Archive for September 1st, 2011

September 1st, 2011

What a waste

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I’ve spent a week of shifts wasting the public’s money, again.

Those that make the decisions and design the protocols avoid risk at all costs, any risk. Therefore we have policies which border on harassment by a public body of an individual.

What happens is someone rings the police because they don’t want to take responsibility for their own problems and want someone else to sort it out for them. Let’s say they are having a petty dispute with a partner who has hidden their mobile phone. They happen to mention that they had an argument with their girlfriend over the amount of money they have been spending on shoes. ├é┬áThis petty falling out happens in most homes in the land, it’s just that usually nobody gets to find out about it and is forgotten about within a few hours, if not minutes. It is nobody’s business but the people involved and should not require the force of the state to investigate and record it.

A log is created. This is not a theft, it is not a crime at all but because the caller wants to report it as a theft we must record it as such, or at least make enquiries to determine that no crime has been committed. Also, they mentioned that it occurred during an argument. This is now a crime with a named offender (mandatory attendance) and a domestic (mandatory attendance).

The fact that when we ring him to make sure he’s home for an officer to call and he cancels us as he has his phone back and realises it was such a petty thing to ring the police about means nothing. The words ‘crime’ named offender’ and domestic’ are recorded in bits and bytes on the computer, there is no going back.

ALL domestics require police to attend to make sure it is on record that we ‘did something’ if at some unspecified time in the future she (it’s usually a she) ends up dead.

The original caller does not want to see├é┬ápolice, there is nothing to see police about, he has been involved in what most of us call ‘life’.

Depending on who the supervisor is we might have swung it by marking up the log that no property was stolen and therefore we need ├é┬ánot attend, depending on how much adherence the supervisor gives to the national standards of crime recording. (it’s funny how strict protocol can be open to interpretation). But because the D word is mentioned there is no way we are not going to harangue the caller until we see him.

He spends days avoiding us. He gets to know when we are ringing and stops answering the phone. He is never at home when we call despite leaving messages. We spend literally hours of wasted time ringing him or sending officers round. We can do this for a week or more. We might ├é┬ástrike lucky and get him to answer his phone, he says every time that it was a ‘nothing’ incident and he doesn’t want to report it and he can’t see why we keep harassing him. Out of desperation he might agree to pop in to one of the few police stations that are open so we can record the domestic. He never does, but that wastes a few more days.

The supervisors won’t close the log without him being seen; they don’t want their name to be the last one on the log when she turns up dead because police didn’t fill in a form. It’s only when a sergeant or inspector agrees that we are wasting our time and they put their name on the log that the supervisor feels they can say it wasn’t their decision, when it all goes wrong.

So when it got accused of harassment this week at work because I’d rung this bloke at least a 8 times in 4 days (and people from other shifts had rung him too), I had a certain amount of sympathy for him.

There are far more desreving causes out there that need our attention.