Tuesday, 25 May 2010

TOO MANY CHIEFS - PART 3 - THE FULL REPORT


As promised, we are pleased to be able to announce that our report "TOO MANY POLICE CHIEFS" is now available on this site for download or viewing.  It has also been added to the "View Our Reports" sidebar on the right of the page. Click here to view the report now.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Inspector Gadget, whose insightful words and views bring a sense of reality that can so often be lost in numbers and statistics.

The report is intentionally hard hitting, focusing on the profligacy and waste, both financially and operationally that occurs within the higher ranks of British policing.

A widely held view from the front line of policing is that there are “Too many chiefs and not enough Indians on the ground”. Officers report that their forces are top heavy with Chiefs and Senior Management ranks, causing confusion with a blurring of
responsibilities. This causes inconsistencies in strategy with one Chiefs’ flavour of the month project being superseded by another, often opposite viewpoint, sometimes within weeks or months of the first being issued.


Officers feel that their forces employ an unnecessary number of police staff (civilian support personnel), who apparent sole purpose in life is to bury the front line, public facing officer with e mails, administrative tasks, data capture requests, box ticking and apparently valueless instructions that tie them up in administrative jobs, keeping them from front line duties..

Many front line experienced officers openly state that it is not a shortage of people or finances within the force that is the problem. They state there are adequate numbers to do the job, it is just that too many officers are assigned to non operational or clerical type roles when they should be “on the street” helping to reduce the burden of the front line response teams.

It is imperative that a closer examination of existing resources, Chief Officer, non operational and police staff now be conducted. This report is intended to stimulate informed debate by taking a closer look at the numbers and ranks of officers and police staff engaged and highlighting for the first time, the cost by rank incurred by each force, and whether these costs represent the best value for money the tax payers pound can buy.

Over the pages contained in the report, we provide detailed reports on officer numbers, split by rank and force, together with the costs that these numbers create. Interleaved between the reports we provide explanatory notes with the findings, bullet point observations and summaries.

The report contains a 6 page conclusions summary, where we bring all the content together to point out the more obvious, non front line areas where many millions can be saved without compromising essential resourcing.

We are aware that these pages are monitored by all ranks of policing, associated police and criminal justice agencies, political parties and the media. For many of the higher management ranks of policing, some of the content will make uncomfortable reading as it will cause many consciences to be pricked. We make no apologies for that. 

For the powers that be who may read this report , those who have the authority to implement real change and reform within our police service, we would urge you to listen to the heartfelt needs of your front line, grass roots officers. You may be surrounded by advisors, many of whom have little knowledge of front line policing, including civil servants and senior police officers, whose errors and personal agendas have created so many of the problems that now face the service. We would urge you not to always believe  what you’re told by your advisors. 

If you truly desire to bring about the reforms that would most benefit the tax paying public, listen carefully to the views and concerns of the front line officers. You will find that their views and thoughts echo those of the average citizen who you have been elected to represent.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

TOO MANY POLICE CHIEFS - PART 2 - THE BONUS SCANDAL

Following our article earlier this week  "Too many Police Chiefs" we would like to introduce you to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism,  that is looking to lift the lid off exhorbitant public sector bonus payments, including those of the most senior of our police officers. 

The arrival of a new Liberal/Tory Government committed to opening the books of public sector profligate spending has resulted in Senoir Police Chiefs hitting the headlines this week, protesting that the gravy train bonus scheme they have enjoyed was "forced upon them". 

A delegation of chiefs has told Theresa May that bonuses are not part of the country's "policing culture" and should be dumped. They said the system of making special payments was imposed on police despite concerns that private sector remuneration was not suitable for their unique role.

Where were the protestations and signs of dissent when the bonuses were introduced? For at least 5 or 6 years many of these fat cats have gleefully jumped aboard the gravy train and happily taken their millions in this orchestrated, deceitful practice.

The Bureau website explains their raison d'etre:-

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism is an independent, not-for-profit body that aims to produce the highest quality investigative journalism in the public interest. Our work will be on stories of significance – stories with clear issues at their heart.

Our journalistic ambition is to expose the exploitation of the weak by the strong. We will seek to reveal the failures of those in power to fulfil the trust placed in them. And we will be led by the ambition that, through revelation, real and positive change might occur.

