Archive for March 10th, 2011

March 10th, 2011

It’s an important operation

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

Sometimes it’s easy for people to forget we’re all in the same job.

Two officers have been disciplined for declining to attend a 999 call which turned out to be a report of a woman stabbed to death by her partner last year. He has just been sentenced for her murder.

The reports today, both press & national TV, say the officers were on a special anti-prostitution operation & were found to be the officers nearest to the scene. They told their control room they could not leave their operation.

This happens most days round these parts. What normally happens is that a particular area is found to have a particular problem which shows crime figures rising & detection rates falling. It could be prostitution, burglaries, anti-social behaviour or graffitti, indeed anything which can be measured & which the local DI doesn’t like in terms of rising undetected crime.

Whatever it is, the solution is to be seen to be doing something. It matters not how effective the ‘something’ is, as long as the DI can report to the DCI in ‘morning prayers’ that they are ‘doing something’ about it.

So two officers are taken off front-line policing – it matters not how much work needs to be done nor how busy the front line actually is –  their brief is to drive around the estate ‘doing something’ about that particular problem. They may even give it an operational name. So ‘Operation Bollox’ involves two officers driving round for 8 hours trying to catch burglars.

In all the time Operation Bollox has been implemented, I have never known them to catch a single burglar. I have known them to stop people smoking cannabis (another detection), or to get their grub breaks, or to assist other members on their team with random stuff not related to Operation Bollox, when their team mates radio them up & ask them to do something. I have known 3 or 4 burglaries to be reported during the times that Operation Bollox has been on.

To be fair, most of the people doing Operation Bollox will attend an immediate assignment if you tell them. But that kind of depends on the personalities & how helpful they want to be. Some refuse to do anything not related to Operation Bollox citing their instructions from the DI not to deviate from anything which might bring his crime figures down.

Because 2 officers off the shift are on the Op, people who have actually been burgled are made to wait even longer than they would have had to wait if the officers were actually on the shift attending jobs.

Still, the DI can report that he’s doing everything in his power to address the amount of gang tags sprayed onto garage walls, or whatever the current subject of Operation Bollox happens to be.