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 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 everything 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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  1. Baz says:

    You have my sympathy mate, fortunately in Australia this kind of shyte has not yet reached our shores. What ever happened to the British Police? They once had a reputation of being one of the best in the world, of course this is a debatable statement, but they were not in the state they are in now. Do you blame Labour, or did the rot set in before then?

    April 13th, 2011 at 08:37

  2. Tony F says:

    There is no ‘can do’ attitude any more. Its all arse covering and hiding behind elfinsafety.

    April 13th, 2011 at 19:19

  3. Mad Mick says:

    Biggest arse covering I saw (apart from a Saturday night chav’s skirt) was when a toe-rag who had threatened to top himself was later seen with some mates and subsequently chased by old bill. An extensive search of the last sighting looked like failing. Just before he was located (thanks to the eye in the sky) the Control Room sergeant announced that he would have to be treated as a vulnerable misper. Missing from where? The police. I couln’t believe it.

    April 13th, 2011 at 19:30

  4. Gary says:

    Years ago when I was young in service we had a new shift inspector he had been around the block a few times and called a spade a spade. You did know where you were with him and he said to the shift that his job was easier than ours as he only had to look after his shift while we had to look after everyone else. He told us we would make mistakes – everyone did all he asked was that we worked hard and if we dropped a bo**ock to be honest with him. Best Guv I ever worked with shift morale was sky high and sickness rock bottom. His cigars stunk the place out though!

    April 13th, 2011 at 21:23

  5. Blueknight says:

    Our supervisors are often people who have spent a couple of years in the call centre & have not the first idea about policing….

    Slightly off topic but proof all the same. – There was a desperate shortage of HORT/1 pads. (Think they still exist.)
    Went to the (civilian) admin officer and asked where the HORT/1 pads were.
    She brought one single pad out from a desk drawer and asked how many pages I needed???
    Puzzled I asked why are there none in the cupboard.
    Well she said, Because people are taking the whole pad….

    April 13th, 2011 at 21:29

  6. Kev says:

    The sort of control room supervisors I HATE are the ones who interpret the text of the “job” as reality when the text really is just a call takers abbreviated interpretation of what was being said by a member of the public (usually excited, scared, angry or drunk) and can bear no relation to the situation which confronts the poor cop who turns up. These supervisors will then try to pressure the cop for a closure that “fits” the text of the job. I have even experienced them phoning me and telling me what I should be doing at an incident!!! Bloody nerve. They are 30 miles away in an air conditioned control room and I am the one on the ground who has to justify my own actions or inactions. Their opinion is irrelevant. I am happy for them to ask me why I did what I did but they have no business trying to tell me what to do.

    April 14th, 2011 at 04:49

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