Predictive Policing

Predictive policing made the C4 News today.  The idea presented was about the use of data to improve prevention and detection, though predictive policing also includes such matters as predicting police misconduct.  The above links give the flavour of what it’s about and a summary of a fairly recent symposium can be found at

Like broken windows policing the ideas are complex and likely to suffer simplistic interpretation.  It will be interesting to see the UK roll-out.


How Do We Crack Selfish Indolence?

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) claims to be the major player in global strategic issues.  Students may remember their portfolio management scheme of stars, cash cows, dogs and question marks.  You can get a short paper from them at the link above that summarises the economic stuff going on across the world and may help disabuse thoughts that QE2 is about shipping and so on.  They clearly don’t believe any of the IMF Bankster dross politicians use to pretend they do anything in our interests and there is a clear statement governments are not really facing up to the problem at all.

Most people don’t pay any attention to economics or politics other than to protect their own lives from them.  It’s dull, bent and mostly demeaning because we can do so little about it.  I suspect we vote only to vote out governments that have become regal and smug.  In the meantime all our governments have been in league with massive debt creation involving banks and investment wizards who have sold out our interests to make fast bucks.

The financial crooks tell us they worked hard and deserve their massive bonuses.  This was always a lie – but now they claim it when it must be obvious to all they were always getting it wrong and their performance has been huge negative. We’ve been suckered and are allowing this to continue.

One of the ways we sucker ourselves is to blame welfare scroungers and so on.  I suspect this is really just a case of indulging our own selfish indolence towards politics.  I don’t approve of free-riding but the BCG material clearly demonstrates the big problem free-riders are rich, not poor.

We are tranced by gossip and have almost no ability t do the hard yards of argument.  We let all kinds of bad practices, from arse-licking at work for promotions not needed in already stuffed hierarchies to feckless policing of riff-raff form the basis of our day to day. We look after our own and in the meantime ‘we’ have mounted massive debts and let a bunch of spivs run off with out harvests year on year.  Some of still believe they keep the Jabberwock away!  We’ve been sold out to a foreign power as surely as any of the Soviet spies managed.  If you can cope,read up – I know most of you can’t face the music, wake up and smell the coffee – but some of us have to try and save freedom.

I believe the rich have prevented:

1. a world without war

2. working conditions that would equate to 6 months a year at work

3. a fairly crime free society

4.advanced leisure and health facilities

5.meaningful education for all

6. eradication of material poverty

7. sensible global population control

8. self-sustaining economic practices

I’d contend we could have had this now if it wasn’t for the rich – not in the future.  If you could read the BCG report you’d see they not only intend debt peonage for us through stealing our past opportunities, but through stealing from our futures to continue their infamy.  I suspect street revolution is closer to us than the Middle East.  ‘Intefresting times’ for cops ahead!

Cops, of course, tend to this selfish indolence towards economics and politics more than most.  That BCG and other generally right-wing ‘we’re only in it for the money’ organisations police usually protect as the status quo are admitting what the “anarchist left” has been posturing for over a century and sounds like the old religious argument ‘property is theft’ (did Christ own the clothes he wore etc?).  We are close to being back to the General Strike with cops strung out on the ‘wrong side’ of the lines.

A police commissioner can now ‘earn’ more in a couple of years than a lifetime of minimum wage toil.  This is worse than a farce.  The BCG story is one of debt peonage for most to a system that allows this kind of madness.  I think of it as the San Paulo variation in which people accumulating wealth end up in walled cities, the rest in shanty towns.  Not one of these ‘men of honour/ladies of virtue’ have the morality necessary to recognise they aren’t in place and receiving this loot other than through merit.  What we currently have is one farce justified by another – of course Peter Fahey is worth more than Wayne Rooney in turn worth more than some thieving politician like Blair or all the banksters put together. This just elides none of them being worth more than a woman pushing a tea-trolley in any monetary multiple of more than five.  This is not just about ‘equality’ but rather returning to wages and away from debt (if you can’t see why then you lack education).  Easily accumulated wealth a money rather than social capital leads to serfdom, whether to a dictatorship or rich elite.

