Sunday, 30 December 2012

Plebgate Shock! Mitchell May Be Lying

Here is another take on the video 'evidence' released by Mitchell and his cronies.

Saturday, 29 December 2012


I have never been a supporter of the Honours system in this country. The whole set up seems to belong to another age. We have knighthoods, lordships and such for the great and the good and MBE's Etc. for the hoi polloi who have been judged worthy of a bauble and who are made to feel part of the system for a day at the palace.

To try and give the system credibility, more recently, some of the hoi polloi have been given senior honours. The whole thing has however lost all credibility. Failed civil servants and politicians are given honours to help them disappear quietly. 'Celebrities' are given honours to try and show the Government are human and in touch with the people. Worst of all, all political parties are simply selling honours to anyone prepared to donate £100 k or more. The system is a farce.

I am pleased that people like Bradley Wiggins and other athletes have been honoured. Inevitably, Bernard Hyphon Howe has been given a knighthood. It seems that you cannot have a Met Commissioner without a title. The decision regarding this would have been made before the
'Plebgate' incident, of course.

Sir Bernard Hyphen Howe

I am disappointed that PC Kate Brookman from Sussex has been given a QPM. She has been a police officer for 26 years. For 17 of those years she has been a Neighbourhood Schools Officer. She has also been a communications officer and a crime scene support officer. She has been rewarded for her dedicated work with young people. We all know people like PC Brookman; lovely person, dedicated to their role but at the end of the day her career has been nine to five in an office with Christmas off and little chance of getting her hands dirty. When will we see an officer given a QPM for a consistently high arrest rate?

PC Kate Brookman QPM

Most disgraceful, of course, are the awards for failure, which devalue the whole system. Hector Sants was CEO of the Financial Services Authority from 2007 until he stepped down quietly in June 2012. (Fear not for his career. He will take up a new post with Barclay's Bank in 2013.) He was in charge of overseeing the banks when they nearly bankrupted the country. He has been rewarded for leading the reform of the FSA and for learning the lessons of the disaster he partly had responsibility for.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Merry Christmas to All You Plebs and Morons!

Well, it has all been happening whilst I was away..........NOT!

If he thinks the police are plebs and morons imagine what he thinks of the press

We still have Tory Ministers treating the police with absolute contempt but one of them is having a hissy fit regarding what he actually said because it has resulted in a pay cut. There is some irony there when the Government are determined to see through wholesale pay cuts to the police. Mitchell admits swearing at a police officer and has apologised for that. That is enough for him to go. Of course he doesn't want to admit the other words allegedly used as it would simply confirm the contempt and disdain that this Government hold the police in. The only confusion seems to be that some moronic pleb decided to send an e-mail to his MP claiming to have witnessed the incident when he did not.

This e-mail has been enough for some to suggest that the whole thing has been a conspiracy by the police. Mitchell's supporters have produced heavily edited CCTV claiming there were not any members of the public around and that there wasn't time for the words to have been said. This is all bunkum. 30 officers are now wasting police time investigating this sorry saga. I predict that the investigation will show the original officer in Downing Street will stick to his account, which is probably right, and one officer who sent the e-mail will be sacked for being a moron and damaging the reputation of the police.

I have learnt a lot on my travels. When you see the work ethic in third world countries and the generosity and charity towards those less fortunate it only confirms what a disaster our liberal infested society has become. More on (sic) that another time.

Happy Christmas!


Thursday, 20 September 2012

The Shootings and the BBC (2)

I started watching Newsnight tonight. The BBC has taken a new tack which has driven me to switch off the TV before a brick goes through the screen. The allegation now is that the shooting of the two officers is the fault of the police because the 'community' have lost confidence in the police and so they harbored the suspect rather than hand him in.

Apparently the 'community' in Manchester, whatever that is, feel safer being protected by local 'hard men' rather than the police, as they are more effective.

Let's make it clear; the 'community' that harbored this suspect are part of the criminal underworld.  They may have been assisted by a few people on the fringes and who are part of the underclass. They are nothing to do with the vast majority of decent law abiding people in this country, who have little idea about the lives of the underworld and underclass.

Our schools are producing kids who learn that being a 'grass' is worse than being a peadophile. From an early age they learn that outing poor behaviour will result in a beating and our liberal schools, parents and society are completely ineffective addressing the issue. This behaviour continues into adulthood and it is the justice system, not the police, that fails to protect those that would speak out against criminal behaviour.

How can the police gain the confidence of those being victimised by and drawn into criminality when all they can do is place offenders before the courts, who fail to protect victims from persistent offenders. When these victims and witnesses are threatened and beaten by offenders with impunity it is very difficult to persuade them to step up to the mark again.

The Shootings and the BBC

I was sat in my dressing gown this morning watching BBC breakfast. I mention this not to put you off your cornflakes. This is what happens when you work shifts. I cannot provide a link to the program as it is not available on iplayer for some reason.

I shouldn't have watched it, as all it did was raise my blood pressure. Quite rightly, the shooting of the two police officers in Manchester yesterday was the headline news. Inevitably there was mention of whether or not the police generally should be armed. The majority of police officers do not want to be armed, including me. There was also mention of bringing back the death penalty. This isn't going to happen either and nor do I support that. What I do want is for killers such as this to spend the rest of their lives in jail. There are police killers walking free in our society now.

What infuriated me was the line of questioning and the accusatory manner in which comments were made. What the presenters were trying to do was apportion blame. To suggest that the police were partly to blame for the gunning down of two of their officers. Why was this man on police bail? Why had he been released? Why hadn't he been charged and remanded? Why hadn't he been arrested before? Is it normal for two officers to be sent to an area like this? What did the police know about the address? Bill Turnbull even asked Sir Hugh Orde whether two female officers should have been crewed together.

This idea that offenders are not responsible for their actions, or at least not wholly responsible is now endemic in our liberal infested society. The BBC are one of the main proponents of this disgusting attitude.

PS Still looking for someone who might like to take up this blog. Less than 2 weeks to go.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012


Sorry this is still not the last post.

The Hillsborough tragedy might be one best left off topic for many but I will say my piece regarding the Bishop of Liverpool's report.

I can understand the demand from the families of victims that they want answers as to how their loved ones died. I can understand that they want to apportion blame. Personally, I don't doubt those that died were totally blameless. They would almost certainly have been in the ground some time before the crush started.

I can understand the concerns about the safety of the ground before the match. I can understand the concerns regarding the emergency response after the crush. To hear that many victims might have survived had they had better medical care must be distressing. I can understand concerns that police officers statements were amended to remove criticism of the police management of the response.

