15 comments on “Fresh Paint and Flowers

  1. I think the police do a wonderful job under increasingly hard conditions. A few bad officers do NOT make a bad barrel.

    What makes their job seem worthless is weak judges not passing down proper sentences.

    I still retain complete faith in our police force!!

  2. Our tenure is carefully being engineered out by a PM hellbent on delivering his spite and bile to every corner of the land. If you do a bit of research on Mr Cameron you’ll see his fledgling political career was very nearly killed off in Stafford in 1997. We all know what hatchet job is going on there…
    Plebgate and the subsequent woes that have surfaced, progressively more frequently, are the MP’s PR machine firing up and ready for the whole compulsory severance/ VR that May will inevitably announce. I’m not certain about what vested interests or promises are made behind closed doors but it all does seem so very convenient. And so it would seem that DC, a man employed in a sector of public service that three times fewer people have confidence in, is attempting to garner support for his mandate. We know it works, the public become despondent and disinterested- how many now do not bother reporting lower level crime? We succeeded in boring the report of these crimes into submission. The government will attempt to do the same with public attitude about the police.
    It is commonly known that police officers are not permitted to be members of a political organisation however the rancor of politik is pervading every level of the police. Promotion based on agenda, recognition for nothing more than genitalia or sexuality. These are dangerous times, especially as it seems the politics of the twisted is now the common practice of the individual. Party line, say nothing or do nothing that will tarnish the reputation, act with integrity when those who undermine it seldom face the public, fill your boots and profit whilst every other facet of the organisation struggles. There is no honesty, there is no integrity- well not above the lower echelons in any case.

    These are dangerous times, especially when it becomes a criminal/ sackable offence to speak the truth.

  3. Time is the most precious commodity we have but unfortunately it seems to disappear faster than Iraqi WMDs when the UN comes calling. With our shift patterns, during any particular month, generally only two of those weeks comprise shifts where enquiries can actually be progressed. That would probably be fine if there wasn’t a myriad of other tasks and
    functions to perform, some of which cannot be measured, tie an Officer up for a significant part of their shift and leave nothing to show for it. We all know what they are and this is being added to all the time it seems, most recently for example by having to now serve legal documents, conduct domestic property surveys, question victims of domestic abuse in huge detail, etc.

    I’m not saying we couldn’t or shouldn’t be doing all this, just that it needs to be acknowledged that we can’t do everything all of the time. It appears to me that these additional burdens will only increase in the short to long term given the expected reduction in support staff and the necessity for their functions also to be absorbed. The introduction of central belt working practices is also exacerbating the malaise being felt by large numbers of Officers. On that topic, I agree with Inspector Guilfoyle that all numerical targets are arbitrary and no numerical target is immune from causing dysfunctional behaviour.

    Having served in a variety of specialist roles during the middle part of my service I know that Officers in those areas can generally manage their time efficaciously but operational Officers are at the unrelenting and unpredictable beck and call of individuals both within and external to the organisation, making planning and execution of their responsibilities extremely problematic. The resources versus demand conundrum is compounded by the current chronic lack of staff. There is no slack and the depleted number of Officers is still expected to deal with any and all jobs that come in during their time on duty. Sometimes even when they’re not on duty!

    The job has always been busy, and I prefer it that way, but the introduction of the Human Rights Act, SCRS, Disclosure, Solicitor Access, need for greater accountability and the like over the last 10 years or so means everything now is more involved and requires a greater investment in time than ever before. I await with interest any additional burden the expected implementation of the Carloway Report recommendations has in store for us. Our crime recording application, when first introduced, was a fantastic system compared to the paper one which preceded it but has now become a monster to populate, primarily as a result of having to service the requirements of a variety of data mining roles. The stretch this necessity to feed the bureaucratic machine has introduced impacts hugely upon Officers’ ability to progress their workloads timeously. From my own perspective, I like to think I am knowledgeable, experienced, efficient and organised but I am increasingly coming on duty these days and wondering where I am going to start. Extensive consultation with others in my role reveals this is a common feeling.

    I genuinely worry for the future of the Service and the well-being of those being asked to deliver on its expectations. I know this is shared by a significant number of others, as I have the opportunity to speak with Officers from all over our area. Morale is lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut, motivation is virtually non-existent and the reservoir of goodwill that is vital to making this job work is being well and truly drained. The changes to pensions and the general effect of the police reform programme introduced by the Coalition Government affecting pay, terms and conditions is the icing upon the cake for many. I draw a small crumb of comfort from the knowledge that we in Scotland are being protected from the deleterious effects of the Winsor Recommendations by the present Scottish Government but can’t help wondering how long this will last. I am not in the least bit surprised by the numbers leaving over the last year and I would expect this trickle to become a flood in the near future if all those who have expressed that desire act upon it.

    All the above aside, I still love the job and genuinely look forward to coming on duty and facing the challenges it provides. That’s probably why I feel so passionately about what it’s become and the effect this is having upon the people who are expected to make it work.

