Wednesday, 30 September 2009

ARE YOU READY FOR THE TRUTH ABOUT POLICING IN THE UK?



One of the better police blogs is http://200weeks.police999.com/ which burst into life on September 9th 2005. The site was created by a rEgular police officer who has dedicated his life to the force and area that he serves.

In his own words, the site author has spent his entire life "in the trenches" as a front line officer. In February 2009, the author hung up his boots and truncheon, and after 30 years service, became a civilian in his police force control room, a vantage point from where he is able to continue his insightful reports on policing as it really is in the UK today.

A prolific and intelligent writer, "200" posts regular articles that provide an honest and informed view of the challenges that face police officers in their attempts to deliver a fair system of justice, despite an ever increasing burden of bureacuracy and idiotic procedures.

The articles reprinted below are two fine examples from "200" of real world of policing in Britain in 2009.

NOT IMPORTANT ENOUGH

The dreadful case of Fiona Pilkington whose life was blighted by anti social youths on her estate to such an extent that she took her own child’s life & committed suicide by setting fire to her car as they sat in it, will have some far-reaching repurcussions. The surprise is that, in the two years since this tragic event happened, there has been just about zero change in the way police deal with anti-social behaviour.


I spend every late shift in every town I control not sending police officers to anti social youths. This is despite the fact that I know what an effect it can have on people’s lives let alone their peace. I’m almost ashamed to say but I have anti social behaviour in my street & I never report it to the police, the reason purely & simply is, I know there is little chance of the police arriving before the youths have moved on. If it’s gotten too bad I have gone out there myself & given some ‘advice’, though I don’t like doing this in my own street. (I tend to climb over my back fence & appear from somewhere not near my house so they don’t know where I live).

The apalling crux of the matter is one of mathematics. We have X-amount of officers & we get Y-amount of jobs which take Z-amount of time. When Y x Z > X we cannot possibly get to all the jobs on time, if at all. We either have to make people wait, in some cases days, or we just don’t go.

The problem with antisocial behaviour is that it doesn’t fit in with any targets & we don’t get to tick any boxes. When Jay sends a text message to his ex-girlfriend Leah saying she’s a slag, that’s threats to violence or damage, malicious communications or a domestic, all of which are recordable & may result in a detected crime. When Mrs Miggins is fed up to the back teeth with a bunch of teenage yobs who spend every night shouting & swearing outside her bedroom & pissing up against her fence, that’s just a bit of ASB. Guess which one gets an officer sent to it whether they want one or not & which one gets closed off 2 hours after the youths have gone elsewhere with a ‘no officer available’ closing.

Mrs Pilkington did not have the protection afforded to certain groups within society. Had she been black or Asian, Jewish or gay, she would have had an officer every single occasion she phoned. There are teams within each police force whose sole job it is to look at ‘hate’ crimes against minority groups. I well remember a case of some kids throwing snowballs at a Jewish shop, on a day when the kids were throwing snowballs at everyone & anyone & we didn’t have the resources to deal with all the accidents & crime let alone kids chucking snowballs. Most of the snowball jobs just got closed off because there was absolutely no chance of us sending anyone; we had more important & immediate things to do. The Jewish shop had to remain open because the racism word had been mentioned. Within an hour the Inspector in charge of the diversity unit was on the phone to the control room inspector demanding to know why this racist incident hadn’t been assigned within the 1 hour requirement of force policy.

Nobody phoned up from any police unit who sit on their arses looking at logs in some office somewhere at HQ on behalf of all the other people being taunted by kids with snow. The fact that Mrs Pilkington had a disabled daughter, much of which taunting was aimed at, doesn’t seem to have cut any ice with the local constabulary.

I’ve blogged before about the unfairness of diversity policy & have argued that everyone should be treated on their own merits only. It completely baffles me that, for instance, a 6′6 Afro-Caribbean nightclub bouncer with years in the nighttime entertainment trade, who gets called a rude name is entitled to a better service than a vulnerable teenage girl who may be, unknowingly to us, considering suicide because of some bullying. How can a rule written on a policy somewhere at police HQ possibly differentiate between the effect on these two people & class one as somehow more deserving of a higher response than the other. Where is the leeway to attend based on the individual potential effect on the victim?

Just occasionally, someone will come up with a local operation to target antisocial behaviour. Extra resources will be called in & they will be tasked for ASB jobs alone, unavailable for RTCs, assaults or domestics. This is a clear acceptance of the importance of tackling such behaviour, but if it is important, why isn’t important all the time & on every estate.

Antisocial behaviour is the key to so many more problems in society. Someone who grows up not having consequences for their behaviour will learn that they are entitled to do what they want, when they want, to whom they want. They will grow up with a me, me, me attitude & will spend the rest of their lives demanding everything they can get. A child who grows up to respect other peoples needs & rights will end up as net givers to society.

When I was on the street I actually enjoyed helping to make other people’s lives a little better. One of the reasons I wanted to join the police was to help people who couldn’t help themselves. I held that belief until the day I retired. I still believe it. I am unable to do it because I do not have the resources nor the will from those who run the show to sort the matter out.

After the story of Mrs Pilkington, I will be wondering if the next job I fail to send an officer to will end up with someone murdering their child & topping themselves. That’s simply not fair & I don’t have the power to address it properly.

Time will tell whether the fallout from Mrs Pilkington will make any difference.

AND SO IT GOES . . . .


Twenty years ago Mrs Pilkington would have had a much better service than she got in the years leading up to 2007. There were many thousands less police officers. In March this year there were 144,000 police officers. In March 1987 there were 120,000.

We have 24,000 more police officers yet those available for front line policing have been slashed dramatically. I don’t have access to any figures for the amount of officers available for day-to-day policing calls so I can only go by my own experience. In 1987 one division I worked in paraded 18 officers split between 4 police stations. This did not include 3 rural cars which covered the villages, 1 officer in every neighbourhood beat & a rural officers who shared all the villages between them. We put out 9 patrol cars in the division plus a walker in each of the town centres & the police stations were open 24 hours a day.

Now those same 4 towns have a maximum of 8 officers between them, we are lucky if they can put out 5 cars in the whole division, all of the police stations are closed longer than they are open.

Back in the day the village bobby lived on the patch & knew everyone & everything there was to be known. He probably looked after 2 or 3 villages. Every estate had a neighbourhood officer who lived on their patch, they often had a little police office attached to their house, they too knew everyone, they were a vast source of information. What they knew & what they did couldn’t be recorded in an exel spreadsheet yet their value to policing was enormous.

Then someone in a wendy house somewhere decided that the only way to measure the success of an organisation was to match its performance against a written down set of criteria & the way to do this was to count beans. Suddenly, the value of everything was measured in beans & rural/neighbourhood officers didn’t grow any beans on their patches. Add to that the fact that they lived in expensive police houses.

The theory went that if you did away with neighbourhood & rural officers not only could you pull them all back to the nick where they could produce a few beans, you could also save the expense of maintaining their houses, sell them off & plough lots of lovely lolly into all the new & dynamic projects which were about to hit the world of UK policing. We lost a generation of intelligence which we are only now getting back, amazingly enough, through local PCSOs, who will, within a few years, be just as valuable a tool to police intelligence as the old village bobby.

It made good political – read voting – sense to increase the number of bobbies, so every government promised more. More bobbies means more votes ‘cos we all want more bobbies on the streets, only they never made the streets. They all went into disparate little ‘remit’ teams. You know the teams, they are the ones you ask for help when you’re struggling to meet all the frontline priorities who turn round & say “sorry, mate, not my remit”.