We will do this impartially and apolitically, governed by the highest standards of journalistic independence. The Bureau will not lobby. Nor will we align ourselves with political parties or pressure groups.

Our stories, and our stories alone, will define us.

Focus

The focus of the Bureau will be on government and business: we will shine a light into their powerful worlds and on any abuses therein.

From flaws in the judicial system, to political profiteering, to human rights abuses on the production line, to corrupt arms deals, we will seek to reveal the facts that otherwise would remain hidden.

We will also focus on other powerful institutions, such as unions, religious groups, lobbyists, universities, hospitals and the media itself if they are seen to be abusing the public trust.

Our journalism will be patient and persistent. We will expose inappropriate practices, hold them up to public scrutiny and we will continue to do so until change comes about.

As such, we will stay with the issues. As long as there is more to be told, or there are more people to inform, we will persevere.

The following is an extracted adaptation from their website that is particulalry relevant to our recent report.  

Secret policemen's bonuses

May 21st, 2010

Why are so many police forces refusing to provide details of the bonuses paid to their chief constables?

 Regulations under the Local Government Statue no 3322, will compel every force to publish all remuneration details of their highest paid staff, including amounts spent on expenses and bonuses in their next accounts.

 The Bureau have been investigating bonuses within the police force for several months. Using Freedom of Information requests they have asked each of the 43 constabularies about such payments to their senior officers.

No answer
 Many forces have refused to provide the details about this contentious issue. (See the table below)

In an attempt to force the police to provide the information the Bureau went to the Information Commission. They discovered that others had already brought the issue to the ICO, but no decision had been made.

No information
 The Bureau pressed further.

They wanted to know how many complaints had been made but we were told that to obtain this information they would need to send in an FOI request to the Information Commissioner.

It is clear the police are being anything but transparent. 
 
Hidden payments 
 
This is all the greater a concern when you realise that the police receive ‘extra payments’, often undisclosed.

 These include mortgage payments private health insurance, private car costs, private school fees, honorarium payments and private membership of clubs.

 These extra payments are above and beyond the current national pay scales that have been centrally determined by the Police Negotiating Body (PNB), and remain not properly regulated.

 Bonus payments are in the spotlight. Keeping them secret is only going to make them more contentious.
 Good Cop, Bad Cop

We have provided the Bureau with an advance copy of our report "Too Many Police Chiefs" containing details of senior officer pay and a comprehensive analysis of police expenditure and costs to assist with their efforts.
 
A full copy of our 100+ page report will be available from these pages shortly.
 
Meanwhile, Senior Officers will undoubtedly continue the media charade that they were forced to accept such payments, that they were forced to create and implement barmy schemes that have obstructed front line coppers from doing the real job for so long. Do they really expect the public to be taken in?
 
The sense of public outrage that followed the MP expense scandal looks set to be eclipsed by the TOP COP PAY & CRIME SCANDAL. When the enormity of profligate waste and spending some of these officers have been responsible for, emerges as it surely must, it will be interesting to see how many times. the lame explanation of  "We were told to do it" is trotted out. Front line officers have long since remarked that there are Too Many Chiefs. Perhaps the prospect of force mergers may provide the natural solution.
 
Well done to those at the Bureau, stick with it chaps!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

TOO MANY CHIEFS? PART 1 - THE BONUS SCANDAL EXPOSED


The arrival of a new Liberal/Tory Government committed to opening the books of  public sector profligate spending has resulted in Senoir Police Chiefs hitting the headlines this week, protesting that the gravy train bonus scheme they have enjoyed was "forced upon them".


Chiefs plead for an end to their own bonuses

A delegation of chiefs has told Theresa May that bonuses are not part of the country's "policing culture" and should be dumped.

They said the system of making special payments to all ranks was imposed on police despite concerns that private sector remuneration was not suitable for their unique role.

The bonus system was covered during a wide-ranging discussion between a handful of chief constables, the Home Secretary and Police Minister Nick Herbert.

How things have changed since last year when ACPO intervened to stop The Times  finding out which chiefs were receiving bonuses and how much they were getting.



In a report we are compiling entitled "Too Many Police Chiefs", we dig deeper than ever before into the numbers of senior police officers and the effect of their salaries, bonus payments and perks, revealing the scandalous waste of millions of the taxpayers cash with officially sourced financial data and observations about what must be done to restore a fair balance to UK policing.  We will include some of the graphics that illustrate some of the highlights from the reports below.

