October 22nd, 2011

Welcome to the World

Posted in The Job - General by 200

The Daily Fail reported this week about the case of a woman who alleges she was assaulted during a dispute with neighbours. It says that police were too busy to bother with the incident and came 16 hours later. Of course it uses the usual emotive language by describing the woman as a grandmother and mentioning that she had a child with her during the incident.

Not that the age has anything to do with it but it’s interesting that they’ve not mentioned the age. I imagine that ‘grandmother’ garners more reader hatred against the police than ’40-year-old woman’, but that’s by-the-by.

So they called 999 and officers didn’t arrived. They called 999 10 minutes later and still no officer came. By this time the incident was over, the victim was back home and presumably so was the ‘offender’. Police didn’t come that evening but arrived around 8.30 the next morning.

This is not unusual, in fact, it’s standard practice. Regular readers will know of the times we in the control room have to ring people up, some of whom have had actual injuries, to say we don’t have anyone available. I do it every night on a  late shift and I do it several days running to the same people.

Twenty five years ago we used to attend every single allegation of a crime, we attended every traffic accident whether people were injured or not, we attended every alarm whether it went to a central station or was just ringing on the side of a house. We went to noisy parties, stray dogs, parking problems. We attended a far broader range of incidents then than we ever do now.

Ten years ago that grandmother could have walked down the road into a police station and spoken to a police officer if we couldn’t have gotten to her straight away (though we probably would have done).

We did this because there were more officers on the streets than there are now. It’s a simple fact that the more officers you have actually dealing with jobs on the street, the more jobs you can get to and the faster the response. Twenty five years ago we rarely had to wait 24 or more hours to see someone, we considered it a bit of a failure if we had to hand any jobs on to the next shift, now it is common place to hand it on to the next shift who hand it on to the next shift who hand it back to our shift the next day who hand it on to the next shift, etc, etc et-bloody-cetera.

But this is progress.

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  1. Whinger says:

    Isn’t this what the people voted for?

    They all wanted Labour out, so let them all crack on with it.

    And it will get worse!

    October 22nd, 2011 at 23:00

  2. 334Boss says:

    (1) It was pants under G Brown Esq as well.
    (2) No money to keep UK safe but plenty for overseas aid.
    (3) Guy Fawkes, where are you when your country needs you.

    October 23rd, 2011 at 00:31

  3. Ted says:

    “Inspector Matt Bennett, based in Shoebury, Essex, said: ‘It is highly unusual for us not to have police officers available to attend a crime in progress.”

    A slight smell of BS there. Like 200 says it is a regular occurrence for there to be nobody to attend serious incidents. Up to and including a guy seen on police station CCTV on the ground outside a nightclub being kicked in the head.

    October 23rd, 2011 at 06:11

  4. Fee says:

    I don’t suppose the number of ‘rubbish’ calls you get helps much, either? One of our neighbours was threatening to dial 999 because a young lad gave him verbals when ticked off for littering. Not threatening him, just being cheeky. Thankfully, his wife talked him out of it, and saved our local boys a nonsense job, but things like that can’t help your chances of getting to actual, proper crimes.

    October 23rd, 2011 at 09:43

  5. Gary says:

    I remember those days attending a huge variety of jobs. Then they started taking people for new squads etc and things got more difficult. Still a huge number of jobs but less manpower. I remember when our domestic violence unit was set up and became a small empire in the blink of an eye. Not one of them actually dealt with anything. They would attend meetings with ‘partner agiencies’ but ask them to get hands on and interview that prisoner from the night before sitting in the cells and it was not in their ‘remit’. Don’t get me started on the burglary squads etc etc etc that all appeared to have a ‘remit’ that precluded them from actually getting their hands dirty.

    October 23rd, 2011 at 11:23

  6. Jimbob says:

    You’re certainly right about the number of officers. Ignore the official front-line definition and we all know it’s considered normal to have 4 officers to cover 100,000 people for a 10 hour weekend day shift. In a rural area and 2 of whom are still probies who can’t drive with blues! The likes of Insp Bennett would rather blather on and make nothing quotes to the local rag than tell people the truth.

    That said do you not think some of the problems come because of the sheer volume of calls we get now though? Mobile phones make it easy for any drunkard/druggie/waster to call us for free to report their latest “he said, she said” tosh. Then NCRS compounds it leaving us to chase them around getting them to confirm ‘no complaint’ when understandably they lose interest after 20 seconds off the phone.

    Bin any job that has Facebook in the MO, cut off the wasters from being able to call us and maybe, just maybe, we could start dealing with normal decent people who have honest real crimes to report.

    October 23rd, 2011 at 18:40

  7. Ted says:

    “Mobile phones make it easy for any drunkard/druggie/waster to call us for free to report their latest ”

    Having worked in the late 70s pre mobile era in an area where only maybe 10% of houses had a landline phone I can confirm there is a huge difference in the crap calls that get reported now which would previously never seen the light of day.

    The recording methods also differ now. One of the things I like , with hindsight, was the “broken window book”. If anyone reported a broken window with no witnesses then rather than a cop going to the location and making enquiries to establish if this was a vandalism or acciodental damage a one line entry was made on a sheet of A4.

    The next working day this sheet was taken to the council housing dept along the road (no faxes in those days either) who then arranged to get the window fixed. End of.

    Obviously a vast under recording of vandalisms but the punter only wanted their window fixed. They got it fixed and didn’t have to sit in the house waiting for the beatman to attend.

    October 23rd, 2011 at 22:09

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