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!
The opinions and views expressed here are mine, and mine alone. They do not necessarily reflect the policies and views of the Utopian Police Force nor the City of Utopia.
The stories I tell here are all true but my purpose is not technical accuracy. My purpose is to illustrate the nature of policing in an educational and entertaining way.
I have tried to respect the privacy of the citizens of the city and to relate specific facts without identifying individuals. I believe I succeed in this but if you do recognize yourself and believe others will too, please contact me and I shall rectify it.