Sunday, 27 June 2010

20 THINGS YOU WONT HEAR AT ACPO THIS WEEK


1. Elected commissioners are the best thing since sliced bread
2. It’s time everyone knew how much of a fiddle our bonus is. We’ve tried to cover our tracks in the media by saying we don’t want them now the Conservatives are in power. We should have refused them point blank six years ago, but instead we jumped on the gravy train.
3. Let’s cut the barmy ideas & get back to basic common sense policing
4. There are too many ranks above Chief inspector, lets chop some
5. We are mainly responsible for the bureaucracy, the more layers we create, the more valuable it makes us appear. Muck only rolls downhill.
6. We’re paid so much it’s embarrassing, please pay us less
7. The APA, ACPO & the NPIA are jobs for the boys that serve little value & waste millions of public money
8. We should be completely transparent and accountable
9. We’ve all been fiddling crime statistics & detections for so long, we’ve forgotten how to do it legitimately
10. We’re massively top heavy with civilian staff, we can manage with a fraction of what we do & police officers could do most of the jobs better anyway
11. Merging forces would mean fewer senior officers, it would save millions and provide a better service to the public
12. The performance targets brought in by the last Government were ill conceived but they allowed us to construct our bureaucratic empires rather than democratic forces
13. We’ve been guilty of forcing flavor of the month projects on the frontline without asking if they thought they had any merit. Then, when projects failed, we blamed them, introduced others, frequently contradicting the purpose of the failed projects.
14. Receiving £18 million a year from the Home Office, we, the officers of ACPO admit to publicly and privately lobbying against key Conservative issues, going far beyond our role. Despite claiming to be independent, acting in the public interest, we displayed political preference by showing almost no criticism of the Labour administration.
15. We have encouraged ACPO to become a self-perpetuating oligarchy where our members achieve their leadership through selection from within the already established members. Therefore, an oligarchy is actually a form of shared dictatorship in which the people, be that the public or frontline staff no say in our governance. This is of course, the opposite of democracy, but hey, we're ok and we can spin the media anything.
16. The 349 ACPO ranks could be cut by two thirds and save upwards of £20million for the tax payer without any discernable effect on policing.
17. The £125million in cuts announced by Nick Herbert is perfectly achievable. We can deliver them with no impact on the frontline. We can reduce PCSO numbers by 4,263 (26%) save £125,017,200 or reduce civilian staff by 3,764 (4.58%) save £125,079,800 or improve our non staff purchasing, reducing it by 4.66% saving £125,008,020
18. If we admitted that we’ve been poor at managing our resources, we could take massive leaps forward by releasing thousands of desk bound officers back to frontline policing at no extra cost to the tax payer.
19. Frontline response is more important than any other area. We should spend one full week every month on a real shift with Inspectors, Sergeants & PC’s, doing the job with them, to see how we can get back in touch with what they need to do the job.
20. Saving the best till last and to finally display how out of step we really are, we’ll have a slap up “jolly” this week at our annual ACPO bash. We’ll present the worlds media with a line that 28,000 police face the axe because of the cuts but hey, who cares? We’ll still blow half a million quid on our three day bash. We’ll tell ‘em it’s all paid for by sponsorship and delegate fees, that will make it alright won’t it? The Daily Mail have let our cat out of the bag at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1289878/As-28-000-police-face-axe-chiefs-blow-500k-champagne-gala.html#ixzz0s2CE5fwM

"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)

So, a couple of hundred ACPO "Nero's" will fiddle next week whilst British Policing soldiers on without them.

When will these guys wake up?

Certainly not before they've had their jolly that's for sure. Have a read of what's in store:-



Britain’s top police officers will spend half-a-million pounds of taxpayers’ cash on luxury hotels and a champagne gala this week just days after the Government ordered savage police budget cuts.

The huge outlay is for the annual conference of the UK’s most powerful policing body, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).

Chief Constables and senior officers will be treated to champagne and strawberries dipped in chocolate at the three-day affair.

Three-day jolly: Manchester's Lowry Hotel, where officers will be wined and dined as part of the £500k event

The policing organisation, which trades as the private company ACPO Limited, is funded with £10million from the taxpayer.

The conference comes as a confidential ACPO document suggests that 28,000 frontline police officers could be axed and replaced by cheaper civilian staff.

As police forces across the country face the threat of budget cuts and job losses, ‘not-for-profit’ ACPO stands to make about £200,000 from the event at Manchester Central Hall – adding to the £395,000 ‘surplus’ it made from similar events in 2008 and 2009.

The revelation will increase pressure on the organisation which is in charge of everything from anti-terrorism policy to speed cameras, and is already facing major questions over how it is run.

ACPO is under fire after revelations that it is:

Selling information from the Police National Computer for up to £70 a time – even though it pays just 60p to access details.

