The Policing dredge 2009: The Pledge

December 12, 2009

We, like other police bloggers, namely Bloggs and Gadget, and others, feel it is important to comment on the policing pledge.  It used to be a vision or mission statement but now it’s the pledge, “Every victim of crime will be visited.”

Baloney? The police service is being asked to reduce its spending by £500million. We have to do things better for sure. The Conservatives are suggesting that the role of PCSO will become defunct. If that’s the case under their leadership we can only assume that police officer’s will visit every victim of crime.   What an excellent use of resources that is?

Crime carries on increasing, the managers will be measured on reducing crime, so the rules will be bent. Our front line resources will dwindle; as PC Bloggs suggests, we will continue to turn up single crewed and then wait for another officer to turn up to assist in transportation; and this is whilst we attend victims of minor crime.

God only knows how much the advertising for the policing pledge has cost the Home Office. Whoops we forgot, God is the Home Secretary. Come on Alan Johnson, stop taking the splif, like Jacqui did, and let policing do what it should be doing; preventing and detecting crime. We don’t have to have a mission statement when our core fundamental principal is written down within the office of Contable.W e need to be free to decide what we can and cannot attend.

The government has been criticised over a £3.5m advertising campaign for the police service. The Taxpayers Alliance said money from the “pledge” adverts, which aim to respond to public concerns, should have been spent on extra police resources. The campaign runs on posters, in newspapers, on the internet and on radio stations until mid-May. The Home Office said the scheme was regarded as a “major step forward in raising standards”. We dare say that an extra 116 officers to the Met is the opportunity cost of this mind-boggling spending spree by Alan J.



  1. I retired from the police in June 2001, after 10 years in the RAF Police and 22 years in the civilian police. Since leaving a job that I really thoroughly enjoyed, I have watched the service gradually go down hill.

    For a year I worked on contract, with a police force as a civilian investigator, reviewing old cases for the force legal department. I worked with two retired detectives who told me that after just six months after they’d retired, they’d become anti-police. Whilst I don’t hold their view, I can see where they are coming from.

    Whether it is the politicians, senior officers, or the type of individual they are now recruiting, I don’t know. Once thing is for sure and that is, many officers have a limited knowledge of the law and little idea how to enforce the law. I hear many respectable members of the public comment on how disappointed they are with the police being too soft on criminals. What on earth has gone wrong?

    I recently passed on to the police, some CCTV footage showing a man causing criminal damage to another’s property. The police told me they’d arrest the offender and when I asked for an update, they told me they’d postponed the arrest. Why? Well apparently he answered the door to his home and was angry. He was holding a screw driver and as only two police officers were present, they backed off and intended with back up on another day.

    Why didn’t they instruct the guy to put the screw driver down. Then if he failed to obey this instruction, why didn’t they consider the used of pepper spray, or an Asp? To back off, well it is unbelieveable.

    I could cite many other example of the police not performing as the public expect, but maybe I’ll keep that for another day.

  2. Sadly, the last example is an example of well, I don’t know…. That chap should have been lifted there and then, or soon after. Poor experience I am afraid. Welcome….

    Yes, the service is run by Chiefs who are politicians, not police officers. Policing by degrees and all that….And Fahy is calling for more politicians to join policing….

  3. One of the other incidents, where things have gone belly up, was where a guy reveresed his vehicle at me in an aggressive manner. I had six witnesses to the incident, who all provided statements to the police, outlining how dangerous this was.

    The police officer tasked with the investigation, obtained details of the registered keeper and sent him a statutory notice requiring him to give details of the driver at the time of the occurence. That was in July ’09 and to date, so far as I know, no action has been taken. I have repeatedly asked the police what has happened and I was told they would get the Roads Policng Unit’s Sergeants to call me back…..I am still waiting.

    Two of my friends witnessed a man in a public place, shooting a swan with an air rifle. They called the police and when they turned up they couldn’t work out whether or not any offences had occurred, or whether there was suficient evidence…..there were two witnesses (one a retired MOD Policeman) and the offender was still carrying the uncovered air weapon in a public park.

    I know a young man who is undergoing police training at present and he tells me as part of his course he has been linking up with youth clubs and taking youngsters on outward bound courses…..what about learning the law and being taught to catch villains? Was this something dreamt up by the so called Police Improvement Agency – if so I urge senior officers to have a good look at their falling standards.