What I do not accept is the key finding of the report that Liverpool fans were not the cause of the disaster. The quest for the truth regarding this incident has now reached Orwellian proportions. It now appears there were no drunken fans: no ticket less fans and the fans have no responsibility for using so much force to push their way into the ground that nearly 100 people were crushed to death.

A society where individuals have no responsibility for their actions and where authorities are now routinely blamed for failing to prevent or manage those actions is a very unhealthy society.

Friday, 7 September 2012

IPCC Try Another Tack

I do promise that the last post will be coming soon. In the meantime this story caught my attention.

In August 2010 two Kent police officers were called to detain 52 year old Colin Holt, who had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Holt was allegedly restrained by the officers and allegedly died of positional asphyxia.

Two years later, on the 7th September 2012, Rene Barclay of the Crown Prosecution Service announced that the two Kent police officers are to be prosecuted. He said " It is alleged that on 30 August 2010, whilst acting as a police officer, namely as a police constable, PC Leigh and PC Bowdery misconducted themselves in that, without lawful justification or excuse, they wilfully neglected to take reasonable and proper care of Colin Holt, a person in police detention."

This matter will now be going to trial and it is important that nothing more is said about the details of this case which might prejudice any trial.

The case does raise some important issues. Once again these officers, and Holt's family, have had to wait two years before the outcome of the investigation and a prosecution decision. The pace of Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigations is outrageously slow.

The most concerning aspect of this case is the charge. In the case of Tomlinson/Harper the charge was one of manslaughter. In that case a jury acquitted PC Harper. He will face a disciplinary hearing for breaches of force policy and procedure and may lose his job.

If it is believed that officer's are responsible for a death then why isn't the charge manslaughter? Have the IPCC and CPS decided that the public, who make up juries, are too reluctant to convict police officers of manslaughter when carrying out a job in difficult circumstances? Have they now decided to charge this offence for breaches of policy and procedure, that would normally, and in any other role, be dealt with by internal discipline procedures.

The IPCC are anxious to show, a small but vociferous minority,  that they are independent. To do that they are desperate to build a list of convictions of police officers. If you look at the CPS guidance on the prosecution of the offence of Misconduct in Public Office (contrary to common law) it clearly states that the charge should not be preferred if there is evidence of a statutory offence. So the preferring of the charge suggests there is no evidence of manslaughter or any other substantive offence.

The charge of Misconduct in Public office is a serious one and is indictable only and carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. The charge is being used more and more frequently to deal with misconduct issues by police officers. The offence  is committed when:
  • a public officer acting as such
  • wilfully neglects to perform his duty and/or wilfully misconducts himself
  • to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public's trust in the office holder
  • without reasonable excuse or justification
It will be interesting to see if the IPCC and CPS new tactic succeeds in increasing their prosecution tally.

In the meantime, Tom Winsor will be taking over as Chief HMIC and he and the Home Secretary will be going ahead with their program of cutting pay and pensions and implementing their perception that the role of a police officer is no different to any other job.  Except, of course, they won't give us the right to take industrial action like any other job. They still expect us turn out for work any time to sort out the latest riot or public event. If there is a whiff of you doing something wrong or making a mistake you can expect the IPCC to pour all over it for two years and prosecute you for Misconduct in Public Office if they think there is half a chance of taking a police officers scalp.

Police officers are now treating the role as just another job. Why shouldn't they? Why would anyone want to go the extra mile or take any risks when there is no support and utter contempt from your masters. When this attitude becomes endemic you will see the difference. I shall be glad to be out of it.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Nick Herbert Throws His Teddy

Nick Herbert - Former Policing Minister

There has been speculation as to why the Policing Minister, Nick Herbert, resigned yesterday. The reasons are quite obvious.

Herbert, and his boss Theresa May, were given a brief to reform the police at all costs. To reduce pay, pensions and allowances. To bring in private sector management practise's and to privatise large sections of the service. In other words, to totally ruin the only effective part left of our ludicrous justice system.

I have met Herbert. He is an arrogant man who has no time for anyone at the 'coal face.' Views that contradict his own or that of his brief are an irrelevant annoyance. He has no idea what consultation means. He is typical of this Government, who seem to be completely out of touch with the realities of the recession for ordinary people. We are NOT all in this together.

Herbert resigned for two reasons. Firstly, he felt having done the bidding of his masters, and with his arrogance, he deserved a promotion in the latest cabinet reshuffle. Secondly, he knows what a mess policing reform and privatisation is going to make of the police service. He did not want to be left in post to take the blame for his decisions.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Now Recruiting

I promised that I will be leaving the police and that the time has also come to give up this blog. If there are any serving officers out there who might like to take over this established blog with a significant readership then I would happily consider this if you would like to submit a contribution.
The below article is from a reader in Australia. I thought it appropriate, as I am leaving, that I should  try and recruit my replacement in the police. For anyone wishing to become a social proctologist, my Force is one of the few still recruiting.
Do you feel lucky?
Are You Set to Become a Policeman? How to Know If You Will Be a Good One

If you want a career where you will face challenges every day while making a positive difference in your community, becoming a policeman might be for you – but do you have what it takes?

As a policeman, you’re helping to maintain law and order, which can be very rewarding. You’ll help ensure the safety of the public, return stolen goods, prevent and investigate crimes – but of course, these things are not without significant danger to you, and there are many other challenges along the way.

Can you deliver bad news?

Unfortunately, it often comes with the job. You may have to tell a mother that her child is injured or a newlywed that her spouse has been killed. Often that can mean being a shoulder to cry on – or someone to yell at. Either way, you have to be able to deal with it on a moment’s notice, and that will take an emotional toll on you over time.

Are you physically fit?

You have to be in good shape to be hired for the job – you can’t be under- or overweight for your height. Also, certain health issues may disqualify you completely, so make sure to read over the paperwork before wasting your time. Being able to move effectively is also a major part of the job, because if you can’t, it can place yourself or someone else in danger.

Do you have good character?

If you have a criminal record, that won’t necessarily disqualify you depending on the offence – but either way, it will be a significant detriment to your application. You may have to provide good references, so at the very least you need to have people who are willing to speak up on your behalf.

 Do you react well under stress?

You may face situations where you have to make life-changing choices in a matter of seconds. You need to have strong decision-making skills in high-pressure situations.
 How are your communication skills?

Could you deal with this person?

An important part of your job is being a liaison with the public. You need to have the ability to relate to people of all different backgrounds, religions, races, and ages. You will also be expected to exercise good judgement, be courteous, and resolve conflict in an effective manner.

What about your observation skills?