So we had the burglary squad, set up to specifically target burglary beans, the robbery squad busy collecting robbery beans, sexual offences squad, paedophile squad, computer crime squad, diversity squad, more officers means more potential for naughty goings-on so the rubber heel squad was boosted. We had the serious crime units, the bloody serious crime units, organised crime, it goes on. Then there are the units who monitor the other units, who count the beans, who supervise those who count the beans, who make sure the right beans are being counted.

So every time an Inspector of Constabulary comes a-calling & says, “now look here Mr Chief Constable, your force is doing particularly low in detections of spanner-wielding credit-card thieves” we have to have a department whose soul aim is to reduce spanner-wielding credit card thefts.

The problem for those on the front line is that most of the calls we get don’t lead to all the remit-beans. Nobody measures the prevention of crime, nobody measures kids who piss up your garage & chuck eggs through your windows, nobody measures depressed people who threaten suicide but never go through with it. You don’t get a bean for sitting outside a row of shops stopping the kids from spitting at people with special needs.

And if they’re not measured, they’re not important.

If the next Inspector of Constabulary comes round & says “Now look here Mr Chief Constable, the behaviour of teenage yobs in this area is apalling, this chart shows a 150% increase in bad language in front of old ladies, get it sorted” you’ll have so many shiny-arses out of their offices that the problem could be sorted in a year.

It ain’t gonna happen, though.

COMMENT

The authors of this site have been contacted by senior politicians who are capable of introducing effective criminal justice reforms. They tell us that they are interested and paying regular attention to the content on these pages. Whilst the statistical analysis contained in the reports from these pages is our work, the majority of the real life experiences are inspired by or drawn from people at the coal face of British policing, such as the author of the 200 site, Inspector Gadget, PC Bloggs and others contained in the "Thin Blue Line" links opposite.

To the politicians, Home Office civil servants and senior officers that may read these pages, we would invite you to spend some time reading some of the enlightening articles contained on these and other front line policing sites. Be prepared to confront the real world head on through these pages. We invite you to step out of your environment for a while, so that you may empathise with the challenges and obstructions faced by the front line officer. The content is an often colourful, honest view of the framework within which our guys at the coal face of society perform their increasingly difficult duty.

Listening is not enough. Take what you hear to heart. Then take the effective action only you are empowered to take, to make the necessary reforms that may ultimately restore public confidence in the Criminal Justice System that should be the bedrock of a decent, peaceful society.

We know the challenge is a difficult one that will require all your reserves of courage and direct thought. We know it involves accepting openly and honestly that mistakes have been made. Only by applying this level of honesty and transparency in any reforms you consider are appropriate, will your efforts bear the fruit in transforming society.

Britain is broken. You have the power to fix it. Cut through the distractions and obstructions that have plagued modern policing. Let us hear less of the minority projects and more of firm and effective use of police resources. Show us evidence that our taxes are being well spent, that the ratio of frontline officers actually available for real policework, dramatically exceeds those tied up counting beans, creating flow charts and ivory tower projects to justify the perpetuation of departments crammed with wasted resources.

Spend our money wisely. Show us the real value we deserve to see. You will find you have a much greater degree of public support and confidence from the wider public than you may have imagined.

We hope to see evidence of your efforts very soon.

The Crime Analysis Team
Nice 1 Limited

MORE SPIN FROM LABOUR ON OUR FAILING JUSTICE SYSTEM



Extracts from Labour's Home Secretary, Alan Johnson's speech to the 2009 Labour Party Annual Conference:

"Crime is the area of government policy where statistics matter the least and perception matters the most. But the fact is that we have an excellent record to defend".

COMMENT : Statistics matter the least? You would say that, considering the actual level of crime (10million incidents) is twice that reported to the police (4.7million) and the Home Office admit that the higher figure is the most reliable. To admit they matter would mean you having do accept that crime is out of control and the public have lost confidence in reporting it. Tell the victims of crime that statistics matter the least, especially the ones that the Government policing system couldn't respond to because of endemic police bureaucracy, misdirected priorities and ivory tower minority projects.

"Overall crime is down by 36% since we came to power, violent crime by 41%, domestic burglary by 54% and vehicle-related theft by 57%."

COMMENT : What you mean is, you've found better ways to manipulate and misrepresent the statistics. If you mean that fewer people report crime because they have lost confidence in the system, we agree. However, the fudging of crime statistics has caused the general public to take your statistics with a pinch of salt, as political spin. Vehicle related thefts are now swallowed up in re allocated offences, such as burglary, robbery, or simple thefts. Your headlines earlier this year announced that vehicle crime was down by 10%. Yet Jacqui Smith revealed that 18,600 vehicle thefts were not reported as such, being absorbed into other offences. When added back into the vehicle theft numbers, take into account the under reporting and vehicle crime is INCREASING not decreasing. Your numbers are flawed by a serious corruption of the numbers for political gain.

"These achievements are a tribute to our policemen and women. There are more of them than ever before, supported by 16,000 Police Community Support Officers with a budget 60% higher than we inherited in 1997".

COMMENT : Yes, the crime figures are a tribute to our police officers, who do a very difficult job, despite a corrupted criminal justice system. 16,000 PCSO's without the powers to defend themselves and the public adequately. The funding for 16,000 PCSO's would have been better spent putting 12,500 regular officers, with full powers on the streets. 142,000 police officers in England & Wales. How many of them are involved in frontline duties?? The public would be shocked to hear that Government initiatives and projects, supported and promoted by the more senior politically directed officers take the vast majority of those officers off the streets, engaged in adminstrative, office based duties. A ridiculous number of officers are engaged in wasteful activity rather than actually doing the job we need them for, protecting our community and citizens.

The fact is, the thin blue line has become so transparent it is barely visible. Go to any police station between the hours of 9am - 5pm... try and get a parking space. Then revisit the same station at 10pm. That picture tells the story of the ineffective use of police resources when on the street policing is really needed. But hey, there are some lovely flow charts and tables to look at in those offices.

How much of that 60% budget funds frontline officer resources and how many millions are wasted on Government "Wendy House" ideas and projects?? All forces have been presented with a 10% budget cut for 2010/2011, based in part on the manufactured statistics and detections devised and implemented by the Home Office you represent.

"We need to ensure that any breach of an ASBO is prosecuted. Above all, we need to make it clear that anti-social behaviour isn't a low-level nuisance to be tolerated, it's a major source of insecurity and unhappiness that has to be tackled wherever and whenever it occurs".

COMMENT : 60,000 ASBO's with over half being breached, with the Criminal Justice System a toothless tiger to deal with it. The kids are laughing at authority because adequate powers were not put in place to deal with breaches of ASBO's. The penalties for breaching ASBO's are so pathetic, more than 50% have done so repeatedly with NO repercussions. Tell the victims of their behaviour how effective ASBO's have been without the necessary follow up powers to deal with breaches.

"It was Labour that introduced specialist domestic violence courts and helped put 720 fully trained independent domestic violence advisers in place. More arrests are being made and conviction rates are rising".

COMMENT : Domestic violence is an important issue that needs effective solutions. Yet again though, the Home Office saw this as a means of manipulating statistics and detection rates. No one would dispute the benefits of the extra steps now being taken to protect vulnerable victims in these circumstances. However, look more closely at the crime figures you boast about. Ask the front line officers how many cases they have been forced to deal with where complaints are withdrawn but the offence remains on the books for the purposes of ticking the detection box, criminalising thousands more people that the victim does not want to see prosecuted. Genuine cases where vulnerable parties are victimised and want to proceed are applauded, but there remains a massive distortion of the real picture by the Home Officer and senior officers pursuing detections at all costs.

