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 The complaints are frivolous and will be withdrawn after he court case.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.


  1. My head started spinning around just reading the percents of this and that...Who came up with this crap? Some office manager who's a math major?
    I got into police work because I was only good at basic math--like adding up how much property was stolen in a crime.
    I suspect whoever came up with this stuff never leaves the office to fight crime.

  2. As I said elsewhere spend less time arresting placard waving hippies and more nicking burglars, muggers not f***ing guys on Twitter! Finally, 10,000 rubber bullets stockpilled by The Met. You will need 'em.

  3. " police morale is falling and when the police start giving up there is nothing left in the justice system to protect the public" i agree with the statement. if public will tease the police officer their confidence to do the work will lessen.

    let us not blame police officer instead we should help them protect our community.

  4. Tears roll down my face. I would have poured a brandy had I known in advance, the entertainment value of this post.

  5. MTG?

    Melvin T. Gray?

    I dont often come on here now, but havnt you banned this twerp yet - You must be one of the few sites that hasnt had enough of his trolling!

  6. Melv is allowed here purely for entertainment value and to show some readers what the police have to deal with. If he becomes too boring he will be blocked

  7. Good Morning lex and a special greeting to your quaintly named colleague, 'Oi'.

    Whilst I am acutely aware of the futility of such an exercise, I stoop to engage the considerable confusion which is Oi's mind. His comment, which is blatantly abusive and entirely irrelevant to the post, contains all the principal constituents of 'trolling', insofar as I understand the term.

    Oi is the product of ignorance and an uneducated background. He bears all the hallmarks of a reject; someone with a long history of failing rudimentary intelligence tests, compounded by an inclination to adopt a pseudonym which epitomises loutish conduct.

    Oi's contributions to other police blogs provide sufficient reason to suspect he has suffered frequent dismissal as a result of complaints made by 'academics'.

    Should his disposition account for rants against the latter, he will find little comfort reading comments on a blog playing host to several academics, in contrast to none from his peers (lex excluding.)

    P.S Please accept my sincere indifference to accusations of incomprehensibility and have a nice day, lex.

  8. Dear Melv,

    In light of your point :-
    His comment, which is blatantly abusive and entirely irrelevant to the post

    Perhaps you could elaborate on your initial post at 19:34 - as you appear to be saying "That blog post was funny" without actually providing any rationale for that view.

    I am intrigued by your view of "Oi", particularly at your assertions in relation to his postings on other blogs, and the various implications you make about his character on the basis of these posts.
    Do you have some experience in psychology to back up your claims?

    Doesn't it concern you that your seemingly intimate familiarity with his oeuvre suggests that you are spending far too much time poring over blogs with which you disagree, a trait which even to my unqualified eye would suggest that you have some worrying psychological issues of your own.


  9. Britain to arrest its first blogger? In line with 3rd world police states such as Egypt and China, Iran and Burma, the UK is going to (try and) arrest a well known (notorious) blogger. The publicity this will generate over the (long, hot) summer will no doubt be massive!

  10. Dear Tang0,

    ' appear to be saying "That blog post was funny" without actually providing any rationale for that view.'

    I am loath to deny any request expressed with grace and eloquence, old chap.
    However what is entirely subjective requires no exposition of principles.

    '...Do you have some experience in psychology to back up your claims?'

    To the very best of my knowledge, we all have some experience in psychology and no mystery shrouds Oi's character because it is both self-confessed and close at hand; should you have any inclination to look for it.

    Unfounded fears for my own welfare are accepted as those seen by the unqualified eye. What does surprise me is the ease with which I am lobbing sixes from underarm bowling. Surely you are capable of much better service, Tang0.

  11. Dear Melv,

    I see that you still won't explain your hilarity over the actual post - other than admitting that it is subjective.

    I would be the first to agree that we all have some experience of psychology (some more than others ;-)) however the leaps and assumptions you make in your judgement of "Oi" do no credit to your supposed academic credentials and education in some form of logical thought. Intriguing that you dismiss my unqualified view whilst maintaining your own though ;-)

    As for scoring "sixes" - I had hoped that your posts were somewhat more than simple point scoring trolls, regardless your replies would at best be leg byes - failing to connect to the ball at all.