The details you notice at the scene of a crime can make the difference between putting someone behind bars or letting them get away. You need to have a keen attention to detail to do the job well.

Have you brushed up on your test-taking skills?

There are no academic requirements for becoming a policeman, but you will be given an exam to assess your command of the English language, ability to think logically, and basic math skills.

Still think you have what it takes?

One great way to get your foot in the door is to become a Special Constable, also known as a “Special.” These volunteer officers work for 8 to 16 hours each month without pay, providing support to sworn officers. This can prove your ability to interact with the public and display conflict resolution skills and leadership qualities in order to help you in your application for a full-time paid position later.

When you’re ready to apply, you’ll have to decide which of the over 50 police forces you want to try to join. Smaller forces often only accept a few recruits annually, but larger forces often search for hundreds of new recruits on a monthly basis.

Once accepted, you’ll enter a basic 15-week training programme at a National Police Training Centre where you’ll learn everything from police procedures and the law to communication skills and understanding the criminal mind, as well as taking part in exercise and self-defence training. Then you will undergo more training on the job under the guidance of an experienced tutor constable, as you are on probation for the first two years.

After satisfactory completion of this process, you’ll be a full-fledged sworn police officer, helping to protect your community!

 About the Author:

 Patrick Del Rosario is part of the team behind Open Colleges, one of Australia’s pioneers and leading providers of Management Courses for Businesses and Degrees in Human resource training. When not working, Patrick enjoys blogging about career and business. Patrick is also a photography enthusiast and is currently running a photography studio in the Philippines. If you have a blog and would like free content.  You can find him on Google+.



Thursday, 23 August 2012

Police Responsible for More Deaths

David Oakes - Murderer

The police have been blamed for the deaths of Christine Chambers and her daughter Shania. The pair were shot by Christine Chambers boyfriend David Oakes, who has been sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment. I am very disappointed that senior officers in Essex Police have simply rolled over and apologised for the alleged failings of the police and promised that lessons will be learnt.

I have previously written about the difficulties of prosecuting domestic abuse cases and about the apparent unwillingness of domestic abuse victims to press charges. There are also links between this case and my last post concerning Tia Sharp. If you read the first article you cannot miss the similarities between that case and this latest one. No lessons were learnt. I am not sure that there are any to be learnt.

Victims - Christine Chambers with daughters Shania and Chelsea

If the police failed in some way then I agree that we must look at our strategy and processes and see if we can do anything better. When I see the IPCC stating that not enough resources are placed in domestic abuse then alarm bells begin to ring. When I see that this offender has been in front of a judge and given a non molestation order and breached it I am not surprised as most breaches of such orders usually result in a ticking off by the judge and further bail. Every incident of domestic abuse is investigated. Invariably the victim will not press charges. I think we understand that victims are frightened of their attackers and perhaps we need to look more carefully at why.

Huge resources are spent trying to persuade victims to press charges. Every case is risk assessed using a 16 page form. Alarms, refuges and all sorts of support are offered but in most cases victims fail to support prosecutions. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) are not easily persuaded to go ahead with victimless prosecutions, quite rightly, when few of them are successful.

There are more and more demands made by various inspection authorities for the police to put more resources into domestic abuse, child abuse, anti terrorism, vulnerable adults, anti social behaviour. Etc. No thought seems to be given as to where these resources will come from. Police Officer numbers have been cut 16,000 in the last year. Most of these resources have come from the front line. Response officer numbers are pared to dangerous levels. Neighbourhood officers are becoming local crime investigators and prisoner handlers. Less than 50% of all crime reported is investigated at all. More resources placed in specialist departments will mean even fewer victims crimes being investigated.

What I think I would like to have heard the Essex ACC was this;

Appropriate resources are allocated to investigate domestic abuse. All incidents of domestic abuse are risk assessed and investigated. We do everything we can to persuade victims of domestic abuse to press charges but unfortunately they do not feel that the justice system offers them the protection they want. When offenders are charged they are invariably bailed by the courts and regularly breach bail conditions and re offend. Occasionally those on bail go on to commit very serious offences including murder. The courts are not investigated for their responsibility in these cases.

Sometimes we have to accept that the way some individuals chose to live their lives puts themselves and their children at greater risk. The police and other authorities should do all they can to protect vulnerable victims, including victims of domestic abuse. Sometimes it has to be accepted that because of peoples life choices and the constraints of our present justice system, not every victim can receive the protection that society would like them to have.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Tia Sharp - Victim of the Underclass?

Tia Sharp

Tonight the body of a person, believed to be the missing 12 year old, Tia Sharp, was found at her grandmother's house in New Addington. The grandmother's boyfriend, Stuart Hazell aged 37, has been arrested on suspicion of murder. He has not been charged or convicted and we need to remember that.

Tia was reported missing last Friday. When she was reported missing a cursory search would have been carried out for clues to her whereabouts. When she had not been found within another 24 hours a further detailed search should have been carried out, followed by forensic searches. The fact that a body has been found at the address a week later will demand some answers. It is possible, but unlikely, that the body may have been moved into the house. The search carried out today was obviously pursued for a reason. It may be that searches were carried out under floorboards or in loft cavities or places not readily accessible which had not been searched before.

I have written previously about the growing underclass in our society. Police officers will not be unfamiliar with Tia's family set up. Unfortunately, this is all too common nowadays. Grandmother, Christine Sharp, aged 46, living in social housing, unkempt garden, broken gas/electric meter box. Mother, Natalie Sharp, aged 31 (you do the maths.) Natalie was Stuart Hazell's girlfriend before he moved on and began a relationship with her mother.

Stuart Hazell

Stuart Hazell is a persistent offender with more than 30 convictions including for theft, burglary, handling stolen property, dealing crack cocaine and an attack with a machete.

We have a growing population of young women who lack any ambition and who have role models whose aim in life appears to be to have a child, gain social housing and avoid work. (Christine Sharp was working.) These women seem to be attracted to the most feckless and irresponsible men. They seem to be unable to exist without a man in their lives. There appears to be a large group of men who invariably have drug and/or alcohol issues, commit crime and often seem to be perpetrators of domestic abuse. These men are often homeless and just 'do the rounds' moving in with these needy and vulnerable women.

As these men move around more and more progeny are added. The police and other services spend huge resources dealing with the domestic abuse, crime, drugs and alcohol issues. Eventually, the man moves on to another partner and it all starts again.

The risk to the children that these men bring cannot be overstated. Many are violent and drugs and alcohol are usually serious issues. Some will be sexual predators. The women don't seem to consider this when they move the next boyfriend in. It seems anyone is better than being on your own for these women.

