This is the official blog of ex-Sgt Ellie Bloggs. I was a real live police constable then sergeant for twelve years, on the real live front line of England. I'm now a real live non-police person. 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 (or didn't) pay my salary.

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Monday, June 30, 2008

Accounts and Accountability

A lot of police blogs talk about Accountability. This phrase is often mis-translated to suggest that we think the public should have a say over how their local police force is run. This - of course - would be a disaster.

In fact, it is widely accepted that Accountability really refers to police chiefs being accountable to the Home Office. The Home Office is run by people who have never been burgled, do not live on streets with the likes of Adam Swellings, and who think groceries cost £20/week. This enables them to be objective about crime and to fully understand the need for "performance analyses" and "strategic priorities".

When I first read that patients are to have a say in how their local NHS services are run, I thought someone had taken Accountability to a ludicrous extreme. Fortunately, I am pleased to discover that patients will come to their conclusion based on a series of indicators decided by the government, thereby keeping the ultimate rating safely in the hands of the people who know best. That way, hospitals based in the most deprived areas, with the worst health records, who are swamped with the sick and injured and who can't afford to pay enough staff to treat them, can get the cut in funding they deserve.

I soon hope to see Mops* able to rate their local police forces based on ratings handed out by the Home Office. If they feel they are getting a poor service, they should soon see a reduction in the funding of the force that has let them down. This will solve the problem overnight, as police forces will soon realise that they should put all their efforts and budget into gaining a good rating according to these guidelines, rather than wasting it all fighting crime.

*Mops = Members of the Public
'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in all good bookstores and online.


Anonymous mac said...

Also, each force has to pay for it's own 'Quality of Service' surveys by using their own staff and own budgets with Home Office auditors making sure the figures can't be fiddled. That way the forces with the biggest problems have to waste what little spare funds they have running endless surveys to show 'improvement' when they could be spending it tackling the things people are concerned about!

30 June, 2008 22:06

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always love it when the Government says people should have more of a say in their local hospitals, police, schools etc.....

For one, these organisations are micro-managed by the Government and end up being unable to do what the public want because they are dictated to by their financial master.

For two - remind me who promised the public a referendum on further EU integration and the Lisbon Treaty?

For three - how many of us voted for Gordon Brown?

30 June, 2008 22:19

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking as a MOP, I want a Police FORCE, not a bloody Police SERVICE. There should be a police minister in cabinet, seperate from the home office, and all the pink fluffy crap should be done away with. Ah well, we can dream...

01 July, 2008 13:06

Anonymous us detective sergeant said...

ACCOUNTABILITY is a two edge sword. Citizens and Police alike should be held accountable for their actions or failure to take appropriate action.

Carrying the badge and gun for 45 years taught me the golden rule of law enforcement. Make a decision and do it. Failing to make a decision is worse than doing nothing. Accountability will most always favor "the decision". Accountability will most always frown on "no decision".

01 July, 2008 22:29

Blogger Whichendbites said...

Sounds like someone is copying the CTC Constabulary and applying for Foundation Status.

01 July, 2008 23:30

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The abbreviation 'MOPS', defined in this posting, is one traditionally reserved for members of Parliament who are undoubtedly more deserving of it.
Thank you,
Citizen Melvin.

01 July, 2008 23:31

Anonymous pcR said...

Why would we want the public to decide how we police? It's just as idiotic as letting the home office decide.
Perhaps the underclass could organise and decide that arresting people for shoplifting and robbery to pay for heroin was not an efficient use of our time.
In fact, only the house bound middle classes with nothing better to do would get involved, and we would end up standing in park of an evening, and when a group of twelve year olds have the temerity to interupt a nearby barbeque by noisily having fun, we can step in and murder them with home office approved machetes.
Frankly, only I should be allowed to decide police priorities. It's the only way......

02 July, 2008 16:04

Blogger uniform said...

Lots of people tell me how to police, I usually:

1. Lock em up

2. Section them

3. Agree with everything they say, and then do the opposite.

4. Get a reg9 notice

5....pick the lottery numbers

02 July, 2008 22:34

Anonymous AnneDroid said...

Another good post.

Lol, uniform, above.

Maybe at the managers' meeting in the jail tomorrow I'll propose that the tabloids can tell us what to do. Or the prisoners, even.

03 July, 2008 08:17

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's difficult to see how the Police can win, whomever you are truly accountable to: social engineering from the Home Office or dog-poo reduction targets from MOPs. Presumably the best PCs ignore both as far as possible.

'Consultation' has also been subtly re-defined. Any controversial proposal now has a Consultation Exercise, which is in reality much like Uniform's option 3.

For the control freaks at the apex of this nonsense there is at least going to be democratic accountability within two years. Whatever her ministerial fortunes before then, Jacqueline Jill 'Jacqui' Smith has a fragile majority as an MP.

O/T Jane Stichbury was on this morning's Today programme. She sounded more like a NewLabour Spokesperson than a CC. Doh, sorry.

03 July, 2008 14:00

Anonymous Dr Melvin T Gray said...

To Uniform:
Posthumous awards for courage are well known but those conferred upon the anonymous are rare indeed. If your brave bunker words reflect a mainstream attitude, your profession may wish to keep its head in the sand until the pages of the most recent report of HMI of Constabulary have gone cold.

03 July, 2008 14:26

Anonymous Dave H. said...

Not that it matters, am previous anon. Don't know what I did wrong.

03 July, 2008 15:19

Blogger blueknight said...

keith hillman
it's a bit of an urban myth that you need planning permission to fly a national flag...
The Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007 SCHEDULE 1
(a) Any country’s national flag;
(b) The flag of the Commonwealth, the European Union or the United Nations;
(c) The flag of any English county;
(d) The flag of any saint.
1. Neither the flag nor the flagstaff may display any advertisement or subject matter additional to the design of the flag.
2. An advertisement within paragraph (d) of this Class may be displayed only in the county with which the saint is associated.

(A regimental flag is not exempted neither is The Jolly Roger)

03 July, 2008 23:41

Blogger blueknight said...

Sorry Bloggs. That last comment was meant for someone else. I must have been thinking about you subconsciously.

04 July, 2008 22:52

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