Taser in London – The Numbers

A month or so ago there was heated discussion on Twatter and Farcebook about Taser Usage in London vs Ethnicity and there were differing opinions proffered.

I asked the Met two simple questions;

For the previous rolling 12 month period

How many times have Tasers been drawn, but specifically NOT used?

On those occasions when Taser was drawn but NOT used, what is the Ethnic Breakdown of the “suspects” i.e. The people threatened with Taser usage?

and

For the period July 2015 to June 2016 could you please give me a breakdown by ethnicity of persons actually subjected to Taser usage, i.e. Fired, Arced or a Drive Stun?

Their ressponse to the first can be found here

 

taser-drawn-not-used

But I decided I wanted to kjnow more, hence the second question.

The response to that one is finally in, and here, in a series of simplifed graphs, it is.

taser-drawn-2015-2016

taser-aimed-2015-2016

 

taser-fired-2015-2016

taser-red-dot-2015-2016

taser-arced-2015-2016

taser-angled-stun-2015-2016

taser-drive-stun-2015-2016

The question being so hotly debated was one of racial bias in ‘Taserings’.  Well, the info for a 12 month period in London is there.

What do you think?

 

The Knife Angel

Is it just me, or has there been an absolute explosion of knife crime, particularly in London, over the past 18 months?

Our best response to the problem?  Cut back on Stop and Search.  Theresa May started it, Amber Rudd has dutifully continued it.  Apparently we should not be doing so much Stop and Search.  I really don’t get that, as EVERY SINGLE KNIFE used to stab, slash, kill or injure somebody else has almost invariably been carried through the streets by somebody, somewhere at some time.

Am I alone in thinking that we should make the streets too hot to carry knives? Better detection, more prosecutions, fewer Cautions and better sentencing.

The Police can, and hopefully will, do their bit, but how can we highlight the problem? How do we get the message across to the public that knife crime is at an unacceptable and unsustainable level?

Enter Alfie.  “Who the devil is Alfie?” I hear you ask.

Alfie is Alfie Bradley, an innovative sculptor from Shropshire, possibly better known for making a gorilla out of spoons.  He is currently making an Angel out of knives.  Where does he get all the knives from?  From Police Amnesty Boxes mainly plus donations of ‘family cutlery’ from the Public.

What is the purpose of the Knife Angel? It is a National Monument Against Violence And Aggression.

How can we find out more about the Knife Angel?  Several ways really, you can read about it at it’s Facebook Page here;

You can simply Google “Knife Angel” and see pictures of it and read any one of the many news items concerning it.  You can even read more about Alfie.

How can you help raise the profile of the Knife Angel?  There is a campaign to get the Knife Angel displayed on the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square. You can sign a petition for this purpose here.

You can write to the Mayor of London and/or your local MP explaining why you think this is such an important project.

If you have had your life blighted by Knife Crime Alfie has told me that you can leave a message on the Facebook page (as above) and your message can be engraved onto the Angel.   Ot only does this send a powerful message it can go a huge way to help the families of Knife Crime victims come to terms with their loss and feel that they are contributing to something useful to turn back the tide of Knife Crime.

I am hoping to have a chat with Alfie over a cup of coffee in the next couple of weeks to see what we, the Twitterati, can do to raise the Angel’s profile and help lift it onto the 4th plinth. There is no doubt in my mind that pride of place in Trafalgar Square for a few weeks will aid the Save A Life, Surrender Your Knife campaign.

If you have any other suggestions how this can be helped by all means leave them for me in the comments below and I will discuss them with Alfie when I see him.

Please, this explosion of Knife Crime just has to STOP and anything we can do can only hasten that process and help safeguard our youth.

Codes Of Conduct – They Are There To Be Complied With

Agreed?

For example PACE (Police And Criminal Evidence Act) is a complex piece of legislation, so there are numerous Codes of Conduct each relating to a different aspect of PACE.  By virtue of these Codes both sides (Police and Public/Persons Detained) knows exactly what to expect in any given situation and (in the Police’s case) how they are expected to behave.

