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Sherlock

Where are we heading...

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Sherlock

Over the past few weeks I've been keeping an eye on some of the stories in the media - some of which directly quoted from senior officers. Some of which words misconstrued, but with negative connotation.

 

A selection of which:

 

- Not targeting thieves under £100

- A force telling the public they don't pursue criminals on two wheels (motor cycles, mopeds etc.)

- Private 'police force'

- Private security firms targeting areas of high criminality and consulting with residents on providing local services

- Traffic units depleted

- Paedophiles 'not to be jailed'

- Drug users to get funding from proceeds of crime to feed their habit

 

This is not an exhaustive list and there are several other published stories in the public eye - including officer numbers being dropped which, I'd suggest, is actually breaching confidentiality and police tactics and a security issue.

 

So, what message is this likely sending to criminals? More importantly what is this doing for public confidence in the Police?

 

Where are we heading....

 

 

-Sherlock

Sent from my iPhone using Police Community

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Posh
5 hours ago, Sherlock said:

- Paedophiles 'not to be jailed'

- Drug users to get funding from proceeds of crime to feed their habit

Looking at long term risk and cost, if there's sufficient safeguards and positive evidence to support these methods as a reduction of criminality and educating these people to lead a life that's lawful and outside of the CJS is that such a bad thing?

I see both of these as health issues, harmful addictions that bring misery and pain to others in varying degrees. If we had a proper health based approach where the offender was registered and benefited from a proper 360 diversionary approach we'd not only reduce the harm they cause in the future, but it would certainly be cheaper than the never ending cycle some of these people are trapped in based on poor mental health and poor life decisions they can't escape. 

Imagine the social change we could achieve by legalising the cannabis/low level party drug market and investing all the profits in community based health?

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SD
31 minutes ago, Posh said:

Looking at long term risk and cost, if there's sufficient safeguards and positive evidence to support these methods as a reduction of criminality and educating these people to lead a life that's lawful and outside of the CJS is that such a bad thing?

I see both of these as health issues, harmful addictions that bring misery and pain to others in varying degrees. If we had a proper health based approach where the offender was registered and benefited from a proper 360 diversionary approach we'd not only reduce the harm they cause in the future, but it would certainly be cheaper than the never ending cycle some of these people are trapped in based on poor mental health and poor life decisions they can't escape. 

Imagine the social change we could achieve by legalising the cannabis/low level party drug market and investing all the profits in community based health?

Yeah, because NO2 and Spice caused no issues at all! 

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Posh
1 hour ago, SD said:

Yeah, because NO2 and Spice caused no issues at all! 

This topic isn't about the particulars of legalising drugs, but so we're clear I'd expect a huge range of tests and research prior to any drug being approved for state production in the recreational market. 

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mla

Where are we heading ....

... privatisation. Who says "crime doesn't pay"!

Bit of a change to legislation, TUPE your employment and before you know it, you too work for an outsourcing company!

Don't worry though, as you'll be able to chew the fat with ex-NHS, Prison Service and various other Local and Central Government workers who used to provide their service to the public on behalf of the State but now do it for profit (first) and the public good (second).

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Milankovitch

I really don't think we're heading down the road of full on privitisation of something like policing, there's really sod all profit to be made in a lot of aspects of public service in the first place. I can see provate companies hoovering up the bits where they can make a profit but there are plenty of areas that just wouldn't make any money that they wouldn't touch with a barge pole.

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mla
I really don't think we're heading down the road of full on privitisation of something like policing, there's really sod all profit to be made in a lot of aspects of public service in the first place. I can see provate companies hoovering up the bits where they can make a profit but there are plenty of areas that just wouldn't make any money that they wouldn't touch with a barge pole.


Time will tell, I hope you're right x1000!

But government gives you X to provide the service, you provide it for Y, the difference is net profit or loss. The risk being now on you.

Then go about making efficiency savings, lose some staff, share support services with the rest of the enterprise, etc, and if it goes horribly wrong, the government will bail you out being that it's an essential public service.

Ergo, nothing to lose and based in the banking debacle, even if you're an executive in the business directly culpable for a collapse you're not going to jail nor do you have to give any money back. Heck, I'd invest!!

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MerseyLLB

Really the austerity cuts were a huge opportunity for us to legitimately redraw the boundaries and set sensible parameters for what we would deal with and how.

Some forces have gone further than others but I still think we have not gone far enough.

Mental Health - quite reasonably it could be questioned why police attend the vast majority of mental health concern calls. Where there is a real risk of harm the police will always be in attendance - to 'make safe' the scene. However, that should be where the police job ends. Crisis teams should be going out and seeing people who are in crisis. Not sending the police to spend hours trying to get advice over the phone and then attend A&E with the patient. There are very few mental health patients who want a police officer when they are on crisis - and there are a number who (through no direct fault of the attending officers) have a more traumatic experience due to police involvement.

Sudden death of seriously ill patients on end of life plans - the general guidance states that GPs / out of hours doctors should attend these calls and issue a death certificate. This would provide a better service to the family, cut police demand and also prevent unnecessary coroner actions. 

