Archive for October 10th, 2005

October 10th, 2005

Parking

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

If I hear another government minister say “there are more police officers now than any other time in our history” I’ll bloody  scream.

We all know that factually that statement is correct, yet without exception, said government ministers never go on to actually complete the statement; “there are more police officers now than any other time in our history, but there are less police officers on the street than ever before.”

Twenty five years ago I paraded a large town in our police district with 2 sergeants, an inspector and about 12-14 PCs. The same station today has 1 sergeant, an inspector they share with 5 other police stations and they parade 6 or 7 PCs.

You might therefore be drawn to ask ‘where is everyone then?’

I don’t know for sure, I guess a lot of them are on ‘not our remit’ squads. These are the ones who were set up to support the front line constable by providing manpower to take over front line jobs from the front-line officers to allowed them to get back onto front-line jobs but when asked for that support usually say “sorry mate, not our remit.”

One clue as to where they all are can be gleaned from the burgeoning car parks. These car parks are not at front-line police stations (they’re being taken away, sold, used for other purposes). No, the car parks which are growing at alarming rates are all at police headquarters.

Many forces have massive amounts of land, some of which was once used to encourage sporting facilities to assist officers in keeping their fitness levels up. Not any more, they’ve all been laid waste to provide acres of tarmac to provide for the growing staffing levels at police HQ.

Everyone is working at an office at police HQ, that’s where all the extra officers are. They’re also working 9 to 5 and weekends off and yet every one of an equivalent rank is getting the same pay as the front-line troops who work bloody awful shifts, get about 1 weekend in 4 or 5, and have to park in a public car park half a mile form the police station because their car parks have been downsized.

If you want proof, just visit any police HQ at about 9.30 on any Monday. You’ve got more chance of being hit on the back of a head by a zeppelin than finding a parking space. Now go back at the same time on Saturday and it’s like some wasteland from a modern western movie with tumbleweed blowing from the forgotten boundaries of once green fields to the empty Diversity Unit office.