This underclass behaviour has increased as liberalism has prevented criticism of the 'lifestyle choice' of these women and men and they have become adept at using the welfare state to ensure we all pay for their lifestyle. Peer pressure to deter this sort of behaviour has all but disappeared and is encouraged in the underclass world. We will find out soon whether or not Tia was a victim of this underclass way of life.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Time I Retired

I can, and will, leave the police before very long. I can still remember the old sweats from 25 plus years ago talking about how the job was finished. Changes in the law, such as the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, were predicted to be the end of policing as we know it. Young officers like me just got on with it and didn't really know what these older retiring officers meant.

When I joined the police you knew that you would spend the first two years of your probationary career walking the beat and learning the craft of policing. How to communicate with people; to identify offenders and how to deal with them; to get information. Etc. Once you had proved you could do that, you could think about working on the crime car and perhaps moving to CID.

Teamwork - Still there?

Most of all, I remember a team of officers who worked together, supported one another and whose role was simple and basic. Catch bad people. The job then was a vocation. There was never any problem finding officers to work late or come in on a day off to get something done if it meant catching a bad guy, or girl.

For years now I have seen the job change. Legislation has, of course, made things more complex but this is used as an excuse to set up more and more specialist teams whose purpose, in some cases, seems to be no more than covering the backsides of senior management. This has meant fewer and fewer officers on the front line and more pressures on those officers left.

Constant changes and tinkering with the set up of policing has been more about senior officers CV's than real, long term improvements. Winsor is bringing about detrimental changes to both pay and conditions but, more importantly, will lead to more privatisation in the service. This will destroy even further the team work and dedication of officers.

I have had several experiences of the health service recently and I don't like what I see. Years ago I saw a team. I saw vocation. With some exceptions, what I now see are demotivated, demoralised doctors and nurses fed up with targets and constant interference in what should generally be a straightforward and basic role. Private enterprise within the service has ruined it.

This is now what has happened to the police. Vocation has almost disappeared. I see officers joining the police who just want to catch bad people and make the country a better place for the decent law abiding majority. Before they have completed their first 2 years probationary period, I see frustrated, disillusioned officers who believe they cannot beat the system that thwarts them at every turn. Trying to get officers to work late or on rest days now is almost impossible. There used to be rewards for this i.e. results. Now it is just means more frustration. They don't want it. Time to get back to basics.

Rowing is more exciting

A couple of recent cases caught my eye regarding officers being disciplined. The first was a sergeant who tried to destroy a mobile phone belonging to a colleague who was killed in a road traffic accident. He knew his colleague was having an affair and there would be evidence of it on the phone. He wanted to get rid of it so as not to cause the colleagues wife/partner unnecessary additional trauma. The sergeant was sacked.

I have done similar things many times. For example, I dealt with a 14 year old girl run down and killed by a drunk driver. In her bag she had condoms. When it came to handing her family her property I made sure the condoms disappeared. I don't know if the girl was sexually active. I don't know if the family had any idea. It was irrelevant to the death and why cause further unnecessary upset to the family? Should I be sacked for that?

Another case that caught my eye was of the Met officer who was investigated for putting 'I've met the Met' stickers' on vehicles from another Force. I was pleased to note that after investigation it was dealt with by words of advice. This practice has been going on to my knowledge, since we went on the miners' strike in 1984. Yes it's juvenile and yes it can be a bloody nuisance getting the stickers off but is this what we have come to? The job used to be fun. Not anymore.

So, I am now definitely the grumpy old git who needs to retire. Last post coming soon.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Simon Harwood Acquitted

PC Simon Harwood - Not Guilty

This afternoon the jury sitting at the trial of Simon Harwood charged with the manslaughter of Ian Tomlinson have found him not guilty.

I wrote about this subject last year. I didn't like what I saw but I wasn't there and I hadn't seen all the evidence. Most importantly, was it PC Harwood's actions that caused his death or was Tomlinson a sick man who could have collapsed and died at any time? The medical evidence was still in dispute at the trial.

It is interesting that juries at inquests seem to be quite willing to decide that deaths amount to unlawful killing when there is no prospect of a police office serving time for their decision. When it comes to criminal trials they appear to be a little more cautious. I suspect that if this ever goes to a civil court a jury may be more generous and so no doubt there will still be a settlement for his family.

I have no doubt that Mr Tomlinson's 'loving and caring' family (he was a drunk living in a grubby hostel and barely saw them) will be outraged by the jury's decision. It won't help their compensation case. Some of the media may cover this in editorial tomorrow. I also have no doubt that a small number of commentators will come crawling out from under their stones stating that the police have got away with another unlawful killing.

I said in my previous article that I would let the jury decide. Twelve of your peers have heard all the evidence in detail. They have deliberated for four days and have decided that there is insufficient evidence to convict. That is it. To argue any differently is meaningless.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

G4S Send Comedian to Select Committee

The complete and utter mess that G4S have made of the Olympics contract is still unravelling and the press haven't yet reported just how bad it is. G4S claimed to have recruited all but 3500 staff required to fulfil the contract. It now transpires that thousands of staff they thought had been recruited are no longer available or not interested in working.

G4S spent many months recruiting staff but failed to ensure that they were still available to work. This meant that as Olympic sites were searched and sealed ready for handover to G4S to guard and keep secure, G4S e-mailed staff to attend work and only a percentage of those actually turned up. This has meant that police officers are having to fill those gaps. Officers rest days are being cancelled with no notice.  Officers are being taken away from their core roles, leaving behind dangerously low levels of staff. Even more troops are having to be mobilised to fill some of these gaps.

In my force response teams are running below minimum agreed staffing levels. Investigators, neighbourhood teams and officers from many other departments are being posted to help with the Olympics. If you need the police urgently and dial 999; if you are a victim of crime and you want that crime investigated, pray you don't need to now because there is less likelihood of a police officer being available to answer your 999 call or to investigate your crime than ever before.

The CEO of G4S, Nick Buckles, was summoned to attend the Home Affairs Select Committee where he received the biggest mauling ever seen by the odious Keith Vaz and his cohorts. What shocked everyone was that Buckles agreed to pay compensation, bonuses Etc. His performance was lamentable. If you want to watch a bit you can see it here.

I can now reveal the reason for this poor performance and the empty promises of compensation. G4S didn't in fact send their CEO Nick Buckles to address the Select Committee, they sent the comedian Joe Pasquale.

G4S CEO Nick Buckles
Comedian Joe Pasquale

These little jokes by G4S continue with the news that two of the guards on the Coventry City Stadium are illegal immigrants from Pakistan. A country rather well known for its connections to terrorism.

