Much as I like to make jovial comment in my blogs about our Shift Inspector and his Harry Houdini like ability to disappear and hide in his nice warm office when things happen, I would like to point out this is all done in jest and actually I, and I’m sure most other officers, have the upmost respect for their ‘gaffer’.
If you think about it, the Inspector (Uniform or CID) probably has one of the worst jobs going in the police force (service). On the one hand they are responsible for their shift, the Sergeants and PC’s working below them. They have to put up with all our constant complaining about the latest pathetically stupid idea filtering down from upon high, which is plainly clear anyone who’s stepped outside the front door of the nick in the last five years cannot work and will not work, but the Inspector still has to make it work.
They have all the management responsibility for their team but with none of the power to control who they will have working for them on a day to day basis (a multitude of other departments control training, court appearances, abstractions, re-rostering etc); they have to deal with our welfare issues … “boss, I know Bigtown are playing Littlechester Rovers but I really need next Saturday off; it’s the wedding anniversary, we’ve worked every Saturday for the last two months, the wife is threatening to leave me and is convinced I’m having an affair”; and in most areas, the Duty Shift Inspector will have to double up as the Custody PACE Inspector, so then they have to deal with the vile little charmers we brought in for beating up their other halves or trashing the local town centre and who want to do nothing but complain about us because they ‘ain’t done nuffin f’in wrong’.
From the other side of the coin, they have to filter all the rubbish coming down at them from above; trying to make sense of the latest pathetically stupid idea filtering down from upon high, which is plainly clear anyone who’s stepped outside the front door of the nick in the last five years cannot work and will not work, but the Inspector still has to make it work. Every day they have to deal with the pseudo politicians upstairs whose main goal is about as far removed from fighting crime and keeping our streets clean as the winning of a shiny gong could possibly make it.
Every day they get thrown at them some set of figures, or pie chart, or similar, telling them that it doesn’t matter how many rapists and burglars they caught last month, there were one too many shoplifters than the Superintendents forecast, so we’ve all done exceedingly badly.
They really are stuck in the middle. They really are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Whichever way they turn, they can’t win, and when it gets sticky, it always will be their fault. Although I think it’s fair to say the Inspectors will get far more backing from underneath than above.
So rather than make another jokey quip about my guv’nor and his weakness for chocolate covered Rich Tea biscuits, for once, just this once mind you, I’m going to say “CHEERS BOSS !”.
Ohhh and by the way, we hid your biccies in your flat cap on top of your locker – we knew you’d never need to look there lol