CLICK ON THE GRAPHIC TO SEE IT LARGER, then hit the back button to return to this page.













The report will reveal how rationalisation of the senior officer rank structure would slash £91million off the police budget and improve police efficiency.







We look at police staffing and show how £1.4billion of savings can be made.  We look in detail at the non staffing costs of £2.7billion and show how more effective management of resources can make savings of around £270million.







Our full report will be available on this site over the next few days. In the meantime, here is an extract that summarises our thoughts on the Chief Officer bonus rip off.

"All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke (British Statesman and Philosopher 1729-1797)

How these words ring true when applied to so many of the upper ranks of British policing.

Where were the protestations and signs of dissent when the bonuses were introduced? For at leat 5 or 6 years many of these fat cats have gleefully jumped aboard the gravy train and happily taken their millions in this orchestrated, deceitful practice.

The ACPO private 'boys club' :-

Are paid scandalously high performance target bonuses, often linked to decreases in crime.

Knowingly manipulate or condone the fiddling of crime & detection figures on which these outrageous bonuses depend. The practice is called 'Gaming' and is well documented and has been conveniently overlooked by Her Majesties Inspector of Constabulary.

Secretly pocket bonuses and perks, such as private health care and car allowances worth tens of thousands of pounds.

Earn excessive salaries – approximately 5 or 6 times the national average wage, many earn more than the Prime Minister.

Are proportionately too large as a group, draining essential front line resource funding with their scandalous bonuses & perks.

Direct street-duty officers to concentrate on higher volume ‘advantageous’ misdemeanors where a detection is certain.

In doing so, they divert front line attention from more urgent calls for assistance to the public.

Pay lip-service to what the public really want, blaming front liners when their latest schemes and mad cap projects fail to deliver.

Suck-up to their current political masters by concentrating too heavily on diversity issues and crimes.

Are too politically influenced and immersed to provide an independent police service for the public.

Complain about being "politicised", yet make statements intended to support this government policy or undermine that one.

Could frequently be found at Home Office press conferences and their comments are often helpfully attached to government press releases.

Flood the streets with PCSO’s – a cheaper option than fully empowered police constables.

Are profligate and wasteful with public funds, wasting millions on projects & benefits for senior officers (ACPO & NPIA).

Are financially incentivized and motivated to the detriment of the public interest and grass roots policing.

Maintain an unhealthy degree of secrecy about matters of public interest.

Dictate national policing policies via their unaccountable private clubs – ACPO and the NPIA

Have, by their conduct replaced the honour and distinction of achieving a high rank in public service with greed.

As a group, lack consistency and vision with their policies and strategies, losing respect with grass roots officers.

Are totally out of touch with the needs of the public and woefully oblivious to the concerns of front line officers.

As far back as January 2009, Heather Brooke, who famously exposed the MP expenses scandal attempted to quantify the vast sums of profligate waste that was involved in the Chief Officer expenses, bonus and perks scandal.

The police chiefs who accepted bonuses not only refused to reveal the amounts, but also declined to say what they were for.

They cited the Data Protection Act, claiming that it would be an invasion of their privacy for the public to know the details of their salary and benefits. In the private sector, Chief executives of public companies who must disclose this information in their annual reports.

The Data Protection Act is intended to safeguard the privacy of private individuals – not to help public officials to avoid accountability.

In the case of chief constables’ pay, the public has a right to know how much and for what they are paying. Heather asked "Are bonuses paid for cutting particular types of crime? Has this resulted in changes to the way crimes are recorded?"

Had Heather been successful in opening the books, she would have discovered, as one frontline officer put it "A scandal of such enormity that it would pale the MP scandal into insignificance".

Rodger Patrick, the retired DCI with the West Midlands Force revealed the practice of 'Gaming' late in 2009, illustrating the mass deceit that has been foisted upon the British public by senior police officers fiddling the books of crime statistics for thei own greedy financial gains.

In business, when a company is audited the profligacy, waste and deceitful conduct of the senior management rises to the surface, when all the books are examined.

