|The Bullshit Button!|
Rank and file police officers up and down the country know the fact and fiction about policing.
If every officer could firmly strike a bullshit button connected to the Home Secretary, the media and the general public, every time they heard or witnessed another pile of fictitious nonsense being trotted out by 'they who must be obeyed', the continuous ringing would be heard across the country reminiscent of the WWII air raid sirens.
What has prompted us to create the bullshit button? The latest drivel of Crime Statistics, released earlier this week are a work of fantasy to make the brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson stand back in awe.
As usual, the media, clamouring for titbits of useless trivia, have their say :-
The Telegraph "300,000 fewer crimes last year as household burglary falls"
The Daily Mail "Crime down by 6%... but number of sex offences continues to soar"The Independent "Crime total down by 3%"
The Guardian "Recorded crime falls despite rise in sexual offences and knife-point robbery"The BBC "Recorded crime continues to fall in England and Wales"
The Police Superintendents Association have two bites of the cherry. The first release states ‘These are encouraging figures once again and show that our officers and staff are continuing to prove their dedication in driving down crime in our communities. Some critics often choose to question the validity of police recorded crime or even BCS statistics but trusted academic research figures released yesterday by Cardiff University show violent crime figures falling significantly and a clear picture is emerging of continuing falls in crime, particularly violence and antisocial behaviour. Public trust and confidence in the police remain strong, something we should celebrate. The public can have confidence that our commitment to protect and serve our communities remains as strong as ever.’
The second release went a stage further, attempting to pre-empt any crititism from outside quarters. Entitled "The Sound Of Silence" the piece asks us not to question the validity of the BCS and the police fifures, reminding us that the Home Office has such faith in the statistics that it has announced an independent review of how crime statistics are recorded!!
The release goes on to say that when a respected academic institution (Cardiff University) also published research this week that reveals that violent crime has fallen by almost 11%, there surely must be some confidence in the figures.
"The Lady Doth Protesteth Too Much Methinks" One can "insist so passionately" about something not being true that people suspect the opposite of what one is saying.
With due respect to the honoured fellows at Cardiff, they are not present on the front line of every shift of modern policing to witness how crime statistics are suppressed, manipulated and disguised to portray the picture the Chief Officers demand. It is unlikley that they will have had access to internal processes or honest communication with rank and file officers to verify their findings.
Having served as frontline uniform response, CID experience, supplemented with three years of detailed analystical research, supported by hundreds of comments from serving officers, I am of the opinion that the crime statistics review is long overdue if we are ever to see factual and ethical crime recording resulting in transparency and honesty.
The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.
This is the 9th Principle of policing written by Sir Robert Peel, recognised as the founder of the British service. How Sir Robert must be spinning in his grave to witness how today's Chief Officers have chosen to interpret this principle in such a scandalous manner. Indeed they have perpetrated the "Crime of the Century" - "Cooking the books" of crime to convey the false impression that crime is falling and detections are adequate.
Our detailed first report on police recorded crime exposes the scandal in detail. Supported with evidence from front line police officers, concerned that their integrity is being continually threatened by senior command strategies to suppress and disguise the true crime picture. There are literally hundreds of examples of how the practice of "Gaming" (manipulating, suppressing and mis-reporting crime) has become a woven part of the police procedural fabric.
Crime Of The Century II
Coming soon..... the scandal of police detections! Revealing how the 28% published detection rates are yet another reason for bashing the bullshit button! When the report is uploaded you will see the evidence for yourself. We hope that the When Crime Of The Century II - The Scandal of police Detections in England & Wales is uploaded, we hope the National Statistician takes note and is courageous enough to unearth the truth.
Here are just a few of the comments from police officers.....
"You can change crime figures because you can reallocate crimes to something that’s not measured. If it’s not measured then fantastic, you can rub your hands. That’s great as long as you do it within the rules but how close do you sail to the wind?"
"Say I have my bosses saying ‘look we have got too many robberies what can you do about it?’ So you start looking at these reports of robbery and suddenly they become a theft with an assault, not a robbery. There is pressure to reclassify crimes to fit statistics".
"The 24/7 response are pulled out with work yet our Local Policing Unit head, who is held accountable for crimes and sanction detections on his area, has dedicated a uniformed officer to look through the crimes to see if any can be reclassified. Doing nothing else than that...looking for burglary dwellings that can be classed as damage. There are other people looking at robberies that can be classed as theft persons because the stats are good for thefts".
The Home Secretary is concerned that public trust in crime statistics produced by the Home Office has declined to such an extent that it is no longer possible to have a debate about alternative criminal justice policies on the basis of agreed facts about trends in crime. Terms of reference for Smith review, November 2006
The regulatory bodies of HMIC, IPPC and the IOC have been fully aware of the corruptive influence of Gaming, but all have failed in the execution of their responsibilities and duty to expose the full extent of the problem to the public, evidenced by the lack of any individual or force being brought to account for the activities.
Mushroom Management (1)
Does this sound familiar?
Restrict employee access to information and decisions (keep them in the dark). When information is conveyed, it is incomplete, inaccurate, or full of marketing hyperbole (throw shit on them). Large, hierarchical, process-bound organizations are frequently guilty of the most egregious forms of "mushroom management."
A management philosophy prescribing to the theory that to best motivate your employees, you must at all times:
1. Keep them in the dark.
2. Feed them full of shit.
This form of management applies to every situation where management is involved. Be it passing on critical information to employees, or informing people of policy change and announcements. The entire purpose is to be as vague and unresponsive as possible. The ultimate culmination and success of this management style can be found when people draw comparisons to management and a black hole. Where resources and information go in and nothing comes out.
Mushroom Management (2)
Mushroom Management is an allusion to a company's staff being treated like mushrooms: kept in the dark, covered with dung, and, when grown big enough, canned (fired). The connotation is that the management is making decisions without consulting the staff affected by those decisions, and possibly not even informing the staff until well after such decisions are made.
This phenomenon is an anti-pattern most commonly found in organizations which have a strict hierarchy and barriers to cross-organizational communication (especially those with a stovepipe organization) but can be found in any organization.
The Mushroom Theory of Management - Keep them in the dark and feed them bullsh*t!
I make no apologies for the rant. It is time the truth came out about crime statistics and police detections. The rank and file are completely and utterly fed up with the lies and deceit that have been foisted upon them and the public. The Chief Officers are so far into this nonsense, they have even started believing their own spin.
The research into detections for our next report is even more damning than the suppression, fudging and manipulation of recorded crime. It details how the Chiefs would have us believe that they are detecting 28% of recorded crime. From our detailed investigation into the statistics and listening to officers comments, we can say here and now, that whilst there are some major successes and achievements within the detection numbers, 28% is . . . . .
Until then, if you see any reports about police detections from Senior Police Chiefs, we suggest you get ready to thump the button!