Good idea?  Most people think so, even if they are a right royal pain to remember and put into practice.  Stick to the Codes and you won’t go far wrong.

Great idea. Simple.

Codes of Practice have been brought in all over the shop now, for much the same reasons.  Not just the Police, but all manner of organisations.

Even the mighty Independent Police Complaints Commission has Codes of Praqctice for various things.  As the ‘watchdog’ and final arbiter of all things wrongdoing within the Police it wouldn’t be doing for the IPCC to be in breach of their own Codes of Practice would it?

Excuse me while I laugh because I have just caught them with their very own pants down.

 

 

trousersBrowsing ther website I happened to notice that the Gifts and Hospitality Register and the Register of Commissioners’ Interests were seriously out of date, not having been updated, or indeed, reviewed,  since June 2015.  So, being a good citizen I sent them the two following Freedom of Information Requests.

I note from your website that your Gifts and Hospitality Register contains only information for January to June 2015

Could I please be provided with an electronic, up to date, copy of the Commissioners’ Gifts and Hospitality Register

and

I note from your website that the ‘Published Version’ of the Commissioners’ Register of Interests has not been updated since June 2015, nor reviewed since July 2015.

The Commissioners’ Code Of Conduct states that the Commissioners’ Register of Interests should be open to the public and kept up to date.

Could I please be provided with an electronic, up to date, copy of the Commissioners’ Register of Interests?

Well, not surprisingly both requests were ultimately refused, but for slightly different reasons.

With reference to the first one, their refusal stated

ipcc-1

And the second said

ipcc-2

So, it’s good to know that the IPCC adhere to their Commissioners’ Code of Conduct and that their Registers are now up to date and available online.  I truly hope that theu have not had cause to investigate any poor, unfortunate officer for breaching Codes of Conduct between June 2015 and October 2016, that would be a tad naughty wouldn’t it?

This Must NEVER Happen Again, Anywhere

To be honest, it should never have happened once, never mind again.

Police in Gloucester were forced to withdraw from a large-scale brawl at a takeaway because they did not have sufficient officers available to deal with the situation.  I cannot recall a single occasion where this has happened before.

At the risk of stating the obvious this is completely unacceptable.  There are two (at least) important considerations at play here.

Firstly, it is vital that there are sufficient Police Officers available at any time to deal with any spontaneous outbreak of disorder, crimes, terrorist activity etc. As a Member of the Public you are entitled to feel protected against almost any scenario.  Public Safety and the Prevention of Crime are two of the highest priorities for Policing.  If the Police cannot restore Public Tranquility, or worse, have to withdraw without resolving the problem, something has gone seriously wrong.

Secondly, and equally important, there should be sufficient officers available that they can look after and protect each other.  If the officers that turn up at the scene initially are neutralised by suffering violence they might as well never have come in the first place.  The initial officer(s) attending have to assess the situation and be able to call upon the appropriate number of officers to contain the problem, together with other necessary resources e.g. Public Order trained officers, Police Dogs, Police Horses or a Helicopter.

In response to an item in the Mail on Sunday relating to lack of officers on Nights, Chief Constable Simon Cole issued this statement

In response to a Mail on Sunday investigation revealing the number of officers on duty at nights, Chiefs stress that these shifts are considered as part of wider risk assessments, and officers are supported by a range of partners and staff. 
National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead on Local Policing, Chief Constable Simon Cole said:
“Policing is a 24/7 responsibility. The night time economy presents Chief Constables and officers with real challenges policing both large rural areas as well as the thriving and busy environments in towns and cities.
“Police forces make their decisions about night shift staffing in line with dynamic risk assessments which may vary greatly between forces, and sometimes even within a single force. Officers on night shifts are always supported by police community support officers, force staff, special constables, partner agencies and volunteers. They also receive the appropriate equipment and training to ensure that they are not put in a situation without the support that they need.
“In a world where there are 19,000 fewer police officers, all forces have to deal with the realities of their budget when making operational decisions, with the sole intention of allocating officers and staff to most effectively protect the public.”