I think it is fair to say that Dave and Theresa's plan to hand over the British Police Force to G4S has taken a bit of a set back. But don't think that this will stop this arrogant pair.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Home Secretary Resigns (3)

On Monday, our beloved Home Secretary, Theresa May, was asked specifically about G4S having insufficient staff to fulfil its contract for the Olympic Games. This is a transcript of the question and answer.

Gregg McClymont: The Olympics are only 18 days away, but we learned over the weekend that G4S still needs to fill 9,000 security positions. Without those staff, security will surely be compromised. Will the Home Secretary therefore confirm that she has signed off G4S’s recruitment schedule? Will she also give a personal assurance to the House that those 9,000 security staff can be recruited, vetted and trained in the next 18 days?

Mrs May: As the hon. Gentleman may be aware, venue security is being delivered by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, G4S and the military. It is a huge operation to protect more than 100 different venues, and delivering it is a big challenge. The Home Office has put in place a number of assurance processes to ensure that we have effective and robust scrutiny of venue security planning. We have been testing our plans thoroughly and are confident that our partners will deliver a safe and secure games, but we are not complacent and will leave nothing to chance, so we will stay on the case.

So, on Monday, the Home Secretary was 'confident that our partners will deliver a safe and secure games.' As we know, yesterday, Wednesday, she announced that the partners,G4S, have failed to recruit sufficient security staff to fulfil their contract. As a result of this an additional 3,500 troops are going to be deployed to security at the Games. Some of these troops have just got back from Afghanistan and will lose leave with their families. Some of them are being taken away from training to prepare them for their imminent tours of Afghanistan.

Mrs May said in her statement to the House of Commons that the requirement for extra troops 'had only crystallised in the last 24 hours.'

This seems to be totally contradicted by Defence Minister, Mr Hammond, who later told the defence select committee that the deployment request had come "as no great surprise". He told MPs it became clear that some extra servicemen would be needed two weeks ago when the beginning of the lock-down at the park started.

The buck stops with the Home Secretary regarding this shambles. She is ultimately responsible for ensuring the Games security is properly in place. It is clear that she has failed to monitor and address the failings of G4S to fulfil their contract. She appears to have misled Parliament last Monday.

Questions need to be asked regarding the award of contracts to G4S. There are a number of other large security companies. Why were all the eggs put in one basket in this case? And why are so many contracts generally being awarded to G4S? This partnership is getting so close, it smells.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

We Are All In This Together (2).....Not

PC Ian Dibell

Today an off duty Police Officer was shot dead. It appears that PC Ian Dibell intervened in an incident between two other men, one of whom was armed with a firearm. He put himself in harms way and it cost him his life. My thoughts are with this brave mans family.

Meanwhile, MP's have had their pension contributions increased by 1.85%. MP's have the most generous of all public sector pension and a review body recommended that their contributions be increased by 2.4%. They didn't like that and so they appointed another body who recommended 1.85%. There have still been howls of protest regarding this increase. Some MP's believe that this increase will prevent poor people from entering Parliament. £66K and all those expenses are apparently just not enough to live on. Call me Dave has been silent on the matter. Last year he said that MP's should face the same changes to their pension contributions as all other public sector workers. The Treasury wanted a 3.2% increase in all contributions.

Back in the real world of austerity, the Home Secretary appointed the 'independent' former rail regulator, and future HMCIC, Tom Winsor to privatise and totally screw up the police service. Winsor recommended increases in contributions to the police pension schemes of up to 4%. The Home Secretary hasn't thrown out these recommendations and appointed another 'independent' review. She has accepted the recommendations almost in totality.

In five years time there won't be many police officers left to get in harms way. I don't believe that G4S security guards will do it.

Saturday, 7 July 2012


How true!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

It's All Going to Go Pete Tong

Tom Winsor, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary

Well, inevitably, Tom Winsor will be the next Chief HMIC. I think the only surprise was that the Home Affairs Select Committee, chaired by the labour, expense fiddling, MP, Keith Vaz supported the nomination. Watch out for Mr Vaz in the Honours list before too long.

The incumbent Chief HMIC, Sir Denis O'Connor, was to have retired on the 31st July but has been persuaded to stay on until October, after the Olympics. The Policing Minister, Nick Herbert, felt Mr Winsor was 'head and shoulders' above the competition and that he saw no reason why the Chief HMIC need have been a senior police officer. It seems that confidence in Mr Winsor doesn't quite extend as far as all that.

Retiring senior officers are sometime a little more candid than usual. Sir Denis has told his successor that police morale is low and he needs to use the goodwill of officers. Unfortunately, I don't think that Mr Winsor will understand or even care about that. I have said before that this is very important. The police are the only effective part of the criminal justice system and the only part that gives a damn about justice. Lose this and you will see crime going through the roof.

The Policing Minister, Nick Herbert, has also stated that Winsor is not about privatisation. I have already suggested this is rot. Winsor changes the role of constable from that of crown servant to that of any other employee, who can be made redundant. The building blocks that Winsor 2 puts in place will allow Chief Constables to shed thousands of police officer roles and hand over those roles to private security. This is exactly how the CEO of G4S sees it.

The Government have played a blinder on the communications front. Years of undermining the police and portraying them as lazy, thick, overpaid thugs with huge gold plated pensions has been soaked up by the stupid reporters and editors of the Daily Mail Etc. When are the press going to wake up and realise that G4S security guards will be patrolling the streets in a couple of years? G4S will be investigating your crimes.
G4S will be answering your 999 calls and G4S security will be responding to most of those calls.

The IPCC understand this. They are worried that privatisation of the police will leave them with almost nothing to investigate. The newish chair of the IPCC, Dame Anne Owers, wants her organisations powers extended to include all private companies carrying out the functions of the police.

After the riots last August we read that troops were being trained to help deal with future disorder. Now we hear that troop numbers are being cut by 20% and there may not be enough soldiers left to cover our strategic military commitments, never mind assisting the police with rioters.

In a few years time, police officers will comprise a small paramilitary force used to tackle violent offenders and public order incidents. Whether those numbers will be sufficient to tackle disorder on the scale we saw last year and whether troops will be available to support those police is not very likely. One thing I do know is that if it all goes wrong, it won't be Tom Winsor's fault. It won't be Nick Herbert's fault and it won't be Theresa May's fault.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Another Daft Idea Doomed to Failure

Eric Pickles

Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary has announced further details of his plan to tackle problem families in this country. Apparently, these families are going to be told it is not everyone else's fault and they are going to have to start taking responsibility for themselves.

