Wednesday, 19 May 2010


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.


Retired Sgt said...

I have been saying for ages that there are far too many chiefs and we need to cull at least 30% of them-many are hopeless and only went for promotion as they couldnt do police work.I once told my Chief Constable I could save him a million pounds a year-he went pale as I outlined all the cuts I would make realising that all his masonic pals would be out of a job.I do hope there is an enquiry into the dishonesty of ACPo ranks in respect of crime figures and bonuses-it wont happen though as the politicos will want to keep this hanging over them to keep them under control

The Optimist said...

This so needs to be highlighted. You are performing a great service here. I am involved in 'police and community engagement' - as they like to call it now. Every time the Borough Commander starts talking figures in our meetings he is more and more aware of me going into 'oh yeah' mode. Most of the people involved in this process on the community side do not have the knowledge to challenge him. My knowledge is increasing all the time and I just hope that I get the chance to play a 'real part' in the future of police and community consultation! Questions like 'how many of these crimes have been re-classified'? will do for starters. YOU ARE BRILLIANT, KEEP IT UP

Annie Redmile - The Optimist said...

I hope this posting works, I think I messed it up last time! I just wanted to say 'keep doing what you are doing'. I am involved in the 'police and community engagement process' - as they are now calling it. I am hoping that this process might develop into something meaningful with the new administration - and everything I have learned from you guys, and my criminology course at Birkbeck, will really start to be of use. At the moment, with a group of people who are 'very nice' but understand little about real policing, it would be counter-productive to be too strident about things. As it is, at the monthly meetings with our local Borough Commander, I just put my 'oh yeah' face on when he starts with the 'crime is down' bit. I am saving up the 'how many crimes have been re-classified' for my next meeting - after a get together with a favourite Sergeant who just happens to be on the crime desk! You are performing a great service. Thank you

Crime Analyst said...

Annie, Thank you for those kind words! If you still have my e mail address and want me to provide you with some inside stuff on the area where you're doing your P & C engagement, please shout up!

Retired Sgt ... Thanks for that, just the sort of experienced comment we want! When the full report hits these pages (assuming the server will stand an 80 pager!) You'll see we've been even more ruthless with the axe. We believe the ACPO and SMT ranks could be halved at least shaving around £91million off the force staffing bill. If the ranks of Ch Supt & Ch Insp were removed, even if those personnel were re employed in thge lower rank in would shave £12million off the wage bill.

It may be a lost cause, but we have the evidence accumulated now in reports ready for submission to Theresa May and Ken Clarke regarding the Gaming & Bonuses scandals. If, and it's a big IF, the Tory/Libs are going to do anything about all of this, it will have to be within the first year. They're in honeymoon mode at the moment and if ever the time was right to expose the wrongs of the last lost it is over the next few months. Beyond a year, and labour will say it "wasn't on their watch".

Watch this space.... and thanks for posting!
Best regards
Steve B
(Ex PC/DC West Mids)
Thin Blue Line

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