Friday, October 21, 2016

Stop now you crazy Diamond

A DIAMOND group has been formed in the upper reaches of the MET. I am not sure where they get the names. Clearly the old BRONZE, SILVER , GOLD is so last year.

One of its aims is to explore the possibilities of bumping up the Detective ranks ( of which the MET is severely short ) by using Specials and pushing new entrants straight through to DC pathways without, it would seem, the implied inconvenience of spending a couple of years learning the basics in a uniform role.Frankly I am not surprised that senior management think this is workable. There is much discussion in other police forums as to how desperate this idea is and I wont waste any more columns adding my 10 pence worth to it.

I then read we have an entity called MET Enterprises ( a nice consultancy fee somewhere coming up with this baby!) which aims to explore and utilise the MET brand. One of its aims is to sell the MET's worldwide reputation and in particular its world class training.

At around this point I had to stop and think WTF!

I am then convinced the brains behind this idea hasn't really thought though the business plan.
What have we to sell? I can understand, years back, a sharp suited MET Enterprise individual leading a mixed bunch of foreign  government officials around Hendon. They let them absorb the acres of well kept buildings, playing fields, the Driving school, The Detective Wing, the assorted specialised learning areas of the Peel Centre. Then to take in the discipline of the smart, uniformed cadres of the intakes marching around its grounds.


'Excuse me can you tell me what actually is the MET training school?
'Er......'its that new, not particularly imposing building surrounded by the new blocks of flats being built'.

I went past Hendon a few days back, The Detective training school site is now rubble. You can barely see our new 'Training block' for the flats being put up. The rest of the Estate will follow suit.
NSY in Victoria is now a shell. The jewels in the Crown have been well and truly sold on. The only people making money out of the MET are the sharp suited Estate agents flogging stuff ' off plan' for the Hendon and NSY sites.

And then the Mayor gets a wiff of MET Enterprise and demands it does no business with 'rogue regimes' What are we going to peddle to them. NCALT packages? Breaching human rights by boring people into submission.

We have hit the buffers and there is no wriggle room left. The MET has been squeezed to its limits.
I await management to form a PLATINUM group to sort things out. 


Monday, September 12, 2016

What do you expectorate?

I was reading the Evening standard on the commute home last week and saw a small article saying the Met had decide to trial the so called spit hoods on a selection of Boroughs.
The discussion on  use of spit hoods has been bouncing around the Met, off and on, for years. As expected the SLT at the higher levels huffed and puffed. Anecdotally its rumoured one of the SLT asked if we were expected to wear the hoods!!!!
Any way it came as no surprise that the usual suspects  came out bleating with weapons grade handwringing angst.
Leading the pack were Liberty ( as ever )
Apparently Martha Spurrier is quoted as saying 'A spit hood is a  primitive cruel and degrading tool  that inspires fear and anguish'
So is being gobbed on.
Frankly it came as NOOOOO! surprise there was a U turn as our new mayor and MOPAC threw the usual politics into this and our Management ( sorry.... Leadership) rolled over as only they can.
Usual excuses made.
'The Metropolitan Police service has listened to concerns and will consult further before starting any pilot'
I bet the listening wasn't to officers having  to deal with  our saliva driven customer base.
We should have a concerted media outreach to allay fears
Keep it simple, the message ' No Spitty Hoody'
No excuses for subsequent offenders

Monday, June 06, 2016

FED still in denial

The Police Federation of England and Wales have started to E mail its members. I hadn't heard from our hardy band of firebrand representatives for some time. I did check my pay slip .They are  still taking my subs so I assumed they still existed.This flurry of activity is no doubt due to the recent Federation jolly at Bournemouth in which the Fed Reps at assorted levels assemble on Fed expenses and as the highlight for a few days by the sea invite the Home secretary to attend and generously give her a platform for a speech which basically  rubs their noses in it....again.

The Chairman sends these E mails out proclaiming previous 'success ' at damage limitation in negotiations of the introductions in Government change. They will probably get around to ripping that up at the next round of negotiation.The latest E mail is a survey asking us about our opinions on Pay and conditions. Even if every Fed member filled it in....and we know it would be an overwhelming 'its s**t and getting worse' what are the FED going to do with it ? Armed with the figures at the next negotiating table what hand do the FED play? The FED blinked some time ago. They have been truly sussed...

Some reasons my opinion

1. Despite a majority ( albeit a relatively small majority) in the on-line poll for a push for the right to strike they 'bottled it' claiming issues around turnout .... blah blah blah...
2. Some sections of the FED allowed a short spat between an officer and an arrogant and rude politician to be some form of 'cause celebre'
2. They allowed a Fed generated review of staff opinions on the FED to be hijacked by the Home Office.

They are just amateurs against seasoned Pros

I would rather they spent every penny of my subs ( and they do have the money ) and lived out of a rented prefab hut if they sought advice ( I know it wont come cheap) get paid skilled professional lobbyists, use both UK and EU law and those who can exploit it

Police/enforcement agencies in other countries seem to do this, .... achieve success...society doesn't collapse....why not us ?

I ranted about this last year.......sadly for the FED they don't move on despite the bubble they used to live in having been popped some time ago

Monday, May 16, 2016

Nostalgia aint what it used to be

I was at Hendon recently.

It was all rather sad as it happens, looking at the Estate as it is now.

The 'Metropolitan Police Training School Hendon' is now basically in the early throes of being converted to another overpriced piece of real estate. An institution that has produced generations of coppers, policed London and kept the Metropolis safe is now a sweet little wet dream for the  developers involved.They have even built a smart new building on the outskirts of the estate to flog the stuff 'off plan'.
The Hendon estate I knew ( refurbished in the 70's and known as the 'Peel Centre') is either fenced off or genteelly left to fade away pending the day the clause in the sale says the bulldozers move in...its coming soon.

