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Friday, May 19, 2006

How to make efficiency savings by cutting back on the numbers of police officers.

A conversation, somewhere in any police station in the UK. Today:

"Do you remember about a year and a half ago you were given a deception to investigate?"

"Yes, sir, I do. I remember being landed with a handover package that wasn't even worth wiping my arse with, meaning I had to start from scratch, retake statements and deal with the entire investigation on my own as there was noone else available to help me, having never dealt with a deception before.

Furthermore, I had to waste half an hour consulting the Evidence Review Officer, and a further hour and a half on CPS consultation, 45 minutes of which was spent waiting outside as there's only one lawyer for the entire division. This wouldn't have been so bad, sir, if all the departments were at the same nick. But instead, I had to book the prisoner in at one station; wait for a lift to the station the ERO is at, which is three miles away and took 30 minutes in rush hour traffic; get a lift back to the station the prisoner was in at to complete the pre-charge file; take the file to CPS, based at a station on the other side of the division, again waiting for a lift as there's no vehicles and nobody thought to provide me with one knowing full well I'd be at this for a while; get charge authorisation; go BACK to the station with the prisoner; charge him; then wait for a lift back to my home station so I could finish! What would have taken an hour if all the facilities were at the same station, took three hours because of travel times, waiting for lifts and general arseing about.

Ultimately, in spite of all this and slaving over a full file, the charge was downgraded from obtaining services by deception to a straightforward theft, at a stroke rendering painstaking hours of work and pages of prosecution file useless. The crime evaluator must have had a personal vendetta against me, because every progress update was returned with an additional piece of bureaucratic process I had to complete, drip-fed to me rather than presented as a straightforwrd "to-do" list, wasting my time and theirs. Finally, I was called in to court on a Rest Day only for my evidence to be agreed at the last minute. All this was whilst being given several other crimes to investigate, updating my outstanding crime queue AND attending urgent jobs when noone else was free. That's several days of my life that I'll never get back, and I'll defenestrate myself before I have to go through such a shambles again".

"Well, congratulations! You're clearly the station expert on deceptions, and have been given the role of 'Deceptions Champion'. Your job is to collate and monitor information on all deceptions that happen on our area, present this information at briefings and to supervision, and find ways of increasing victim awareness and preventing it from happening. Where possible, we'd also like you to be the initial investigator for the deceptions. Yes it is hot in here isn't it - you go ahead and get some air in here. Plus, you'll be asked to work on a multi-agency strategy co-ordination implementation initiative project that...

...where's he gone? Oops - I knew I should have locked that window!"

(c) Bow Street Runner. None of the material contained in this post, or this blog as a whole, may be reproduced without the express and written permission of Bow Street Runner. All rights reserved.
Comments:
Im really going to miss your police blogs when you finally "escape" mate.
 
What do you plan to do?
 
I can't understand why you'd want to leave the Police. Think about all the members of the public that saw the marked Police cars driving you about? They might actually be fooled into thinking we go on patrol and don't just drive from paperwork exercise to paperwork exercise. How are you going to cope when someone actually lets you make your own decisions?
 
Hi all,

I plan to emigrate to warmer climes, thanks to the possession dual citizenship!

Whether or not I join the police depends on how I feel after a year's holiday!
 
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