Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Quick, someone's altered the Matrix!!!

Tank: - "OPERATOR"
Neo: - "Tank, someone's altered the Matrix... find us an exit............ and quickly..................>"

I am 100% positive we've seen this and heard this before...

Ok, so it's nothing new. People get promoted on coming up with hairbrained schemes like this though.. so let's let them "think-tank" it out and come up with the schemes.

You can see it happening anyway, you can SEE that the Home Office and Central Govt are slowly FORCING it to happen. Eventually they WILL win.

At the present you can see it happening because slowly but surely the government is squeezing the budgets of ALL forces. By 2010 when a new government comes in to power it's hardly likely to change a great deal as the money has to be found somewhere to pay for everything else the government has done (like publically funding the banks - sod the banks, let them sack their over paid management and put them in receivership like every other poorly run and top heavy business - why should I be paying for a dead bank?)

Anyway, so government starts tightening the purse strings. Bordering forces start sharing resources such as Southernshire sharing a helicopter with Ruralshire etc.. or Ruralshire sharing their Roads Policing Unit with MoreRuralshire or similar..

Eventually what happens is that because we've shared so many resources already - in an effort to save another 1 million pounds or 5 million pounds or whatever then we might as well bloody well merge because we can save another £20M. What will happen then is that the forces will merge and the govt will slash that 20M off the budget anyway....

Personally speaking I think we have a good point here:

Too many police forces.
Too much beaurocracy.
Too many inconsistencies between neighbouring forces.
Not enough information sharing between forces.
Inconsistency in dealing with or managing offenders.

etc, etc... you could keep going.

So let's merge. Who cares anyway? It's only the BOSSES who will become superfluous when the forces Merge who care.. the rest of us will still have the same streets to patrol as we did the day before.

I propose that we merge in to the following force areas:

North Wales
South Wales
Northern (from Hull up to the Scottish borders)
Eastern (from the M1 across)
Western (from M1 across to the Welsh borders)
Metropolitan (everything within and INCLUDING the M25 (because no one else wants a big circular car park))
South Western (from Wiltshire/Hampshire borders across and all the way down)
South Eastern (from Wiltshire/Hampshire borders across)

The Eastern and Western forces would go as far south as the M4. Everything below that would be either SW or SE forces.

Now basically I've given this a lot of thought. I've managed to divde the country in to 8 (yep, read it and weep Mr ACPO man - I beat your 9 force idea) force areas which in my reckoning will save around about a billion pounds a year. So does this make me ACPO material or what?

The way I see it - it is quite easy. The Home Office simply gets a map of the UK and draws lines on it.. says to the forces "right, here's where the dividing lines are.. now get organised.. Staff/Officers on the wrong side of dividing lines will go to other forces etc but hey.. they are still employed! Or perhaps the dividing lines could be run down a county boundary but hey, let's make it easy, a straight line!

There is too much discussion and crapping on about this getting done and they need to just DO IT and get it over with. For those of us on the street it won't matter on iota as we will still be going out catching criminals the day after it all comes in to effect.


  1. You might have provided a map for us! Sooo thoughtless! lol.

  2. Recent comments from Sir Hugh Orde suggest he's getting a little nervous that any police reforms may have an adverse effect on his empire building.


    Sir Hugh has said that police chiefs would resign if the Conservatives push on with their proposal for elected police commissioners.

    Can't help wondering if he speaks for all his colleagues on this, or whether he is expressing a strong personal view?

    Sir Hugh argues that, “We should not be influenced by anyone who has any potential or suggestion for a political basis.”

    Curious then that he has recently become so heavily involved in politics himself. One of the reasons for electing local police commissioners is to free the police from the “political influence” that they are currently labouring under: the culture of upward-looking accountability to central government, rather than to the local people they are there to serve.

    Centralisation has not worked. In 1982, 92 per cent of people had confidence in the police service; but in 2004 only 47 per cent did.

    Sir Hugh argues that: “Operation independence is absolutely critical.” The police are, and always will be, operationally independent. But they must still be held to account. Opponents of police accountability talk about elected “police chiefs” implying that this is about electing chief constables. In fact, the proposal suggests electing people who have oversight and hold the police to account. They would replace the invisible and unelected Police Authorities.

    Sir Hugh argues that: “There will be no votes in protecting people from terrorism, from organised crime and from serial rapists that cross the country because they won’t be local and they won’t get you votes.”

    Yes, there needs to be greater clarity and distinction between the local and the strategic in policing. But on the other hand most front line officers WANT to be more responsive to local concerns. Graffiti and local issues may not be as headline grabbing as big issues like terrorism. But that is what the public want sorted most, whether sir Hugh likes it or not.


    Sir Hugh criticises the lack of leadership over the issue, saying: "There is no political enthusiasm whatsoever to even raise this at a discussion level."

    Perhaps they are suspicious of his motives. More accountability would throw the spotlight on ACPO, it's value and its function. Would ACPO and Sir Hugh stand up to scrutiny?

    There are 340'sh members in ACPO, perhaps he feels insecure in his position? Could this have an influence on his decision for fewer forces? Would local authority accountability render ACPO and the invisible police autorities as obsolete and expensive mechanisms that have outlived their usefulness?

