July 24th, 2010

Of grass that is greener

Posted in The Job - General by 200

The Daily Telegraph mist have sent its correspondents on holiday or something,  judging by the amount of police bloggers writing their content this week.

First we had Gadget & today PC David Copperfield, he of the original police blog & immigrant to the Canadian Police.

He writes today in the Telegraph about how policing in his new force compares to policing in the UK, and it doesn’t stack up very well for the UK system. He espouses the fact that comparatively, the Canadian Police do better with less than the UK police, but then anyone with any knowledge of policing in this country will be well versed in what treacle-heavy systems we have over here, where money is wasted hand-over-fist on counting what is done rather than actually just doing it.

Head on over & take a look, it’s nothing that we’ve not been saying for years.

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  1. shijuro says:

    I will never happen here.

    For a start off, the reason Copperfield left is that hi blog was becoming a MAJOR embarrassment to the SMT and ACPO ranks.

    The most important reason that it won’t happen is simply that turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.

    Look at the simple crime report.

    When I joined (20+years ago) it was a single sheet of A4-duplicated 4x times. It had the date/time of offence/the crime number/who is reporting/where and when it happened/how it happened and what was taken or injured.

    Now it’s 3x pages of A4. You have to manual copy things from one page to the other (gone backwards there) the data from the old one is still on but the additional pages are simply for statistical purposes.

    With questions like: what colour are you? what colour do you SAY you are? Have you been a victim of crime before? Are you a police employee? Are you disabled? It is so complicated to fill in- there is nearly a page of guidance on the back!

    When the report has a mention of anti-social behaviour, you have to fill in and score (with a table like matrix) the anti-social behaviour! Another A4 sheet (2 sided).

    If there is a vehicle involved, another form is filled in that duplicates much of what is on the crime report.

    If there are any lines of enquiry you have to fill in a ‘Supplementary Crime Report’ with that info on.

    Now bearing in mind the crime report is the STARTING form for most investigations, is it any wonder we are swamped when a report can easily be 5-pages of writing?

    Remember, we may not have actually SEEN the complainant yet!

    July 25th, 2010 at 10:34

  2. john says:

    Plans for a massive shake-up in policing in England and Wales are set to be outlined by the home secretary.

    A new national crime-fighting agency, likely to be dubbed Britain’s FBI, is among Theresa May’s proposals.

    People will also be able to vote in two years’ time for locally-elected officials to oversee each police force.

    The Serious Organised Crime Agency, (Soca) is expected to be scrapped just four years after it was set up by Labour.

    The Home Office consultation paper – Policing in the 21st century – is a radical blueprint designed to make the service more efficient and accountable.

    Soca will be replaced by the National Crime Agency, which will include a new border police unit, the child exploitation and online protection centre (CEOP) and parts of the National Policing Improvement Agency, which it is thought will be phased out.

    The new agency will focus on cross-border organised crime and drug trafficking, as well as providing support to individual forces.

    Soca was criticised last year when figures showed for every £15 of public money it spent, just £1 was recovered from criminals.

    Its chairman Sir Stephen Lander, said seizing assets was not the “be all and end all” and it had also stopped gangs using an additional £460m.

    At a local level, elections will take place in May 2012 for police and crime commissioners.

    They will have powers to set police force budgets and hire and fire chief constables. However, the plans have already met resistance from police authorities – which face abolition – and some senior police officers.

    Last year, head of the Chief Constables’ Association, Sir Hugh Orde, said police chiefs may quit if directly elected commissioners were forced on them.

    July 25th, 2010 at 22:59

  3. shijuro says:

    Quit? lol… sure they will…

    July 26th, 2010 at 07:26

  4. War Machine 2112 says:

    The town I moved to in the US has a similar officer/civilian ratio to PC Copperfield’s force, but is a much smaller town, an independent borough, just separated from a larger metropolitan area.

    Here, a total of 6 policemen (including the Chief) keep the peace. Weapons are seldom drawn. Within 48 hours of being nicked, a defendant can be up before the local beak. It might take a little while longer for anything more serious, but that seldom happens.

    There appears to be a minimum of paper-pushing involved whilst the rights of the defendant are upheld.

    I popped up to the town Police Station a few weeks ago with a question about a local ordinance and when the sole civilian counter staff member couldn’t answer, she buzzed through to the chief and he came out and personally answered my question within 30 seconds.

    My point (if there ever was one) is that on a scaled-up budget meeting the appropriately scaled-up needs of an expanded populous should not be terribly problematic.

    Cut out a wodge of the unnecessary paperwork and you might just – just – save a bit of money, speed up the system and *gasp* fulfill the needs of the community. But that was always too simple for Whitehall to get a grip on…

    I might live in a tiny town where it feels like the 1950s but at least I know there are 6 coppers out there that I can trust and who will do everything they can to assist, should I need them.

    July 26th, 2010 at 15:47

  5. Civ_In_The_City says:

    Agreed. It`s the principle of ‘holding on tighter’ to what you want (to achieve), by ‘letting go’ of the obsessive need to control and record everything.

    Instead, create an environment where success can breed and watch what happens.

    Our bureacracy led approach to ALL public services has come about for various reasons.

    (1) A knee-jerk response attitude to ensure ‘it must never happen again’, where ‘it’ can be absolutely anything that wasn`t already covered by a regulation or process.

    (2) Accountability. Money is tight, it becomes a major ‘crime’ to waste it. So we waste f*cking thousands of pounds recording every bean and being able to prove where every coin went.

    (3) Future challenges. That is, being asked to prove, years and years later, what someone did, or said (or didn`t do, or didn`t say). In the U.S. I guess they keep notes of the major stuff but don`t ask for a stool sample if you pop in for directions?

    (4) A belief, encouraged to the point of obsession by NuLabour, that having forms, targets, tick-boxes and auditors was the ONLY way to run any kind of organisation larger than your nearest Green Shield Stamp appreciation society.

    The common thread? Paperwork. Forms, forms, forms. Fear. Blame culture. Arse-covering.

    What a wonderfully diverse and liberated society we have created. We are all equally shit-scared of doing or saying the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time.

    The fact that you can really lose everything through a mis-spoken word must be the pinnacle of democracy and civilisation we`re trying to impose around the world?

    July 26th, 2010 at 21:02

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