I can only hope that all of these “Dynamic Risk Assessments” are available and up to date, as I suspect some FOI fans might be asking to see them.

In the good old days we were frequently being told “You don’t get paid for what you do, you get paid for what you might have to do”.  Likewise, sufficient resources should be available 24/7 for what might happen.

This was always more or less the case.  Police got caught out occasionally and had to shout for help from an adjoining Division or by way of Mutual Aid if it was sufficiently serious. One way or another the problem was sorted.

Recently we have had insufficient officers to close down an illegal ‘Rave’ and now, far worse, Police having to withdraw from a large brawl at a takeaway.

It is incumbent upon Force senior management to ensure that sufficient officers are on duty, or available nearby, to reasonably cope with most, if not all, scenarios. It should NOT be a requirement that the number of officers on duty, or available, should fit a particular budget.

If this can’t be done then I would urge very member of the National Police Chiefs Council to bring this to the urgent attention of the Home Secretary.

Alongside this, I would urge every Member of the Public who fears that there are insufficient Police on duty at ANY time of the day, to write to their MP outlining their concerns and asking him/her to raise their concerns with the Home Secretary.

Police and Crime Commissioners everywhere need to sit up and take notice, and work out how they can stop this from ever happening again.

Police Now – What Have We Learnt?

There has been a huge amount of discussion over the last couple of weeks about Police Now, some good, some bad, some supportive, some most definitely not.

I had queries about their ‘charitable’ registration, in particular the references to the Armed Forces, and being for the benefit of ‘Mankind’.  I have received reassurances that these are just generic ‘drop down box’ choices, predermined by the Charity Commission

We have learnt a little more about how the charity is a ‘safe’ option

 

We have been reassured about any possible conflict of interests arising from the appointment of certain trustees

 

On the subject of Police Now Enterprises Ltd, we have learnt a bit, but personally I am far from satisfied.  I do not feel that the existence of this company has been satisfactorily explained in a clear and transparent way.

Detective Chief Inspector David Spencer tried to throw some light on our overall concerns when he wrote a blog in response, which can be read in full here.

However, he says in relation to Police Now Enterprises Ltd,

Police Now has a subsidiary called Police Now Enterprises Ltd that is wholly owned by the Police Now charity. There are no individual shareholders who are able to profit from this subsidiary – the Police Now charity owns this subsidiary in its entirety. This is an entirely not for profit company. One of the reasons that Police Now Enterprises Ltd exists is to enable Police Now to utilise the gift aid provisions.

It is my understanding that to claim Gift Aid on a donation that donation must come from an Individual, who is a taxpayer, and has paid an amount of Income Tax equal to, or greater than, the amount of Gift Aid being claimed.  I can’t see anywhere in the HMRC rules where it says it can be applied to a £5 million government grant.  What are the OTHER reasons for its existence?  I’m genuinely intrigued.

I’m sorry David but I think Police Now has failed on explaining that one, it doesn’t seem to be quite that simple.

I asked Police Now what they were doing for Police Scotland and PSNI.  They did respond.

 

After that @MPalmer3270 started off a quite incredible thread about the Police Now staff

 

Which prompted this from me

 

I certainly did NOT expect the response I got to that.

And then I really became concerned

 

Taken together with an extract taken from a Job Desription for a job currently being advertised at Police Now

What you’ll get from us: 

  • An opportunity to work at a true start up and to make a real impact on the Police Now Programme
  • Be a part of a society-defining organisation and change the way that the most challenged communities across the country interact with the police
  • A great team passionately working to build the next generation of leaders –both in and outside of policing
  • A buzzing office located in Old Street in Central London
  • Salary: Circa £28,000 dependent on experience
  • Police Now’s core benefits package including 27 days holiday per annum and participation in a pension scheme (with employer contributions).

What does that mean?  Does this mean that we have learnt that Police Now actually exist to provide ‘leadership’ skills to people who will ultimately leave the Police Service and go on to take their skills into the Private Sector, or progress to be politicians or Civil Servants, both with skills provided by, and paid for by, Police Now (or, indirectly, by Central Government, that might be a clue).

