This story caught my eye. The Met have announced that they are cracking down on crime, targeting criminals, executing search warrants and arresting offenders. To help get some publicity for this amazing fact they even took along the mayor, Boris Johnson.
I get really fed up with these publicity operations. My team are tackling crime all the time. We arrest people, we execute search warrants and seize stolen property every day of the week. Then someone with scrambled egg on their hat has the big idea to carry out an operation. We give it a fancy name, Operation Vanquish or something daft. Dates are set for a week or two week campaign. We have lots of meetings about it. We defer arresting people or executing search warrants until the operation dates.
The publicity machine is put into action. The press, members of the Police Authority, Councillors etc. are invited to come out on some raids. For a week or two the cells are filled, stress all round, much back slapping and the press swallow it hook line and sinker tell the public what a marvellous job we are doing. The statistics show that in the two weeks before the operation we hardly arrested anyone and in the two weeks during we arrested dozens. (I wonder why?) It just shows you that you only have to give something a fancy name and focus your efforts and we can really be effective when most of the time we must be sat around doing nothing. Perhaps we should be arresting people and executing search warrants all the time? We do? Oh!
The officer with scrambled egg who was in charge of this Operation will have something to put on his next promotion or transfer application to show that with his/her dynamic leadership crime was cut for two weeks and dozens of criminals were arrested. It seems to escape the notice of even the very senior management in the Force that a week later things are back to normal and we are working away in the sound knowledge that the Operation has had no long term effect whatsoever.
Now is not the time
5 days ago