot behind the wardrobe in Number 10`s master bedroom just to get the last laugh over Cameron.

    Their loony-left ideas of what equality is, what fairness is, have cast a long shadow around the world. Despots, dictators, bankers and Euro-parliament fiddlers now all take their lead from Blair, Campbell , Brown and (*spit*) Mandelson.

    This gruesome four Horseman of the NeoPolitics have re-written the book. It will take decades, if not centuries, to make honesty and genuine democratic representation the norm again.

    Though as the world warms up, the oil runs low, the population boils up in to mega-billions their ‘every-man-for-himself’ world view might just save them.

    They`ll have to stop p*ssing off the armed forces and the police though, or else who will they find to guard the gates?

    January 24th, 2010 at 11:22

  9. Tony F says:

    rafanon, you cynic you…

    But spot on I suspect.

    Right, public confidence in the police:

    1, How about locking up criminals.
    2, Make criminals pay for their crimes.
    3, Build more prisons.
    4, Use them.
    5, Bring back common sense.

    Oh, I know that these are not in the police’s remit, but in our, ahem, governments. But if you did, say, punish criminals, then I suspect there would be quite a few MPs inside now.

    January 24th, 2010 at 11:45

  10. Civ_In_The_City says:

    The ‘does prison work’ issue is in the papers again this morning. I don`t know if prison can rehabilitate, or if we should even try, but there is one point that is worth remembering:

    While they are behind bars they aren`t out stealing, murdering or raping.

    What happened to our culture that made ‘common sense’ a taboo concept?

    I refer you to my previous posting.

    January 24th, 2010 at 13:26

  11. Blueknight says:

    The ‘lack of confidence’ in the Police if one exists or even the niggling feeling that ‘something is wrong with the system’ can usually be traced back to a procedure or lack of resources imposed on the Police by this Govt.
    They are reported in the papers on a daily basis so I don’t need to repeat them here.

    January 24th, 2010 at 16:55

  12. Omri says:

    If that’s where the government wants to take things, then there’s an elegant way to slap them right in the face. A quick trip to a print shop or copy store with anonymously written literature by coppers, on the current state of policing, printed in large numbers and distributed in the letterboxes of members of the public. Preferably a couple of days before whatever surveys the government wants to take are taken.

    You have spouses and friends. Not one actual copper need be involved. So at last you actually have a way to conduct a labour action.

    January 24th, 2010 at 17:02

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


    Peelian priciple number 9 The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.

    The Home Office and Chief Officers have put paid to public confidence in the reduction of crime and disorder by manipulating statistics so much that they have become a farcical distortion of the real picture that can no longer be taken seriously.

    The recent revelations of Rodger Patrick, a retired West Mids DCI support and echo the repeated protestations of police bloggers that this is still very much the case. Whether we are familiar with the terms cuffing Skewing Stitching and Nodding or not, the practices only serve to portray the Government line that crime is decreasing. Some of the public will fall for it, anyone with eyes will know different.


    The real crime though, lies in the millions paid out in bonuses to Chief Officers for perpetuating the public deception. Worse still, front line resources really suffer. Jack Straw Alan Johnson attack resources and overtime safe in the knowledge that they have their falling crime fantasy to fall back on.

    Having butchered the crime statistics beyond recognition, supporting the British Crime Survey as a more accurate indicator of crime (and that is badly flawed), they talk proudly of doing away with targets THEY imposed, and replacing them with one measure, that of public confidence.

    On the basis that you can only manage what you can measure, how do they propose measuring something as nebulous and vague as public confidence? Should we start believing Chief Officers reports that public confidence is growing in their area? What evidence is there to suggest we should start now? Home Office surveys? Well we all know how much credence to give them!

    We should not be suprised that they pick an unmeasurable and unquantifiable yardstick by which to measure police effectiveness. Heaven help the poor wretch that suggests a solution that might actually have some merits of honesty and accuracy, for it would derail the whole gravy train of political media hype and greed.

    January 24th, 2010 at 17:28

  14. Ian says:

    I was under the impression that the current government cant count and that’s why the government credit card has been run up to the maximum debt 100%. .

    O! “A report, ‘Improving public confidence in the public service‘ concluded that one of the pitfalls to raising public confidence was employees talking negatively about their organisation.”

    As if a MPs can keep there mouths shut. And a government that doesn’t know what confidence means.
    There just a bunch of automated nobodies with drawing salaries in there hands.
    There is no hope for this country if the people vote Gordon Brown as Prime Minister again.
    A baboon could do better

    January 24th, 2010 at 22:20

  15. bender the robot says:

    as someone once said, ‘prison does not work for criminals… but it certainly works for the victims…’

    I still think we just need to be smarter about the people we lock up… release and use community punishments (often more restrictive than prison) for the non-violent, non-serious loss criminals. Use prison for the violent and the people we need to be protected from.

    Problem with that is it needs a judiciary prepared to actually jail people.

    January 25th, 2010 at 16:55

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