There is a report out on our vapid police forces today. I would hope our average cop will not rush to the conclusion I think he or she is vapid. It’s more a lions led by donkeys kind of thing. The best press summary is in the Telegraph at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/7899007/Just-one-in-ten-police-free-to-fight-crime.html and the full report at http://www.audit-commission.gov.uk/nationalstudies/communitysafety/policevfm/Pages/default.aspx
There are two reports actually, one called ‘Valuing the Police’ and the other ‘Sustaining Value for Money …’ – both obviously bullshit positives. 12% of the central police budget is lost because the pathetic chocolate-dipped strawberry eaters running their own shows can’t get together to buy equipment and the rest. A load more is lost by keeping overpaid warranted officers in offices doing clerical work. They can’t organise a piss-up in a brewery, still incapable of making sure officers are available when it’s likely to be busy, and having plenty around in the middle of a quiet Monday night. The reports are tedious reading, full of donkey-management terms like ‘silo’ and no doubt the ‘desiloisation’ favoured by the woman behind the Baby P fiasco. I didn’t bother after a few pages. The story is one of chronic mis-management. They can’t even count beans.
Part of the methodology of these studies is one I have advocated for many years and practised in business. We could call this business process analysis. The best known patent version is Hammer and Champy’s ‘Business Process Re-Engineering’. I mention this only to point out the bullshit is old and as a marker that any fool can get into the jargon, the basic problem with any management analysis. You can get the gist of what was found at the Telegraph. Reading between the lines you will find our police forces being run by vapid jobsworths who can’t even organise buying fleet cars. My Panda car was a Vauxhall Viva and across the county divide they were Ford Escorts – that kind of thing. Later my sergeant and I (we outweighed the Pontypool front row at the time) were expected to travel in a Mini. It is not a new story, but one management has failed to deal with for over 35 years. This suggests very deep wuckfittery is in long-term action. I think it is time we shot some of the Admirals.
The basic idea of business process analysis is to avoid what Hogday calls ‘the long screw-driver’- trying to tune a moving radio on the ground with a long steel instrument suspended from a helicopter. Instead, you get in amongst the action and detail what is being done. This is bloody tedious and not done for fun. The idea is to find out how many processes it takes to get anything done, with the aim of reducing them and costs. A ‘success example’ is reducing an accounting department of 400 down to 4 and a few computers that work. I have no sense of fashion or sartorial elegance and want none. I would thus buy my sweat-shirts by pre-arranged manufacturer in a sweat-shop in Burnley by the dozen at less than the cost of one in a retailer, but at twice the price the retailer pays to salve my conscience about sweat-shop labour. The snag, possibly, being the creation of a redundancy pile of retailers. Techniques involve such matters as Boeing having Internet auctions for tenders to supply their parts.
The idea in policing would be to get officers out and about more visibly, smoting scum and lobbing their unconscious bodies directly into skips for transportation to Devil’s Island, itself a self-administered correction facility.
I was lucky enough a few years back to see what went on in a major criminal enquiry. The officer running it had ideas on using new technology, but court demands for original statements meant everything was in cardboard boxes. He referred to ‘quill and pen judges’. In short, everyone did a great job, but 90% of the effort was wasted.
What’s needed is not police reform – this creates the kind of stupid ‘silo mindset’ the clowns using the term think they can avoid by saying the word over and over. We need complete reform of the legal system.
One thought experiment here is to get yourself locked up for a minor crime and examine the processes as you travel through the disgusting cells, bail and on through several court adjournments and all the applications for legal aid and the costs of lawyers, medical and expert evidence and so on. My ‘guess’ is that we would all find little justice, plenty of crude unfairness, and a money-trail well in excess of 5 times the average wage. From here, we could up to the case of a couple of recidivist scrotes costing the tax-payer £250K in one year. We could also imagine (or do by participant observation) living with such bastards and counting up their actual crimes on a daily basis and wonder what alleged crime statistics are about as we discover they commit hundreds of unrecorded crimes the system has no trace of. This latter might help us understand how a 45% reduction in crime does not translate into what we think or know is going on around us.
Policing itself needs a major adjustment in terms of the response job. It needs to be made into the job cops want to do, not escape from. What could be finer than protecting decent people from scrotes and being able to do it effectively instead of fobbing-off all kinds of victims until they die? There’s a cop on the beat next to ours who is the epitome of what a good officer should be. Our own beat cop is pretty good too. Neither will pass the exams (I wish I could transfer my tickets to them) and both are brighter than most I used to sign degree passes for.
One can’t argue in full without massive time. We clearly need to protect human rights in any changes. But a real examination of the processes will show our ‘tax dollar’ is not only wasted, but goes to help destroy victims and help the perpetrators and an army of professional slime who live far away from the problems.
This morning’s television news has gobbed-up a chief constable who couldn’t admit responsibility for not making the easy management decisions the report outlines and Louise Casey blathering about victims, also unable to admit she has been a complete failure and promulgated loads of glossy Nulabour distraction from the reality of antisocial crime herself. These kind of placepeople will say anything, for any master. No one acts on the basis of integrity and getting back to that would be central to changing the way things get done. Inspector Gadget is already listing forces that are not trashing the Policing Pledge despite the Home Secretary’s instruction. We need to shift the bureaucracies that have formed to deal with Nulabour targets, and the only way is out. The ConDems should resist replacing this kind of managerial garbage; they should destroy it root and branch.
I suspect many who contribute to Gadget and other police blogs could come up with investigation and prosecution processes that would speed convictions and protect anyone falsely accused better than the current system which only ‘works’ on paper. They would also know how to streamline management and regionalise the police forces whilst leaving us with local constabularies. Every chief constable, their SMT and PR-statistical lying department has already failed.