According to right-wing think-tank Politeia, we are a bunch of incompetent numpties. How dare they? I mean, they (if they are a ‘they’) don’t even know me. I don’t mind someone who knows me calling me a numpty, after all, they have inside knowledge, but I’m not having some faceless twat with nothing better to do with his or her (or their) time making outrageous assassinations of my character.
Well actually, I think they might have a point or two.
Apparently, the police entrance exam is too easy and attracting academics the like of which are described as ‘no better than criminals’. All the intelligent people go elsewhere while the police are soaking up the dregs.
I have to say, from personal experience over the last 10 years I do think the level of recruit has gone down. I can’t actually comment on how hard or not the initial recruitment test is because I never took one (and even if I had, it was almost 30 years ago and if the history of exams is anything to go by would have been far, far tougher in those days). In my days if you had 4 O’ levels you were in.
Today it is no surprise at all to come across written reports so full of spelling and grammatical errors that it is difficult to realise they may be destined to appear in front of the highest courts in the land, responsible for removing the liberty of some citizen for a number of years in some cases. When I was a tutor constable I sometimes used to wonder whether I should take one home and let my children practice their writing skills by proof-reading them for me.
I did have the misfortune of working with one probationer officer who could barely string an English sentence together with any kind of grammatical order, much less write it down. It seemed the only criteria she filled for appointment as a constable was that her skin wasn’t white. I think she was so fast-tracked from application to appointment that nobody stopped to find out whether she could speak English. (but that’s another story)
The following quote from the report did catch my attention; “According to the study, the police service is left with officers who may appear incompetent and are unable to inspire confidence in those they serve.” Well, no shit Sherlock! There are many of us who have been saying this about senior officers for years. But that’s the price you pay when you have a promotion system which is no longer based on ability but on someone’s skills at saying the right thing and ticking the right boxes.
I haven’t a clue who Politeia is (are?) and to be honest I can’t be arsed to Google them to find out. I guess nobody else has heard of them either. I think their advertising executive has come up with an excellent plan though. Write a report which slags off the police and give it to the BBC.The trouble is that whilst many people will remember what Politeia said, I guarantee that 2 days later nobody will remember who wrote it.
I have a suggestion for said advertising executive – get another name.