Saturday, 5 February 2011

Civilian (Police Staff) Redundancies

Regular readers of this blog will know that I have been very critical of my force for the way they have managed the overall budget. Instead of focusing on front line resources, we have invested millions of pounds on spin doctors and backroom departments whose role is to convince the public we are doing a good job. In reality we have reduced the number of front line officers significantly and we con the public. For example, we have police staff whose role is to telephone the victims of crime and try and convince them we have done all we can to detect their crime. The reality is, we have done little or nothing to do so.

A year ago the force attempted to balance its budget by cutting the number of police managers. Inspectors were reduced by 30%. Chief Inspectors by 50% as were Chief Superintendent posts, reduced from 8 to 4. At the time there was little support to retain the managers other than from the mangers themselves. The senior management found it very easy to convince the public, Police Authority, councillors etc that reducing the number of senior managers was cutting fat and we could survive quite easily without these expensive resources. The reality is that officers on the ground are not being directed, supervised and supported properly. This will have adverse long term effects on the training and development officers and a risk of negative cultural issues arising. Interestingly, we reduced to 4 Chief Superintendents as planned, but have since increased to 6, including one who is acting up from Superintendent. Two of them have  been given project type jobs to do until we can find them something else to do or they find themselves a job as an Assistant Chief Constable.

Another part of the grand plan was to reduce the number of police buildings. We were to sell expensive old police stations and have officers working from shops and surgery's. To date we have not sold one police building.

The Comprehensive Spending Review has meant further cuts and the force has now had to cut its police staff propaganda machine. 43 police staff  managers are being made redundant. Other police managers are having their roles redefined and they are having to reapply for roles with slightly different job descriptions and lower grades and salaries.

I feel very sorry for the police staff who are losing their jobs. I know many of them and they are good people who thought they had lifetime careers with the force. They have mortgages, families etc, and the consequences for some are quite dreadful. I blame the senior management who introduced these roles in the first place when they were unnecessary. The sad truth is that when all these latest redundancies have been completed over the next few months, front line officers will not even notice. They will hope that there will be less intrusion and bureaucracy being imposed upon them. We live in hope!


  1. A refreshingly brave, candid and honest view from from a responsible source the public should listen to, rather than the self serving ACPO and SMT officers who have completely losty the plot (if indeed they ever had a grasp of it).

    This is typically representative of all forces and represents the sad indictment that our Police Chiefs have, down the years displayed a distinct lack of moral fibre and common sense. More interested in building unsustainable empirical fiefdoms for their own political and career benefit, than focusing on ensuring essential frontline resources are maintained and protected.

    Year upon year, they have looked after their own interests first, and now it seems the game is finally up and all the waste and profligacy has come back to bite them.

    The coalition, Nick Herbert in particular, is well aware of the poor management that the rank and file have had to tolerate with all the consequences that go with it.

    The loss of jobs is sad, but when looked at honestly, as you quite rightly say, many of these non jobs were created by these Chiefs and perhaps now we may see the focus start to return to where it should have been all along, to the front line of UK policing.

    Well said mate.


  2. Yes - yes - yes - egotistical empire building by senior managers with their 'secretariats', multiple 'chiefs of staff', and other assorted non front line roles not associated with the necessary support for front line policing.....

    All to supposedly impress on their CVs - heading up vanity projects or IT projects which never deliver what they initially promise....

    A lot of law enforcement agencies are run this often by people with very little operational knowledge of, or empathy with the core front line role.

    Duplication of roles, top heavy 'project based' senior manager roles, all symptomatic of the malaise which has led law enforcement down the wrong road


  3. i remeber in the very early 90's when my force, or should that be service, implemented Admin Support Units, non police staff who did all the dvla enquiries, file prep and ROTI work. then as we the police officers foiuns we had more time we nicked more scrotes and produced more admin, soon we got requests to do this enquiry and that report and before we knew it we were getting snotty notes from ASU asking why we hadn't done this that and the other. As time went on different governments , not just the last Liebour one,wanted more data to say how have some ell their policies were doing or how badly the police were performing. I was made redundant in the early 80's on a number of successive jobs so have some empathy for those losing their jobs but ot be frank a number of them are doing jobs that have nothing to do with sorting out crime and making the place safer.

  4. I have been in a civilianised post for 2 years now, essentially as a civilian investigator. Taking into consideration the overtime and pension, I represented a £15,000 saving per annum for the Tax Payer as the force did not employ an officer to the post. During my time in this role I have experienced a lot of negative behaviour to Police Staff from Officers.

    Most Officers are of the opinion that no Police Staff could do any job as well as an Officer. Presumably a 22 week health and safety course and a ID card which says Officer not Staff is the determining factor between success and failure. I think the more likely explanation for the difference between Officer and Staff performance is that the training and experience gathering opportunities for Officers are far greater, and there is a reluctance to change this anytime soon. (Except when an Officer retires and they need a job… Jobs for the Old Boys!)

