April 25th, 2008

Me First

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

The wife of a BTP officer who committed suicide has been speaking out against the target-led culture which pervades modern policing.

PC Ian Hardwick, 41, had been an officer with BTP for 16 years when he stepped in front of a train in Leeds in June 2006.

His inquest was told he felt depressed & unable to cope with demands put upon him by senior officers at his Sheffield base.

Mrs Hardwick has told how  a new system of weekly performance targets created poor morale & a culture where officers were cherry picking jobs so that they could meet their own individual targets. She said, "It got t the stage where intelligence was even kept secret – officers were not passing it on to the next shift as they needed it for themselves to get another box ticked & the job done."

I can vouch that this is not limited to the BTP. It’s the same in my force. Some officers are cherry picking jobs. I’ve lost count of the amount of times officers have not been free to attend run-of-the-mill, everyday jobs (for which they’d get no detections or performance indicators) but are suddenly free when a job come sup which will get them an easy arrest.

I’m sure there are many cases of officers racing to a job from different directions just so they can get their hands on a body.

A little while ago it was brought to my attention that someone on a particular shift was dedicated to sit at a computer monitoring all the logs being created which had the look of an easy arrest, they then advised officers on their team to get to the job ASAP & snaffle the arrest even before the log was sent over to the control room for allocation. Traffic officers were attending Sainsburys just so they could get an arrest for their targets. I’m sure this is widespread.

If intelligence come sin with the likely location of some wanted scrote or other, surely this person should be taken off the streets ASAP & not when the person keeping this info to themselves is next on duty or is next looking for a boost to his personal performance indicators?

We all know it goes on, the trouble is that nobody with any say in the matter has the balls to stand up and say "wait a minute."

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