We have know for a long time now that embodied knowledge cuts the amount of human work necessary across agriculture and manufacturing – that is that nearly all traditional forms of work require less workers.  A modern 500 man fighting unit could take on an old Division of 7000 from WW2. What’s coming if we don’t start to get accountable governments is mass unemployment and poverty.  When this hits the middle class as it did in the Middle East we will hopefully hit the streets.  If we weren’t selfish and ignorant this wouldn’t be necessary.

Many unnecessary jobs have been created to stave off mass unemployment, along with a whole army of tax credit part-timers.  The economy is screwed and has been for two decades across the world.  Labour would cut £3K of student fees.  This is school politics.  The Tories believe (apparently) that deficit cutting is a good idea just as depression hits and debt swell as a percentage of GDP (logic failure).  Clegg and his bum boys are worse.  Labour produced Blair, a CIA bag man now placed in the related bankster union.  All we can know is they will say anything and are useless, more than usually self-interested turds.  We can’t even know whether Blair was already working for the ‘CIA-JP Morgan’ axis of evil whilst pretending to be our PM (or that Churchill was not a similar OSS-JP Morgan’ bad man).  We are more likely to do ‘conspiracy’ on anal probing aliens than on the propaganda fed us.

I shouldn’t care much on any of this – my flat in Portugal will be all the cheaper, my sterling pension likely to go further.  I care because we have let ourselves down so badly and been conned.  Did anyone else notice our looters often looked like people taking revenge?

Face Of The End Of Policing As We’ve Known It?

Tom Winsor

This man will not be popular with police officers seeing numbers and resources cut.  The ‘plan’ is clearly to go further.  He has noted that all police pay contains an element of anti-social hours pay while most don’t work them.  I’ve long thought this pay should only go to those working the hours and in greater amounts.  This won’t happen – they’ll just chew out money from those not working the hours.

He’s against of officer class – yet we have ACPO?  He thinks vital lessons are learned as constable and sergeant, so there should be no direct officer entry.  Why not make the same true of the Army then?  Police have a meritocracy?  Not one I’ve noticed.  I’d say we need to recruit and keep good coppers close to the ground, not Peter-Principle them to bureaucratic office-incompetence.

Many jobs that people should hold a warrant card to do (in the sense of the discipline code) have little to do with Response jobs and there could clearly be direct entry to them.  It’s hard to see the ‘bouncers with warrant cards’ on booze-strip patrol needing to be other than part-time and with limited training either.

The complaints that evidence is ‘illiterate’ is bunkum – do we want our cops honest or like lawyers?  Does anyone know the relationship between honesty and skill with words?  Yet one could believe a decline in standards over 60 years because there has been a decline in the standards of our qualifications.  Modern graduates are hardly literate.

The full report is due in January next year.  The chance for meaningful reform will be lost – policing needs reshaping to modern democratic conditions and the basic uniform job needs to be one sought after, not one to escape from.  Much of the rest of police work, given so many end up not on the streets should be directly recruitable – it’s essentially bureaucratic, may require special technical skills not available in the uniform section, and right of passage into it from ‘plodding’ (the hardest jobs cops do) may simply leach the skills needed from this pool.  I’d contend this leaching has gone on to the detriment of coppering for 60 years,

I’d like to see coppering a twenty-year period with regulars supported by part-timers, and seen as the core activity.  Drawing all police jobs from this basic pool that is required to be fit and able bodied is to discriminate against the disabled – and worse against the wider pool of skills in the broad population.

This report, from the pinch-faced weasel, will just be about further cuts, with a little icing.  I’d guess we are paying many of our cops too much, and that this isn’t going to the ones doing the real work.  In the current economy, about to get much worse, we could probably cut salaries by 40% and still maintain the force – I say this because economics is shafted and we are back in 1920 when worse happened.  The chickens are coming home to roost.

Do we rally need to give career opportunities to the uniform preening ass-holes eating chocolate-dipped strawberries and sipping champagne at ACPO conferences – or get a service running with some solid, honest lads and lasses competent in what is actually (like most others) a limited job that demands character rather than skill in weasel words and arse-licking?  He ain’t asked these questions, isn’t Mr Weasel.

Cops I’ve taught as mature students hardly match the ‘think’ image associated with this reporting and when did we start thinking being good with paperwork such an important thing anyway?  It would be the last thing I looked for in a good copper.