The new training 'complex ' now just consists of one new building. Rumour has it that it simply does not have the capacity to take on the role of the remaining buildings which await the developers starting pistol.

A lack of forward planning? this organisation? ... who'd a thunk it?

I am fortunate to have joined the MET in a different era. I know we all look back in the past and have the ' in my day' tints on the hindsight goggles but the 5 months intensive residential at Hendon and getting through it with my intake meant a lot. The camaraderie, the feeling we were all in it together, being part of something, achievement.It was studying...marching about...drill...discipline...parades... esprit de corp'... now definitely too 'militaristic' for the new age we find ourselves in.

Years back, in one of my previous posts I wondered about the trend to 'other' means of delivering training and thought the acres of Hendon's prime NW9 site (the 'jewel in the crown') was potentially up for grabs and sadly its now turned out to be true.The rump of buildings that can be associated with the MET or police function will be surrounded by a private housing estate.

New recruits and those attending courses will not recognise what was there before  or likely be able to afford any of it on based on the new police contracts in place.

New recruits pay for a chunk of training  by a  number of private providers and achieve stage A.
Stage B, where they might actually get the hands  on practical stuff is delivered in a variety of sites 'regionally' before they  are put out there and basically have to get on with it. This cannot foster any sense of tradition...where we came from.... where we are going...etc. Its the METS equivalent of  a 'temp agency'...bums on seats... boots on the street. Anecdotally the new recruits don't see it as a career...just a CV issue before looking to move on....

Frankly I cant blame them.

As 'Officer Dibble' I joined with a view that this was going to be my career to see through to my end of service. There are less and less of us as the years pass by.

At some point the MET will commission some expensive review wondering where it all went wrong.
By then those that signed off all of this change or who turned a blind eye to it or were collecting tickets upstairs will have moved they do.

As I said at the top... its all rather sad as it happens......


Wednesday, March 09, 2016

And for my next trick....

So the IPCC is to be rebranded. Its new title is to be the Office for Police Conduct.

Still, at least its dropped the use of the word Independent. A bit of pressure from advertising standards ??? The bottom line is that you can re name anything but if all your doing is changing the sign above the door its all just a sleight of hand. Its the appearance of action, dynamism and moving forward but really its just no change, nothing to see here...

Its the same bunch behind the door and the same people pulling the strings.

Perhaps for greater clarity they should call themselves the Office for Police Misconduct.
Why?..., because that's the default starting point. Guilty until found innocent .

Friday, March 04, 2016

A worker or a criminal?

I was reading an article in the Police Oracle on issues around Prostitution.

ACC Nikki Holland, the NPCC (ACPO in the old money) is the lead on this and was giving evidence to yet another home affairs select committee. Her submission was that workers in the sex industry ( prostitutes and prostitution in the old money ) are a vulnerable group and any crimes against them should be grouped under ' Hate Crime'. Basically the argument being that they should be treated as victims and not offenders

I totally agree they are vulnerable, not only the girls who work the street but also what goes on behind the closed door in the brothels.
But another group to put under the canopy of 'hate crime '?
Are offences against these women because of what they do or because they are women.
Misogyny a hate crime? By its definition you would say yes

I agree with the logic of targeting the punters, the kerb crawlers and the pimps and traffickers further up the chain
The sanctions imposed against the working women was never high in any event.
However by effectively legitimising the activity involved ( victim not offender ) you do not stop what is happening out there .
I have never understood the notion of 'agreed areas'. These just create a void which is filled by the women but all the other side 'industries' who take advantage of police looking the other way. Where do you start? By effectively legitimising the activity (worker in the sex industry and not 'prostitute' ), where do you end with this logic? Are the people sat in the cannabis farms in dreary suburban houses and churning out  'skunk' to order workers in the drugs industry?

I recall the argument made that the drugs mules who swallow drugs and fly into the UK are victims and shouldn't be criminalised. Yes they are victims , probable coerced through a number of 'incentives' to do what they do. BUT by stating if you are caught 'nothing will happen' will NOT solve the problem. They will still be 'incentivised' by those running them to make that trip but without the fear the could spend some serious  time for importation.

I am 200% for putting the fear and the resources to target those up the food chain in these industries. But this is very resource intensive and consequently costly and I doubt those in the NPCC have the stomach to finance it in this day and age.

Any chain has a starting point. 'Industries' like sex and drugs have a pyramid structure. Lets work our way up. Sanctions increasing as you goes through the pyramid. But by effectively legitimising the base this just leaves those further up the chain laughing all the way to the Bank of Laundered Money

Monday, February 29, 2016

Lets have more of this

I have to be up front, and in this day and age its not good to be open about your opinions on the management of this organisation but I am going to put it out there...

I thought Sir BHH was on the money in his responses to the 'cross party committee' about the historical abuse allegations involving 'high profile' names

Normally, anything that comes from that level above tends to be an automatic delete and/or complete indifference.

But you know what?... this caught my eye.

I thought the Commish had it spot on in his response to the 'grilling ' from the  self serving blowhards who make up these committees.They love this stuff, summonsing people before  them and glowing in their own self importance , awash with smug faux angst at those who deal with reality and keen to ride the 'media tide' as it swells and ebbs.

He refused to apologise ......

'We have to do our job without fear or favour according to the law...''
'We don't treat anybody different by their background.. we apologise when there is good cause...'

What about the UN report on police tazering children ? they wailed...!!!!!

'It only happens very occasionally.... I think if you break it down by age  the majority are in the older bracket ( just under 18) and with a gun or knife in their hand they have to be dealt with, and some of them by size are quite a challenge

Sir....the troops need more of this stuff ...carry on regardless.... give it to them....!

If I had enough hair to make a forelock I would tug it in you direction