Marketing ‘police approval’ logos to firms selling anti-theft devices.

Operating a separate private firm offering training to speed-camera operators.

It has also spent millions of pounds meant for counter-terrorism work on luxury London flats for senior officers.

Its new boss, Sir Hugh Orde, the former Northern Ireland Chief Constable who became ACPO President last year, is also facing questions over his future after he threatened to quit if the Tories came to power.


Sir Hugh Orde is paid £183,000-a-year on top of a police and civil service pension to run the self-styled ‘global brand name’.


But despite Sir Hugh’s pledge to reform the organisation, last year it had an income of more than £10 million – almost all of it from the taxpayer – and an incredible £15 million cash ‘at hand’ in its bank account.

Sir Hugh put himself on a collision course with the Tories last year when he attacked their proposal to introduce directly elected police commissioners.

Sir Hugh must address his police colleagues on the subject, before introducing the new Home Secretary Theresa May, who is determined to push the policy through.

One senior officer who is due to attend the conference said: ‘Sir Hugh has lost face over this and has quietly signalled a U-turn. Powerful people are referring to him as a lame duck.’

Mrs May is also determined to apply the 25 per cent cuts outlined in last week’s Budget.

It is already feared large numbers of officers will be axed and police stations shut to make the savings.

An internal ACPO ‘Insight’ report suggests ‘modernisation’ could replace 28,000 beat officers with civilians.

The subjects on the ACPO Conference Agenda can be viewed by clicking the link below:
http://www.acpo-apa.co.uk/files/apa_acpo_programme.pdf

As the most senior of Police Officers in England & Wales, the public might have expected them to set the right example, that they are committed from the top to controlling costs so that minimal adverse effects are passed down to frontline policing. Yet again we see that our police Chiefs have yet to grasp the point - "The King is dead - Long live the King"

The days of profilgate spending under labour are over. This is the tax payers hard earned money you have been wasting all these years, not the bottomless pit of some multi national plc. You must now prove to the country that you are capable of living within your means and delivering the service you know full well you can. The public confidence you say you seek so earnestly will never be rebuilt whilst you, the figureheads, are showing such a flagrant disregard for costs.

Should Sir Hugh offers to resign, it should be politely accepted by the Home Secretary. The same goes for any other Chief Constable who believes that the public cannot be trusted to have a say in how they behave. The sooner we clear the decks of the inveterate quangocrats and bureacrats, the better for everyone and the sooner we can get some common sense decisions made by common sense coppers who are in touch with the frontline and what the public really want from their police service.



GET A BLOODY GRIP!


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Have a look at these related articles on other police blog sites :-

http://hogday-afternoon.blogspot.com/2010/06/acpo-support-trading-standards-and.html

http://inspectorgadget.wordpress.com/2010/06/27/acpo-fiddle-while-rome-burns/


With thanks to Inspector Gadget, a few comments from the frontline in case you missed them on his pages . . . .

From Jimbo

Nice to see our taxes well spent-
http://www.acpo-apa.co.uk/files/apa_acpo_programme.pdf
Champagne receptions in 5* hotels makes my blood boil. We’re lucky to get a sandwich and bottle of water on a pre-planned EDL march that lasts 16 hours.
Also why on earth would anyone want to sponser ACPO events? I mean I thought all our contracts had to be put out for tenure and things…..

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From Hugh Janus


As a retired cop after 32 years service, I am now a local authority officer and have recenlty completed a course run by the N.P.I.A., on the much vaunted accreditation scheme. What a total load of ‘horlicks’. There was little or nothing in the training on how to apply the law, only repeated buzz phrases such as ‘”Key Individual Networks.”
The cousre was totally patronising, with no real test of an individual’s knowledge on the subjects that had been taught.
When I speak to officers today, many seem to have little knowledge of the law or their powers. Doubtless this is resultant of the demise of the regional police training centres.
N.P.I.A. = National Police Inability Agency.

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From Hugh Janus


In my 32 years in policing, I saw that the majority of people in A.C.P.O. were just a bunch of sycophants who had little idea how to provide the public with a good policing service. A large number of them only have their own interests at heart.
Unfortunately I have seen a degeneration in policing standards over many years, largely due to bad leadership and poor supervision.
I have seen the introduction of what is laughingly called the National Police Improvement Agency, that in my view has led in many cases to a lowering of standards.
I am now employed by a local authority, in a law enforcement role and regularly work alongside police officers and P.C.S.O.s. The majority in the lower echelons are as good as they ever were, but many of the senior officers are almost anonymous. The Chief Constable has been in post for two years. Usually, in my experience, on arrival a new Chief Constable would tell the public what his aims and objectives were and make some effort a leading his officers. This guy rarely gives interviews to the media and seems to do little to inspire his team. It seems like he has reached the top and now just wants to see out his time to get his excellent pension, then go.
It’s all gone horribly wrong and it is difficult to see how anyone can stop the rot. It certainly isn’t the service I recall.

