Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Jobs For The Boys

Northampton PCC - Adam Simmonds


Our new Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC) have been settling into their roles. Their first tasks are to produce a Policing  and Crime Plan and sort out the budget for the next financial year. Chief Constables are looking forward to the plans and reminding the PCC's that they will only be able to achieve as much as allowed by the budget the PCC's provide.

Most PCC's have woken up to the fact that their role is not part time and they have their hands full. They have inherited the staff previously employed by the Police Authorities but for many this is not enough. Obviously, they all need Deputies. The legislation allows PCC's to appoint a deputy (The Police Reform & Social Responsibility Act 2011 provides, under Section 18(1), that a Police & Crime Commissioner may appoint a person to be Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner. The Act also states that the Deputy will be a member of the Commissioner’s staff but, unlike other members of staff, he or she need not be appointed on merit and will not be politically restricted.)

So almost anyone can be appointed Deputy PCC. In most counties this means that the PCC's have appointed one of their mates as Deputy without any form of advertising or selection process. In what other role can you simply appoint someone to a £50K plus job without going through such a process?
 
Some PCC's have taken their role to new levels. Rather than just take responsibility for the governance  of policing services in their area they want to take on the whole justice system and micro manage every area of it.  For example, Northamptonshire PCC, Adam Simmonds standing for the Conservatives, is proposing to increase his staff by 17 posts. He started out by appointing four Assistant Commissioners, one of whom was his election agent and the other three Conservative activists. All above board and compliant with discrimination law, I am sure.  At the same time, (you couldn't make it up) he also wrote to every member of the police force advising them that there was no money and jobs may be lost. Others are at it too.

The actions of the PCC are monitored by a Police and Crime Panel. In Northamptonshire, Conservative Councillors were elected as Chair and Deputy Chair of the Panel. So much for keeping politics out of the police. The whole thing is a farce.

Meanwhile, in my old force they had a class of recruits lined up to start training in March. They decided to write to all these recruits and inform them that their start date was now put back to April and they would now start on the newly reduced, Winsor, salary of £19,000 per annum. Half of them declined the offer and so the course has been cancelled.

20 comments:

  1. Times are tough but toughest is when public servants are not treated fairly.

    Stay Blue,
    Scott

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  2. Could we do any worse than give this chap a fair chance? All eyes will be on delivery of his pledges within a reasonable timescale.

    We must thank Providence there are no groups which stand to gain by smearing him and sabotaging his efforts. Oh, hang on...

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  3. £19k is a good salary for an entry level job where you the only requirement nowadays is a pulse. I'm not dissing police but when I see some of the unfit, short fat stupid constables that are hired, I can't see how they are worth more than £12-15k.

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  4. That said, some are good but even then £19k is a good salary for an entry level job with the overtime and pension benefits available...

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  5. melv - what do we stand to gain?

    Andy - I agree with you that some of our recruits could be better but for the most part they are OK.

    I think you are forgetting that should the recruit choose to join the new police pension scheme that will cost them 10.1% of their £19K. There is very little overtime and most officers work many more than 40 hours a week just to try and get things done.

    I think you may also be forgetting that the job is not 9-5 Monday to Friday, it is 24/7. Most private firms would pay at least 20% extra for unsocial hours. I could also mention, how many other jobs involve regularly being sworn at, spat at and assaulted Etc. Etc.

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  6. Norfolk (Stephen Bett) appears to be comatose, one would think a police corruption story linked to EDL membership might focus the ****ers mind! OK off to see head of ECHR.

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  7. Have a look at what other jobs an 18 year old who has few qualifications can get - we're talking 10,11 or 12k max.
    If new entrants should get more than 19k then you'd need to tighten up entry requirements, ditch the easy route in from PCSO to PC and make it tougher to get in.
    I know it isn't easy with abuse etc but as someone who works for a bank, I know that overtime is a pipe dream for us - 07:30 to 18:00 each day minimum and to even get my job I've had to do a tough and expensive MSc. There are no bonuses for us btw -only the big boys get those.

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  8. Andy you only have to read the bile spouted on here by scum like Broxted to see what we have to put up with on a daily basis.Well worth £19,000 a year!
    Jaded.

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  9. Yeah but the police are turning away recruits left right and centre. With so many people wanting something, that should drive the cost down for the police.
    As I said before, I could understand if all new recruits were street savvy, straight A, action men (and women) but look at some of the mongs who make it in now...
    I'm not saying it is easy work but there is demand for places..

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  10. Here in South Wales, Alun Michael has appointed the former chairman of the Police Authority as his Chief of Staff, allbeit on a reduced salary of only £61k!! And now he wants to appoint a deputy and a finance officer, on £66k each. (I might apply, retiring tomorrow!!) Apparently he has got the PA budget to spend, only £835k!! And the Gwent bloe appointed his mate and ex-police colleague and campaign agent as his deputy. If you include all the pension perks, cars, offices and so on, the cost will be huge. Where are the savings? It sucks big time.

