Sunday, March 22, 2009

Views and issues.

Another post driven by thoughts kicking around my head and also discussed and outlined eloquently on the sites of 200 and Pc Pinkstone.

The alleged 'outing' and subsequent sacking of PC Bettley

The whole saga dates back to a time when ACPO (plc) decided that,in a grand political gesture that any serving member of the police service, if found to be a member of the BNP would be dismissed.

I was never entirely sure of the legality of this posturing at the time as the BNP (despite whatever you may think of their views) are a legitimate non proscribed political party.

My opinion is this.If you took the stance that individuals are to be dismissed by being members of legitimate political parties then you must include association with Labour, Conservative, Lib Dem etc..

Not,apparently a stance taken from ACPO. What do you think the reaction from ACPO or the assorted Professional Standards Departments would be if serving officers were found to be badge wearing, placard waving, Labour party?...........tumbleweed I expect.

There is no suggestion that Pc Bettley EVER in his career made decisions in his role as constable which were biased against those of different race, religion or treated people differently because of this.

His mere association with one particular political group has ended his career

I fully understand Pc Pinkstones bemusement as to why the BPA ( Black Police Officers Association) and the local advisory group were consulted throughout this...Why?

This is an internal disciplinary enquiry involving what would appear to be a straight forward breach of an ACPO (plc) directive.Why have a deep seated and ongoing discussion with the onlookers?

Meanwhile back at the Holiday Express Inn in
Chingford a bunch of smug, self promoting, zealots are discussing in an open forum the legitimacy of stoning to death Homosexuals.

Any strident harrumphing from ACPO (plc) regarding such opinions? A determination to knock on the door of this meeting and call time or challenge debate?


The best we can do is 'If someone makes a complaint we will look into it'

Even if someone complains, by the time the hurriedly convened GOLD community cohesive discussion group has formed and has reached out to all perceived interest groups the room will have been let to next weeks Rotary group meeting.

This is not some form of apologist rant for the Far Right but if we are to avoid society seriously dividing across issues we have to be seen to be level and fair across the board.

If we except that the bunch in Chingford has a right to their opinion, then EVERY other group, be it far left, far right, christian, muslim ,Hindu etc.. has a right to an opinion

That includes any alleged or perceived members of the BNP who may be in service,

If ACPO (plc).. and their political masters want to bring hell fire on opinion then it has to be across the spectrum of opinion and society.

Anything else will only be taken as political tokenism and recognised as such.

For a balanced society it is not healthy.

I have just realised this is my 100th post. I wish it was more positive.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Alone again..naturally?

The latest from Paul Stephenson is the unveiling of his belief that officers should patrol singly and not in pairs. This is really part of the notion of Presence

One of the five P's that he is 'benchmarking' during his tour of duty as Commissioner.

A number of other blogs have chewed this over.This is my particular 10 pence worth on it.

Single or double patrol?

Duties wise it is an idea that has been kicked around for years.Some Borough commanders have tried single patrols (coming up with such ideas as 'the control room is your back up'. I was never happy with that at the time,although when control rooms were Borough based at least you had knowledgeable staff at hand if it all went belly up as they knew where you where. We now have 3 mega sites for control for the entire MET.So much for local knowledge.

I started off my career in parts of the estate wastelands of North London and did find myself out by myself dealing with all kinds of s**t. We had much bigger Teams (or Reliefs) then so 'back up' was usually close to hand.

But there is a psychological advantage to having two on a stop on a call. Another set of eyes and ears,someone watching your back.

I find it amusing that Mr Stephenson says he and the blah blah blah cant understand why we patrol in pairs. People who have never had to do it.

I am not saying that in certain areas ( read: the far less cosmopolitan and vibrant)that single patrolling isn't an option but this 'direction' would appear to be all encompassing and I think flawed.

To finish, I see this as a tacit admission that the 'uniform presence' of PCSOs out there has not been a success and the spreading of a limited number of trained warranted officers in the single patrol concept is one way of clawing back 'the streets'

Lets see.