"Gordon Brown has been integral to all of these achievements and he has led the way in addressing the biggest global economic and political challenges of our age".

COMMENT : This is the same Gordon Brown that did the deal with Gadaffi, trading justice for commerce over the Lockerbie bomber and the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher? How can the British public ever trust a man who would make such a despicable trade off?

Mr Johnson, you may choose to dismiss the statistics, the British public certainly do, they carry no weight when presented by a party that has manipulated and distorted them beyong truthful recognition. You may make your promises at Conference time, when it suits your political ends. However, the front line police officers know the real truth of your falsehoods. The general public are not stupid. They know the Government have been conning them these last twelve years on crime and policing. The see the evidence in the decay of our social fabric every day on the streets of Britain. So don't feed us your spin about crime being slashed, the figures are worthless and the words and hollow promises of your party are no longer trusted.

Britain may not yet be broken, but it is deeply wounded by the lies and spin we have been fed.

The wounds can be healed with transparent reform and back to basics policing unfettered by excessive political influence.

The Government to which you have pinned your flag of loyalty, no longer inspires the confidence and support of the public.

We look forward to witnessing a better future, with a Government whose actions will speak louder than words, delivering the justice and society we seek, with honesty and transparent solutions that will go a long way to regain the trust of the public.

The Crime Analysis Team
Nice 1 Ltd

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

FIONA PILKINGTON - SOCIETY WITH A BROKEN MORAL COMPASS



The tragic story of the suicide of Fiona Pilkington and her daughter Francesca shocked the nation this week. Media attention returned to the events of that fateful day, following an inquest earlier this week when a coroners inquest ruled that police inaction had contributed to their deaths.

Years of torment from young neighbors led the despairing single mother to kill herself and her disabled daughter. Fiona Pilkington, 38, and her 18-year-old daughter, Francecca Hardwick, died when Ms Pilkington set fire to their car in Leicestershire in October 2007.

The ringleaders of a gang of children that terrorised Fiona and her daughter continue to be a menace in the area, the court heard. The children, who have virtually no parental control, are said to remain the root cause of antisocial behaviour on the street where they tormented Fiona and her severely disabled daughter, Francecca, for almost ten years. Fiona Pilkington suffered more than a decade of abuse from a gang of youths who terrorized her family by urinating on her house, taunting her developmentally challenged daughter and beating her severely dyslexic son. The family lived for more than 10 years under siege. A 16-strong gang of yobs regularly pelted Fiona’s house with eggs, they set fences on fire, pushed fireworks through the front door and taunted Francecca.


Most of us will never understand the mentality of feral yobs who stalk our streets. Though we’ve seen enough examples of lawlessness to know these knuckle-trailing neanderthals exist in increasing numbers and have utter disregard for the norms of a polite, civilised society.

Undoubtedly, the Leicestershire force will remain under the spotlight as a result of the crtiticism levelled against them. Time will reveal the degree of responsibility they must accept for the tragic events.

Superintendent Steve Harrod told the inquiry how low-level anti-social behaviour is now a local council’s responsibility. And the objective of British justice is to avoid criminalising young people.

COMMENT

Not so many years ago low-lives looking for trouble would have been hauled before courts or had the living daylights scared out of them by coppers determined to keep their beat problem-free. Now yobs tear up Asbos and mock authority. They consider the law a joke and who can blame them? While vile thugs circled Fiona’s family like wolves baying for blood her local force stand accused of doing nothing.

If the police were negligent in their duty, then those responsble should be identified and the appropriate action taken to prevent further similar occurrences involving vulnerable members of society.

The root cause of the problem though is symptomatic of policing in the UK in 2009. In exploring why the police might have failed in their duty it is essential to look beyond the front line officers who attended or dealt with calls.

The current state of the police is not the fault of good officers who want to do a proper job but are hamstrung by the burdens of paperwork and successive Government legislation, the latest being the excessive number of new offences brought in during the last twelve years by this Government.

Due to politically motivated control, bureaucracy and cost, the entire criminal justice system is corrupted from the top downwards starting with the treasury who hold the purse strings, and the Home Office who are allegedly in charge of policing.

Literally thousands of articles and posts echoing these sentiments have proliferated online forums during recent years. They can't all be wrong. There is something radically amiss with police priorities and modus operandi but, much more pertinently, they and the politicians are fully aware of it. There are plenty policemen and women imbued with moral integrity and sound motives. There are many police blogs where officers attempt to convey this very message to the public they serve.

Whichever Government is in charge, there needs to be an urgent and comprehensive review of policing in the UK and fast.

The sad case of Fiona Pilkington and her family are symptoms of a society whose moral compass is badly broken. It can be fixed but the repair work required needs to be more than the cosmetic surface level damage. A previous post from this site talked of the spoiled society, where some sectors of the younger generation are badly in need of a firm hand with a return to back to basics discipline and control. click here to read the article

If the Government are to start the task of fixing our society, then surely there is no better place to start than here. By instilling some firm handed forgotten disciplines within the "spoiled sector" of our youth, there will at least be a glimmer of hope that the UK may once again be a pleasant, less threatening place to live.


The Crime Analysis Team
Nice 1 Limited

Monday, 28 September 2009

IN SUPPORT OF INSPECTOR GADGET



Inspector Gadget is a real life senior police officer, fed up with the fiasco of manipulated crime figures & detections, mountains of paperwork that keep his team off the streets doing the job they love (locking up the bad guys), and all the crazy, politically correct nonsense and bureaucracy that is thwarting the delivery of justice in this country. For the first time ever, a senior policeman – writing under an assumed name for fear of exposure – breaks ranks to tell the truth about the collapse of law and order in the UK.

Anyone who has taken the trouble to read his book, "Perverting the course of justice" will have detected that the man behind it and his long running, extremely popular blog, cares a great deal about the standard of policing the tax payer receives.

With access to statistics about frontline police strength (much lower than you think), exclusive inside information on the political targets and interference which are bedevilling officers and detailed analysis of the lies politicians and senior police officers tell, his explosive book and blog reveals how bad things really are.

THE TRUTH THE HOME OFFICE DON'T WANT YOU TO HEAR

Make no mistake, the truth of policing and the Criminal Justice System in the UK in 2009, make for a truly sad indictment of how low this country has sunk in its self destructive pursuit of all things politically correct.

There is a delicate balancing act involved in a country that promotes civil liberties and yet seeks to deliver an effective justice system. Whilst both sides contribute valued and informed views to the debate, extremism on either side results in a lack of confidence from one section of the community or another.

The front line police officer is an excellent barometer of public opinion on the matter. Inspector Gadget tells some home truths about the decline of the justice system in an articulate, persuasive and informed manner.

Witnessing and dealing with society at its worst, more often than not without complaint or descension, the front line officer is well placed to form an accurate opinion of the state of our nation. There are well informed and articulate officers trying their level best in the face of considerable adversity to protect our society from moral decay. It is immensly frustrating to commit your life to an honourable cause, only to find the way blocked by extremist views that often serve to obstruct the delivery of the quality of justice and policing that is required.