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From Spartan Cop

I predict that recruitment will be fronzen, all those on 30 plus will be given 28 days notice and those that have continued over 30 years will be required to leave. Those that are restricted and not fit for purpose will also be forced to leave. This will be in place for several years which will account for the 28,000 being axed.
84% of police budgets are on wages and if we are having budgets cut by 25% this is what is going to happen.
The civvies will be culled in there thousands and we will actually have to focus on policing which is what should be happening anyway.
As for ACPO, they will also be culled with the merging of Forces which is long overdue. But they will get a nice large pay off to go.
We will then change everything back.

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From TheBinarySurfer
The frontline has overall gone from being tough but rewarding to a crock of shit with the occasional rewarding bit from what I hear, with the resulting shafting of morale added to by the piss-poor ‘leadership’ (sorry you’re not a leader in my book if you do it via memos / emails from an office) from many at the higher levels.
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From kas
From WASTING POLICE TIME:
‘The Government is spending lots of money on the police, and there are lots more officers now than there used to be… The problem is, hardly any of those new coppers are actually out on the streets policing. Some hardly ever see daylight, but spend their careers behind desks, sending emails, implementing strategies and holding meetings about meeting targets. Those of us who do occasionally leave the nick are back as soon as we’ve arrested anyone to spend the next six hours filling in forms.’

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From frontrowhero

As gadget keeps saying we have loads of coppers, just way too many in weekday non jobs. we could probably cut a few, not 28k though.
I know of a shift that got 100 allocated crimes this week of E/T to investigate (if you can call it that). All that for 9 yes NINE officers, and add to that what they pick up responding to stuff. I would love to see some of the non jobs take up the slack instead of making it worse, lets get back to big shifts with a few experts within the shift.
FRH
Oh and bin acpo

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From 24/7 Inspector

Any views on this theory:
ACPO are putting out scare stories to the tune of 28,000 officers because they MUST (surely?!) realise that their own very feathered positions have got to be prime for consideration of being targetted?
Even by taking just two small-medium forces and merging them, they’d be able save considerable sums (millions) in the medium term and in the short-term, the savings would pay for (most of) the merger. Repeat that over the country and the amount saved starts to stack up, but if we didn’t have 43 Chiefs, but say 9 or 10? There’s a few quid there?!!
Even if there is a confidential document, I wonder how it got leaked from an organisation that is supposed to embody the professionalism of managing secret, confidential and restricted information? Might it be to be the fear-of-God up the Daily Mail readership?! But might it be, that the thought of losing SO may police officers, might be one of the final arguments to suggest we need to lose ACPO and replace it completey, following a serious restructuring of forces that puts a lot of these people into retirement?
I’m grateful for one thing, though …… they’re are probably always going to need frontline PCs, Sergeants and Inspectors to run the 24/7 part of policing regardless of the lunacy breaking out everywhere else!

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From Bewildered

It is pretty sickening isn’t it. If you could point to some fantastic outcome from these jollies then fair enough. But you never can. Don’t forget to add the costs of all the first class rail fares or chauffeur driven car journies or travelling in job expensed over-spec’d cars to the cost of this essential networking opportunity, never mind the hours spent which they could have used to do something useful in. Oops, forgot, ACPO can’t actually do anything useful.
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From RocketDodger

How can it be funded by £10 mil of OUR money yet still be a private company (making a profit etc) ?? They should change it from ACPO to OUT


Overpaid, Underachieving Tossers


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Thursday, 24 June 2010

SIR HUGH ORDE OF ACPO - WILL HE NOW RESIGN AS PROMISED?

As recently as November last year, Sir Hugh Orde, the President of ACPO threatened to resign, along with other Chief Constables if the Tory Prposals for elected commissioners became law.

Asked  whether he would himself quit should the Tories come to power and enforce the move, Sir Hugh said: “I think I would be deeply uncomfortable. I would leave if the principles of British policing were compromised.”


Britain's new coalition government has promised radical reform of the police, including the introduction of directly elected police commissioners. Sir Hugh Orde thinks it is a bad idea and has warned it will lead to police chiefs resigning. If he is so opposed to one of the central policing ideas of the new government, can, indeed should he stay in his job?If he and other disaffected Chiefs really did resign, it would save the government the trouble of sacking them.

Now the new Government is in power, surprise surprise, Sir Hugh, the man so apparently opposed to political influence, is displaying that most political of traits, saying one thing and doing another.Speaking ahead of the association’s conference in Manchester next week, Sir Hugh said "There is still little clarity on how the proposals will work in practice. Obviously we have now moved from manifesto commitments to a coalition government agenda, and from having one directly elected individual to several of them. But I think the plea to ministers at the conference will be to give us more flesh on the bones. It is important at the conference next week that we start the debate,” he said. “We have to ask how we can be more efficient, what we need and what can go first.”
 