So, this is what I have learnt about Police Now over the last week.  If you have learnt anything more, please share it with us all in the Comments section below.  I promise I will publish each and every Comment received on this subject in the interests of Balance and Fairness, and, who knows, we might even get a better explanation of the purpose of Police Now Enterprises Ltd.

The Divil Is In The Detail

I have thought long and hard about this one, I know that there are those of you out there who will definitely not agree with me on it, and also, there are those who definitely will. It is a subject that seems to have polarised large sections of the Twatterspere.

Police Now.

There, I said it.

There are so many things about Police Now that bother me, and I don’t even know what order to put them in, so I’ll go for Random.

They are a Registered Charity?  Why? Does this mean that every other Police Training Establishment can register as a Charity? I very much doubt it.

Their registration with the Charity Commission contains some very bold, and to me, bizarre, statements.


Interesting, I thought they only operated in England.  I have asked them what they are doing for PSNI and Police Scotland but as it’s a weekend I haven’t had a reply yet.


Under Classication it mentions Armed Forces.  What on earth are Police Now doing to benefit the Armed Forces and support their status as a charity?

The Beneficiaries of this Charity are The General Public and Mankind.  How crass, glib and arrogant is that statement?  I doubt very much that Billy and Joey living in their South London Council flat will feel any benefits from Police Now.

The Home Office has ‘gifted’ Police Now £5 million in order to fund 250 training places.  My elementary abacus tells me that equates to £20,000 per candidate. £5 million that undoubtedly has its origins in the Top-Sliced Police Budgets.

In 2012 Nottinghamshire Police stated that it cost them £13,000 to recruit and train each Constable.  In this age of Austerity and low inflation and salary increases that figure can’t have increased too much since then. So £20,000 doesn’t really represent  Best Value.

Most charities are exempt from enquiries under the Freedom of Information Act.  Whilst this may not have been a deliberate ploy it doesn’t help to reassure the cynical amongst us. They could embrace the FOIA and answer questions anyway.

One of their original directors appears to have been appointed with about 6 months Police Service, and has now resigned from the board.  What possible skills and exerience of Policing can somebody with so little service bring to the table?  If the skills they bring lie elsewhere then what are they doing in the Police Service? That one has me confused.

Something else that left me confused were TWO entries at Companies House;

Firstly Police Now, he registered charity,

Then we get Police Now Enterprises Ltd, a second and separate company with three directors, who are also directors of Police Now, and one of whom happens to be the Director of HR at the Metropolitan Police Service.  I have absolutely no idea if that is kosher or not, all I know is, in days of old it would not have been appropriate.  Times change, I get that, but it leaves me confused and concerned.

Finally (almost) half a dozen job adverts for positions with Police Now, advertised in LinkedIn.

If you look at the ads, see the Job Description, Person spec etc etc, there is a paragraph hidden away in the Job Descriptions that bothers me.  I have no issue with the salaries offered etc, that is a matter of public record and I don’t need to comment, people can have their own opinions on salaries et al.

More sinister (to me at least) is this paragraph

A great team passionately working to build the next generation of leaders – both in and outside of policing“. What are they saying here?  They are training recruits to be “leaders” who will subsequently leave the Police Family and find recompense elsewhere in the Private Sector?  Is that what they mean?

In the light of that I now have an issue with their logo.  I would love to show you but it’s copyrighted and can’t be reproduced, but what it says is Police Now, and underneath; Influence For Generations.  Hardly that if the recruits/graduates are going to leave after a few years to pastures new.

Or maybe I’ve got it all wrong and someone will point out the errors of my ways.

The Old Black Dog

Some of you may have read this before, some may not. If you have I apologise.

I tell this story not because I want your sympathy, but because I want people to be aware, and the majority of Police Officers will have suffered, or be suffering, but for their own personal reasons will stay quiet.

I was influenced in writing this by a few different conversations I had with various folk over the past few days, and they made me see the problems from a slightly different angle.

Stress, PTSD, Depression.  They come in many forms, for many reasons and affect many people, and it spreads outwards to others like ripples in a pond.