    There would be obvious benefits in fewer forces, but clearly there would be downsides too. Centrally accountable organisations have not worked in practice. There are cost saving benefits, but these would be offset by the imposition of national policies that do not always transfer well on a local level.

    ACPO is a company limited by guarantee with no shareholders to answer to. Examination of the most recently posted accounts at companies house make interesting reading. They show surplus funds of £2,813,167. If ACPO have almost 3million in reserve, surely the best investment of those funds would be on equipment that will help protect the lives of the front line officers. One suggestion that was made this week was to provide life jackets for officers in force areas with high flood warnings, to help prevent incidents such as the sad loss of Bill Barker.

    The "Emperors New Clothes" spring to mind. When you strip away all the ulterior motives and hidden agendas, he and ACPO stand to be exposed for a boys club of empire building pretend policemen.

    Rant over....

  3. Oh Jeez where to start? Why stop at 8? Why not just one for each of England, Wales, Scotland and NI? Why not dispense with all our institutions and systems and just have a Supreme Leader to direct everything from behind a curtain?

  4. Someone called JLF left a comment. There were too many swear words and nasty things said in it.. So I deleted it because clearly this person is a knob. :-)

  5. dickiebo,
    Sorry, I shall strive to be better in future posts ;-)

  6. Crime Analyst: You saved me a rant! Ta.

  7. It IS a good rant too.. :-)

    I myself often wonder just why we have ACPO and what the hell they are there to do, it seems they just come out with stupid policies about riding bicycles and waste the people's money.

    Hogday, please rant anyway, we always love your input!! :-)

  8. Ah! Still holding out for a perfevt world, I see

  9. Talking of Mr Orde . . . Apologies for being off topic but as it's such an emotive subject I hope its ok. Sir Hugh comes in for some stick from us today. . . .

    So, Labour are slashing overtime by £70million over the next six months?
    What the f*** is Alan Johnson playing at?

    When senior police pay scales, expenses and benefits are revealed, showing who gets paid what and what they get bonuses for, the real scandal emerges and more suitable targets for reduction jump off the page. Hard-pressed taxpayers can only gasp at the lavish secret perks paid to senior police officers.

    Crime reduction forming the basis of bonus payments to Chief Officers has been engineered by the upper ranks of policing with Government encouragement. Police forces manipulate crime figures to give a false picture of their performance.

    So what has all this secret senior officer activity to do with cutting police overtime?

    Manipulation of crime statistics forms part of a conspiracy to deceive the public that crime is decreasing. The orchestrators are the Government and Home Office, aided and abetted by senior police officers, who are obscenely rewarded for their part in the plot.

    Front line officers are unable to untangle this web, despite protestations by many officers with an informed and accurate perspective at the public facing coal face.

    "Cooking the books" has reduced fiscal and human resources, with the public being deprived of the policing it deserves. Police funds have been milked and the “con” disguised after years of distraction strategies, making the task of policing so difficult to deliver.

    Senior officers are paid grossly disproportionate bonuses for perpetuating the deceit of crime reduction. The honour and distinction of achieving a high rank in public service has been replaced with greed, with a convenient blindness to the immorality of their actions.

    A transparent 43 force enquiry is needed to force the disclosure of these illicit inducements. Among the most disturbing are the revelations about the expenses of Sir Hugh Orde, the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers. The rot is embedded within the “root and branch” culture of the highest ranks.

    “Cooking the books” has grave consequences that are plain for all to see. The victims are the tax payer and the front line officer who is forced into silent acceptance of a job that has become enmeshed with bureaucracy, risk averse policing and fiddled crime figures. Who could blame officers that have no faith or respect for senior officers and politicians who orchestrate a criminal deception of the highest magnitude for personal gain, and then expect the staff on the ground to do their dirty work with no resistance?

    Alan Johnsons’ proposal for cutting frontline police overtime is not in the best public interest. A more appropriate target for savings surely lies within the senior officer pay structure. There is plenty of "fat" that should be cut from that source before even considering such an essential as operational police overtime. We've just completed an analysis that reveals 218 Chief Officers' basic pay totals £24million before the perks. Do the maths, the MP's scandal pales into insignificance by comparison.

    Crime statistics should be properly independent, removing responsibility for compiling and publishing crime figures from the Home Office, who clearly cannot be trusted to be truthful with the electorate and not to apply their political spin. The responsibility should be placed with the Office for National Statistics which is totally independent.

    If Mr Johnson was sincere in his desire to rebuild public confidence, he would lay off the operational overtime and focus on the fat cat ACPO chiefs who are raping the public purse beyond all sense of decency.

    Ranting again, humble apologies... LAY OFF THE OVERTIME JOHNSON!

  10. OK. The plus about bigger forces/mergers is largely one of economies of scale. The minus is very definitely accountability which I wrote about in the Fed magazine (and got shouted down by my own force's ACPO group - no surprise there) back in 1990. Try taking a complaint about local policing to faceless Home Office mandarins and you hit a wall of endless bureacracy and `yes ministers` - perfect ACPO territory.