Having read Gadgets' book and followed his blog for some time, the authors of this site were dismayed to witness an unwarranted attack on his character by a clearly frustrated civil liberties extremist over the last 24 hours. We won't dignify this extremists views by naming him. He has the right to public expression, and gadget, as the owner of the blog has the right to veto, delete and moderate comments that appear on the pages. This particular extremist takes pleasure in colouring his views with an all too often condescending and attacking flavour. Under different identities, this person makes attacking comments on other sites. It is hardly suprising therefore that his comments receive scant respect from other contributors. In a most recent act of defiance against gadget, this person has threatened to make a complaint against the police for "improper conduct".  A truly desperate measure from an individual with extremist views who is clearly desperate to have those views aired, regardless of the mass of contrary opionion.

On the basis of all that we have seen, we would openly condemn the activities of this individual and offer our support and encouragement to "Inspector Gadget" and other good spirited police bloggers forced into anonimity by the system.  Your identity is of no interest to us, and this persons desire to have you "outed" is scurrilous and serves no useful purpose for the public interest.  

EXCESSIVE & INAPPROPRIATE EXPRESSION OF CIVIL LIBERTIES

The introduction of PACE (the Police and Criminal Evidence Act) was a sledgehammer to crack a very small minority nut of police officers. Since its introduction, the civil liberties supporters have developed an extremist element whose beliefs are not representative of the community as a whole. Certain sections of the civil liberties communities have created an anti police - anti authority stance, which threatens the admininstering of justice and the right to a peaceful, undisturbed quality of life. No one could deny the need for adequate civil liberty in a civilised society. No right minded police officer would argue with the principle. However, there comes a time, when extremist views threaten to damage the fabric of society.

Article 10: Right to freedom of expression - The Human Rights Act


1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by a public authority and regardless of frontiers.

2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for the maintaining of the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.


When public safety is compromised, when disorder threatens to erupt, when the balance shifts in favour of criminal activity, when the right of the majority to live a peaceful existence diminishes, then it is time to consider whether the balance has shifted so far toward politically correct activity. We must consider whether the extremist activity of the civil liberty supporters is having a damaging effect on the nation as a whole.

Politicians need to take a few steps back in order to take the country forward. Ask the public what they want on this seriously important issue. Let true democracy speak for the nation.

If there is disatisfaction and declining confidence with the public sector departments, including the police service, politicians need to be absolutely transparent and honest about possible solutions. Face up to the fact that there have been some serious errors of judgement and direction, compounded by excessive political influence and many would say interference. When pointing the finger of blame at the police service, look at the hand doing the pointing . . . .  invariably, one finger is pointed at the "accused" with three more pointing back toward the "accuser".  For honourable politicians reading these words, please listen to what the public are pleading for, HEAR what is being said, and take swift and decisive action to deliver the quality of democracy the majority of society is silently praying for.



The authors of this site are pleased to report that its contents are being monitored by senior politicians who have the welfare of this country and society at heart. Our plea to you at this juncture, is to listen to the silent voice of the general public. If the voices are too low to hear, please don't wait until they become a scream for help. Ask for their opinion, get the consensus you need, deliver true and transparent democracy and watch the public support and confidence return.


The Crime Analysis Team
Nice 1 Limited

Sunday, 27 September 2009

FREE UK CRIME MAPPING TOOL



Would you like to know what the current crime level is in your area?

The Crime Analysis Team at Nice 1 Limited are delighted to be share with you, a facility to search the current crime statistics for any of the 43 police force areas of Englnd & Wales.

Click here to connect through to the site housed at the Telegraph newspaper. The link will take you to an interactive map, where you can click the police force area where you would like information. 30 of the forces subscribe to "Crime Mapper" which is a simple crime mapping facility. You will be able to drill down to small areas and see the most recent incident and frequency rates for burglary, robbery, car crime, violence and anti social behaviour.

The sites report whether the areas selected have recently experienced high, above average, average, below average or low levels of crime for the selected offences.

To visit the force mapping sites click a link below :-

Metropolitan
West Midlands
Greater Manchester
West Yorkshire
Merseyside
Thames Valley
Northumbria
Hampshire
Kent
Lancashire
Devon & Cornwall
Avon & Somerset
South Wales
South Yorkshire
Essex
Sussex
Nottinghamshire
West Mercia
Leicestershire
Staffordshire
Humberside
Cheshire
Hertfordshire
Derbyshire
Surrey
Durham
Cleveland
North Wales
North Yorkshire
Norfolk
Dorset
Gwent
Cambridgeshire
Suffolk
Gloucestershire
Northamptonshire
Cumbria
Lincolnshire
Bedfordshire
Wiltshire
Dyfed-Powys
Warwickshire
City of London

At the time of posting this article, some of the sites are having work completed, so a few of the links may not work until the work is complete.

COMMENT

Whilst the information contained on the force sites is a useful guide, it represents only the matters reported to the police and recorded as crime. The Home Office British Crime Survey, which is seen as a more accurate reflection of total crime, reports that crime figures are over double those reported.

So whilst the crime statistics recorded on police force site are a guide, they are not the complete picture, nor do they represent an exhaustive record of crime that occurs. Future posts from these pages will highlight the disparity between the two sets of figures.

It should be noted that the larger police force areas of London, Birmingham, Manchester and Thames Valley, have chosen to use their own crime mapping software. This in itself, obstructs the access of nationwide up-to-date information in identical format. A cynical observation might reflect that this is a means of obscuring the true picture of crime in England & Wales. These forces account for a large percentage of the population and overall crime, so the lack of current data in the same format, thwarts efforts to arrive at the current national position.

Only when all 43 forces operate the same software, will a greater degree of transparency for public consumption will be available.

The Crime Analysis Team
Nice 1 Limited

Thursday, 24 September 2009

OFFICER SPEAKS OUT ABOUT LOW POLICE MORALE



LOW morale, not enough officers and a failing justice system are among the sentiments of rank and file police, a serving officer said today.The experienced officer did not want to be named, but spoke out amid a backdrop of crushing financial pressure from the government for the constabulary to slash millions of pounds from its budget. 

The modern police service faces many more challenges to its morale than ever before and many of the matters talked of here echo the sentiment of other articles from these pages. If the escalating problem of low police morale is the effect, what are the causes? 

Behind the scenes at this site, we are compiling hundreds of examples of officers voicing the same concerns about the decline of the service they love. The problem is not confined to a few disillusioned officers in small pockets of the country. This is a growing problem across all police forces in the UK, from an ever increasing number of rank and file frontline troops.

The balanced observations of one front line officer sum it up well. 

A POLICE OFFICERS VIEW FROM THE STREET


“I still love the job as much as I did when I first joined, but things have changed and not necessarily for the better. We see many times in the course of our careers all that is wrong with society and how inhuman people can be. Often a smile or joke can be a release valve. It seems more and more that we are not allowed an opinion or a sense of humour.

One thing that I have noticed more than anything is morale. I have never seen it so low. I talk to officers with five to six years service counting down the time they have left and that should not be.

My opinion for it being so low is down to a number of things; staff shortages, excessive workloads, a feeling of being let down by a seemingly uncaring senior hierarchy, the inability of the service in general to stand up for itself, and being let down by the judicial system.

I can say hand on heart that the vast majority of officers I have worked with over many years have been professional, caring, keen, and take great delight in locking up the bad guys.

On staff shortages, if you read the headlines from certain quarters they say we have no staff shortage problems. If the general public really knew that almost on a weekly basis and in some case daily, major towns have no officers to deploy to incidents as they are tied up on jobs or stuck in the custody areas.

