October 21st, 2010

Welcome to the Marie Celeste

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

That’s what it feels like round these parts sometimes.

We’re supposed to be double-crewed on the radio channels. If you are below minimum strength you can’t get leave or time off, minimum strength isn’t sufficient to double crew all the channels but it sure as hell includes most of them being sufficiently staffed.

It kind of begs the question of how come they can allow the staff numbers so low that 90% of the channels are single-crewed.

This is fine when nothing is happening. The problem comes when something does happen. One controller is expected to do all the radio work, update the logs, ring other staff,  make the various telephone enquiries which inevitably follow on from anything serious or complicated.

No problem, say the people in charge of getting things right. If one channel is busy, just send the co-pilot from a quieter channel to help out.

Which again is fine in theory – when you have co-pilots.

When there is no resilience, the only alternative is to close one of the radio channels & move the controller over to help out then   get another controller to monitor 2 radio channels.

Simples. Everybody wins. Except the two sets of officers who get a reduced service as they only have half a controller instead of two each. And the controller who probably had some added stress through being single-crewed anyway but now has two divisions to cover with double the jobs, radio traffic & telephone calls.

And things will get worse when they start shedding  jobs, except the calls for service will go up, the more unemployed there are.

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5 comments

  1. Simon says:

    Er….not being a rozzer, I don’t quite understand the post ;)

    October 22nd, 2010 at 07:19

  2. Ex-RUC says:

    I’m afraid you’ve fallen into an old trap; the ship was actually called the Mary Celeste. Still feels lonely though, I bet!

    October 22nd, 2010 at 11:56

  3. Tony F says:

    Now we had co-pilots in the air force. They made tea.

    October 22nd, 2010 at 19:36

  4. soud1 says:

    The thing is 200 weeks,you know what you’re talking about having done it for years and not on the slippery slope to promotion,so you don’t have to fuck about with other’s lives and balls up a system which works well.All the SMT and supervisor’s could n’t do a controllers job as they have no comprehension. Notice I said supervisors and SMT and not SGT’s and leaders as we have very few worthy of that title in the PSNI worthy of that title anymore.
    Of course we do it the old fashioned way with officers in the control room,mostly who have a good bit of experience on the ground,which some management are slowly sucking the soul out of with varing degress of incompetency relating to working practice.We also have some call handlers in various station’s who should be sorting out some of the nonsense calls.However that still doesn’t stop officers creating calls about cats chasing seagulls and saxophonists playing in the city centre.Even worse both had officers attending.Try explaining that to members of the public.Sorry we couldn’t attend that burglary we’re oo bust chasing cats.The job is FUBAR.
    The other thing is,I really think that managemant in the PSNI read this blog for inspiration.

    October 23rd, 2010 at 15:30

  5. Ex-Peeler says:

    soud 1

    you are assuming that the SMT can read!

    October 23rd, 2010 at 19:50

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