Thoughts on the loss of police numbers

I always wonder what waste is – at least in terms of company and national financing.  My diabetic foot and retinal screening were combined today – mutually good for me and the NHS.  Killing me off would be a greater saving, but we don’t go there,  If we think about making 30,000 or so police officers and staff redundant we may feel there will be a benefit in paying less for policing.  The claim any of this can be done simply by cutting numbers from ‘admin’ is proven false over and again in research – there has to be a ‘re-engineering’ and we seem short of information on what this is to be, so I suspect ‘suck it and see’.

What we also hear nothing about in respect of police numbers is what will happen to those who lose their jobs and those who would have entered the work had the chance been there.  There is plenty we could look at.  What do miners, shipyard, mill machinists and steel workers and those who once would have been do now?  There are at least 7.6 million of working age not working.  Wales, NI, and the North generally still have high rates of unemployment and high rates of public employment.  There was no private sector cavalry.  There is a lot of evidence that investment fled abroad and that a housing bubble kept us afloat on debt spending, public and private.  I believe this was an intentional gerrymandering of our demographic, along with immigration.

Police officers and staff are likely to have transferable skills and the ones I taught in HE were ahead of the pack if not generally outstanding.  I think most will fare well – but this isn’t the end of the matter as they displace others who won’t get jobs.  In research done in the US, 3 million jobs that could have been kept if workers had more power would still be there if it had not become so easy for employers to control costs through sacking workers and exporting work.  My rule of thumb estimate of the same in the UK is proportionately higher at over 1 million.

People in the now high unemployment blackspots were not notoriously lazy before the unemployment came.  I’ve worked all over the world, but seen no opportunities for general employees and its hard to move even in this country for those without skills in demand = employers were once prepared to fund the movement of employees.  Police and public sector workers put out of work are likely to displace others rather than end up on the scrap heap, but I think they will be surprised at what’s (not) on offer in northern and Welsh job centres when they first look.

It makes no sense to lose the resource that the officers and staff represent, but of course economics makes no sense and probably isn’t meant to.  These cruel to be kind austerity tricks are just cruel tricks.  The money to invest in our own people is still there – and probably off to a dirty deal in Chinese ‘high yield’ bonds as I write – a repeat by the banksters of their previous securitized fraud that leaves favoured few with the good stuff and us lumbered with the toxic.  Now there’s something that should gainfully employ 30,000 police officers and staff!  They don’t put it to us in such terms now do they?  The Chinese bonds are a way of selling us out from under, and yet issued on the basis of “capital” no country ever issues.  It’s stuff like this that creates the need to slash our public services.

There are times when our normal industries have to give up labour – war times.  Productivity increases is another – but why have we found so satisfactory way to redeploy ourselves, even if only to leisure?  And it’s much worse if we look to Chinese working conditions.  Work is not a blessing – that’s what earnings are.  We should be on a four day week by now and employing more people to do what needs doing.  And it should be around rules like this that the world competes.  For the last 30 years there have been enough people unemployed to double some public services, including policing.  The question should be why we can’t do this and continue to believe in a system that makes a few so rich they are the de facto government.

I often despair at the workings of our public sector and we might consider private sector additions to it. If management is as creative as it claims when setting its own pay, it should be able to sort things out.  The current situation is immoral and based on feudal notions of labour. Every job I’ve had in this country since 1980 has been subject to down-sizing and the rotten feelings this brings,  Down-sizing became right-sizing and is now all to do with accounting that rivals that of the Enclosures.  Wages would have risen substantially in line with productivity since 1982 if they were linked to it.  The truth is the opposite.  Those police left in post can expect to work harder for less.

Police Pay in the Light of Rioting

There is no special attack on police pay.  Wages have been shafted for everyone else other than an elite for more than 30 years.  This is clear in GDP figures.  The rich and well-paid have been getting vastly better off as the rest of us have had our wages cut in real terms.  Police and public sector pay and conditions fared better than the private sector.  The police and public sector did not stand up and be counted when this started and, indeed, police enforced much of the deterioration in the Miner’s Strike and other attempts to prevent the collapse of manufacturing.  We should note that the anti-union propaganda and similar are never aimed at those groups in our society using ‘guild’ techniques to maintain their earnings like lawyers (including judges), accountants, bankers and the rich.  The idea that we have a “meritocracy” is farcical – tossers like Blair used to go around quoting books with the term in the title that were highly critical of the notion as though they were arguments for it.