Social services - we all know the trend of social service departments nationwide of sending police to social services jobs and having police act as proxy social workers commanded by the on duty social worker by telephone.

Low level social media crime - Internet providers are making millions of pounds from their social media platforms and yet police are launching criminal investigations which cost time and money. For low level trolling/abuse the onus should be on such providers to police their platforms and the police should only become involved in more serious offences. 

Harassment - the police have become the architects of their own demise in this area. Since 1997 we have made many people believe that they can dictate on the spot who has the right to contact them and when...with minor transgressions achieving a criminal label of harassment involving lengthy investigation which ultimately ends in no further action. Harassment warnings have been given out like confetti leading to a dilution of their utility and the state.of affairs where people demand a harassment warning be given.

Statutory nuisance/ASB - councils and social landlords have managed to avoid their responsibilities in many areas. Police officers attend these incidents and then pass on the information to these departments, receive the correspondence before passing it back to the person reporting - why do police need to be involved at all?

Petrol driveoffs - there are lots of safeguards the petrol station businesses can put in place to tackle drive offs yet we don't put any onus on them. We conduct police investigations only for petrol stations to decline to assist once they recieve the 20 quid owed from the offender.

Shoplifting - with commerical retailers running their own security, loss prevention and civil recovery schemes we could easily tweak the shoplifting response plans to put more responsibility on private security (this runs in several force areas to good effect). Retail crime packs (proforma witness statements, CCTV production instructions etc) mean that police officers attending have their evidence ready at point of attendance and they can quickly conduct their investigation. The amount of stores reporting very low level shopliftings which take the OIC several weeks to progress due to staff unavailability or CCTV unavailability is leading to huge demand pressures in some areas. I would go further and suggest that in shoplifting cases where the offender is located at scene and the goods recovered in a saleable condition then stores should conduct their civil recovery process and the police should merely record a crime for recording purposes - only becoming involved with prolific/violent/uncooperative offenders in these circumstances.

Appointment systems - many forces have officers bending over backwards attending mulťiple appointments to see victims of crime who fail to keep the appointments and in many cases we can chase people for weeks. In my area alone these diary appointments take up around 1/4 of the response capability on early and late shifts. It's not an efficient way of dealing with low level incidents. The default option could be that persons will attend the police station to report/discuss such low level matters with officer attendance saved for only the more serious/needed incidents. 

RTCs - of course there is a place for police in attending RTCs but the system for recording them is archaic. For low level RTCs why can they not be reported online via a step by step dummy guide completed by the drivers with a freephone helpline for any issues.

Statements - whilst there are circumstances whereby it might be beneficial for police to take a statement, why can purely routine continuity/factual statements not be completed by witnesses themselves? It happens in other legal jurisdictions without huge fanfare. A quick dummies guide attached to an online proforma would do the job quite well for CCTV statements etc.

MisPers/Concerns - just as we have minimum concerns we expect from colleagues...why not from persons reporting? I'd be expecting at minimum that persons reporting would have already made hospital enquiries, visits to known associates addresses and partners addresses before picking up the phone. Probably 1 in 10 of my elderly misperceptions/concerns calls have been successfully completed by me without ever attending an address. It's not uncommon now for adult children to report concern at not hearing from their parent for a few days when they live an hour away and they haven't made the effort to attend the address themselves and use their key!

That's just a snippet of my views on where we should be going, there's a huge discussion to be had.

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Milankovitch
Heck, I'd invest!!


You know what they say about a fool and his money!

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MerseyLLB
13 hours ago, Sceptre said:

@MerseyLLB, bang on the money as ever. Have you looked at this?

Unfortunately my tendencies to be outspoken and generally question things mean I am unlikely to garner much support for such schemes from management!!!

In my current force I already use the 'idea drop' intranet site function regularly to suggest we adopt policies and procedures which are tried and tested in my 2 other forces which made a real positive difference on the front line. 

I find that many of my ideas are met with 'it could never work' or 'not invented here' type attitudes from middle management who comment on the ideas. I have had a number submitted to the Chief Officer Team but ultimately in many cases they then are advised by these same middle management types who say 'no sir, that'd never work here.'

It's the same tired old response I throw out but police reform we have had so far has been disjointed but to use an IT analogy - what we have had over the past 7 years has been a system of upgrades to an outdated system when what we really need is a new operating system.

No idea should be off the table based purely on culture or legislation. The latter two should be flexible to fit new ideas not necessarily the other way. 

 

 

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Posh

Cultural resistance is our biggest and most ingrained affliction it's practically a nurtured instantaneous reaction!

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Cathedral Bobby

A race to the bottom, that's where :o

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Nick Wilde

@MerseyLLBReally good post.  As a matter of interest, have you pushed these views/ideas anywhere other than here and on your force's intranet?

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MerseyLLB
1 hour ago, Nick Wilde said:

@MerseyLLBReally good post.  As a matter of interest, have you pushed these views/ideas anywhere other than here and on your force's intranet?

I've raised them whilst on my soapbox with my direct line management and also raised several with the Command Team on our regular Q&A sessions. Problem is, once you float the idea once...you can't keep bringing it up or you look like a crackpot.

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