  4. I work in force control room as a civilian. I have seen moral drop not just on the streets but also in our control room.

    The guys and girls I work along side on the streets are struggling. We have just moved to a new model which has seen many of our neighbourhood teams disbanded to up the numbers on response. I would like to know where it has upped the numbers as we now seem to be worse off putting more pressure on the lovely guys and girls.

    I have been in control room for 12 yrs now and I really don’t think I’ve ever seen it this bad!! I hear so often from the guys that’s they are pulling out of the pension scheme as not worth it any longer! They put there life on the lines guys come on, give them a break!!! The amount of valuable experience that we are loosing due officers leaving is unbelievable but there again who can blame them!!

    They don’t have time to
    Investigate as they have me on there backs asking when they will be free as I have an inspector jumping up and down asking why jobs are high.

    We try to have a laugh over the air in order just boost moral that little bit but it’s never enough

  5. As a retired officer – Devon and Cornwall I weep at the state of the Police service now, when I joined we had a simple mantra catch villains and serve the public, now it seems to be about statistics and figures doing the job is neither here nor there, those in charge are simply looking for the next rank with little thought for the reality on the ground, colleagues coming up for retirement are counting the days and the current recruitment process for new recruits is aimed at graduates not those who can work with good old common sense. Police service its becoming a Police joke.

  6. I am a serving officer in the PSNI I have six year service as a regular constable with two years of part time service before that.

    I saw the comments made by a fellow PSNI officer and I would agree with some of their comment and disagree with the rest. Yes it is true that the organisation is full of bright ideas that appear around promotion time and we go through a cycle of change and discipline to allow “senior management” to have something to say in the interview, which is all changed back in the following promotion cycle.

    During my service I have seen a transition from normal policing, of policing on foot wearing stab vests to wearing ballistic body armour and travelling in armoured land rovers with assault rifles.

    This has created a complex picture of morale, I worked in a rural station where peace had broken out and normal (mainland) policing had occurred and morale was low. A good friend of mine coined a phrase “more afraid of the SMT (senior management team) than the IRA” and he was right, the IRA only want to kill you while the SMT want to take your job, your pension and make you suffer.

    I had the sad honour of working at the funeral of one of my colleagues. He worked in the district I had worked in at the time, he was born there and he died there when the IRA placed an under car booby trap under his driving seat. I was in the station when the funeral party were practising carrying his coffin the morning of his funeral, a Chief Inspector was watching and told the funeral party that they would hand the coffin over to the GAA in front of the worlds media and this would be the “money shot”. This made it clear that as a Constable you were nothing more than a number and a PR opportunity.

    At a recent G8 briefing we were told by a Superintendent not to “make a mess of things” as the Chief Cons Knighthood rested on a successful G8 and he would be watching individuals to make sure it happened. This is clear that the main focus of the bosses are honours and promotion and not policing. We find this to be particularly bad as we seem to attract ambitious senior officers from the mainland who see the PSNI as a temporary post where they can say they policed a “post conflict society” in their interview for the MET or GMP posts, while not having an interest in the officers or people here.

    Now saying all that I now work in Belfast which covers the areas that you will be familiar with from recent trouble. Due to this threat we have to provide a 24 hour armed guard at the stations in our area, we travel in crews of three and at least two crews go to every call. This sense of danger binds us as a strong team, our morale is high in our team and we look out for each other, and we know that we can count on each other to keep each other safe and because of this I would describe my morale as high, not because of anything the job does to improve it but because of my team.

    Over G8 we had two Welsh lads from Swansea Police embedded in our station and it was great to have them with us, but listening to them I feel sorry for our mainland colleagues. One afternoon over G8 we took them out in our Land Rover to see the peace walls and then a few cups of tea and banter back in the station, it stuck with me what one of the lads said, “in our station we couldn’t do this, we work on our own, eat on our own, police on our own and anything like this the inspector would put a stop to it.”

    I genuinely feel for my colleagues on the mainland. On a completely separate note while it was great to have mutual aid help and to work with mainland colleagues I am at a loss to see what motivates guys to come over hear to help, my organisation would happily use them as cannon fodder.

  7. In 19 years I have never seen the service in such utter disarray.
    Shifts getting changed all over the place to avoid paying overtime, cancellation of rest days, court after night shifts with no rest.
    Resources routinely below safe operational levels, officers covering hundreds of miles per night on one shift lurching from one blue light call to the next, sometimes 2 hours away or more for some departments!
    A federation who can do nothing to stop life changing alterations to police pay and pensions. (One of my colleagues faces having to work an extra 11years to get his pension), a federation who can do nothing to stop shift patterns coming in that no one wants, and can do nothing when bosses impose the shifts not following the consultation processes set in place.
    Young officers only trained to drive marked cars at normal speed (no blue lights to attend quickly in an emergency)
    Targets to achieve which promote competition between officers rather than working as a harmonious unbeatable team.
    It seems now crimes & offences are watered down now with lower punishments, it’s harder and harder to catch the bad guys and bosses are far happier when you have issued tickets to (essentially) good people.
    I never anticipated my wages going down during my service but year on year it has. If changes go ahead as proposed my income alone will have reduced by £7000 in the last 3 years.
    I never anticipated my pension could be altered.
    It is clear to me what the governments true opinion of us really is. It turned my stomach to see their hatred so evident in the news the same day as two brave gmp officers were shot dead.
    I am proud to be a police officer, I love my job.
    The future……..I worry for the future of policing….I really do.