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  11. Andy, I have some sympathy regards quality of recruits, I think we could do a bit better from the applicants we get. The majority of applicants are dire and totally unsuitable.
    If you think the quality is bad now think about what the quality will be like at £19k. Many of the best recruits in the police are looking at the writing on the wall and looking for jobs elsewhere. Believe me it is going to get worse. You are being softened up so you don't object when you have G4S security guards wandering the streets on minimum wage.
    If we take the view that the salary of any occupation can be reduced if there are more applicants than positions then we could reduce the salary of MP's to about £20k or even less. (They have recently suggested they deserve a 32% pay rise.) Whenever MP's pay is raised they claim it needs to go up to get the right quality people into the job. This doesn't seem to apply to the police, or anyone else for that matter.

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  12. Absolutely, I follow your logic there but don't think base salary should rise.
    Why not have different entry salaries based on background - someone with 2 GCSE's V a degree level applicant with 3 years exp as a special?
    Or make it 19k for all but have faster rises for people.
    I honestly can't be convinced that 19k isn't enough for an entry level role requiring no qualifications when there are hundreds of thousands of people around the country on less but with more skills and experience.

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  13. the whole thing is very worrying

    jobs for the boys indeed

    was there any public desire for all this?

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  14. Absolutely none Jess. Hardly any of the public had any idea about the governance of policing.

    The introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners was inroduced by the Conservative Government to achieve a number of things.

    1. Most PCC's represent political parties and so their introduction brings about more political control of the police.

    2. When Government cuts to police funding start causing fatalities and other serious issues, the Government can pass the buck to the PCC, who is responsible for setting the budget. (Central Government grant funds more than half of the police budget. Council Tax pays the rest.)

    3. The Government will use the PCC's to bring about the privatisation of many policing services in the name of cost saving and efficiency. The PCC's will take the flack for all the problems this brings.

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  15. Andy - trainee manager for MacDonalds starts on £21k per annum.

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  16. Ah Lex, two issues though.
    1.) McDonalds can pay different salaries around the country and so oop north they may not get as much as down south.
    2.) As per Maccy D's website to get this kind of Management Scheme you need "Position Requirements
    You’re a graduate – or someone with bags of ambition and at least 2 years relevant management experience under your belt"

    We in contrast are talking about no-qualifications / entry level police...

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  17. it seems to me that being a TRAINEE manager for a burger flipping joint is surely less dangerous and demanding than training to be a police officer.

    I dont wish to offend any McManagers but c'mon...

    19k in this day and age seems very low and surely must affect recruitment quality.

    and doesn't the training system rule out anyone physically or mentally unsuitable anyway?

    (also true of McManagers)

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  18. Jess that's my whole point - it used to but now PCSO's get automatically fast tracked in after 2 years (I think it is 2 - Lex?) and as for physically able, they have dropped the height/weight/fitness tests to such a level that you'd have to be drunk to fail them.

    As for the relative demands each job puts upon you, a McJob may be less risky but you'd think it might be more taxing based on their entry requirements - or are you saying that all these trainee PC's are far better than all the grads who are applying in droves for MaccyD management jobs?

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  19. Andy, there are many graduates joining the police. Certainly they are not all ex PCSO's and there is no automatic right for PCSO's to move to a police officers role. They still have to go through the same recruitment process as other applicants.

    I do have a lot of sympathy with your views. I believe that Forces recruiting PCSO's is largely a big mistake. Many of them are unsuitable. Forces take the view that as they have already worked for the organisation and shown some loyalty and commitment they deserve the chance.

    What you do need to understand is that the vasy majority of applicants are unsuitable and that has been at a starting salary of £22K. At the new starting salary we will see the quality of recruits decline further.

    This is all part of the Governments long term plan. The decline in quality of recruits will mean that the public are softened up regarding their attitude to the role of the police officer. That will be the opportunity for Government to replace them and you will see security guards patrolling the streets om minimum wage. This will be sold to you on the basis that they cannot be worse than you already have.

    I also have a lot of sympathy with you regarding the fitness of recruits. When I joined, there was a fairly rigorous fitness test and it was different for men and women.
    For many good reasons the police have become fixated with equality and trying to achieve a 50/50 balance of male and female recruits. This has resulted in the abolishment of height requirements and a fitness test that is so laughable it can be passed by a 13 stone disgustingly unfit female officer.

    This is not what the public want and many of us would like to change it. We, and the public, are written off as dinosaurs who need educating.

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  20. I think we're on the same page then.
    How about we go for 24k starting salary but have a real beast of a fitness test combined with either academic achievement or a strenuous written and spoken english and maths test.
    I have similar views on teachers - there is too much crap in there. So many friends who I went to Uni with, finished, bummed around, went skiing, tried a private sector career but couldn't hack it so became teachers, even if they had CDD at A-Level and a 2:2 from Uni.

    My view is if you want the best then you must pay for the best but I guess we need both at the same time - I'm against raising the bar for entry whilst cutting salaries but then again I don't want high salaries until we raise that bar!

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