One of my PCs is taking the Part 2 Promotion exam. He is not a bad lad and if he passes I will recommend him for promotion next year, not now. Today he showed me one of the Part 2 practice papers. Looking at the problem and the marking sheet I think I would have failed it.
The scenario is this: the Superintendent has been to a community meeting on a local sink estate. The residents are up in arms as burglary and auto crime are up 45% and local youths are believed to be responsible. The meeting is largely attended by the elderly residents who are frightened and were unaware they had a local beat officer. Following the meeting, the Superintendent issued a memorandum stating that proactive patrols of the estate will take place by a number of other officers from various departments and they will be targeting the local youths.
The local beat officer has 15 years service and he has worked on this estate for three years. He is focused on improving relations between the police and young people on the estate. He rarely makes arrests. He has written to the Superintendent asking him to stop the additional patrols as this will alienate the police from young people. The Superintendent has told his Inspector the patrols will continue and to deal with the officer. As a newly promoted sergeant you have been asked to speak to him.
My thoughts were:
1. Tell him not to write to Superintendent without going through supervisor.
2. He has worked this beat for 3 years. What intelligence has he gathered? Who does he think has been committing these offences? What has he done about the suspects? What support and help does he need to deal with them? How can these additional patrols/resources be used to help tackle the offenders without alienating innocent young people?
3. Why is he focused on good relations with young people on the estate? What has he done to engage with other residents and the more elderly/ vulnerable?
4. Why wasn't he at the community meeting the Superintendent attended?
6. What is his arrest record? Why has he made so few arrests?
6. Does he want to be a police officer or a youth worker?
7. Action plan. Monitor performance regarding the crime problem, intelligence, arrests etc. If no improvement move to unsatisfactory performance procedure.
The specimen answers included 1. and 3. and then said thank him for all his good work as a beat officer and tell him an action plan would be considered if he doesn't improve. Nothing about 2. (too challenging perhaps?) And no mention of his poor arrest record.
Is this why we are producing airy fairy supervisors without the balls to challenge or deal with poor performers?
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.