It is not uncommon for officers to be drafted in from other areas leaving them short of cover, with specialist departments being used to backfill. Custody is regularly filled so that detained persons are taken to other stations. If this is the case then two officers are sent for escort and booking in.

Then the amount of time the booking in process takes, and then if that person is deemed as at risk he/she is put under constant supervision with a police officer. That means yet another officer down. You don't have to be brilliant at maths to see what the consequences are especially when I have known up to three constants on the go at the same time.

Officers who take crime reports are then allocated them to investigate. Obviously the more serious and involved are taken up by CID. As you can imagine an officer is not just given a couple to sort out but the list can be quite extensive.

The problem is that the list will continue to grow as more and more are allocated to that officer. With all the best will and dedication in the world some are not going to be investigated perhaps as fully as they could be.

This is not because the officer does not care. With time restraints and supervisory pressure, workloads must be trimmed. And I think you can guess the consequences.

The fact that a lot of offenders do not go to court is not down to the individual investigating officer or the service. It is down to the government department charged with prosecuting of suspects at court. They too have pressure to increase their conviction rates, so if they are not satisfied that there is a more than good possibility of a conviction they drop it straight away.

This is despite all the paperwork submitted, numerous interviews, and sometimes compelling evidence in the officers' eyes - and, most important of all, the expectations of the victim.

It does seem to be that before long they will only take on the guilty pleas.

Do I feel that we at times let the victim down? Yes. But we are not entirely to blame, the system is. I believe the system is squarely on the side of the offender rather than the victim. The younger and persistent offenders I come into contact with have no fear of the system or its punishments.

They look on young offenders' institutions as a holiday camp where they get free food, free games, free gym membership and are even allowed to keep together with their friends. They do what ever they like, when they like.

As police officers we are paid a good wage, and I for one have enjoyed every minute of it. I love my job and the satisfaction of getting a good result for the people who we serve. I feel the senior hierarchy needs to back us more and listen, not just preach. Yes, like all organisations or firms money is tight and cuts and financial savings have to be made, but not at the expense of the officers on the beat who are the backbone of the service and the ones getting the flak day after day on the streets.

We are the ones that have to face the job and all it entails face on and not from the comfort of a desk.”

Source : http://www.eveningstar.co.uk/

To read the full article, comments from his Chief Constable and Crown Prosecution Service click here.

COMMENT

Critical areas of police service policy and procedure is not only affecting officers morale. Many of the problems highlighted here are having a severly detrimental effect on public confidence in the police as a whole. Regrettably, the front line bobby is the thin blue line where the public aim their dissatisfaction. The target should really be the politicians and senior officers who set the policy these officers have to work with.

The general public want to see a more visible police presence, improved response times and common sense policing. Despite protestations from the Government to the contrary, there remains an excessive "performance culture" within the job. Combined with a lack of discretionary policing this has resulted in a service that is more consumed with political correctness and meeting statistical targets than the 'back to basics policing' the public and front line officers would like to see.

A disproportionate amount of time and resource is wasted on issues that affect a minority of the public. Meanwhile, the Government and senior officers perpetuate the the 'con' about declining crime figures and rising public confidence. The general public are not stupid. They are not taken in by statistics that are manipulated for the media or surveys that are not representative of the real public view.

The time for transparency is now. Clear the decks. Accept that the service has become swamped with bureaucracy and the quality of our society needs fixing fast if the country is not to slip into irreversible moral decline.

This will not happen within the time left with this Government. It seem likely that another party will be in power before any significant change will be seen. Will they be any different? For as long as politicians keep using crime and policing as a convenient political football to grow their overstaffed and excessive empires, then the answer is no.

A radical, honest and transparent approach is needed if public and police confidence is to be restored.

Acceptance that a system is not working is a first step. Forget blame, we don't care what or who caused it, we just want it fixed. Learn the lessons that are staring us in the face. Dismiss the performance culture policing, listen, HEAR and ACT upon what the front line coppers are telling us is inherently wrong with the service. Make every effort to eliminate committees and projects that detract from basics. Reverse the trend of spending 90% of the time and resource planning how you will improve things and 10% of  the time actually doing it. Stop giving us statistics and headlines we stopped trusting long ago. Give the police their dicretional common sense freedom that will enable them to do the job they joined for.

Are there any politicians and senior officers courageous enough to take the action needed? 


Crime Analysis Team
Nice 1 Limited

Monday, 21 September 2009

THE SPOILED YOUNGER GENERATION IS SPOILING OUR SOCIETY


Dr Aric Sigman

Thanks to http://200weeks.police999.com/ for inspiring this post.

In a book published this week called "The Spoiled Generation" psychologist Dr Aric Sigman explores the erosion of discipline, respect and civility in the youth of the UK and the negaive effect it is having on society.

Dr Sigman accurately captures the growing sense of unease felt by a large percentage of the UK public. He said “Children of the spoilt generation are used to having their demands met by their parents and others in authority, and that in turn makes them unprepared for the realities of adult life. This has consequences in every area of society, from the classroom to the workplace, the streets to the criminal courts and rehabilitation clinics".

He suggests that children & young people’s rights must be curtailed and a firm hand is urgently needed if they are to be properly guided into adulthood.

Dr Sigman, a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, continued: “Authority is a basic health requirement in children’s lives. But, while children have become increasingly ‘empowered’ in terms of legislation and rights, far from being protected, they are actually suffering in ways that could never have been foreseen.”

The police see the consequences of the "Spoiled Generation" every day on the street of the UK. - Britain now has the highest rates of child depression, child-on-child murder, underage pregnancy, obesity, violent and anti-social behaviour and pre-teen alcoholism since records began. A 44% rise in assaults on police by children is surely a symptom of a much greater disease that will follow if not treated fast.

Respect for law and order and authority is fading rapidly as parents and schools fail in their duty to their children. The criminal justice system including the police are then just one of the groups of agencies that deal with the fall out. The empowering of children, however well intended, has served to undermine the authority of parents, teachers, police officers and other authority figures.

If the Government are to start the task of fixing our society, then surely there is no better place to start than  here. By instilling some firm handed forgotten disciplines within the "spoiled sector" of our youth, there will at least be a glimmer of hope that the UK may once again be a pleasant place to live.   

If it is down to our politicians to start the ball rolling, we'll not hold our breath.

Crime Analysis Team
Nice 1 Limited

POLICE FEDERATION DECLARES PCSO's ARE A "CON"



Article reprinted from http://www.esnews.co.uk/ Emergency Services News, a great site that delivers what it says. A link to the regular news articles from E S News now appears in the side bar on this site.

The public are being conned through the use of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) in a failed government ‘experiment’, according to the Police Federation.


Paul McKeever, chairman of the federation, said: “They were brought in for best of reasons…but I think it was a deeply flawed experiment.”

He also said that the hundreds of millions spent on the scheme could have paid for 12,000 extra police officers.

“If you are, in effect, conning the public by putting people in uniform who the public believe have powers they don’t possess, why are we employing them?”

McKeever made the comments during in interview with Channel Four’s ‘Dispatches’ programme, due to air tonight at 8pm.

Crime Analyst Team
Nice 1 Limited

RAPE NUMBERS SUPPRESSED BY POLICE RECORDING PROCESS



Yet another example of how crime statistics are distorted for immoral purposes is highlighted in a report from the BBC.

The article states that the BBC have learned that rape claims are being left off official crime records. A freedom of information request has revealed that some UK police forces fail to record more than 40% of cases.

