Sunday, 1 February 2009

New Religions

I have taken the pledge recently - not a New Year's resolution to forsake my favourite tipple of Beck's Bier (Positive result from BAOR posting), but the National Policing Pledge. We have the Home Office and Louise Casey to thank for this stating the obvious policy.

I've recently been taken away from operational duties to have this new religion preached at me. I am not going to get too stressed about it, because it is just another Government bit of spin. I would have hoped that we "try" to achieve these standards as a matter of course. A few line graphs were flashed up to show how public satisfaction is improving in certain areas. Particularly loved the improvement in how we are answering the phone within charter times, to the satisfaction of the public. Everybody in the room allowed themselves a little smile as WE KNOW the new call handling dispatch system is not delivering on the front line.

They can promise to answer your 999 call within 10 seconds but without more troops on the front line things are not going to improve on delivery. No I'm wrong things have improved under the new system. People are now choking as more graphs show the success of call dispatch. A brave soul points out that targets are there to be skewed and we ain't buying it. We used to run the old system and would not jiggle call dispatch indicators. If we ran out of police officers the calls stacked up and we used common sense to call back the public ourselves to explain and seek other options. They are somewhat missing the point and again procedures will be put in place to measure how we are keeping to the pledge.

I've also learnt that I'm to become a Human Resources manager. I have no training in this and have no real interest in it either but apparently this is a positive thing for me as a line manager. To save a sum of monies there will be a move towards call centre advice to enable me to provide a "quality" HR service to my staff. On the plus side I'll be able to advertise posts and run the whole interview process to select staff. No chance of nepotism then? I see trouble ahead with this system, and can't see how the inevitable increase in office time contributes to the policing pledge promise to spend 80% of my time visibly working the streets.

I recall going to a community meeting a few years back and getting a right hard time from community representatives. I was blamed for all sorts of ills that were nothing to do with what I was delivering. You know the stuff, "Where were you when my car was broken into?" "When was this Sir?" "About three years ago". It's hard to answer these questions when you're working your nuts off and they don't want to listen to what you have achieved. It was not a constructive meeting and the punters were not satisfied. I rather took it to heart. A wily Chief Inspector told me to promise the world to everyone and if it was something you couldn't solve - do nothing. By the time of the next meeting things would have moved onto another subject. He was right and I feel the Home Office is pulling the same trick.

I was doing much of this already. Do the public want it? only 12 people turned out for my last public meeting out of hundreds of households invited. I'd think they'd prefer more police on the response to answer their calls.


MetAnon said...

from BAOR i'm assuming your ex-forces?

MarkUK said...

Just who in our "community" are the police talking to, to assign their "priorities"?

I'm given to believe that we have a Neighbourhood PC, and we have had for several years.

I've never seen him, never heard him, and I don't know anyone who has. The only contact I've ever had was a questionnaire to ask how well I thought he was doing. As I've not seen him, it was a simple waste of paper.

Yet someone is being taken away from Response to provide theis (lack of) service.

Stressed Out Cop said...


It's no secret I was a squaddie and prefer German beer.


They are talking to those who are interested or the usual faces. It is hard work to make people engage.

I've worked an area on and off for 15 years - seen kids grow up etc.

Some people still don't know I exist but my client group do know me. Most forces will have a site where you can see your team.

Do people care? not unless they have an ongoing problem - what they do want is to pick up a phone and have a police officer attend when they want one. Why can't we give this?

Bob said...

So....what we're that the police are shit, yeah? I could have told you that lol

Stressed Out Cop said...


Yes you are right - sometimes we are shite - you're getting the hang of these police blogs.

The sharp end know it - you know it - but who's to blame? maybe outside interference and maybe our leaders. Should be doing better.

MetAnon said...

sorry, didnt read the 'about me' bit at the top - all makes sense now, will try to engage brain before questions in future.