  8. Ive always said what a great organisation it is to work for, even when I’ve thought the opposite; but yesterday while reporting a burglary the daughter of the victim asked what it was like being a policeman and said she always wanted to be a police officer.
    That was the first time both me and The Opo had ever said ‘Don’t do it.’
    Morale is down everywhere I guess. The front line is being held up by banter and Tea.

  9. Let there be no doubt – the full picture is now taking shape. First, use the press to vilify the police so that public support wanes. Use ‘recorded crime’ figures as proof that we don’t need the officers we have. Use Winsor and austerity to cripple our terms, conditions of service and pensions, at the same time as neutering the Police Federation…

    Next step? Introduce compulsory severance as a ‘last resort’ and combine this measure with the introduction of PCCs so the public have someone to blame for the disaster that follows…

    Sever those close to their pensions so that their golden handshakes are minimised and their pensions delayed by decades and become worthless as a result. Follow-up with a cull of restricted and disabled officers and then start hiring on a two-for-one basis – ex specials and ex PCSOs on 19k, too scared to do the right thing for fear of losing their jobs…

    With a ten year view the service will be on its knees and its failings will enable us to be used as a political football. Privatisation will follow, with EVERY ROLE, other than ’24/7 response officer’, for sale to the company offering HMG most profit…

  10. I am dismayed that those supposedly in charge cannot see what has happened to morale. I was a RAF Policeman for 26 years. I have seen it all before. Every time someone questions cost equipment, manpower and pay become targets of reduction. Extra from fewer, and cheaper. WRONG. I am reminded of the saying, “If you pay peanuts you get monkeys.” The best will disappear, standards fall and, too late, some politician will throw up his hands and ask why this happened. Of course, he/she will have a glib answer, as they always do. If they, parliament and general public, wish to have a responsive police force then they have to pay for it. ‘Great’ and ‘Cheap’ do not work together. Nor does privatisation, as mentioned above.

  11. Pingback: Fresh Paint and Flowers | privateinvestigatorbuzz.co.uk

  12. These aren’t the only issues. Officers who have Worked in non confrontational areas getting promoted don’t know how to deal with or work with colleagues who have seen the worst to the best of society. These people are capable of one thing. Bullying to get further in their career. More and more this is happening but being hidden by forces. Why? Hide the truth of the stresses and strains of modern policing or how scared senior officers are of making proper decisions that make them a leader but could hinder their careers! Head in the sand sound right. All the way to the government!

  13. I read with interest your thoughts on the fresh paint and flowers and am inclined to agree. Only I think it’s worse than that. Your theory suggests those enjoying these aromas are possibly under the illusion that all is in fact well.

    I’m more inclined to go with the “Emperors new clothes” theory. You may recall the childhood story of the Emperor being paraded through the streets naked, no one mentioning his undressed state for fear of consequence. Well this I fear is what we have in today’s modern Police service. Somebody dreams up a ridiculous idea as part of there mission to climb the greasy pole of senior rank, they table this idea and all of those who sit around said table say how wonderful it is. These people are educated intelligent people, do they really think that sending a Christmas card to a burglar or riding through the streets in a Police striped tractor is going to have a tangible impact on reducing crime or the fear of crime? I believe most don’t but dare not stand up and speak the truth. Effectively telling the Emperor he’s naked and looks ridiculous.
    So why is this then? I can only put it down to the promotion system it’s so deeply engrained now that we have swathes of “Emperors” all telling each other everything’s great. Anyone who manages to pluck up enough courage to say otherwise is immediately branded “negative” or “reluctant to embrace change” and we all know they’re not traits that are going to lead to you being addressed as “Sir/Ma’am”.
    I can only draw this conclusion having spent many years watching people who were good Coppers (and many good Sgt’s) start to reach the upper echelons and begin to nod there heads with the rest of the Emporers. It’s sickening to see. There are of course the very rare exceptions who try and do what they believe to be right but there fate is sealed before they begin. Of course Mr Winsor’s plans to bring in people at Insp and even Supt level with zero experience of Policing will only further this.

    I’m sorry but due to the environment created by the Emporers, I like most others, am afraid to raise my head above the parapet and give my name to this or even give my force details.
    These are purely the thoughts of a humble working copper.

  14. Hello sir,
    Thank you for your nice posting.I can only draw this conclusion having spent many years watching people who were good Coppers (and many good Sgt’s) start to reach the upper echelons and begin to nod there heads with the rest of the Emporers. It’s sickening to see.
    Thanks…………..

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