Police rules of guidance for rape state that only allegations verified as false, reported to the wrong force, or recorded in error can be removed.

Wide regional variations are reflected but some forces had such a high number of cases removed from records - known as "no-criming" - that critics say it is evident the rules are not being properly applied.

The article goes on to reveal that there are hundreds of instances where rapes are reported but never make it into the Home Office figures. This doesn't even take into account incidents that were reported and subsequently "no-crimed".


This is a further, more serious example of  example of how police procedures and the ridiculous race for detections and performance targeting obstruct the frontline officer from fulfilling their function as effectively as they would want, with the knock on effect of frustrating the ends of justice for the true victims.

False Allegations

There are instances where false allegations are made for whatever reason. A relationship goes wrong and the woman regrets having sex with a man and makes the allegation, after a few drinks a woman has sex with a man then fearing the consequences of discovery by her partner, reports the matter as rape to cover her tracks. The police have an extremely difficult task in getting to the truth of these allegations but there are skilled and trusted officers who are eminently capable of doing so. Rape is one allegation that is said to be "difficult to prove and even more difficult to disprove", so a great degree of care, sensitvity and diligence is required to arrive at the facts.

Of the rape cases that are reported, a meagre 6.5% are detected. Home Office and police information suggests that only 2% of cases are found to be false. If offences are being concealed or suppressed in this way, it disguises the enormity and sevirity of the real problem.

RAPE IS TRIVIALISED

The issue that is of great concern here is that the police crime reporting process is used as yet another means to suppress the real undetected crime picture in the UK. Any commitment and endeavour of the investigating officers is tainted by the subsequent failure to record the offence accurately when the offence is misrepresented or simply not recorded.

The police guidelines for recording crime centre around "Victim Focus". If a crime is reported, the victim has grounds to believe a crime has occurred and there is no quality evidence to suggest otherwise, the police are required to record the matter as a crime. This applies regardless of the offence, burglary, theft, wounding, fraud or sexual offences including rape. If someone breaks into your house and steals your property, it is reported as a burglary. That crime stands on the books whether the offender is caught and a detection is achieved or not. If the suspect is arrested, charged and for whatever reason a conviction is not achieved, the crime of burglary remains as a recorded crime. How can it be then, that if a woman is raped, and there is no quality evidence to suggest it is a false allegation, that the incident can be so easily wiped off the books?

There is something seriously wrong with the moral compass of the policy of a force that encourages or permits this to happen.

POLICE ATTITUDES

It is easy to make the mistake of generalising police attitudes. The cases that attract the media attention are those where officers displayed  a less than sympathetic or even dismissive attitude toward the victim. One of the best writers on this subject is a police blogger, writing under a pseudonym of WPC Ellie Bloggs. Read some of her articles on the subject by clicking here. "Ellie" is both a woman and a serving police officer, with a balanced view of the problem and her views make for informed reading on the subject.

The distortion of the recording of rape crimes is a despicable use of the process for statistical benefit and needs revision urgently. As we have seen in other articles from these pages, rape is not the only crime that is misreported or mis-allocated for the sole purpose of projecting a better image of policing and detections. It is however, one of the examples with far more serious implications and consequences to justice being delivered and restoring public confidence.

Far better that a crime is reported, whatever its category, and the public are made aware of the real resource needs of the police service to deal with the problem, than using statistics as a political football so that the latest crime reduction headlines can be so blithly reported. Once the true picture is revealed, the correct degree of resource and expertise can be applied to deal with it. Until that time, the UK public will continue to be short changed and conned, both in terms of the millions paid in tax and the justice it deserves.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

POLICE FEDERATION BLAST LIBYA POLICE TRAINING AS NAIVE



The decision to send UK police officers to train their counterparts in Libya was "naive and insensitive", the chairman of the Police Federation said.

Paul McKeever said the scheme would spark anger over the killing of Pc Yvonne Fletcher.

She was shot 25 years ago outside the Libyan embassy but the Government has allegedly agreed her killer would not be tried in Britain.

He said: "Whilst it may be customary for countries to look to the UK police to provide expertise and training I find it incredible that the Foreign Office has been so naive and insensitive imposing this particular request on the National Policing Improvement Agency.

To read the full press association article click here.

Crime Analyst Team
Nice 1 Limited

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Crime Statistics - A Measure Of Public Confidence?


Click the image to see larger (also contained within the full report - see below)

Nice 1 Ltd have complete a further analysis of Home Office crime statistics, comparing British Crime Survey results with offences notified to the police in the 2008/09 period. To see the analysis click here.

Closer scrutiny of the Home Office statistics reveals a massive disparity between the crime experienced in society and that actually notified to the police.

The British Crime Survey is the source of data relied upon by the Government as being the most accurate reflection of crime in England & Wales.

Whilst 4.7 million crimes were reported to the police, the survey suggests that the actual number of notifiable incidents is nearer to 10.7 million and that a mere 41% of comparable crimes are actually reported.

Of those interviewed who admitted they had not reported being a victim of crime, 76% said they felt the police would not or could not do anything.

If the problem of public confidence in the police were compared to the layers of an onion, the front line bobbies, with all the obstructions they face to delivering the service they want to give, are the outer layer. Inside that layer, lies the core of the problem.




The more layers of the onion are removed, the closer we get to the heart of responsibility for the state of policing and crime in England & Wales. The Home Office lies at the heart, which is a political department as well as being at the heart of the Criminal Justice System.

The thin blue line of front line officers, constables, sergeants and inspectors deal with the real problems at street level. It is they who are best qualified to comment on the state of the society they police. Yet they are continually obstructed by the infrastructure, paperwork and procedures designed, influenced and implemented by those within the inner layers, conveniently, those who are higher up the hierarchy and furthest away from the coal face.

Not only do the thin blue line have to deal with the outer layer of the problems of society, but they also face the full force of the lack of public confidence, caused by the very procedural obstructions created by the inner layers. So the designers of these processes don't even have to face the consequences of their handywork.

The layers of the onion must be peeled away to bare the warts n all facts that lie at the heart of the problem.

The problem and solution lies not within the thin blue line, but in the very heart of the matter, where fanciful procedures and strategies, committees and project teams are wasting millions of taxpayers money. Strip away the layers of adminstration and unnecessary obstructions. Give the police the freedom and resources to return to 'common sense back to basics' policing, without the influence and interference of politicians and external agencies who are bleeding the country dry and feeding us manipulated headlines to keep them in office.

When the police can realise their true effective potential, with optimised use of their resources, reporting the accurate picture of society, good and bad, we may see the green shoots of public confidence start to return.

Crime Analysis Team
Nice 1 Limited


Friday, 18 September 2009

Home Secretary Sets Out His Position On Policing



Earlier this week the Home Secretary spoke to the Superintendents' conference about the future of UK policing...

Alan Johnson MP addresses Police Superintendents conference


In his address to the Police Superintendents Association conference, Home Secretary Alan Johnson said:

"Your association was indeed the first Home Office-linked organisation I met after becoming Home Secretary. In that short meeting with your executive, I had the luxury of not being expected to know anything and the benefit of hearing from people who knew an awful lot.

Since its formal recognition in 1952, the Superintendents’ Association has been a crucial influence not only in advocating on behalf of superintendents, but in shaping modern policing as we know it today.


I have been indebted to Ian and his colleagues for their advice and insight over the last few months. I don’t want my address today to be a simple recitation of flattering statistics, but it would be remiss not to mention the significant reduction in crime over the last 12 years – a fall of 39 per cent since 1997.

