Friday, 19 March 2010

Looking For A Remit

I've been feeding my recent obsession with time and motion and analysing how the uniform response team is grinding to a halt. It would appear that every unit seems to have a remit that in my opinion is rather self serving.

In days gone by the "support units" would take over the jobs that fell into their areas of responsibility, so all the response teams would do is take the crime report and report the basic facts and the unit did the rest. If an arrest was made for say burglary, prisoner booked in and a quick visit to CID resulted in them taking necessary statements before dealing with the prisoner. It must be stated for balance that some units are better than others in taking over jobs.

Something seems to have crept in called the initial investigation setting out the minimum actions required of the first officer on scene. The support unit will not take over the job until they are satisfied these actions are completed, so we end up with some 2 year service TDC reading out a list of things to be done from the remit before they will even look at the job.

The list is so long that I struggle to see what is actually left for the specialist unit to do, other than in most cases interview the suspect and bring the matter to case disposal. I have lost team members taking domestic reports for over half a shift taking statements, completing the dreaded DV questionnaire, tracing witnesses, seizing and viewing CCTV, researching previous history of suspects and victims, taking images of injuries to be downloaded onto a disc, chaperoning victim for medical examination, and conducting arrest enquiries which if unsuccessful are left for the oncoming uniform shift to do. If the arrest enquiry is successful booking in the prisoner completing any section 18 searches if relevant and putting everything together in a handover package.

If this is not completed to the remit it provokes cries of shit handover. I had a DS throw a rather amusing hissy fit in rebuking one of my constables who had completed an arrest enquiry from the call list. She'd arrested a suspect for an offence reported by the previous shift and the DS wanted to know why CCTV hadn't been seized and viewed and why this crap job had been dumped on his unit. He made himself look a complete cock especially as it had been brought to his unit's attention the previous day at the time of reporting and they'd done ... well nothing.

Another unit tried to give back a job they deemed incomplete because there wasn't a pnc print out. They could of printed one out themselves within 5 minutes, but you get my drift. A particular Detective Inspector sent a robbery allegation back to my team to be dealt with with scathing comments on it because it had been reported on the crime system 5 days after the offence despite the victim calling in on the night. Luckily I'd been on that night and the victim refused to see police to report despite us being available and wanting to take him on a drive around. He'd also put us off over the following days. This was all recorded on the CAD report which I pointed out to the DI who replied his detectives don't read CAD reports. He took it back so I assume we were in the right.

So after hours of work complying with the remit list the weary constables finally stagger up with the handover package to often be told the custody processing team have no capacity and they have to deal with the job themselves.

My response team has no capacity on most days .. and we have no remit. I'm making it known I'm open to offers for other roles .. little nibble already that could see me move off team within 12 months.

For any CID people who might bite on this post I'm well aware that the quality of some handovers is extremely poor and some stuff needs doing to determine if the allegation is what it purports to be .... just think time and motion and outstanding call list. Also uniform community police team's have remits that cause me angst too.


Anonymous said...

It's a bit of a mystery to me what a "handover" needs to have in it. It seems to depend on which way the wind is blowing and whether the relevant person has had their chocolate Hobnobs yet. It was sold as a "revolution" when my division introduced case progression teams who would work ALL night on a Friday and Saturday!

We have a running joke where I work. It goes "I think I'll get an early arrest in tonight, spend all day in the warm and get off on time".

Stressed Out Cop said...


Prisoner processing teams are very busy .. yes they have a remit too .. and the case building needs to be done - they are overseen by the CPS who want everything .. still - despite the so called streamlined process. They are made up of my own officers and the ERO's are CID. They tend to deal with a lot of stuff that used to be dealt with by CID ... I've read the remit .. hence self serving.

I have my doubts about some other units .. who have obviously written their own remits and think the response is there to serve them. It grates and remit is local policy.

I can't win that fight .. so am looking to go, just like the rest of the team.

MPS Probbie said...

Our acting BOCU boss has sent round his thoughts for changes that are going to take place in the next 6 weeks.

Key to those are the concept that Response ends up doing everyone else's work. He wants to make SNT answer more calls and change their shifts to reflect call density at weekends/on lates; and wants to double the size of proactive teams - in theory removing the need for them to have rigid remits that impact on Response.

The downside is that he wants to shrink/cap Response teams.

Metcountymounty said...

Last nights weekend on team, I got me a remit and I'm well happy. Not unlike the job you were talking about a couple of posts ago actually. Thank the big doughnut vender in the sky.

Anonymous said...

During a night of NPT duties (seconded), I was told that the remit did not include responding to any 999 calls, only burglary prevention (anti-burglary drive - it's relevant later), so I was to go state 8 and not respond to any calls from control. Or response officers calling for assistance. We were here to prevent burglaries, and this was what we were going to do.

Two hours after this, I'm being shouted at for responding to a 999... burglary in progress. "Not your remit, that's a 999 call".

Stressed Out Cop said...

MCM - Tasking Team ?

Anon - Madness Eh !!

Metcountymounty said...

Not quite, we get to pick our own targets, so basically having the resources and skill levels of an experienced response team but doing personalised 'bothering' and early knocks etc. We'll be able to open a Met issue super sized can of attitude adjustment on some of our PPO's and PPO wannabes for a sustained period, instead of a half arsed shift here and there when the BIU realise weeks after everyone else knew that crime was happening.

Stressed Out Cop said...

Sounds Great ... Enjoy the freedom !!!

RocketDodger said...

I left 5 years ago so it's obviously got worse. I was quite happy with a crime report number and a victim statement plus copies of the guys PNBs.

To be honest, the standard of statement taking had sunk so low you were better off doing them yourself anyway.