We hear a lot about Mental Health in the Police Service these days.  Some of it good, some of it not so good.  Some used to be good but has now got worse.  The Metropolitan Police had its very own Nursing Home at Hendon with qualified Nurses 24/7, Doctors on call and access to all manner of Consultants, normally at St Thomas’ in London.  I’m reasonably sure that excellent facility has gone.  In fact, I’ve just remembered, there were two, the second being in Denmark Hill, South London, but that one has definitely closed.  I know there is Flint House, but the Met Police Nursing Home was just that, much less of a Rehabilitation Centre.

Returning to the plot,

Way back in 1980 something or other a friend and colleague attempted to take his own life. Unusually the reasons for it had nothing to do with drink or ‘other women’.  He was found in time by his wife, who called an ambulance and he was carted off to hospital.  For some obscure reason he was put in a ward on the 8th floor and attempted to jump out of the window during the night.  The following morning, Saturday, he simply walked out of the hospital wearing nothing but his rather fetching white hospital gown.

The hospital, who had been unable to keep him in, phoned my Police Station to report him as a Missing Person.  As ‘luck’ would have it I was on duty that morning, and I was summoned to see the Duty Inspector. “Shit, what have I done this time?” was all I could think, I wasn’t yet aware of my friend/colleague’s predicament.  

Sitting in the Duty Inspector’s office it soon became apparent that I was not in trouble. This was something much worse. “You’re a friend of Billy [not his real name], he’s walked out of *************** Hospital. Get yourself over there and find out what’s going on.  He’s been recorded as a Missing Person, you’re the only one here who knows him [he worked at a different nick] so I’m allocating the MisPer Enquiry to you”.  Cheers Guv.

To cut a long story short, I went to the hospital and spoke with the nurses, and gained all the background info from the last 24 hours and what had happened.  I was making my way back to the nick when the radio crackled. The station were calling me up to tell me that a train driver had reported seeing a woman’s body on the railway line passing the hospital. *** I thought, but then he did say woman, maybe not.

When I got to the tracks it was immediately obvious that it was not a woman but Billy in his hospital gown, and I didn’t need a doctor to tell me that he was dead. I was then joined by the Section Sergeant and another PC and between us we set about dealing with the grim task ahead of us.  I’ll leave out the gory bits, and next thing I was in the back of an ambulance with what remained of Billy en route to the hospital mortuary.

Hand the body over to the mortuary staff and back to the nick for a cup of strong coffee and try to write this awful mess up.

When I handed my report over to the Duty Inspector he flicked through it and said “OK, see you tomorrow then”.  “Thank You”, “Well Done” or “Can I buy you a pint?” would have been nice, but no, I got the full “See you tomrrow”. 

So I took myself home to a wife who, bless her, said “How’s your day been? Quiet?”

And yes, I went to work the next day.

Then there was the Post Mortem followed some time later by the Coroner’s Inquest with his family there.

I know why he did it, but I’m keeping that to myself.  Suffice to say most people would have regarded his reasons as trivial, but obviously not to him.

I had nightmares for months after, but I don’t get them any more, but I will NEVER forget that awful day.

The point is, just doing my job and dealing with a Missing Person Enquiry ad an effect on me.  Thousands of other officers will have dealt with similar, seen awful sites at Road Traffic Collisions, or even been tasked to a RTC only to find that is a family member involved.  I am far from alone.

These officers will bear the scars.  You cannot see them, but they are there.

Te problem we now face is that the then Home Secretary, Mrs May, set about dismantling the Police Service.  Despite the Tory mantra, crime is NOT down, the number of 999 calls is rising relentlessly and there are fewer and fewer Police Officers to deal with them.  It is the nature of Police Oficers that they don’t like to hand a job back undone, for someone else to deal with.

We are breaking them.

We might not be able to see the injuries, the officer may not have a raging temperature, but many of them are suffering and we have precious little way of knowing how many or who unless they seek help. Some do, and I applaud them.  Some don’t and they survive.  Some just quietly carry the scars, but scarred they most surely are.

