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

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.