It is important to mention it because it is a real and genuine achievement. It’s your achievement and it is testament to the incredible commitment and dedication of Britain’s police. But crime is the area of government policy where statistics matter the least and perception matters the most.

The achievements in crime reduction need to be balanced against the fact that people's concern about crime isn’t declining at the same rate. And fear of crime, as well as being debilitating in itself, dilutes public confidence. The police have always had to ride two horses; a police force for those who break the law, and a police service for the law-abiding public.

As Sir Robert Peel once said: “the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen.”

It is testament to this legacy that while in many other countries in the world, the police are feared and reviled, in the UK, they are respected and admired. While the renewed focus on the relationship between the police and the public through neighbourhood policing echoes the fundamental purpose of the police, as articulated so well in the 19th century, some of the challenges faced by modern police forces would be unrecognisable to Peel and his colleagues.

When the first modern police forces were established, they had to confront the impact of industrialisation and urbanisation – people flooded to cities like London, Manchester and Glasgow - where the demand for cheap, unskilled labour was insatiable. Overcrowded, squalid slums quickly became breeding grounds for violent gang wars as rival “Scuttlers,” as they were called, in Manchester, terrorised people with their sustained and brutal street fights.

If the challenge was industrialisation in the 19th Century, then it’s globalisation in the 21st. Terrorists and criminal networks pay scant attention to national borders. On Monday, the three ring leaders of the airline bomb plot, who planned unimaginable carnage, were sentenced to 40 years, 36 years and 32 years respectively – sentences they fully deserved.

The success of Operation Overt is a salient reminder both of the unprecedented and international scale of the challenges we face. It also highlights the fact that our police and security forces are a precious national asset that we diminish or constrain at our peril. While the primary duty of the state, as exercised by the Home Secretary and the police, has always been to keep people safe, fulfilling that duty, under the threat of terrorist attack, has never been more complex.

We in the UK have a long experience of terrorism. But the sustained nature of the threat we face today, has taken us into new territory, and demonstrated the extraordinary capacity of the police to adapt to changing circumstances. But they need the right tools to do the job. Having considered the House of Lords Judgement, I have to decide whether control orders should be abandoned or maintained. They are not and never were intended to be the first line of defence.

Where an individual is suspected of terrorist activity, our first objective will always be for that person to be tried and prosecuted in an open court, or deported if they are foreign nationals. But there is a very small number of people who undoubtedly pose a substantial threat to public safety, and who for good reason, we can neither prosecute nor deport.

In handing down his judgement on control orders on 10 June this year, Lord Justice Scott said: “The duty of the courts … is not … to protect the lives of citizens. It is…to apply the law.” It is however, my primary duty to do both.

So while the courts are bound to be an impartial arbitrator of how the law is applied, it falls on police and security services to protect the public. In their efforts to prevent dangerous individuals from doing harm, they must use a range of measures which the law allows.

Control orders are a practical and proportionate legislative tool that can be applied in such cases. They are not perfect and one day, I hope they won’t be necessary. But for a handful of people, they remain the best option we have for ensuring the public is safe and our security services are able to do their work effectively. That is why I have decided to maintain their availability within the constraints of the House of Lords judgement.

There are those who claim that a global sense of purpose sits uneasily with the renewed focus on neighbourhood policing and public confidence. But every police officer knows that it is only through earning the trust of local communities, that their cooperation can be secured in tackling organised crime, gang violence, and yes, even terrorism. We know that public confidence is at its highest in areas where the police are a constant visible presence; where they make themselves accessible to local people, and where they explain what they are doing to tackle crime whilst listening and responding to people’s concerns.

The surveys show that those who feel properly informed about the measures that the police are taking in their area are nearly twice as likely to believe that crime is being effectively addressed.

Having completed my first three months in this job, I am very clear from all that I’ve seen and heard that there’s no need for more central targets, radical reorganisations or eye-catching initiatives. We need to further consolidate that which is already in place, and we need to do more, much more, to tackle antisocial behaviour.

Petty acts of vandalism, fly-tipping, abandoned cars, intimidating or threatening behaviour – these are not trivial or, as they are sometimes dismissed, “low-level problems.” For the people who have to live with them on a daily basis, they are far from trivial - they have a profound impact on their health and wellbeing.

But in a lot of communities, there’s a “why bother?” sentiment. They don’t raise these issues with the police or others because they think they think it won’t make any difference. Or even that it will make the problem worse. This is despite the fact that the police and local authorities have more powers to deal with antisocial behaviour than ever before and the statistics tell us that after any kind of intervention, two thirds of perpetrators desist. After 3 interventions, all but the most persistent 7 per cent desist. But if we cannot convince the public to come forward, because past experience tells them their complaint will be passed from the local authority to the police and then back again, then we are fighting a loosing battle.

Everyone has the right to feel safe where they live. Tackling antisocial behaviour must be a priority for the police and local authorities and the public need to believe that their complaint will be acted upon. Last Friday, I spent some time with Merseyside Police. They have a taskforce dedicated to tackling antisocial behaviour in areas where it’s a big problem. As well as taking tough action on the perpetrators, police officers regularly visit the victims of antisocial behaviour to check that they are satisfied with the action the police have taken. It can be no coincidence that public confidence in this area has increased from 50 per cent in September last year to 56.9 per cent in March this year. The police also say that being tough on antisocial behaviour is helping them to address other issues like gang violence and gun crime, because often those involved in antisocial behaviour are connected to more serious crimes too.

The White Paper, which will be published shortly, won’t be an overwrite of the Green Paper but will embed those principles further and I hope resolve the issues which are making their implementation more difficult.

I know that one of the Green Paper issues that is at the forefront of your concerns is accountability. I’m adamant that there’s no case for elected members of police authorities, and neither this nor elected commissioners will feature in the White Paper. Ian is wise to warn us to be wary of those who offer simple solutions to complex problems.

When the public say they want the police to be more accountable, that doesn’t mean they want the dubious delights of elected police boards. It certainly doesn’t mean they want politicians pulling the strings, or telling the police how to do their jobs – in London or elsewhere. Locally, they want a name and a number they can call about problems they see in their neighbourhood and they want that problem to be dealt with quickly, preferably by a police officer with a familiar face.


If they think that a police officer hasn’t followed up the crime they’ve reported, or failed in some other way, they want their complaint dealt with quickly and proportionately. Most would rather have a speedy apology and an assurance that something similar won’t happen again than a lengthy investigation into that officer’s conduct. They also want to see the criminal justice system working for victims, not, as 79 per cent of people believe, for offenders. This is why Justice Seen, Justice Done is so critical. It is no coincidence that when people see criminals and perpetrators of antisocial behaviour being brought to account, their confidence in the police goes up.

Whilst as Home Secretary, I will advocate remorselessly on the public’s behalf, I would be doing them and the police a disservice if I thought that meant telling police officers how to do their job.

Similarly, I’m very clear that while centrally imposed targets may have once been necessary, that phase is over. There is now only one central target on public confidence and there are no accompanying government diktats about how this target will be delivered.

I recognise your concerns that the single confidence target will somehow be undermined by more complex arrangements for monitoring police performance. Simultaneously holding the police to account, while allowing for freedom and flexibility, will be a difficult balancing act. The Policing Pledge is not just another list of targets , and neither will it be monitored by the Home Office as if it was. The Pledge sets out the minimum that the public can justifiably expect from their local police force, to ensure that consistent standards are applied across the country. But I am clear, that whatever arrangements HMIC agree with you about how performance is monitored, it must not place unnecessary bureaucratic burdens on the police.

