Oh dear, we shouldn’t be surprised at the Home Office’s inability to get something right. Or rather, we should be surprised because it should get most things right, all the time, but we’re not surprised when it doesn’t.
Most police blogs, including this one, have mentioned the Policing Pledge, that triumph of glitz over substance, in which the government have kindly pledged that the police will arrive at certain jobs on time & be visible on the streets. There has been lots of announcing & tick-box chart preparation to bring it in. The government have spent Ã‚Â£5million on an advert to feature on TV announcing how wonderful it all is.
Except it isn’t
The Advertising Standards Authority have banned the advert on the grounds that it is factually incorrect & misleading. The advert says that 80% of police time is spent on the beat & advises that local communities will be seeing a lot more 0f the police “and so will the criminals“.Ã‚Â The ASA said they were concerned that there wasn’t sufficient explanation that the advert was only referring to neighbourhood officers, who make up under 1o% of all police officers. The ASA said it breached part of its code which relates to an advert being “legal, decent, honest (and) truthful“.
A recent report by the HMIC concluded that officers spent an average of 36% of their time in the community.
The advert must not be shown again in its current form.
So that was 5 million well spent, then.