In the background the very senior officers seem to do very little to help the situation.  They will sometimes SAY the right things, but what do they actually do?

Invoke the Unsatisfactory Performance Procedure.

Reduce pay, even though it is clearly a problem originating at work.

‘Encourage’ an early return to work.

Welfare visits – yeah, right.

All the while, a Police Officer who is off sick is no use to his nick, and he’s no use to the public.  Do we invest sufficient resources to get them fit and back to work in a timely manner?  I’ll let my colleagues still serving answer that one.

I have every sympathy with them, and I am certainly not advocating that they return to duty before they are in full health, I am advocating that Police and government invest sufficient resources to get them back to work fit and healthy. Mend them, not Bin them.  None of us knows what horrors we will encounter when we leave home for work.  Things such as I have described could happen to any of our Police Officers at any time. I can still picture that day when I allow myself to.

It is entirely possible that somewhere out there is a Force that is really good at it.  Nothing would please me more.  I am informed (if anyone of you is ołd enough to remember) that after the Bradford City FC  Fire in 1985, officers on duty were all offered counselling.  Not my Force so it may not be true, but I really hope that it is.

You, Yes You, The Big Boss

Do you care, do you really care, about the service you provide for the public? Do you?

The only reason I ask is that I saw something that made me wonder.

I saw a Tweet sent by the good Police of Chester showing their Night Duty Briefing.  I don’t suppose for one moment that the ‘tweeter’ meant anything bad by it, I’m sure he or she was just trying to engage with their public and be informative.

The only problem is that crusty old gits like me read Twatter and haunt the interweb and we tend to see things like that and think of them somewhat differently, or is it just me?

There’s something like twice as many empty chairs as there are occupied ones.

It brings me back to something that has been bugging me for a long time, what ratio of Police Officers per thousand head of population does it need to keep the population safe?

It wasn’t just me that was worried either

There was some slight reassurance

But when asked searching questions the account fell silent

But seriously, Chester and its environs has a population of about 80,000.  Chester covers about 180 square miles.

Are 8 officers really sufficient to keep the population safe?

I have nothing against Chester, it’s quite a nice city, although I could do without racedays personally.  It’s simply that it was there waiting to be commented on.  I feel exactly the same about any area where the Police strength has been slashed, so that’s everywhere really I suppose.

Bosses everywhere, I implore you.  I am not anti, I am a retired officer.  It really is time to rise up and oppose the cuts. We can’t do it by ourselves.

Dear Media, Why Do You Hate Us So?

Are you really the right hand men of an incompetent government, intent to bring the Police Service, and others, to their knees? Or is it just that it looks that way?

Newpaper headlines are almost always slanted to make our Police Service look incompetent, violent or corrupt.  Even when the events being reported occur abroad, that fact is omitted from the banner headlines, so that the reader might reasonably assume that was in uk

Shooting of unarmed white man shown in police body camera videoCALIFORNIA

White female police officer charged with manslaughter after shooting unarmed black man Tulsa

Death of unarmed black man Terence Crutcher, shot by police with his hands up, sparks protests and official investigationTulsa

The list goes on.

Even when relaying the news from this country the headlines don’t always describe the reality, or omit an alternative scenario.

Snapchat video captures moment ‘a police officer repeatedly punches a suspect in the head five times’ – when one reads the whole article it is actually mentioned that the suspect was actually biting the officer’s leg and that was why he was being punched.  The article also contained the information that the whole incident had been investigated by the Aforce’s Professional Standards Department who adjuged that the amount of force used was in fact reasonable.  Not the impression given by the banner headline though is it?

Then there’s our old friend corruption. ALL cops are corrupt, didn’t you know?  Well at least that’s what the press would have us believe.

Scotland Yard launches ‘bent cop’ probe after 13 unsolved murder files lost – except that when one reads the whole article it includes this

The Met said they have no evidence the files, all dating back to the 1980s, have been destroyed by corrupt police officers, but added: “This is kept under constant review.”

Not quite such a strong story now is it?  The Met is a HUGE organisation and storage of its paper files must be a total nightmare. It is more probable that they have simply been lost/mislaid/misfiled.