Make your mind up Sir Hugh, you can't have it both ways. You either vociferously oppose the proposals and resign, or put up and shut up, and look for ways to make it work for the good of the public and the service.
 
The signs suggest he's getting a little nervous that any police reforms may have an adverse effect on his empire building.


When Sir Hugh said that police chiefs would resign if the Conservatives pushed on with their proposal for elected police commissioners, we couldn't help wondering if he was speaking for all his colleagues on this, or whether he wass expressing a strong personal view?


Sir Hugh argued that, “We should not be influenced by anyone who has any potential or suggestion for a political basis.”
 Curious then that he has recently become so heavily involved in politics himself. One of the reasons for electing local police commissioners is to free the police from the “political influence” that they are currently labouring under: the culture of upward-looking accountability to central government, rather than to the local people they are there to serve.



Ah, the tenacity with which the unelected defend their privileges. Under a labour administration the Police chiefs were digging in every bit as stubbornly as Eurocrats, and for the same reason: they hate the idea of having to answer to the rest of us.
 
Sir Hugh has said he wants the police to have operational independence. So does everyone else. We want democratic control over police budgets and priorities. Should coppers spend their money on speed cameras or find resources for more foot patrols? Should they turn a blind eye to the possession of small amounts of cannabis? Should they let shoplifters off with a warning? These are questions in which local people have a legitimate interest. No one, as we suspect Sir Hugh knows perfectly well, is suggesting that elected representatives should be empowered to intervene in specific cases.
 
Sir Hugh, In an unbelievably patronising statement, said that voters couldn’t be trusted. He claimed that there are “no votes in protecting people from terrorism, from organised crime and from serial rapists that cross the country”.  We wonder whether he really believes this, or whether his true concern is that voters might want the police to spend more time on protecting property and less on encouraging diversity.



Either way, our hunch is that, while Sir Hugh might have some support among the top brass – those ambitious rozzers who, during 13 years of Labour, were promoted because they seemed to believe that the primary purpose of the police was to promote equality – he is not especially representative of the broad mass of police officers, who joined up in order to be crime-fighters, not social workers or Labour activists.

As reported from these pages previously, Sir Hugh and ACPO have courted more than their their fair share of contraversy of late, with Westminster apartments paid for out of anti terrorism budgets, profligate spending, and the looming spectre of Chief Officers' bonus paymentsa to name a few.

If Sir Hugh offers to resign, it should be politely accepted by theHome Secretary. The same goes for any other Chief Constable who believes that the public cannot be trusted to have a say in how they behave. The sooner we clear the decks of the inveterate quangocrats and bureacrats, the better for everyone and the sooner we can get some common sense decisions made by common sense coppers who are in touch with the frontline and what the public really want from their police service.

Friday, 18 June 2010

IN SUPPORT OF ARMED FORCES DAY


Our friends at Police Oracle have asked for our help. One of the teams in their office, the Uniform Dating team, has very close ties to Help for Heroes and are trying to raise £100,000 on the run-up to Armed Forces Day (26th June). They have asked if we could promote their efforts (which are centred on Facebook and Twitter) via our blog and have asked if we would pass it on to our fellow police bloggers.

The following link has all the information, and can be used on it's own, or as a source for the relevant Facebook / Twitter links.

http://www.uniformdating.com/uniform_dating_supports_armed_forces_day/

Happy to help!

Help for Heroes site :
http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/

Help for Heroes latest newsletter : http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/mag_pdf/H4H_issue_2.pdf

Monday, 7 June 2010

STOP POLICE CUTS - £125 MILLION IN CUTS MUST NOT COMPROMISE THE FRONTLINE


On 27th May 2010, Nick Herbert, the policing minister announced the force by force budget cuts of £125 million in the written ministerial statements in Parliament. 

In our latest report, we look in detail at the existing costs incurred, on a force by force basis, enabling us to demonstrate that these cuts can be delivered by prudent Chief Officers and their respective police association, without compromising the frontline officer and resources.  

We explore four key options amongst those available :- 
  • OPTION 1: Reducing PCSO Strength
  • OPTION 2: Reducing police staff  
  • OPTION 3: Reducing non staff costs  
  • OPTION 4: Shared cuts non staff/PCSO/police staff
We also list numerous other areas that are more worthy of scrutiny and consideration for cost cutting than essential frontline salaries and resources.

As police authorities and Chief Constables decide how they will deliver their share of the £125million in budget cuts, there is simply no case to answer in allowing frontline resources to be compromised or in any way affected by the cuts. There are far too many other areas, whose contributory value is surrounded by doubt as to their worth and effectiveness in delivering improved operational efficiency.

To read or download the full report click here.

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