Over the last few years, we’ve made huge efforts to cut the laborious and unnecessary paperwork that chains police officers to their desks.

Thirty-six data collection requirements have either been removed or significantly reduced.

Scrapping activity-based costing alone has saved around 260,000 hours of police time.

The foot-long Stop and Account form has gone – saving another 690,000 hours.

The hand-held devices which are steadily replacing the iconic bobby’s notebook mean that police officers can do on the beat what could once only be done back to the station, saving half an hour every shift.

Analogue radios have been replaced by infinitely more powerful airwave handsets, making it easier for police officers to communicate, even on the London Tube network and saving more time for officers.

In addition, we will also explore whether we can reduce the requirements of the Stop and Search form. Currently, regardless of whether someone who is stopped and searched is arrested, police officers still have to fill in the form. It’s obviously essential to record the ethnicity of the person and the reason they were stopped, so that any complaint can be properly considered. But there should be no need for the police to record anything further.

In the forthcoming Policing, Crime and Private Security Bill, we will take the first steps towards radically slimming down the form for such incidents.

Despite these developments, I know the bureaucracy dragon has not yet been slain. Central government may have been slashed, but we were never the only manufacturer of red tape. Local requirements are often, equally, if not more burdensome, and these need to be addressed too.

To give one example, while the Stop and Account form has been abolished, I have heard of instances where neighbourhood police officers are still filling in the form even though it’s no longer required.

The confidence target was introduced to ensure that police officers could focus on what really mattered – that they were chasing criminals, not statistics, and so that they can exercise their professional judgement in making their communities safer. We have rightly been challenged by you and others to go further in reducing bureaucratic burdens on the service. But making further inroads will require more action at force and authority level. It is on this element that Jan Berry’s forthcoming review will concentrate.


I want to end by saying something about a subject that I’m sure has caused much discussion during your conference – future funding. I know it must feel like an uncomfortable squeeze between meeting rising public expectations and improving efficiency. When we talk about greater productivity and efficiency, commentators find it convenient to interpret this as a euphemism for cutting frontline staff. But when 43 police forces have between them, many hundreds of IT contracts, when many of those forces have separate arrangements for buying uniforms, vehicles and equipment, you cannot convince me that improving efficiency means abandoning neighbourhood policing.

We have not spent the last 12 years building frontline police numbers to record levels to see all these advances reversed.

I don’t believe that the way to respond to this tighter financial climate is to hang the sword of Damocles over frontline officers. The three year settlement up to 2011 is a good one, and in contrast to our political opponents, we have no intention of cutting into it The three year pay deal will be honoured, and because we recognise that we are asking you to deliver a challenging agenda, I can tell you today that the Basic Command Unit Fund will not be scrapped. It will continue in 2010/11, providing £40 million for the police, working in partnership with local authorities, to improve public confidence in communities they serve – whether that’s by tackling antisocial behaviour or investing more in neighbourhood policing.

I began by talking about the complexity of modern police work. How the challenges faced by police officers don’t just go from neighbourhood to national, but from local to global; from antisocial behaviour to terrorism. All are of equal importance to the public. But the overriding principle is very simple. Keeping people safe, providing them with security and serenity in their lives is the most basic duty that any government owes its citizens. The principles at the heart of the creation of the modern police service in the 19th century are as relevant today.

It is through greater engagement in neighbourhood policing, genuine accountability, collaboration and strong leadership that we can ensure that policing is carried out both with and for the public.

It is my role as Home Secretary to support the police in their difficult and dangerous work, and I will fulfil that role to the best of my ability."

Reprinted from :-

http://www.policeoracle.com/news/Home-Secretary-Sets-Out-His-Position-On-Policing_20278.html

Comment :-

Some fine words Mr Johnson. We feel sure they were received with rapturous applause. However, the frontline bobbies and response troops have heard these words before. ACTION is what is needed and speaks louder than any of your famliar force fed platitudes. Forgive us if we reserve our trust for the word of this Government, but we will not raise our expectations until we see positive results and action.

The list of reasons for doubting the word of this Government is endless. Years of "Jobs for the boys" in the form of expensive and doubtful community projects where funding would be better spent on real frontline resource allocation, manipulated crime statistics (and make no mistake, the word is out), the MP expenses scandal, the lack of support for the National Victims Association families, the treacherous trading of justice for the Libyan killer of WPC Yvonne Fletcher, the worldwide condemnation for the release of the convicted Lockerbie murderer to name just a few of the more recent betrayals that have eroded trust in words alone.

From a policing perspective, there needs to be a clean slate. That requires an immediate acceptance that the crime figures you happily broadcast have been consistently manipulated for political benefit for many years and the time has come to spill the beans and start afresh. If you are sincere about seeking the return of public confidence, YOU MUST EARN IT. That requires a brave man and a brave party, but better the public knew the full truth, and adequate funding is allocated for policing that this fanstasy world in your headlines that crime is decreasing. This only perpetuates the problem.

Mr Johnson, you mention the disparity between the the reported crime figures and actual crime. You make the statement "They don’t raise these issues with the police or others because they think they think it won’t make any difference. Or even that it will make the problem worse".

What you don't say is WHY they feel it won't make a difference. Once again you fall back on the political cushion of  the extra police powers that have been introduced. That is all very well, when they get the chance to use them, (and believe us they would love to) when they are not chasing detections, protecting their own backs against petty internal attacks, tied up for hours with paperwork that is largely excessive.

Can you not see, this is what lies at the very core of public confidence. The very system that has been created down the years has drifted away from common sense and the back to basics approach must be taken seriously if the service is to recover from its current malaise. The public have seen for themselves that through no lack of commitment or desire on the part of the response officers, public calls for help all too often go unanswered due to the tangled web of obstructions to justice that have evolved down the years.

Accept that as a Government minister, it is unlikely that you will live in proximity or circumstances where you will come face-to-face with the violent and criminal face of Britain. That does not mean you should shut your eyes to what the average tax payer sees every day at the corner shop, on the High Streets or in the town centres.

An open and honest start would be to create a forum where police officers from the front line can speak openly and honestly about the real issues preventing the return to common sense back to basics policing, without fear or reprisals of threat to their career. You have started with the Superintendents, now deliver your message the the constables, sergeants and inspectors, ALL OF THEM, especially those on the front line, the response officers, who deal with real life policing every day. Create an environment where they are unafraid to voice their concerns. If you turn up with Chief Constables' or SMT Officers in tow, you can hardly expect officers to put their neck on the line and openly criticise the hierarchy, bureaucracy and processes that obstruct them from delivering the policing the nation deserves and you so speak of wanting.

The truth of policing in the UK will not be discovered in your office or that of senior officers, but out there on the street, where the real problems are being handled by real coppers every day. If you are to gain the confidence of these officers, get out and meet them, one-to-one, see the real world that they have to deal with. You will find the picture is far worse than you could ever imagine or are being fed by the SMT's, many of whom are part of the problem that needs solving.

We do not imagine for one moment that you would actually turn up on the wildest parts of London, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol to see the situation for yourself, but until the word of the experienced frontline bobby is taken more seriously and action is taken, the state of our society will spiral ever downward taking the aspiration of public confidence down with it.

Whether you are in office for twelve months or for years to come, the time to start is now.

LESS PROMISES MORE ACTION.

The Crime Analysis Team
Nice 1 Limited

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