The trouble is, I can't see where this responsibility starts taking place. This is because the plan then goes on to say that Councils are going to be responsible for tackling these families. The Councils are going to get bonus payments for keeping the problem kids in education and for getting the adults into work. Why would they spend a fortune trying to that?

I don't see a word about consequences for any of these problem families. I don't see anything about Social Workers, Youth Offending Team, Probation, Magistrates, Judges Etc. discontinuing making excuses for their behaviour. I don't see a word about what will happen if the children don't attend school. Not a word about stopping benefits if adults can't be arsed to get up and go to work. There seems to be a very big carrot and no stick. This is just Government spin of no consequence to anyone. Mr Pickles is a donkey!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Tom Winsor a Step Nearer HMCIC

I blogged recently that Tom Winsor the author of the 'independent' review of policing in this country had applied for the role of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary. The previous blog outlined what a disaster this would be for policing in this country. I won't go over that ground again.

We hear today that Winsor has now been put forward as the preferred candidate of the Home Secretary, Theresa May. He now has to go through a couple of hoops before his name being submitted to the Queen for approval (rubber stamping.) It just shows you that you don't need any policing experience for a top job in policing!

He will shortly be interviewed by the Home Affairs Select Committee, chaired by Keith Vaz. The Committee will have to approve Winsor's appointment. A long time ago now I blogged about Keith Vaz. His expense claims and 'flipping' of homes somehow escaped prosecution. I don't know how. It seems we now have to rely on Mr Vaz to keep Winsor out of this role.

Keith Vaz MP

This Government are up against it. They are having to deal with the austerity brought about by the previous incompetents. I suspect however that this Government won't be around for more than one term. Their handling of a number of issues has been amateurish and there is an arrogance about them that is not at all endearing.

Theresa May and Nick Herbert are extremely arrogant and the Police Federation treating 'Kittens' disrespectfully will not have gone down well. I am not suggesting she didn't deserve it. The Federation need to be shouting from the rooftops regarding the end of policing in this country.

Winsor's appointment will simply show the Government's resolve to go ahead with reform and the privatisation of the police service. This is the beginning of the end of traditional policing in this country. The public need to understand what this means. G4S security patrolling your streets and responding to incidents. G4S security investigating your crimes. A small (probably national) paramilitary police force to tackle violent offenders, riots, demonstrations etc.

The public and media need to take on board what is happening to policing in this country and start fighting it. It will soon be too late. 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Stop and Search - Is It Cos I'm Black?

Assistant Chief Constable, Paul Marshall, of Suffolk has been wringing his hands and attaching a few leeches to his heart. He is 'disappointed' that Ipswich, Suffolk only has a black and Asian population of 2% but 12% of the people searched by his, obviously racist, officers are black and Asian. He would really like to ban his racist officers from searching black and Asian people but that would cause even more of a stink in The Mail and definitely ruin his future career.

There have been many possible theories put forward regarding the disproportional number of Visible Ethnic Minorities (VEM's) being stopped and searched. For example, the resident population may not accurately reflect the numbers of VEM's on the streets of that area. VEM's may offend disproportionately to white offenders. Police officers are more likely to record stop and search of VEM's because there is more likely to be a complaint about the search.

There may be something in all of those theories but the liberal brigade will conclude that even allowing for those reasons there must be racism within the police to account for the figures. It has to be said that figures in the Met show more VEM's being searched than white people but this reflects the large use of S44 Terrorism searches.

The population of my force is approximately 91% white, 6% Asian and 2% Black. The 2010/2011 statistics show that of those stopped and searched by the police in the force, 83% were white, 8.5% Asian, 5.5% Black and 3% Mixed Race. Does this mean that the Force has racist tendencies we need to address? I have no doubt that there are racists in the Force. Plenty is done to tease and weed them out, but at the end of the day police officers are recruited from the general population, some of whom are racists. Any racists in the force don't show themselves up in stop and search. Records are monitored to see if any officers are searching VEM's disproportionately. I have concerns that some officers avoid searching VEM's in case of accusations of racism.

Some stop and searches are spontaneous. For example, if you stop a vehicle or person in the street and there is a smell of cannabis, that may give you grounds to search. In most cases though, there is an incident report to support stop and searches. For example, if a crime is reported by phone and a suspect has recently been seen, a description is taken and passed over the radio to officers. I am not aware that this sort of detailed research has previously been carried out.

I decided to go through the latest incidents in my own force area until I had found 100 with a description that had been circulated to officers to try and trace offenders. By the time I had reached 100, 18 incidents had suspects described as VEM's. This is almost identical to the 17% of VEM's searched by officers in the force, which is almost double the 9% of VEM's resident within the Force.

I do appreciate that this is just one small sample and even if these figures were replicated elsewhere, it may just reflect racism within the public reporting crime. It may however show that the police are simply acting responsibly to what is being reported to them. Perhaps Mr Marshall, you needn't be disappointed with your officers after all.

Friday, 1 June 2012

British Criminal Justice - Indefensible

Sorry, I know this subject is probably getting tedious but now, even criminal defence lawyers are acknowledging our criminal justice system is a joke, with no consequences for poor behaviour.

Monday, 28 May 2012

With Respect, Mr Herbert, Bollocks!

Nick Herbert

The Police Federation might regret upsetting 'Kittens' at their annual Conference a couple of weeks ago. There was nothing in her speech to the Conference to suggest that there was going to be any change of tack by the Government. Little sign of listening or negotiating regarding the future of policing in this country.

The Federation heavyweights wrote a pretty acerbic e-mail to the Policing Minister, Nick Herbert and copied it to all MP's. His response is pretty blunt in political terms. It can be summarised as 'get stuffed.' He has certainly got his knickers in a twist regarding the suggestion that Tom Winsor's report was not independent.

Mr Herbert states that Tom Winsor wasn't even aware that other members of his legal firm were advising G4S with regard to their bid to take on a range of policing services. Really? A number of people claim they knew nothing about phone hacking. Does anyone believe them?

The most disingenuous part of Mr Herbert's letter is that he states Winsor is not about privatisation of policing services. This is laughable. It is true that Winsor doesn't actually mention privatisation. Why would it? That would be being honest with the public and likely to lose votes. Winsor will put in place all the building blocks necessary to privatise almost the entire service. Put this together with the European tender that all Police Forces have signed up to, except Derbyshire, to privatise most areas of policing in this country and you can see where it is going.

On another note, ACPO PLC gets almost half its funding from the Home Office and half from the Police Authorities. It does also make a fair chunk of money from selling CRB checks. Police Commissioners mean the end of Police Authorities in November and that stream of funding for ACPO is likely to go.

Head of ACPO, Sir Hugh Orde. Looking for a job in November. Police Commissioner?