    We used to have smart looking officers on the street, but nowadays there are many that look like ‘Rag, Tag and Bobtail’ with little pride in their appearance – discipline seems to be a thing of the past. (My goodness I have turend into Victor Mildrew – but somebody has to say something in an effort to stop the rot).

  4. Please forgive my typographical errors….I should have proof read my submissions before hitting the ‘submit’ button – my Sergeant would have kicked me in the backside for making such errors, when I first joined.

  5. Excellent article “T”

    Some numbers for you from our recent analysis:-

    • 2 year PC salary 26,787
    • £3.5 million would put another 131 coppers on the street. (A)
    • SMT ranks represent 3% of strength yet 5% of wage bill
    • If SMT ranks were paid 3% of wage bill it would shave £91.8million off wage bill
    • That £91.8million would pay for 3427 pc’s on 2 year level (B)
    • If the 2.5% wage rise for SMT were frozen it would save £5.6million
    • That £5.6million would pay for 209 pc’s on year 2 level (C)
    • Our best case estimates show ACPO bonuses at least £1.1million
    • Bonuses alone would pay for 42 more PC’s (D)
    • PCSO’s wage bill (best case) £331million for 16,508 officers
    • PCSO wage bill would pay for 12,358 more PC’s (E)

    That’s £443 million in savings from these five measures alone, which would put over 16,000 PC’s back into the strength.

    Even if, in our wildest dreams, all of these measures were introduced, it would all be in vain if the same powers did not :-

    • Stop the rot on crime figure fiddling – It’s conning no-one anymore, and lining the SMT pockets with millions in bonuses, ignoring the operational needs of front liners and the public.
    • Strip out the trivial stuff, the “my blokes ex is threatening to kill me by text” type enquiries that consume a ridiculous amout of resource.
    • Investigate and disclose the ACPO/SMT fat cat pay scales issue. This threatens to dwarf the enormity of the MP’s scandal and must be flushed out.
    • Determine the current best use of available resources. If the media and the police blog reports of Gadget, Copperfield & Ellie Bloggs are correct, a frightening % of “available resource” is deskbound in admin roles for unnecessary non core policing projects.

    And these are just a few of the common sense type decisions that bloggers support and would make a massive difference. .

    It’s all very well making the right decisions on spending, but all this is to no avail if the hole in the bucket remains unplugged. Every possible leak in terms of wasted police time and fiscal resource has to be plugged, to get back to the common sense coppering.that the public (and the majority of front line staff) want to see.

    Attending every crime is a pure nonsense and a waste of police resource. Officers at the sharp end must be empowered with the discretion to prioritise which calls meet the core duties in the office of constable : “preserving life and property and preventing and detecting crime (the real stuff, not the crappy shit you guys are lumbered with every day).
    If the Government hadn’t shown themselves to be so inept in handling the economy, and so bent in its performance culture and bonus payments, we might have some tiny morsel of hope that they would do something about all of this. I won’t hold my breath.

    Ignoring the force mergers question, there are massive economies of scale and savings that could be scooped up if someone took charge of the purchasing strategy for all the forces. Suppliers tenders for equipment and resources could bring quality gear at the right price because of the increased volumes. In business, we see it all the time, where national organizations buy the best stuff and cheaper prices that the smaller outfits pay for the lower quality stuff. So why the hell can’t the financial whizz kids see this? It doesn’t take force mergers and boundary changes before this can happen.

    ACPO should be earning their humongous salaries/bonuses/perks by making this happen.
    If they focused more on a global purchasing strategy than empire building/protection it would save millions and actually start delivering some value, which would help persuade any Government that they are actually capable of managing “UK Police plc”. Only showing they have that ability will Government back off and turn the spotlight on another sector.

    On the basis of their “Nero fiddles while Rome burns” strategy, UK policing will be knackered.

    Police Pledge? A complete waste of money aimed at a public that stopped listening years ago. £3.5million spent on pr campaigns wont achieve public support. Only common sense discretionary policing that you/we all want will restore public confidence.

  6. Here is an extract from the Hansard minutes, which are a record of questions asked in the Commons on 20th Apr 2009 :

    Police: Finance

    Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much her Department has allocated for promotion of and publicity for its policing pledge.

    Mr. Woolas: The total amount of money allocated to the promotion of and publicity for the policing pledge during the financial year 2008-09 is £3,427,521.

    This expenditure covers:

    Radio advertising
    National and regional press advertising
    Online advertising and online search marketing
    High street posters

    If only the tax payer knew eh?

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