It is only now, when the Lib/Tory audtors are on the verge of discovering the full extent of the outrageous plundering of the public purse that senior ranks have perpetrated, that the 'worm is turning' and they are bleating that the bonuses and perks were forced upon them by a Labour administration. HOGWASH! Had they put their case straight away, and refused the payments, we might be more inclined to believe them. As it stands, these after the event defences (and many more will follow) do not hold water.

Senior Police Officers - Guilty as charged. Now will the new Government have the courage to do something about it?

The culprits have taken far more than 30 pieces of Judas silver' - it is time they were brought to book for it.


http://thinbluelineuk.blogspot.com/

Sunday, 2 May 2010

LABOUR REPORT CARD 1997 - 2010 : "F" = FAILURE


TWELVE years ago, Britain was crying out for change from a divided, exhausted Government. Today we are there again.

In 1997, "New" Labour, shorn of its destructive hard-Left doctrines and with an energetic and charismatic leader, seemed the answer. Tony Blair said things could only get better, and few doubted him. But did they get better? Well, you could point to investment in schools and shorter hospital waiting lists and say yes, some things did - a little.

 But the real story of the Labour years is one of under-achievement, rank failure and a vast expansion of wasteful government interference in everyone's lives.

Labour can no longer disguise the failures of Labour in Government over the last 12 years.

Who do YOU want to lead the country?

 Blair took office with bulging coffers, an invincible majority and weak opposition, and he and Gordon Brown could and SHOULD have worked miracles. Instead we are billions in debt with major failings in every sector where there should have been major progress and success stories.

They FAILED on law and order, their mantra "tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime" becoming a national joke. Knife murders are soaring. Smirking criminals routinely walk free in the name of political correctness, while decent people live in a virtual police state of snooping cameras and petty officials empowered to spy and to punish.

Labour FAILED on schools. Yes, facilities improved - but four in 10 kids leave those shiny classrooms still unable to read, write or add up properly. We are plummeting down international league tables for maths and literacy, but every year "grade inflation" ensures record GCSE and A-level passes to fuel Government propaganda.

Labour FAILED on health - spending billions on clipboard-ticking target managers instead of on frontline care.

Labour FAILED on immigration, opening our borders without any regard to the consequences. Illegal migrants and bogus asylum seekers poured in.

Labour FAILED the children they claimed to have made their priority. After 12 years of Blair and Brown, Britain is officially the WORST country in the developed world in which to grow up.

Most disgracefully of all, Labour FAILED our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, leaving them to die through chronic under-funding and the shambolic leadership of dismal Defence Secretaries like Bob Ainsworth.

As our forces in two war zones suffered, the scale of Government waste at home was mind-boggling and tragic:

Billions blown employing a useless layer of public service middle-managers like those who condemned Baby P to die.

Billions more spent, insanely, making benefits more lucrative than a pay cheque - creating a huge, idle underclass for whom work is a dirty word. And all along the Government has had one overriding concern: Itself.

Blair and Brown's puerile feud has long been a cancer at the heart of New Labour, their divisions often paralysing the country.

Labour's driving ambition has not been to improve Britain. It has been to retain power at all costs - with no lie judged too great in its ruthless and relentless self-promotion.

They promised a referendum on Europe. They claimed they had ended "boom and bust". They tried to con the public with promises of endless investment, when they knew they would have to cut.

At the 2005 election, we believed Labour had many failings but gave them one last chance over a lacklustre Tory party.

 They have had that chance and failed.

We need a fresh Government with a genuine will to win the war in Afghanistan and the commitment to give our forces whatever they need to do it.
 
This mustl not be a Government that merely talks the talk, as Labour has. It MUST ACT.

We hope, and pray, that the next Government will have the guts and the determination to do these things.

The new Government must earn voters' trust by setting out their promising policies in detail and delivering on those promises.

Whichever party is elected, they must use the same energy and determination with which they have ignited the political debate these past months to breathe new life into Britain.

That means genuine, radical change to encourage self-improvers, not wasting time on internal party wrangling or pandering to the forces of political correctness. It also means an honesty and transparency of Government that we have not seen for years.

We are still a great people and, put to the test, will respond to the challenges we face.

One thing is certain - After three disappointing terms from Labour, we can’t go on like this.

Make your vote count this week

We believe - and pray - that fresh leadership will put the great back into Great Britain.

To see headlines of how Labour failed in your region, click the report link for your area. For more detail click the appropriate data link.

Britain feels broken . . . and the Government is out of excuses.

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