In return for all that money,  ACPO provided the Government with their wisdom and advice in all policing matters. ACPO has broadly supported the Governments reform program. Their evidence to Winsor included the advice that constables could be paid less, but Chief Officers should be paid more. It appears ACPO have been following the Governments agenda like a bunch of lemmings heading for a cliff. The Government feels it can now do without ACPO's advice and get that elsewhere. From November the Home Office funding of ACPO is going to stop, effectively closing ACPO down. It appears that ACPO are not quite so keen on change now and a couple of other Chief officers are now expressing concerns with regard to the reform agenda and privatisation of policing services.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

More on Our Failing Justice System

I have been banging on for some time now about our completely ineffective justice system; how sentencing policy fails to deter prolific offenders; how sentencing and rehabilitation fails completely to protect the public, who are now routinely told to protect themselves in the guise of crime prevention advice.

The riots throughout the country last August highlighted the disgraceful state of affairs, which has allowed prolific offenders to continue on their offending sprees with impunity. More than three quarters of those sentenced in relation to the riots had previous convictions. Of those with convictions, the average number of convictions was 15 offences. Only one third of those offenders, with an average 15 convictions, had ever been to prison.

New figures have been released showing that re-offending rates amongst prolific offenders are increasing rather than declining. Well I never! The average custodial sentence has increased by one month. I have been saying for some time that the complete ineffectiveness of sentencing and rehabilitation in this country means that more and more prolific offenders are walking in and out of our revolving door justice system treating the whole thing for what it is, a joke. They go on to commit more and more serious offences until they do something so serious they are being jailed for a significant time.

All this is too little too late. The average offender has seven court appearances before a custodial sentence is likely to be given. By this time they are so far down the road of criminality that the short sentence they receive is of no deterrence whatsoever and gives no time for any effective rehabilitation.

The police are the only part of the justice system which is of any effect. Falling morale and the dismantling of the police by Tom Winsor will result in a service as impotent as the rest of the justice system. Decent law abiding people should be very worried about this. The public should be harassing their MP's regarding this prospect. Criminals will be getting an almost free rein to carry on offending and victimising more and more innocent people.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Tom Winsor HMCIC?

There are unconfirmed reports that Tom Winsor has applied for the role of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary. When I read this I laughed out loud. I then realised that if this appointment comes about it will assist the Government implement the full disaster of Winsor 2 and the end of traditional policing in this country.

The public should be very concerned about Winsor. We know now that he invented information from officers in his report and some of the so called evidence is seriously flawed. Winsor has brushed this aside as irrelevant. We now know that Winsor is on the board of the law firm White and Case. This firm represented G4S in their negotiations with Lincolnshire Police who have privatised some of their services. The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has assured us that Tom Winsor's independent report into policing is nonetheless independent as he carried it out as an independent individual and not as a representative of White and Case. So, that's OK then.

Winsor isn't about pay and pensions. We know we are going to take a hit on our pay and pensions like the rest of the public sector. Winsor isn't about getting better quality recruits. He wants to reduce, substantially, the starting pay of recruits. That is not going to improve the quality. Winsor isn't about getting better quality managers into the police. Direct entry at inspector level and superintendent won't work. Winsor simply puts in place the building blocks to allow managers to be brought in to manage private security staff. Winsor is about the privatisation of the police service. Winsor means private security guards patrolling the streets of Britain instead of the police. Winsor means when you dial 999 G4S security will answer your call instead of the police. Winsor means when you report a crime it will be investigated by G4S or similar.

The Government will try and convince the public that this service will be as good, or better, than that currently being provided by the police. When you have private security guards on minimum wage and shareholders trying to extract as much profit out of the company as possible, it is obvious what service the public will receive.

Winsor applying for the role of HMCIC is worrying. Worrying, because he clearly hasn't a clue about policing. Worrying, because it seems unlikely he would apply for the role without some nod from those in power. Worrying, because his appointment will help the Government bring about the aims of his report and the end of policing in this country as we know it.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

We're All In This Together........Not!

When I joined the police 8% of my salary was taken as a contribution towards my pension. That went up to 11% in 1987. Those contributions will now go up to 14.2%. Combined with a four year pay freeze, the standard of living of all officers is going to be significantly eroded. With the state of the economy we have pretty well resigned ourselves to this.

The police budget is being cut by 20% and in the short term that will mean significantly increased pressures and demands on officers. The level of service we provide is deteriorating. Mistakes will be made, some of which will have serious consequences for victims and officers. Morale is already falling and will go through the floor when the Winsor proposals take effect. When officers start being made redundant and G4S security guards take over patrolling the streets and investigating all crime, the police service we know, and which is admired all over the world, will be consigned to history.

As part of the review of public sector pensions, judges are now being required to make contributions towards their pensions for the first time. Up until now they have been non contributory. They are being asked to pay just 1.8% towards their pension and are not at all happy about it. Judges earn between £103K (District Judges) and £240K (Lord Chief Justice.) They earn a 50% pension after 20 years service. The average judges pension is £54K. In addition to this, the vast majority have already  built up a huge private pension pot from their time as barristers.

The judges have two arguments against paying pension contributions. Firstly, they maintain that barristers are earning more than judges and so there is no incentive to become a judge and there is a risk that we will not be able to recruit good quality judges.

Secondly, having to pay pension contributions is effectively a pay cut. Judges are a special case and there is a constitutional need to protect their independence from the Government and they should be protected from the Government being able to cut their pay.

The judges have set up a fighting fund and are considering taking their case to the courts. I hope they can afford a barrister! There is a threat of industrial action ahead. Apparently judges have that right, which is withheld from the police.

If barristers are earning more than judges it simply confirms to me that people are paying themselves disgusting amounts of money. And the worst fact is that some of these people think they are worth it. I support capitalism but it has gone seriously awry. When the average annual salary is £29K we should not be paying people hundreds of thousands of pounds or millions in the case of company executives. There used to be a company in America. The rules of the company stated that the Chief Executive could not earn more than 10 times that of the lowest paid worker. We need to get back to some reality such as this to rein in some of our overpaid brass.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Police March 10th May

32,000 police officers marched in London today. It is unlikely it will divert the Government from their policing agenda but it was a fantastic turnout and may cause some of those in power to stop and reflect, especially in the wake of the recent elections.

There were a few single cause fruitcakes out, which provided some light entertainment. Is that you Ciaran?

It is important that people understand what the march was about. There are three main issues and I will deal with them in ascending order of priority.