Cops are not generally well qualified, trained or skilled and the work could be done by any reasonably fit people.  In the past police wages were severely cut in times like this and the blue line still did what it was told.  There is no special case now and to make one is only likely to further inflame those who are really suffering poverty thanks to the rich and their toady-politicians.  None of this is to say .I don’t think cops should be paid less than lawyers, judges and bankers – I value police more than these parasites.

The reason there is no money is that the rich have had it – through investing abroad to take advantage of near slave conditions of employment and tax evasion (it is evasion because they use threats to leave with all their money to prevent fair rates).  The only investment in anything real (almost) has been through the public sector or highly subsidised by our taxes – the rich have formed a vast Ponzi scheme to get unrealistic rates of return and have stolen vast sums we needed to invest in meaningful jobs.

Most have not understood the extent and nature of the criminality of the rich – which is as bad as any of the evil poor’s doings – worse when land grabs involve forced evictions and killings.  If the reality sinks in, our police are going to be a thin line between a vengeful poor and their masters.  This is likely to be done by decimated ranks that will be protecting the bankster-terrorists and their smug political lackeys.  They are likely to find themselves between ‘white racists’, ‘disaffected immigrants’ and other factions – and with no political solutions offered because we have no real politics.

We are so dumb as a populace we haven’t spotted that the rich have been keeping more and more of the world’s wealth as debt and deficits rise – this is almost like your neighbour always having potatoes just after your crop has been raided and not making the connection.

There’s some chance this government may re-think on police numbers and pay.  As Gadget points out the amounts involved are nothing in comparison with banking thefts.  No doubt this would be a red rag to the rest of the public sector bull – but the Tories might risk it under some crime and disorder propaganda.  Policing as we’ve known it in the UK would disappear, and cops turn to a semi-military militia.

I won’t be here, having decided to up sticks long ago.  The IPCC make a statement later tonight.  I expect bullshit – hard to imagine what they could say now they couldn’t have managed yesterday when whatever they didn’t do played some role in making people angry and setting off the angry.

They Are Feeding Us Lies On Police Corruption

Two police worthies are promising to chase police malpractice to the ends of the earth.  Orde and Stephenson should be sacked immediately for trying this one on!

“Police recorded crime and detections have been wickedly and deliberately manipulated for many years, resulting in millions being paid in performance bonuses to Chief Officers, gross misallocation and direction of fiscal and operational resources and perhaps the worst crime of all, the scurrilous conspiratorial deception of the tax paying public, perpetrated by Chief Officers and previous Home Office ministers that crime fell and detections rose dramatically under their watch.” from thinblueline.

We don’t see any ‘Untouchables-style’ attitudes towards policing in the UK (though in reality Eliot Ness wrote his own myth).  Policing and our wider CJS are corrupt in ways that many of the people working in them can’t see.  The very people making these ‘moral high ground’ statements should be culpable (I don’t mean these two specifically).

What we have is increasing anti-social crime from evil poor sprogs driving disabled people to their deaths to bankers carving us all up.  There is no decrease in crime.  The serious miscarriages going on look as bad as ever, as does the whole structure of police complaints.

We need a great deal off the backs of our cops – not least the management burden and managers who seek to cover up even when there is clear evidence.  There are ways forward, but the current culture allows no change and hasn’t learned any of the real lessons under its rhetoric of the same.

I can find no reports on any of the areas where police have claimed to ‘learn lessons’ or any useful statistics that give us a proper idea of what they are doing and for whom.

I’d like to see much of the involvement of lawyers and courts stripped away from summary offences and replaced by much quicker processes and new forms of case presentation and investigation.  I doubt that civil rights considerations are a block to this, just current vested interests and problems in trusting prosecutions.

Deep lying in the problem is the system of ‘credibility’ we are stuck with in general argument and the courts.  There is no consistency in this and it flies in the face of scientific findings.  The real arguments are quickly lost in a variety of posturing as people take offence.

The Soviet system was notoriously corrupt and there are many similarities in what has been going on here.  Performance management has become a dramaturgical performance and much like banking the actors are allowed to ‘mark to model’ (targets) and not to reality.  One might compare the money we’ve had to find to bail out the banks with the ‘off-balance-sheet’ of anti-social crime in police statistics, and police gaming with bent bank and company accounting.

