February 21st, 2011

We are all individuals

Posted in The Job - General by 200

When the government spent millions looking into the mergers of police forces in the UK a couple of years ago & then promptly abandoned the idea, I don’t think anyone believed the matter would simply lie.

So gradually, and by the back door, we are seeing mergers by a process of osmosis. Forces are banding together to share departments. We have some sharing traffic departments, some sharing scenes of crime, dogs, technology, purchasing. Gradually, √ā¬†department by department, well merge two or three forces into bigger forces & then tose will merge again until we have a national police force.

Thames Valley & Hampshire are just merging their IT departments. I’m surprised it’s taken so long to combine things like IT, uniform & vehicle fleets. There must be millions to be saved in bulk buying our vehicles, uniforms & IT.

I am still amazed that we use a command & control system (which is completely outdated BTW) which is different from the forces on our borders, meaning we can’t access each other’s incidents. Or that we drive different vehicles to the force next door. Or that the force next door still wears ties while the force the other side wear different coloured shirts to ours, and have different headgear. That’s three sets of uniforms from probably three different manufacturers.

I don’t really care what we drive, wear or see on our computer screens, but it would be nice to think that it was the best & that√ā¬†everybody√ā¬†else used it too.

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  1. Brother Random says:

    This method will be the worst of both worlds. You’ll get merged departments (cutbacks in staff), but the locations will remain seperate so the systems will never merge in truth. Bulk buying will never come in as the merged fleet, uniform etc purchasing departments will still be in different areas working for different forces with their original set of specific requirementes (and don’t you dare deviate), but less staff as they’re merged.

    The UK police is a cautionary tale to the rest of the world “This is how now to do something”

    February 22nd, 2011 at 08:14

  2. Fee says:

    Always bear in mind that every piece of kit was supplied by the lowest bidder. You know what they say about getting what you pay for!

    February 22nd, 2011 at 16:28

  3. Tony F says:

    Ah, a uniform uniform? We shall see.

    February 22nd, 2011 at 18:02

  4. Dangerous says:

    There can be no real savings untill we see at least 3 old constabularies with 1 Chief Constable, and 1 ACC for each of the old force areas.

    February 22nd, 2011 at 19:21

  5. Civ_In_The_City says:

    With two I.T. departments merging into one you end up with two fully equipped computer rooms, more staff relying on the I.T. being available 24/7 to serve more police, and therefore more problems for the public when the systems crash (and they all do eventually).

    The way to mitigate the risk? Duplicate one I.T. centre at the other site in case of disaster. Saving how much?

    I know every department can make a case for preferential treatment in difficult financial times, but losing an I.T. system for a few days affects more people than running short of ‘good news’ stories reaching the local paper, or not checking the minutes of your Police Authority minutes for ‘diversity’ issues.

    Can you imagine 5 days without an email system?

    Then again….

    February 22nd, 2011 at 22:34

  6. shijuro says:

    LOL… oh come on…

    We all know why we don’t have mergers…

    The new force don’t need double the amount of SMT…

    Turkeys don’t vote for Xmas…

    February 23rd, 2011 at 14:21

  7. Hogday says:

    A former police organisation I know very well indeed has merged its Air Support Unit with two other forces. The cost of air support to that force is now √ā¬£3,000 per hour, whereas previously, operating their own aircraft, it was √ā¬£800 per hour. Their ASU now operates from two bases and will only respond to calls within 20 mins flying time as their `loiter` time is now drastically reduced. In the first 3 months of the merger, the number of `supported arrests` by the aircraft for burglary stands at 0 whereas in the same period last year, pre-merger, it was 14. I’m sure that the ratepayers of said force are soon to be told of the great savings this merger has made. Equally, I’m sure there will be a sound-bite about the increase in burglaries but I doubt a connection will be made. This is what Orwellian `Newspeak` was all about, wasn’t it?

    February 23rd, 2011 at 15:46

  8. Shazbot says:

    TVP and Hants are about (04/04/11) to share roads policing,firearms , dogs and operations functions. This cost saving exercise involves ADDING a new extra layer of management to oversee the new world order. Apparently there are too many ranks of Ch Insp and above so they have to be found jobs!
    I think you will find that uniform is already bought on a regional contract.
    This however does not guarantee any saving. I ma told that all forces will have to in future purchase MET style body armour to standardise the purchasing. this body armour has less protection than my forces vest i.e. it has no shoulder protection and does not have spike penetration standards. It is also more expensive than our current kit,,,go figure.

    February 24th, 2011 at 18:49

  9. Hogday says:

    Shazbot, two organisations I know `very well indeed`It seems we have a pattern forming here. More sleight of hand, smoke and mirrors.

    February 25th, 2011 at 16:44

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