Firstly, the police are cross about their pay and pensions. We understand that there is a financial crisis in the country, caused largely by the last profligate Government implementing its liberal policies. The banking crisis simply added to the problem. Police pay has been frozen for four years. With inflation running at 4% this means salaries and living standards are being cut. Additional allowances paid to some front line officers have been abolished. To add to this, pensions are being attacked. Officers currently joining the police have to work 35 years to get a half salary pension. They pay almost 10% of their salary for this. Pension contributions will be rising to 13 or 14% and officers may have to work up to 42 years before they get their pension at age 60.

I don't expect much public sympathy regarding pay and pensions but you need to understand that very few officers will be able to collect a full pension. This is part of the real plan. Tom Winsor wants any officer who isn't fully operational sacked. How many 59 year olds will be running after offenders and rolling around on the floor with drunks?

The second issue is the cuts of 20% to the police budget. We understand that the country is almost bankrupt and savings have to be made. Cutting police officer numbers when unemployment is rising and crime is increasing is simply going to add to the problems of this country. Peoples quality of life is in decline because of the austerity measures being taken. Cutting police officer numbers and allowing crime to rise is nonsensical.

The third and most important reason is the recommendations in the Winsor report. These recommendations put in place all the ingredients required to largely privatise the police service. Winsor is recommending that police officers pay is reduced even further and that police can be made redundant. He also recommends that senior officers are appointed directly into their roles rather than coming through the ranks.

What this means is that in five or ten years time police officers patrolling our streets will disappear. Patrolling will be privatised and security guards will take over that role. Police officers investigating crime will also disappear. Some forces have already largely civilianised that role. Police officers will disappear completely and investigation will also be completely privatised.

There will be a national paramilitary police force who will deal with violence, demonstrations and riots etc. Most of these officers will be short term, possibly contract employees, who will never see a proper pension. Managers from outside organisations, with no experience of policing, will be employed directly into senior roles to replace those that will no longer be coming through the ranks.

The public need to think carefully about the service they will get from the private sector. When profit is the motive of the employer, how much will patrolling and investigating security guards be paid and what will be the quality of those employees? What accountability will they have? What will the relationship be between the small paramilitary police force and the public? Will the small number of police officers left be able to deal with situations such as the riots last August?

Just 24 Metropolitan Police were tasked to police the police demonstration today. The Pakistan leader was visiting London today. Over 100 police officers were tasked to keep the Pakistani leaders pro and anti factions apart.

Hear! Hear!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Racism or Political Correctness at its Worst?

Kabeer Hassan, One of the Offenders

You may have read today that a gang of nine Asian males were found guilty of plying young vulnerable white girls with drink and drugs and passing them around for sex. Some of the victims were as young as 13.

At the time of the arrest the police declined to state the ethnicity of the gang involved, sparking a lot of speculation in the press. Today police spokespersons have repeatedly stated that these were NOT racially motivated crimes. Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood, of Greater Manchester Police said: "It is not a racial issue. This is about adults preying on vulnerable young children. It just happens that in this particular area and time the demographics were that these were Asian men." Mmm. If you do a bit of research you will find that 96% of offenders charged with these types of offences have been Asian. In particular, 83% are of Pakistani origin.

The Guardian is at pains to assure its readers that these are not racial crimes. They state. 'Despite the conviction of nine Asian men for child exploitation in Rochdale and worrying signs in the statistics, racial profiling won't help potential victims.' Seems to me that it might, unless they are suggesting racist police are targeting Asian offenders and ignoring black and white offenders.

Personally I don't care whether these crimes are labelled racist or not. The important issues are that we do more to safeguard victims, who invariably come from the ineffective liberal care system, and we do all we can to prosecute offenders, whatever their ethnicity.

I am concerned that in some cases the police seem almost too ready to make public assurances that offences are being treated as racist but, in other circumstances, are anxious to play down any possible racial aggravation.

Friday, 4 May 2012


The Home Secretary announced last year that the last policing targets were being scrapped and the sole objective of the police is to cut crime. She also stated that red tape was going to be cut to give the police more time to focus on that task.

My force and the Police Authority recently announced its policing targets for 2012/13. These include:
1. Confidence and Satisfaction
Ensuring 85% of the public have confidence in the police.
Ensuring 82% of victims of serious incidents are satisfied with the overall service they received.
Ensuring 76% of victims of anti social behaviour are satisfied with the overall service they received

2. Reducing crime
Reducing serious acquisitive crime by 3% compared to the previous year.
Detect 20.6% of serious acquisitive crime.
Dismantle or disrupt 16 organised crime groups
Arrest and charge/caution 500 offenders for supplying Class A and B drugs

3. Value for Money
Ensure that at least 90% of all officers and staff are available to deliver and support policing in the force.

Underneath all these targets are dozens of measures that have to be recorded and analysed to try and ensure we keep on track. This includes, for example, targets around attending incidents in good time. So the Home Secretary may have directed that we focus solely on reducing crime but police forces are still ignoring this and thousands of hours are being spent on collating statistics and measuring all sorts of others.

There are two main issues regarding this target setting. Firstly, many of the functions we carry out have no impact on the reduction of crime. If we are only measured on crime reduction then either those other functions should become the responsibility of other organisations or resources will be focused away from those other functions so they are not carried out properly. In the last week, half of my teams time has been taken up with incidents that have no impact on crime reduction. For example, we have dealt with a missing teenager who was felt to be at serious risk of self harming. That took six officers the entire shift, plus dogs and helicopter for about half the shift. Five officers took almost the entire shift dealing with a fatal traffic collision and there will be dozens of hours of follow up enquiries and possibly inquest and court. I have dealt with three complaints against police. Each one has been made so that it can be stated in mitigation. The complaints are frivolous and will be withdrawn after he court case. Add to this all the 'missing' people that walk out of hospitals and children's homes. Those responsible simply ring the police and thereby pass the buck. If anything happens to their charges it becomes our responsibility. I could go on.

The second issue I have is how can we be held to account for crime levels when we only play a small part in the justice system? We arrest and report offenders and put them before the court. The Youth Offending Team and Probation are almost totally ineffective rehabilitating offenders who continue to offend. The sentencing guidelines ensure that persistent offenders are never properly sentenced by the courts. The Courts simply provide a revolving door for persistent offenders to continue with their recidivist behaviour. Deterrent sentencing disappeared until the riots last summer, when there was a wake up call. Outside of those offenders, sentencing is ineffective business as usual. Eventually some of these persistent offenders commit an offence so serious that they are incarcerated for a long time. That is why the prisons are bursting at the seams. The police cannot be doing a bad job considering how useless the rest of the system is.

The worry is that police morale is falling and when the police start giving up there is nothing left in the justice system to protect the public.