In Support of Strike Action?

We are probably seeing only the start of public sector protests today.  Strikes are generally not much use, and the back of supposed union power has been broken everywhere other than the public sector.  The arguments we hear in the media will all be nonsense and biased and factional.

The key underlying factor is that wages are no longer fair anywhere and massive inflation is in the system.  Housing is unaffordable and about to become even more so as interest rates go up.  Food is going through the roof, as are energy prices and something none of us seem to understand lurking in the system – this is the ‘debt problem’ and the ‘demographic time bomb’.

The ‘debt issue’ is not being presented properly.  This has arisen through collusion between governments and banks to create a false economy in which money was supposed to make money.  In fact this is no more than the creation of a parasite financial services sector and a wider form of professional leeching and organised criminality.  The underlying story is one of the Emperor’s New Clothes and a massive Ponzi scheme – so much of a ‘Baldrick cunning plan’ that many didn’t spot that Sooty’s Magic Wand has replaced real accounting.  The story of the pig in a poke is involved with losses hidden in the same sacks as profit.

The essential problem is we have no way of addressing any of this in available forms of public dialogue other than blogging – and this remains largely disempowered.  Talk on the economy is constrained by metaphors that link to our experience of household budgeting.  The idea in most prominence is that we can somehow recover by tightening belts and waiting for the private sector cavalry.  This is so dumb.

Soon, I guess, our cops are going to be pitted against rioters.  If we took the cost cutting seriously, then our officers would also be exposed to global matters as surely as manufacturing workers and unskilled labour.  Cops would be imported as surely as plumbers, waiters and so on and paid these ‘immigrant rates’.  This is clear nonsense, yet is also clear in the government line in general on cuts and the snide way public sector workers are being vilified as a ‘burden’ on the rest of us.

While the farce plays itself either out or to Greek crescendo, the rich get richer.  One suggestion made today is to cut the EU – (calm down Dickiebo!) – and the argument is very attractive.  Thanks to the ludicrous Human Rights Act we can’t evict lousy, tribal criminals and see our soldiers unable to claim compensation for being sent into dud wars with inadequate equipment.  Who would miss the droves of highly paid lawyers and others giving us this pseudo-legislation.  Why not just cut this crap out for 3, 5 or 10 years?  Personally, I’d like to see these duckeggs get gaol time, but it isn’t the answer.

Remember the ‘three-day week’?  We lost only about 4% of production.  The problem is we use jobs to spread resources around and they are associated with power and influence.  Most jobs are not connected with real production of anything.  In the Middle East and Greece, public sector jobs are doled out in a ‘wasta’ system – and who can say the same does not happen here when you look at QUANGOs and characters like Louise Casey?  Japan was once heralded here as the kind of super-efficient model to follow.  I was sent to discover their secrets – and found a dire, hidebound system of bureaucracy, notably in banks and big companies.

I teach many methods of productivity improvement, but all of these rely on a massive fiction – that we can achieve the gains other than in the company restructuring.  You can see this when you consider agriculture – it’s 4% of world GDP.  In fact agriculture and manufacturing have a burden of three times their GDP in “services” and “government”.  It is only by not having this burden on their balance sheets that allows anyone to trade real things.  If the better ways of doing such real work translated into more people being available for more real work we would have a different world – but there is no evidence this is what happens.

Half the UK population own less than 5% of the stuff we can put monetary value on – this is standard material in Human Geography (e.g. Danny Dorling).  Get any notion of this from BBC coverage?  This hardly suggests a fair return for the hard day’s work.  And this situation has been getting worse.  Massive increases in productivity have only led to falling wages and the rich taking more of the cake.

Our wages in the public sector are paid in relation to the job market.  A cop’s or teacher’s wage is linked to what they could otherwise get washing-up or fobbing some punter off in a customer service function or digging turf, minding a lathe and so on.  There are currently no real jobs to change to and we are all leveling down to whatever a transported Chinese peasant can ‘command’.  If we applied real efficiency in the public sector, we could reduce it by over 50%.

The real issue concerns how we should be investing resources and how we make money do the investment we want.  This is almost totally out of control and the ‘banks’ have failed as surely as the Soviet Politburo.  For banks we could substitute ‘rich’. The subsidies are not to public sector pensions.

