Wednesday, February 01, 2006
David Copperfield, in his latest entry, links to an article titled "24/7 Response Policing in the Modern Police Organisation: A View from the Beat."
His article and the report are definatly worth a read. Doubt it'll make much difference, or that the main service users of the police are going to read it and think "Ah, now I understand why my trivial domestic with my wife over who let the cat out hasn't received an immediate response, I shall cut them some slack and lay off in future", but it identifies the issues we all face and are demoralised by.
It's a proud accomplishment round our parts if an officer's outstanding crime queue is down to a single page. One poor colleague booked off at 6pm on a Saturday, and came in at 9am on the Sunday to find 10 more crimes allocated to their queue - someone, in a bout of drunken stupidity, had walked down a street and kicked a few cars - no damage, just a small amount of scuffing. A particularly overzealous officer, who was probably not from the division nor would have to do the follow up enquiries, submitted 10 crime reports for 'further investigation'. I don't think I'll be seeing my colleague for a few weeks as he goes to chase up statements from the owners of the vehicles; checks CCTV and copies the vehicle information 5 times over on several different forms. Meanwhile, most owners of the vehicles either wouldn't have noticed the scuffing nor would have even considered reporting it, yet they'll still be quite bewildered when an officer turns up on their doorstep saying "I appreciate you don't want to do anything, but I need to take a statement to prove that anyway because my word isn't good enough on the update page". The joys of NCRS!
Meanwhile, he won't be meeting his PIs and will get pulled up for it in between writing progress reports on update pages consisting of "Tried to contact IP, not at home for two weeks" thanks to arbitrary progress report deadlines for each crime. At least he hasn't had progress report deadlines requested during his annual leave, which has been known to happen before!
"PC Smith, you're crime queue is horribly out of date. What's your excuse?"
"Sorry sarge, I was in Brazil at the time for 2 weeks, and my distance from the station, combined with my failure to attempt to think about the job or my workload whilst on holiday, are the reasons for my tardiness. Won't happen again - my bed and all personal possessions are being moved into the writing room as we speak".
Not to mention the new 'positive action on assault allegations' policy... Retractions? That's not in the spirit of 'proactiveness' !
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just added a link to you on my side bar - Sorry I'm a little slow off the mark with these things!
Just read through your blog - Nice to have another daily read to add to my list.
Blues And Twos
As an employee of a similar Criminal Justice Organisation (HMP) I can identify with most of the anoyances that you describe so succinctly.
So many of my colleagues are disillusioned with the constant Home Office agenda setting and interferences that detract us from delivering the job that the taxpayer would expect us to deliver, that they are leaving for jobs in the New Zealand Corrections service in their droves - I believe that a similar thing is happening with to Police forces across the country.
keep up the EXCELLENT work
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