April 12th, 2011

Those who can do, those who can’t supervise

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I don’t suppose my job is much different from other jobs in many respects; we all have to put up with supervisors or bosses who don’t have a clue, or any bottle. Don’t get me wrong, some of them are perfectly fine, you can rely on them to back you up, support & assist you. Others are so busy covering their own arses they haven’t a clue what’s going on or how to do the job effectively.

To me the art of supervising should be one of solving problems, not creating them. Oh, if life was so simple.

If you work any length of time in the police service you will soon discover the art of arse-covering is all pervasive. Nobody wants to be the one who made the decision which was found to be wanting, therefore if you can pass it off on someone else you can say, ‘well I told so-and-so’ and swiftly pass the buck.

Inexperienced PCs do it all the time by consulting their sergeants on everything. Trust is a thing of the past when there is a risk of something coming back to bite you on the bum, best let someone else make a decision.

It’s understandable to a degree, after all we have created a society where blame is the key. Something is always someone’s fault & that someone is usually someone else. Where there’s blame there’s a claim & boy there is blame anywhere if you look hard enough.

When a job comes into the control room, the calltaker decides whether we need to send an officer. If we do they pass the log (computer audit trail of every job we get) on to a controller. The controller takes ownership & decides how best to resource the job. This invariably means sending a police resource to sort it out. The log is kept updated with exactly who does or did what, police & public alike. At the end of the job the log has to be resulted.

The government have come up with a list of specific results, all with their own codes. All jobs must be coded with a result; it makes it easier to see how many cases of anti-social√ā¬†behaviour force X dealt with in 2010 or how many road traffic accidents Y force went to in 2009.

The controller closes the log with the result codes. They can’t be trusted to select the right codes so every log gets checked by a supervisor to a) make sure the correct codes are added & b) that the job itself was dealt with correctly. The supervisors can’t be trusted to get it right either so the logs then get checked by an audit department to make sure√ā¬†everything√ā¬†is correct. I wouldn’t be surprised if the audit team’s work was quality checked later by someone else.

Our supervisors are often people who have spent a couple of years in the call centre & have not the first idea about policing & they’re the ones deciding whether a job has been dealt with correctly.

They can be a f****** nightmare. I have no idea whether they realise how much stress they create sometimes.

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