Thursday, December 31, 2015

From May to December

Theresa May's 2015 Christmas message

'As we reach the end of the year, I would like to thank you all for your hard work and.....’
I wouldn’t bother with the rest of it. It will only take out a couple of minutes out of your day but frankly they could be better spent.

A rehash of old words, cut and pasted by her PR team and signed off.

I wonder if Santa sent an extra set of knife sharpeners this year? She is likely to be busy in 2016.

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish the very best to my colleagues who are trying to keep the lid on the usual madness that is New Year in Central London and also to the Police family across the country who step up time and again despite everything that's been thrown at us over the last year.

In particular to my colleagues who book out a firearm at the start of a shift to keep this country safe.Brothers and sisters you have my utmost admiration....stay strong.

To all the Emergency services out there,take care,look after each other and have a good 2016.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Led forwards or fed nonsense

I have diligently attended ( along with a large chunk of Met staff)  the Leading for London Seminars. I believe Parliament describe similar attendance to these as a 'three line whip'


The problem I have is that if the leadership doesn't know what a leader then that IS the issue.

You can name change....for example

SMT ( Senior Management Team) to SLT ( Senior Leadership Team )
ACPO ( Association of Chief Police Officers ) to NPCC  (National Police Chiefs Council )

The change of name means nothing. Same jockeys on the same horse on the same course.

Another problem is that I simply dont feel LED anywhere. I just feel MANAGED.

One of the most bizarre discussions in the seminar was around the question of retention. How can we keep people in the job  and  how can we attract staff?  

I think it was 10 options to discuss but not one addressed the issues of  pay and conditions.

My perception is that there is a view amongst senior SLT in that the nobility of Public Service is enough in itself. At the customer facing end I would say that in our world getting through the shift and having enough to pay the bills at the end of the month is the driving factor.

Leadership also means being around to 'lead'. Out and about, available to advise and be hands on.   

The knock on effect, in part, of the cuts is that they seem aimed at the  'engine room' of Borough policing heading towards a cull of sgts and inspector posts.Their work load has increased dramatically in recent years as 'back room' such as HR and duties admin fall on the front line supervisors.

I think the disconnect between the troops and management is best reflected in the indifference to anything that comes down from above.

The MET staff survey this year was hailed a success. I think it managed 56% response and that was after a concerted set of E mails from management exhorting us to complete it. It was hailed a 'success' as it  had doubled the response from the last one.

Bottom line is that despite this 'success' the best part of half the workforce consider it a waste of their time.

I have met some great 'leaders' in my time in the MET.Ones you could follow to the gates of Hell.

Frankly things are so bland these days I wouldnt feel enthusiastic with large chunks of SLT in following them around a car park at Sainsburys. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Run like Hell


The Police have produced a public safety video advising the public what to do in the event of an attack similar to events in Paris.

All worthy common sense advice.

Unfortunately its also the best advice for local officers if they find themselves in the vicinity of it.

With a Government, media and vocal interest groups that are even squeamish about the roll out of Tazer, or that on occasions we have to go toe to toe with our customer base, its realistically all we are equipped to do.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Independent?...tell me another one

Appalled at the IPCC

Pretty much the reaction of every officer I have spoken to at the news that the officer involved in the shooting in Wood Green  has been arrested.

A dogma driven, axe grinding Quango which is playing to the crowd and trying to catch the eye of the maître d

Their desperation to nail an AFO is palpable....

Sir BHH has understandably sent out his message to the troops. It is carefully worded but reading between the lines I believe he and his SLT are as surprised as the front line. 

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Another officer down

Merseyside lost another officer on Monday. Pc David PHILLIPs mown down by a stolen vehicle as he tried to put out 'stop sticks' to immobilise the vehicle by taking out the cars tyres.

As Chief Constable Sir Jon MURPHY said  'an incredibly sad day for Merseyside police the second time in less than 12 months I have had to sit down before the media and tell you about one of our officers being murdered'

Pc Neil DOYLE having lost his life last Christmas whilst off duty in Liverpool City Centre.

I can only echo the words of Mr MURPHY in his press conference. They were clearly heartfelt

The subsequent  'soundbites' from Cameron and May in conference season are just what they are and not worth repeating.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

A decade later a decision....

Anthony Long the MET officer placed before the court for the murder of Azelle Rodney has been cleared by the jury.

The officer has been pursued for this tragic incident since 2005

As the officer said after the trial

'Police firearms officers do not go out intending to shoot people and, like me in this case, have to make split second life or death decisions based on the information available to them at the time'.

This should be cut and pasted and put over the office doors of the tribunals, DPS, IPCC and CPS who chewed this over for the last 10 years.

As I have said in previous posts no officer turns up on duty and goes out to take a life.

This sentiment you might think would concentrate the minds of the hindsight merchants, the purveyors of armchair acquired knowledge, the media, interest groups al.

But I doubt it....

Someone has to be blamed and pretty much its usually the  hard working soul carrying the office of Constable at the front line.

This post is not intended to be braying over the result

However it is time for everyone to let the officer Anthony Long to have his life back and to move on

I hope this can happen

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Survey? thats a click/delete any day

Results of a survey of MET police officers and staff in 2015 have not been forgiving to Sir BHH and SLT.

The poll targeted 47,000 police and staff .

I think the most telling point being missed is that  the stats show only 28% responded.

Of 47,000 police and staff only 13,160 made the effort to complete the survey.

33,840 couldn't be bothered.

As a member of the 33,840 I would like to offer my opinion why.

Its frankly a waste of time. My views don't matter.

The staff surveys/'conversations'/focus groups are a sleight of hand that SLT  care what we think or will take any action  to mirror our responses.

PR can spin the results anyway they like, but when the vast majority of your shop floor click  'delete/decline' when these come out they should look at themselves and wonder why.