Friday, July 24, 2009

Danger..minefield ahead.

A Parliamentary report headed by Kieth Vaz has concluded that police are still 'institutionally racist' This release coincides with the 10th anniversary of the Macpherson enquiry findings.
Basically it appears that despite the 'conclusions' made by Macpherson we are actually stopping and searching more black people than 1999!

This report was cranked out prior to the Honourable members taking the best part of a 3 month break so details are sketchy but my issues are this.

The article on the report does not clarify if the stops were justified or not. The fact that the numbers are skewed towards black people does not explain why the stops were made, under what circumstances,whether the individuals are known to police and form part of a local proactive campaign to disrupt certain crime trends.

If the Honourable members are suggesting that, based on the stats, police are actively targeting blacks and ignoring criminals or crimes committed by white/Asian/other then lets call for a full public enquiry to establish the true facts behind the figures.

No calls for that in the article.

Mr Vaz talks of the disproportionate imbalance of DNA of black people held on the database. If DNA is held on the database then it is because people have been arrested and brought into custody for offences.

If the Honourable members are suggesting that, based on the stats, that police are actively targeting black people and either ignoring criminals or crimes committed by white/Asian/other or even 'fitting up' said black people to skew the figures then lets call for a full public enquiry to establish the true facts behind the figures.

No calls for that in the article.

It was Paul Condon who,years ago, as Commissioner, stated that black youth were over represented in certain types of crime.The usual furore which followed was that he was actually stating that all black people are (or were potentially) criminals which was and IS utter nonsense.He was simply stating stats on certain crimes.

10 years after Macpherson and the police have undergone major internal reform. We have been educated,informed,re-aligned in our views and yet we are apparently still stopping and searching more black people than white/Asian /other.

I don't believe we are doing this because we are really unreformed unrepentant misfits of a bygone age. We are doing this because we are reacting to what we are dealing with,real time,on the streets. That the figures don't skew to some perceived acceptable norm is beyond our control.

This brief article on the report is about figures and their interpretation.What better soundbite than to give a dig at the police again on the 10th anniversary of the utterances of the sage Macpherson without clarifying detail.

Then again according to the Telegraph Mr Vaz is not so hot on figures anyway.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Talent,Tapping up and Team Met

Loads of stuff in the papers recently regarding remuneration for the very senior ranks in the job. Retention packages, security, even subsidised fees for the CC's kids.Probably not hard for this to come to light since the Trough on the Thames gave Her Majesties press a feeding frenzy with the Telegraphs drip feeding of revelation by revelation.

These extras apparently are about TALENT. Its Recruitment, its Retention and the ability to Renegotiate' should other 'offers' be made. If they had agents I am sure the three R's would be the basis for negotiation at the top table.

The MET appear to be up front in seeking out such possible stars.
This notion of Talent in the senior ranks is what drove me to write this post.
A recent internal Met post indicates we are actively requesting referrals for 'graduates' from staff.

So what is talent in a senior officer who aspires to that rank?

Talent sought by Police Authorities bears NOTHING in relation to what I consider to be the fundamentals of police work.

You do NOT get to be a 'High flyer' (Accelerated promotion scheme for Graduates ) by spending any length of time, in any unit,grinding out enquiries.

Anything (realistically past Inspector/Chief Inspector) in this job is a manager.Actual police work is secondary.Politics and figures are everything and it is driven top down. Common sense and discretion, the old bywords of day to day policing are gone

There are some who fight and try and maintain that old equilibrium. They do not progress.

We do NOT need any more bright young things with degrees in Anthropology and Politics from the University of Somewhere to be fast tracked and merely graze briefly on the lush green fields of criminality before finding themselves sitting in an office and deciding that for the next rank they will ignore that age old adage 'if it 'ain't broke don't fix it'.

We need bright young keen recruits willing to spend some serious time shoveling sh*t before they move on.

That doesn't sound good as a soundbite though.

The basic test for me is 'what if'

What if ?.... the senior officer and all his deputies and assistants decided en- masse to take a year Sabbatical. What would happen?

In regard to basic day to day policing............sod all. It would just go on as normal.

What if ?....Response,SNT,CID decided to take a years Sabbatical.What would happen.....Chaos and Anarchy.

I think the point I am trying to make is this. The higher up the slippery pole you are the less 'essential' value you become to the organisation which pays your wage.