  12. Tnago's last delivery was a trifle clumsy, bringing him face-down to kiss a wet crease. Cricket, being incompatible with mud-wrestling, requires his retirement to the pavilion for a suitable change and some orderly reflection.

  13. Dear Melv,

    Interesting that you are left with no argument but attack the style of the delivery rather than the content.

    Squeal "No ball" all you want - but bowled is bowled ;-)


  14. Following an excellent start, it is a pity to witness a dive to gutter level, Tnago. To lose what initial grace seemed to be yours by resorting to scrappy ranting and insult, reduces you to an unsportsmanlike loser who may be denied any future re-match.

  15. Dear Melv,

    Are we going to hear why you found the post so amusing?

    Or will we just witness you sneering at those you consider to be your inferiors, resorting to ad hominem attacks on anyone who has the temerity to challenge you and concluding with a bizarre and misplaced tantrum worthy of a precocious 2 year old at best?


  16. @ Tang0

    verbum sat?...Schadenfreude.

  17. Melvin is kicking the enemy ass!

  18. Dear Melv,
    There we go, that was straightforward enough wasn't it.
    No idea why we have to go through this verbal tennis to get a straight answer though.
    Still at least you got a chance to juxtapose Latin AND German. A poor combination even by your standards of verbiage.

    "The reason you found the article funny is because you enjoy gloating, and take pleasure in, anything that the police might complain about."

    I suppose I had the hope that you might, for once, have displayed an opinion that wasn't so shortsighted or single issue. I just wonder how many bits of your anatomy you would be prepared to cut off to spite your face?

    Regardless of your current view of the police - as we are mismanaged and Winsor'ed into the ground do you see things changing for the better or the worse?

    Good to see Ciaran rising to his intellectual level as a simpering cheerleader.

    You appear keen to associate yourself with strange allies, MTG.


  19. Good Afternoon Tnago,

    Thank you for the wonderful compliment of foregoing sleep to compose fresh insults. Your innate talents were further stimulated to provide a very acceptable rendition of a woman scorned. Now, the best way to avoid future such humiliations is to reserve your bullying for the likes of feral.

    As you have discovered to your cost, the moment you swagger outside the demented league of Gadgetistas, you are readily hacked down and 'unseamed from nave to chaps.'

    That such cutting injuries are long remembered make equally memorable Schadenfreude. Hope this helps.

  20. Blogging on the internet is the bravest thing Melvin has ever done.Let him have his little victories.He has a sad life otherwise.

  21. Apologies for yesterday's failure to spot your comment, Jaded. That you expended any valuable time researching my life is a flattery I am obliged to acknowledge. However I do hope my decision to appoint a literate biographer will not prove to be the cause of any ill-feeling.

  22. Dear Melv,

    Not clear why you thought that I would be disturbing my sleep at 10 to 1 in the afternoon. Perhaps you were expressing sympathy with those who work a shift pattern which has such a deleterious effect on health and social life. I suspect not ;-)

    Were you educated in North Korea or was your PhD in Orwellian studies? It appears that you believe by loudly proclaiming "Victory" that will make it so.

    If your coup de grace and self-proclaimed victory is in providing an answer to my question - then may I be the first to congratulate you and I hope that you continue to have such victories.

    Still at least you have established a pattern:-

    A cryptic comment (usually by strangled grammar rather than intent).

    An attempt at a biting retort at a critic.

    The occasional well turned phrase whilst you avoid actually addressing anyone's arguments or views.

    A final acquiesence accompanied by delusional squeals of "Victory".

    The more you post the more you fit the definition of troll and the less credibility you have as any sort of rational critic of the police.


  23. To whom (yawn) it may concern:

    The victims of police brutality usually suffer injuries over a relatively short period. Those subjected to police garrulity are slowly bored to the extent of completely losing the will to live.