"I knew nothing about it. Honestly. Well, I did authorise a trial but this was outside of its parameters."
She hasn't resigned yet, but we have had this one for 18 months now, it must be time for a change.
I posted recently about the complete ineptitude of the UK Border Agency and how people are coming to this country every day clearly intending to stay or work. The recent furore about immigration abandoning proper checks and just allowing people through is not surprising. On one occasion just three members of staff were on duty at Heathrow and could not cope with the thousands of passengers trying to come into the country. The floodgates were basically thrown open.
Some senior managers have been suspended and I have no doubt one or two will have to take their pensions early so that the Government can try and wash its hands of responsibility. Middle managers sent out an arse covering e-mail asking staff to use their discretion when conducting checks. Those of us experienced in the ways of management would ignore such an e-mail and continue carrying out proper checks. This is because what the e-mail is really saying is we haven't got enough staff to do the job properly so cut corners, but if you get caught or mess up we will wash our hands of you. Less experienced, or less cynical, staff will assume they can take shortcuts and that they will have the support of their management if something goes wrong. Poor naive people!
Cuts are being made to public services and the effects are starting to be felt. There will be more and more pressure from managers to make things work with less resources. If staff take shortcuts to try and make things work and it goes wrong you can be assured that the management, who implement the policies, and the Government, who are imposing the cuts, will try and wash their hands of all responsibility.
With regard to policing and the 20% cuts being imposed to budgets, the Government needs to accept that we cannot continue to do everything that we currently do. The Government and senior management need to decide what we are no longer going to do and give some clear directions to officers regarding this. Until then all officers should continue ticking all the boxes and not taking shortcuts and chances, no matter what pressure there is to do so. When it goes wrong, the officer on the ground just trying to do their best with what they have got will be hung out to dry.