March 25th, 2008

Reinventing the Wheel

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Oh my goodness, 45 minutes to midnight, & I’ve not had time to post today. Again. This is getting harder & harder.

Anyway, time for something very quick & probably not too well thought out.

One of the key initiatives over the last couple of years has been the implementation of a ‘neighbourhood’-type policing. I think the Met started calling it "Safer Neighbourhoods". It basically means that there is a team of officers/PCSOs dedicated to problem solving (another catch phrase) on the neighbourhoods & estates. I don’t know if it was a trial in the Met but it seems the government are keen to roll it out to everyone else.

Everywhere has got to have safer-neighbourhood teams. They’re trumpeting various themes, one of them is ‘a name in every neighbourhood’ where everyone is supposed to know the name of their local officer/PCSO. Vast amounts of money is being spent on making sure their names are known. Gordon Brown is even suggesting anyone should be able to ring their local officer on a mobile phone. 

Great, new initiatives, government making bold announcements. It’s all back to Whitehall for tea & medals once again.

Neighbourhood policing. That’ll be like having a local officer on every estate, some of them might even live on their beat, they might have offices where locals can come & see them at designated times of the day rather than going into town to the local nick (which will be closed). Something like we used to have until someone thought it was a waste of resources, put all the neighbourhood officers on squads or retired them & sold off all the police houses. 


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  1. PCSO Bloggs says:

    They did this with us. They gave us all mobile phones and business cards. We were told to hand them out to everyone. Soon enough the ‘regular callers’, you know the sort, resident association chairs, head of neighbourhood watch etc. They started calling. Then we start getting reports of crime. We can’t take reports of crime over the phone, log the call or give a crime or log number.

    So what happens? We ask them to call the standard number. It sort of defeats the object.

    They also get really annoyed when we have our phone switched off. If you go (dare I say it) off duty, on leave, you should expect messages from angry people.

    We also get numerous prank calls.

    Then, and you’ll like this, they took the phones off of us, stating that it was because they didn’t have the funding anymore. We couldn’t remember everyone who had the number to tell them the numbers will no longer be in use.

    A year later, a new sergeant and we get new phones, new numbers and it all starts again.

    March 26th, 2008 at 12:22

  2. blueknight says:

    In the very early 1980s the Scarman Enquiry was held to find out what caused the 1981 riots and what lessons could be learned.
    Amongst the usual handwringing and the Police being called all sorts of ‘institutional’ things by the left wing press, the idea of ‘local’ Policing was invented.
    What it meant for our Force was the sub division wsa cut up into 4 beats and each beat was given 1, 2 or 3 Officers, dependant on how big or busy they were. All the other Officers drove patrol vehicles or walked the High Street areas.
    This worked really well for over 20 years, until neighbourhood Policing was invented.I am not sure when the Home Office took operational control of the Police away from the Chief Constables, but without a doubt that is what is happening/has happened
    A brave Chief Constable might

    March 26th, 2008 at 19:57

  3. Civ_In_The_City says:

    ‘Neighbourhood Policing’, isn`t that just old fashioned coppering?

    Of course it is. But how does the government ‘sell’ the idea to us, like we`re getting something new and improved. How do they give the impression that there are police on the streets ‘like the good old days’ without actually having to spend any money.

    The same way that Cadburys sells the same chocolate egg 30 different ways every year. Packaging.

    Small reduction targets mean they don`t have to provide more funding.

    If they were serious about reducing crime they`d fund the organisations involved. Instead we had Iraq and billions spent on benefits.

    March 26th, 2008 at 20:36

  4. Plodnomore says:

    In the beginning there was ‘Total Geographic Policing (TGP)’ with the ssame aims as the current Neighbourhood system. Four rotas, each with 2 Sgts who took it in turns to be the outside patrol Sgt and thge inside paperwork Sgt thus ensuring they knew the strengths and weaknesses of the rota and could therefore help them through the weaknesses and play to their strengths, was replaced by a system whereby PCs were allocated an area, saw a Sgt about once every 3 or 4 weeks and an Inspector on the Queen’s Birthday, the Chief Constable’s birthday or that of the lady who buttered the buns in the canteen. The system soon became known as ‘Try and Get a Policeman’ as they alsways seemed to be on a rest day. Some Superintendent presumably promoted to Ch Sup for reinventing the wheel (badly). It seems it has been re-reinvented. Who’s going to be promoted this time?

    March 26th, 2008 at 22:05

  5. Dangerous says:

    The Boss came on parade and told us all ( he was expected so there was no room for relief who had too stand at the back – normally your lucky too see 5 bods in the room at one time) that a well known drunk and his other half who were having dom after dom had been problem solved by SNT. No more calls to them for the last couple of months ( actually relief had put him inside for three months breach of ASBO ) Only for us to have a call at the end of the shift to said drunk with his new partner – an even more violent drunk than him – were barnying in the high street. When we arrived we all laughing so hard at how well he had been “problem solved” that we ignored being called PIGGING C**** and just sent them on their way. SNT – the way forward my ARSE

    March 27th, 2008 at 01:17

  6. Stressed Out Cop says:

    I feel slightly responsible – I worked on a pilot prior even to SNT’s in the Met 2001. Similar model 1 Sgt 4 PC’s on one ward area. Funded from elsewhere of course. Old fashioned policing – Fair but firm.

    Had a great time – Management left us to it – didn’t care – Just did what we wanted kicking arse. Management said do Robbery (pressure on figures) – I said no thanks I’ll tackle Burglary / Drugs because that’s where it’s at.

    Then got evaluated and the project showed highest “public satisfaction” ratings in country for similar police projects. “Public Satisfaction” = Votes = leads to SNT’s funded by Mayor ETC ETC . Management are now interested – I left 2005

    Returned last year to police same area and found it worse off re drugs and public satisfaction. Now seen as extra tool for reporting crime and sanction detections – I think the cost in Met is 200M – Some SNT’s do great job – I don’t think that each ward really needs the same model to it.

    Can’t attract right staff – because nobody knows how to foot patrol -so just get pressed people, after easier time.

    Control room now advises public to ring SNT direct re reported crime if not suitable overphone. It’s a shame – shows how targets and management muck things up.

    Now on new pilot – Shift working SNT et lt nd – SHOULD HAVE STAYED ON SHIFT METHINKS

    April 13th, 2008 at 11:23

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