The strikes are really about the abuse of power and lack of any sensible public dialogue that always hides the ‘rich problem’ – just look at the highly paid media tossers putting questions to people aid much less than them as though they are the ‘drain’ with no consideration of their own situation.

The answer is not some dire Communist Paradise but a new view on competition.  The model (creaky though it is) to follow is competition that encourages competition along the lines of rugby league.  It needs to be global and needs salary caps and transparency.  I don’t propose this as a solution but as a simple question on why we are allowing such a massively unfair situation to continue.

Greeks are already trashing their own town centres and it’s likely our current strikes will descend to brutal disorder as the poor find it difficult to get food, stay warm and so on.  The answer to our problems is work, but we seem to have no resources to build homes people can afford to live in, tap energy sources under our feet and around our coast, grow our own, produce our own entertainment – this is clearly rubbish as the real resources needed concern our commitment and work.

The strikes evade the real questions, but show that we do not have means to negotiate properly.  What are our teachers doing teaching if they are so ‘stupid’? Our cops don’t like the cuts and like everyone else see themselves as somehow ‘deserving’.  The good news for them is the Government is going to need them and will make them a special case.  The morality of this is dire, but what’s new in this.

My own view is that the crash and the killing fields are coming.  I don’t think this on the basis of inevitable economics, but on the general levels of ignorance on what is really going on.  The strikes are on because there is no fair public dialogue – but this itself hides the real issues.

Government is involved in all kinds of blunder.  We are importing crime, failing to impose the same law and conditions in migrant communities of all kinds, can’t treat our soldiers properly, waste vast amounts of money and all kinds of stuff the ‘right’ hate – but we aren’t looking at the ultimate problem of political relationships with the rich and banks and seeing this as the actual governance that is letting us down (I suspect fearing the only alternative is even bigger government).  Democracy has died and we haven’t spotted it.

Strikes are obviously irrational – not least because strikers never get their money back.  I prefer this irrationality to belief that the rich are necessary and good for us.  As for the teachers, they must know this is a token strike and that if they are to be effective they will have to really hurt parents after the summer break to change any of this idiot government of the rich, for the rich.  They will realise they are fighting our battle long before that and give in.  Poetic justice in some senses – they have failed to teach what matters for over 30 years!  The last hope is that it has sunk into our collective unconscious.

If we have seen massive productivity rises (and they are huge), shouldn’t we expect to be able to work proportionately less – this equation should mean earlier retirements even given longer lifespans.  Agricultural and manufacturing has achieved massive productivity increase – we have clearly wasted this on “services” and counter-productive accumulations in few hands.  We should be taking on the ‘power’ responsible for this – but we clearly have no democratic means.  It’s an old story and previous versions end in war.

There’s a parallel between the lies of official police statistics – with ‘crime’ allegedly contained and on the way down – the truth being massive increases in anti-social behaviour and crime in areas not recorded – and ‘the economy’ – both using similar accounting techniques similar to those in banks – hiding losses behind a dam about to break.

Twice as many cops with much better equipment and vastly more civilian support seem to be doing less well than those in the much smaller force in which people like me, Hogday and Dickiebo served along with an array of decent people and blundering buffoons,  It could be that we were drawn from a better pool and worked in a cleaner ocean.  Yet the average cop is now better ejukated than our peers and when I meet them seem not much other than chips off the same block and mostly decent souls.

What I suspect is that not much has changed and this is the problem.  We lied about crime rates, detection rates and exposed officers to hopeless situations without the right laws and equipment then and it continues now.  Many of the problem people we dealt with are the same now – what’s changed is there is no economy to suck them away from crime – and particularly no factories or easy places to find work lifting things or digging holes at a rate of pay well above benefit levels.

IQ has perhaps budged up a fraction, but the intelligence pool has not, despite all the qualifications people think they have ‘earned’.  A degree is worth about 2 ‘O’ levels in old currency – tell me what the ‘efficiency gain’ is here!  Ejukation has replaced the old training grounds in big and small companies, the merchant marine and the armed services.  It does none of the old job for people who don’t ‘get’ school.  GCSEs look remarkably similar to CSEs, the old qualification for kids who couldn’t hack school.  Many of the eastern Europeans who nipped over to ‘take our jobs’ were educated in the old Soviet system.

