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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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Ten Thousand Leagues

I was discussing league tables this week. Technically, hospitals and police forces aren't put into league tables. But they are given scores which means anyone with an abacus can work out which hospital/force is bottom/top.

It seems to me that the purpose of a league table is for people to make an informed choice, based on it, which provider to use for whatever service is offered. So with schools, parents can apply to a better one based on the table.

I think it is only fair if the same is applied to hospitals and police forces. On dialling 999, the caller should be immediately asked to name their first three preferences of service provider. No matter that they might have been taken ill in Tunbridge Wells, they should be allowed to demand an ambulance to take them to Barnsley. Likewise a member of public who gets robbed in Slough should have the choice of giving his statement to the police in Lancaster. In this way, under-performing hospitals and forces would soon find little business coming their way, and would therefore be unable to meet any of their targets whatsoever. Which would help.

I know, I know, you're wondering what a brain like mine is doing trapped inside a response officer's body.

Don't worry, I'm sure they'll promote me any day.

'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in all good bookstores and online.


Blogger Paradise Driver said...

But wouldn't the community of occurrence then show lower levels of reported incidents? While the community responding to the complaint would have a higher reported incident rate with less clearance of detected crimes?

The previously sub-par department would suddenly become the shining example of what the nation is striving for.

08 June, 2008 00:59

Anonymous Antipodean said...

You have to question exactly what the purpose of the 'League Table' is.
I assume that a Force can't be relegated for poor performance. I also assume that if you perform poorly, the Home Office doesn't swoop in with extra funding and warm bodies to assist, just to tide you over until you get back on your feet.
I also assume that coming in on top doesn't mean that the Home Office swoops in with extra funding and warm bodies as a heart-felt 'Thank you' for a job well done.
Or you get to have a ticker-tape parade down the High Street.
No, I think the only reason it exists is to keep the various Chief Constables squabbling amongst themselves in internecine battles, instead of banding together to fight the Home Office.
Divide and conquer.
Brilliant strategy, when you think about it.

08 June, 2008 01:19

Anonymous Anonymous said...

League tables is for shifting of populations so that the price of houses be improved.

08 June, 2008 03:12

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are doing better than the other BCU's in our Similar Family of Forces group or whatever they call it. Really? Big Deal. Like the people in Ruralshire care about what the service is like in Blandshire! Pah. Very clever post Bloggs.

08 June, 2008 21:08

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and let me be the first to ask for more information about this Response Officer body you refer to........

08 June, 2008 21:19

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Antipodean asks..

"You have to question exactly what the purpose of the 'League Table' is. "

It is for deciding how much the bosses get in bonuses.

We are going the way of big business - golden handshakes and bonuses for the bosses, action plans and whippings for the troops.

09 June, 2008 06:56

Blogger uncommon said...

Ah: so perhaps the future could be "Jennifer Government"?


09 June, 2008 08:47

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very good following that logic, as a potential victim when I do become one I elect to be one in Hackney. Now I have made that known all I have to do is stay away from Hackney and therefore I should not have to call on the police. I have therefore done my bit to reduce crime and prevent an offender from getting in the s**t! Great eh?
Definitely think this has some serious potential.

10 June, 2008 19:38

Anonymous pcR said...

"Likewise a member of public who gets robbed in Slough should have the choice of giving his statement to the police in Lancaster"
They do, and so we send off a "foreign force request" to take a statement on our behalf.
And occasionally within six weeks we get it back. With some of the points to prove covered and everything.
In the meantime, we have had around six to ten shitagrams from our crime monitoring unit asking what exactly we are doing with our active crime.

10 June, 2008 20:54

Blogger PC Bloggs said...

PCR, are you saying that someone who is robbed in one town (and lives there too) can get another force to deal with the offence?!

10 June, 2008 21:18

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think what he is saying is when the aggrieved lives in another town they get sent home to report the matter.

Six weeks later the force where the crime occured get the statement and paperwork - with, as in any hand over, bits missing.

What this proves is that "National Crime recording" is anything but National.

What about one big crime reporting computer where all the nations crimes are recorded...and when if I again detect crimes in West Yorks, Lancs, Murkeyside and Cheshire I get my "sanctioned detection credits" rather then just for crimes detected by me in my home force.

Might encourage a bit of inter-force co-operation for those "Level 2 NIM criminals".

10 June, 2008 21:52

Blogger uniform said...

well..some years ago a whiley old time served desk PC used to tell Monday morning visitors

"we don't take theft/assault complaints here , you have to go to the central police station"

long walk required + effort = back to house for more white Lightening

bit naughty , but it weeded out the complaints with no real basis in truth, especially of course the "lost me giro/mobile phone" bag of lies, they were just given a random number writen on a bit of paper .

before anyone gets on their high horse , you will have to take my word , he REALLY knew what he was doing , and to whom .

11 June, 2008 08:51

Anonymous bambo said...

Couple years ago, while we were heading back up North following a hectic three day stop-over not far from what’s left of Fleet Street, while the train wheezed and rattled its way laboriously against the tide of newspaper reading tea time commuters, we turned our discussion to centralized crime coordination.

The preface being to have one joined up system with every reported crime, even perceived crime, or demand for Police/Fire/Amb attention (included the concept of separate Motorway Policing) the then new branch of Immigration and the new supersquad the government plaudits described as the English answer to the FBI. The system would have been not on one forces patch, but to evade degradation due to maintenance, attack or incompetence, spread throughout 5 locations in the UK (One offshore) with seamless real time connectivity.

The nice techies from Bracknell and Bampton had been showing us what a Cray could do, though Crays seem to come as an assembly of millions of pieces depending upon what kind of Cray you want to build. One scenario was a child being attacked in Newcastle, matching a speed camera sighting in slough and a ferry booking in Dover being delayed due to a minor shunt on the quay. In seconds the equipment tied them together and could have alerted PC Dockside to make the appropriate stop enquirery. Fundamentally, every crime or demand would be given a time-slice as a reporting number. The system could cope with our modular communications equipment (mobile Phones) and track every registration plate on major roads, and report to any police demand at any time.

While we talked, one of our team commented about the poor room service and we spent the next four or more hours talking about hotels and the mixed up systems we each have in place for travel and accommodation booking. We each resolved to initiate process to make changes to the way we get our travel sorted out. Who books what, how, where and when, and the ability to blacklist hotels that cannot provide fresh towels when you leave used ones on the floor of the bathroom. It seemed important at the time.

Another thought at the time was Body Armour, and should manufacturers be held responsible if a man lost his life due to faulty manufacture. We discussed it for a while during lulls in hotels, towels and shady orange juice (concentrate versus fresh) and elected to worry about it when a member of the public wearing protection killed an officer also wearing protection of lower standard.

Nothing ever came of the super computer as the government of the day was already feeling the pinch over a smaller system being set up badly in the Health Service and now that rail travel has improved tenfold, we no longer worry about centralized travel planning (or as a colleague coined the phrase: Transportationalization) either.

12 June, 2008 17:43

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