The Met can’t find 13 files, who knows where they are?”  is not such an attention grabbing headline is it?

SOME officers are corrupt, but not very many.  Decent officers won’t and don’t tolerate corruption.  I am absolutely convinced that the Met, along with every other Force, would absolutely love to rid themselves of corrupt officers.  A little thing called EVIDENCE is what keeps getting in the way.  Many Forces have prosecuted and/or sacked corrupt officers when they have the EVIDENCE, but it’s a bit tricky without.

So, members of the press, if you have any EVIDENCE of Police corruption produce it and I’m 100% confident that it will be investigated and the appropriate action taken, if not, please stop labelling cops as Corrupt when you can’t prove it.

It’s no better than me saying that all journos are bunging Police Officers and Prison Officers for information.  I’m sure it goes on but do you ALL do it?  No, probably not.

Stop acting like the government’s paid bullies and try employing more accurate and responsible headlines.

Some while ago I wrote this,  it seems that the Press are playing their part very well.

Reform Is Down, Crime Is Working

Well, honestly, it makes much more sense than the Crime Is Down, Reform Is Working mantra that we’re used to getting rammed down our throats doesn’t it?

On the matter of “REFORM” my view is clear, I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll have to say it again, but ‘Reform’ is simply NOT working, and it is not working on so many levels.

The Oxford Dictionary defines Reform:-

Make changes in (something, especially an institution or practice) in order to improve it.

Please tell me in which areas the Police Service has been improved because I’m struggling to think of one this morning.  Which other Public Service has been improved by Tory Reforms?  Again I’m struggling.  NHS, Fire & Rescue Service, Coastguard, Education, Justice have all been hugely improved by the Tories since 2010.  Armed Forces?  Don’t get me going on that one, suffice to say I don’t believe that successive governments have invested sufficiently in the Armed Forces.

There are some things in life that the government (of any hue) simply has to afford.

For as long as I can remember we have been subjected to politician after politician, PCC after PCC telling us that Crime Is Down.

Is it?

The government’s current favourite, the Crime Survey for England and Wales has this to say about Police Recorded Crime

The police recorded 4.5 million offences in the year ending March 2016, an annual rise of 8%. However, this series is not considered a reliable indicator of trends in crime; most of the latest rise is thought to be due to improved crime recording practices and processes leading to a greater proportion of reports of crime being recorded in the last year than in the previous year.

So, Front Line Police say that Crime Is Up, but we don’t like that so we’ll go with the CSEW version

Latest estimates from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), the best measure of crime trends for the population and offences it covers, showed a 6% fall in the number of incidents against adults for the survey year ending March 2016 (6.3 million, compared with 6.8 million in the previous survey year).

So, let me get this straight, the CSEW figures show that crime is at a level approx 50% higher than Police Recorded Crime but because it shows a small dip, and Police Stats can’t be trusted, the CSEW version suits their soundbites better.

How does “Crime is down but it’s much higher than the Police think it is” sound?

My final Gripe Of The Day is violent crime in London and the Police & Government response to it.

The charts below relate to the last 12 months, see what you think

KNIFE CRIME


GUN CRIME


STOP AND SEARCH


In response to such awful gun and knife crime figures, what do we do?  We reduce Stop and Search by about 70% is what we do.

The blue line looks better, we’ve improved our arrest rate from 8.3% to 19%, well done everyone.  By my lack of a degree reckoning 8.3% of 533 thousand is about 44,000.  Whereas 19% of 160 thousand is about 30,000.  Not looking so impressive now is it?  Contrary to how the chart looks, arrests are actually DOWN by about HALF.

What do the government have to say about that?  Absolutely NOTHING.  They have a vision for how the Police Service should look and what it should do and they’re not going to deviate from that, and heaven forbid that should actually listen to the practitioners.

So, YES, Reform IS Down and Crime IS Working, particularly gun and knife crime.  How on earth can they just sit quietly and ignore all those shattered or damaged lives?

This tweet just about says it all for me