The pit and factory were almost certainly better alternatives than yet more pointless school for those not suited to school ejukation than further incarceration as bricks in the wall and we should have done much more to ensure well paid jobs at the bottom.  Instead, we have failed totally to protect this group of people and pretended they could be educated.  In my view this is an example of the intense cruelty forced on this group who have also been the biggest victims of immigration.

There were no strikes in the USSR (there were really), and though we had adverts from Japan about imagining factories that had never had strikes they didn’t tell us these had been brutally suppressed by US Armed Forces.  The Germans do much better than we do, but we pay no attention to what is different in their system.  It’s better, more democratic and more successful – not bad for a bunch of failed nazis.

I support the strikes on the basis they show just how backward, undemocratic and stuck in the same mud we are.  I suspect we haven’t realised we lost two wars to the USA and are mimicking what we see as their success instead or working out how well we were doing before their ‘help’.  HRM coming from the States these days is fascist.  We should throw in with the Germans and start selling them comedy!

Removing clown red-tape in the police

One has to welcome Home Office prognostications on saving police man hours through such “new” devices as charging people through the post.  Sadly, all this could have been done by proceeding by summons except in special circumstances, as was once the recommendation.  Sick of the injustice of having to arrest pensioners who had nicked food – meaning a court appearance – I asked if we could write them up by summons which gave the chance of a caution.  This was adopted in my force, but soon swept away – these were the amalgamation days.

We need new forms of summary justice.  Copperfield has outlined the Canadian system.  The issues are deeper than form-filling.  Gadget has revealed that much cancelled drivel was merely re-badged locally.  One can only expect other procedures to be put in place – if only that this kind of paper-work is how the chiefs protect themselves.   They like being able to say they have procedures in place.

The culture that developed the ‘Spanish practices’ is still in place and nothing seems to being done to change that.  The gaming with crime statistics continues, and what should be simple investigations into matters like ‘Harwood’ and others burgeon into extended cover-ups that bury the evidence in time.  There seems little address of the massive problems in case presentation involving police, prosecution and the courts.  I have yet to see one example of follow-through on the cock-ups where the ‘we are learning the lessons’ is claimed – not a single example of how victims’ issues have really been taken on board and satisfactorily addressed, leading to the eradication of the problems.  The same problems regularly occur again and again along with the same inabilities to deal with them.

Policing Beyond The Fairies

I stray over to The Thinking Policeman when he posts.  I’m usually late.  He posted a very interesting piece on ‘back room talk’ – readers of Goffman would be very familiar with the general gist.  Different stories being told by the same people in different contexts.  Most of us are at least aware of ‘talking behind people’s backs’, though many, despite  being active participants, don’t understand this is what we do as a rule.  Thinking describes goings on in an SMT situation I have been familiar with across organisations and the theories we use in trying to make sense of them.  The classic in my area is the difference between ‘espoused theories’ and ‘theories-in-use’ in the work of Argyris and Schon.  The chief constable ‘espouses’ by re-hashing ConDoomed rhetoric in terms of his force, and Thinking ‘wonders’ what any of it will mean in practice, generally aware this will not be the same thing.  The metaphors used are superb.

I’m busy doing other things at the moment, but would like to write a book that uses policing as a grand metaphor for what is going wrong in our society.  I generally want to support policing, and believe a good and honest police force may have a lot more to do with economic success and well-being than much written about in economics – though a strong common law is considered a vital part of any country’s ‘success’ in economics.  My current guess is that our cops are as out of control as the rest of our institutions, including the private sector.  I believe we can say ‘bureaucracy’ is the biggest culprit, but this is glib and more or less useless.  Most of us do not spend much time doing what is needed or worthwhile.  One could call this the Pareto Principle, but again what’s the point?  What we need is not labels, but ways to change.

My broad thesis for a long time has been, if you like, that ‘incompetence rules’.  The only way to deal with incompetence, personal or organisational, begins in being able to recognise and admit it.  These are skills we generally don’t have.  It may be so bad, that we only start to get to grips with incompetence in war, when we realise our lions are led by donkeys.  If I’m right, we need to look at our society in a very different way, including such matters as what our current education, recruitment, selection and training processes are really achieving.  Many of our ‘answers’ may be major parts of the problem.