Archive for April 3rd, 2010

April 3rd, 2010

Bank Holidays

Bank holidays are great; double time which is the only overtime I get preferring not to spend any more time in the control room than is necessary.

I like to think that it’s only fair that you get paid double so must work half as hard.

They always used to say that if you wanted to commit a crime, do it on a bank holiday, especially Christmas Day; we always went down to half strength on a bank holiday so the force were not paying out the extra cash over a normal day because half the frontline staff were kept at home.

As a young & single officer I used to volunteer to work the bank holidays so the folks with families could spend the day with their kids. I kind of assumed that when it got round to the time I had kids I’d get the ‘what goes around comes around’ effect & people would volunteer so that I could spend time with my kids.

More fool me, I moved to a much smaller shift where it was deemed we all needed to work all the time so rarely got a bank holiday off unless it fell on a rest day.

Bank holidays usually mean lots of people at home, forced to spend time with each other, to interact in family ways, this often means an increased opportunity for stress & the resulting domestics. Kids are off school, readily available for anti-social behaviour, many people have the day after off so are able to go out & get pissed up. So, from the years when the job decided it needed to save the cash, we went to the years where we didn’t have to force half the shift to have the day off. This seemed to work well. People realised that there wasn’t a great drop in calls even with a full shift we weren’t driving around twiddling our thumbs, OK, Christmas Day might have been the exception where we did do fire brigade policing & sat inside the nick waiting for calls, but generally there were enough staff to cover the calls.

Neighbourhood policing is back on the government’s & public’s agenda. The new Policing Pledge lauds the importance of anti social behaviour & how seriously the police are taking it now that people are killing themselves when its not addressed.

But.

Chiefs are told to save £500millon over 4 years. Bank holidays cost. Giving the neighbourhood teams the day off can save significant amounts of wages leaving the frontline troops to pickup the neighbourhood policing tab. So now we have no neighbourhood teams on, no PCSOs, no police officers, nobody, nada.

Neighbourhood policing & anti social behaviour – it’s at the top of our priorities, except on bank holidays when  it costs more.