The Vortex of Nights
It has been a busy time in Blandmore, and shift numbers are diminishing by the day. I can't remember the last day all of my team finished work on time.
The SMT are blissfully unaware that staffing levels are low. Let me clarify: they aren't unaware, and they aren't blissful. But they're not doing anything about it all the same. "There just isn't any more money." This is strictly true. But we can all rest easy that the area commander doesn't sleep well at night worrying about it. I don't sleep well at night either - for some reason my sergeant frowns on it if I sleep in a police car.
There literally is no more money. Especially since the force invested it all in Ice Save.*
Fortunately, there is also no more crime.
Most of us down on front-line response are sympathetic to funding and budget issues. But most of us also suspect there is money, just not being spent how it should. We'd like to see some of the current money being diverted away from crime auditors, analysts, performance data recorders and auditor-auditors (those who check the work of auditors to make sure it's being done properly). We'd like to spend our man-hours on locking up burglars and reassuring residents, rather than on investigating children shooting other children with BB guns and neighbours being racist to people who are just as racist back.
The funny thing is, I think the public would agree with us.
Where, between front-line response and the Chief Constable, is the loose connection? Where is the message getting lost? Before I am sure that, one day, our Chief Constable used to think exactly like us.
'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.