This is the official blog of Sgt Ellie Bloggs, a real live police sergeant on the front line of England. It's not the official opinion of my police force, but all the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't pay my salary.


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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ready, Aim, Detect!

Targets aren't healthy for the police.

You will be pleased to hear that my bosses are finally tackling the scourge of police officers lounging about inside the station. I fully expect to see the problem stamped out within days, as today I received by email news of another TARGET - this time the rather woolly one of "not returning to the station before the end of the shift". A number of new measures have been introduced to encourage Blandmoreans to meet their new target.

These include the ability to close crime investigations by telephone before even leaving the scene of the crime. This is best done out of earshot of the victim who has been left thinking we are about to undertake a full investigation. The idea is that if we know we will never catch the person, why waste time trying?

We have also been given pocket-sized statement forms, "ideal" for use at crime scenes. The advantages here are obvious: rather than having to arrange proper lighting, seating, sobriety and quiet to take a detailed statement from our witness in accordance with proper procedure, we can just scribble down their few drunken words on the bonnet of the police car. The case will be thrown out later for lack of evidence, but at least we won't have wasted time returning to the police station.

In time, we can expect to see the introduction of PDAs and in-car technology to keep layabout coppers out on the street. I am sure there will only be a small rise in the number of complaints of police officers parking up in side-streets to complete work, and likewise a similar rise in the number of police crashes due to the increased mileage they will cover. This will all help to keep the police on their toes.

Of course, none of the new measures will actually tackle the AMOUNT of bureaucracy police officers currently face, but will at least bring it out into the streets where the public can see it. It will also do wonders for the yearly Activity Analysis figures we produce, as any time spent out of the station can rightfully be claimed as "frontline policing".

I am sure, as always with new targets designed to satisfy one or other of the statisticians in the Home Office, we will have the full support of the public.

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17 Comments:

OpenID stanstill said...

So how will you reach your target if you manage to arrest someone?

Will you have to ask them to catch a bus or a taxi back to the station, where a specially trained group of Bongos* will be there to deal with them?

BONGO - Books On, Never Goes Out.

18 December, 2007 00:05

 
Blogger Paradise Driver said...

I can see it now. An officer has a really great shift, every single detection results in an immediate arrest. But since he/she can't return to the station before the end of the shift, a "chain-gang" is formed. Following the officer for the entire shift, either on walking beats or trotting behind the patrol car. At the end of the shift, the officer immediately goes on "overtime" doing all the bookings, maybe finishing before the start of their next shift.

The length of the "bunny-hop" line would be a visual indicator of how effective each officer is.

18 December, 2007 03:26

 
Blogger Mystic Veg said...

Hi, you've been tagged by Mystic Veg. You need to list seven things we don't know about you, then tag five other bloggers.

18 December, 2007 05:09

 
Blogger Busy said...

Best tell Starbucks.

18 December, 2007 09:23

 
Blogger Dad To Be said...

hmm, pocket sized statement pads. We have something like that up here in Bonnie Scotland - they're called notebooks. They don't require recharging, won't short circuit when it rains and don 't break if you drop them/sit on them/kick them etc.

18 December, 2007 09:55

 
Anonymous justacop said...

We are soon to get PDA's, never understood what was wrong with a pen and paper myself but makes a good soudbite for the politicians. If it's anything like the ones we trialled then I have more power in my mobile phone.

Anyway bearing in mind that whats her name, you know, haggard looking, tired woman - ah yes the Home Secretary reckons they have got rid of 9000 forms, shame she was unable to provide a list when asked. It seems that since the CPS came to 'help us' bring more offenders to justice most case files have grown by about 9,000 forms.

Cheers Jacqui, nice one!

18 December, 2007 11:46

 
Anonymous PC Hadenough said...

I don't mind my performance being 'measured'. It's the way I'm measured that matters. As a response officer, assessing my performance on detections is wrong. Assessing me on the number and type of calls I respond to is fine by me. How I deal with those incidents is down to me and my discretion and my decisions should not be based on whether I have met my detection targets for the month.

We really are our worst own enemies most of the time. I have made a decision that I will base all my future actions at work as above and will let you know how I get on. They can stick their detection culture up their ar5e. If we all follow suit what can the gov't or management do? That ladies and gents would be the correct way to 'work to rule' and I suggest would send a very powerful message.

Where is it decreed that we MUST get x number of detections a month. What are the lawful sanctions against me if I don't achieve them? Very little I suggest. Lose my SPP? Miss out on promotion? So what. At least my moral integrity remains intact.

Your thoughts please?

18 December, 2007 12:35

 
Blogger Whichendbites said...

The Target culture that is cascaded down from our political masters is also trendily followed by our chief officer groups.

They are given a list of things to measure so to ensure promotion of the brand, cascade all this targetting and measuring stuff down the line.

If you aspire to move on with your career and seek refuge off the streets, onwards and upwards, then you are controlled by those who pull the strings.

Targets, measurments, statistics.
Surely this must be the way forward.

Solves absolutely bugger all but keeps the management happy. Don't forget that if you don't really see and understand how vital all this you will not see how the counting has somehow saved your arse.

No, I couldn't work that one out either. But then again, I don't see the bigger picture, apparently.

18 December, 2007 13:52

 
Anonymous Stan said...

Hitting Targets and Performance. My Girlfriend keeps going on about them all the time. I wish she would stop as im trying as hard as I can.

Oh I think I just had a flashback... Ignore the last.

Yeah bring back a time when not everything was measured, as im starting to feel inadequate

18 December, 2007 15:32

 
Anonymous justacop said...

Never mind, the Home Secretary appears to have hit her target of upsetting all police officers. It seems that Police Staff are to be awared 2.5% backdated to September 1st. Talk about sucking up to the unions.

http://www.unison.org.uk/news/news_view.asp?did=3914

18 December, 2007 20:08

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the Home Secretary says she has got rid of 9000 forms, she really meant that someone had thrown 9000 pieces of paper in the bin. That's why she couldn't recall which ones they were.

19 December, 2007 09:54

 
Anonymous orsoncart said...

Is it Blandmoreans or Blandmorons?

19 December, 2007 19:20

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

up here in the geordie pie eating paradise..we have one great lady whose idea is to reduce the amount of type written files ( you know using modern things like computers and word processiing)it is soooo unprofessional to present the cps with a readable and well presented file, instead this officers wants to increase the number of typists and tell us to hand write our files instead..dont you just love the ability to re invent the wheel and start back at the bronze age!!!

24 December, 2007 22:02

 
Blogger Howard Wilson said...

You'll always get support from this member of the public

26 December, 2007 04:28

 
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