Friday, 1 August 2008

Don't Get Angry - Get Even ( Part 2 )

Any police operation requires reams of paperwork to justify your actions, and so you don't infringe somebody's rights. In years gone by when I was on surveillance postings we'd ask around to see who was "at it". Then we'd follow them and most of the time catch them in the act. Minimal paperwork for maximum result.

Now you have to prepare a business case to justify the spend and to make sure you're in line with Divisional objectives. As there is little money around you will usually fall at the first hurdle.

Now drugs is something I know about (not in that way). I'm fascinated by druggies and have specialist skills in drugs markets. Drugs are really the root of all evil and you can link most other crime groups to drugs misuse, from anti-social behaviour to violent crime. But drug crimes only become a recorded crime when you make an arrest. It therefore makes sense to me that by tackling drugs misuse the other crime groups decrease, right? The last couple of years there has been no separate drugs budget to tackle this important area.

Now we are getting knife crime increases linked to gangs. In my experience many of these gang members have stopped committing street robberies (So Supt is happy) but are involved in supplying drugs (Supt happy as when caught shows a detection). The downside is eventually gangs start getting ripped off by others and everybody ends up carrying either knives or guns for protection. Violent crime increases, local community get peed off and more money spend investigating murders, stabbings.

My plan incurred much apathy as drugs is not an objective and why spend all this money. I tried to justify by mentioning the increase in stabbings locally, not always reported properly, but all drug linked. So there it sat, until another serious stabbing where the "victim" nearly died. Now this "victim" was a named target on my operation. Of course he didn't want to know, but the hierarchy had to allay the fears of politicians and the local residents.

Luckily my operation could dig them out of a hole, so they could show we were already on top of things. Doors began to open for me and little jobs got done, assisted by another target on the operation getting stabbed in the throat. He didn't want to know either - said he'd sort it out himself - see what I mean.

So after several months delay operation authorised - funds secured.

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