    The UK has the most expensive Police per capita in the world. And from what I’ve seen it is no where near the best. This is also the general consensus of the public and the media. Why should we continue to pay through the nose for ineffective policing? The Armed Forces, and Fire Service don’t get overtime and no one complains about their work.

    I could solve the Police funding crisis easily…. Sack all the Officers and reemploy them as civilian investigators (or equivalent role) and then make them Special Constables. You will then have a person who has the Police powers to do the job but on staff rates and terms and conditions. But then they won’t be bleeding the tax payer dry and we wouldn’t want that would we?

    With the reduction in staff numbers, Officers should have the opportunity to show how much more effective they are than their staff counterparts. But as they are slashing the overtime budgets as well I don’t think they will have any incentive to work harder.

  5. Anonymous 23rd Feb.
    If you have worked as an investigator for the last two years I am surprised that you have failed to grasp a better understanding of the bigger picture.
    On the face of it you represent a saving as you are doing a similar job to that which an officer did for less.
    My force has more civilian investigators than any other. You cannot be made to work overtime or rest days for example. Civilian investigators in my force go home at the end of their shift and it is the police officer that has to stay on and deal with the prisoner and come in the next day on rest day to deal with the remand. Yes, for this inconvenience they do get overtime. I could give you other examples, I am sure you can think of some too.
    The biggest issue is the lack of resilience in Forces now. My Force has more police staff than officers. When there are public order patrols required or we have to send officers to other areas or forces, where do these officers come from?
    My Force are trying to negotiate with Unison agreements to be able to post police staff anywhere in the County, a requirement to work overime and rest days and a requirement for all police staff to have a secondary skill so they can assist when major incidents occur. e.g. casualty bureau, house to house and scene guard. Unison want a 30% pay increase for this. Police officers do all these things and more and that is why they are rewarded significantly better than their police staff colleagues.

  6. In the Met there are far too many police officers working in back room offices, for reasons including child care and weight problems!

    I have no problem with the ordinary police officer who makes no attempt to shirk his duty, but I do with those that do!

  7. Well spotted Lex on realising that getting rid of Civilian Investigators represent a saving. After all why pay an Investigator fifteen grand a year when you can pay an officer thirty for doing the same job sounds like good economic sense to me, maybe I should become a politician or a senior manager im sure I would go far.

    Dissapointingly not all civilian staff workers have the opportunity to turn down overtime or refuse to work rest days simply because they arent offered it! why? because indeed it is the civilian staff officers that are having to make sacrifices in these days of austerity measures after all we all have to take the pain dont we. I am also so sorry to hear that officers are left to deal with prisoners etc and work rest days because civilian staff are at home refusing to do overtime and I am probably wrong but hasnt that been taken into consideration when the officers pay levels were set?and when they signed on the dotted line?. If so not a bad deal is it they get a far greater rate of pay and hey the overtime to go with it as well cant be bad, where do i sign?

    I am also sure that if in the bigger picture civilian staff were allowed to take on other less demanding roles in order to support our colleagues whilst they were deployed elsewhere most would be happy to learn new skills and take up the challenge but alas the problem appears to be that they dont appear have the level of intelligence required to do such menial tasks. Also their is the problem of finding placements on courses etc in order to gain the skills necessary after all all our officers are out on the front line and dont have the time or funding to do such things. And what a cheek Unison have demanding more pay for asking there members to take on more work and adjust their lifestyles accordingly not to mention the fact it would be a waste of time anyway because the politicians are hell bent on getting rid of them anyway

    Theirs always two sides to a coin Lex i suggest you put your hands in your pocket now and again and try flipping one just to see if Im right (tongue in cheek

  8. I work for the Met as a civillian Crime Investigator. My Office consists of (1) Civil staff (me) and 9 Police officers (1) PS who are all extremelly lazy people. They have the old "back problem" "Stress" or the "I've had a baby" routine and have stayed hidden behind a desk for more than 5+ years most being paid in excess of £40k Get back out there are do the jobs your paid to do and stop skiving. It's rif all over the Met and no one does anything about it. Yes us Civies are being made redundant why.. cause were an easy target and you can't fight the system.

  9. I used to work for the met as a civil/police staff for 4 years and would like to pursue or expand my horizon/career prospects, does anyone know where I can apply/register for any potential police roles which will likely suit my criteria? training or even temporary roles to gain experience? I feel like I am capable to carry out any investigative roles due to my passion of my work and possessing analytical and problem-solving skills, however my relevant experience is quite limited to qualify me to such roles. I will welcome anyone who can help me, and will take into private conversation if necessary. I just need some advice and guidance from any of the senior and more experience staff on the blog, Cheers.