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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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Alexander's Ragtime

Blandshire Constabulary is slowly unveiling its plans for the new tax year.  Half a dozen Chief Superintendents and Superintendents will lose their jobs, even more Chief Inspectors, and the prospects for promotion to Inspector are bleak for 2-3 years.  Of course, all those who lose their jobs in the restructure will get new jobs, in the same rank and on the same pay, within the new improved Constabulary.  But we're all assured that despite this, a lot of money will be saved.  Honest.

Here are some of the main ways that money will/might be saved in the new era:
  1. Implementing a one-size-fits-all shift pattern across Blandshire's regions: response and neighbourhood teams will work the same hours whether they work in rural North Blandshire, or the heart of Blandmore town with its humming night-time economy. Much less paperwork for the duty planner, you see.
  2. Making inspectors responsible for twice as many teams, and ensuring they never work alongside the staff they are managing.  Sickness and complaints should plummet, because no one will know who to report them to.
  3. Combining all kinds of local services and delivering them "from" Headquarters.  The staff allocated to the departments won't change, nor will their pay or conditions, or the remit of the work they do.  But it will save loads nonetheless.
  4. Freezing recruitment until staffing levels have fallen to dangerous levels, like they did 2-3 years ago.  It saves a fortune, which can be spent on the  massive overtime bill for the staff you've still got.
  5. Stop spending money on absolutely everything: if officers have to fill in a budget request to their second line managers to order a new biro, they'll probably start buying them with their own money.  This policy can then be extended to headlight bulbs, replacement uniform, food for police dogs and perhaps, one day, police cars.
 Of course, residents of Blandshire should not panic that front-line services will be reduced.  Even as we speak members of the Chief Constable's Management Team are working hard overhauling policies that are fine how they are, introducing new tiers of risk assessments in areas that are already risk-assessed to death, and holding training days for hundreds of officers as advised by our valued partner agencies.
Come 1st April, the deckchairs will levitate and slowly come to rest in new positions.  And the Titanic will soldier on towards that iceberg, those of us down in third class oblivious to everything other than our impending doom.

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

13 Comments:

Anonymous A Polis Man said...

Not playing the first game just listening to the nice string quartet music whilst is gets warm in this part of italy !!!

02 February, 2011 20:58

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe blandshire could share services with neighborouring forces to save money. The lack of a helicopter or firearms or dogs for each force is irrelevant. The money saved outweighs the danger or detection opportunities.

03 February, 2011 01:46

 
OpenID inspectorgadget said...

Making inspectors responsible for twice as many teams, and ensuring they never work alongside the staff they are managing.

We have been doing this in Ruralshire for years.

As for us, we have a new 'reinvigorated' focus on Detections. Nothing else seems to matter again, just like last time before it was discredited in the media.

03 February, 2011 07:45

 
Anonymous PC Sgt said...

What scares me the most is the fall in officer numbers. Less officers to do more work. Less officers to back up or be there when it goes wrong at 4am . . i hope it doesn't come to the point where someone is injured in the quest to save money! What is the going cost for a police officer?

03 February, 2011 08:29

 
Anonymous Andrew the Taxpayer said...

Some years ago I worked for a similar large organisation with a lot bureaucracy and a role somewhat different to what the public actually wanted. We'll call it 'the Army in Northern Ireland'.
It was my job to fix the weapons. On the sight was something called the EBS, attached with 2 small Allen screws. These often came loose and it is a 10-15second job to tighten them with an Allen key. At the time we were not issued Allen keys so everybody used their own. Then there was a change in 'chief allen key user' (CAKU). The new CAKU said that we shouldn't be doing the job because we didn't have the right tools and bandied around a whole load of PUWER, H&S Management regs etc. None of this loosened the purse strings of the tool supply man who we'll call the 'QM Tech'. So CAKU decided that since officialy we did not have the tools for the job, we would have to send every sight with a loose EBS to the big workshop. A process that took 7-10 days to turnaround depending on which days of the week the trip to the big workshop was. No sight means no rifle means no soldier on the ground patrolling the streets and keeping them free from crime/terror.

The QM(Tech) lasted a month before providing as many Allen Keys as CAKU wanted.

My point (if there is one) is the only way to beat bean-counting bureaucrats is to play them at their own game. You mentioned Biros, I suggest that from now on the Admin staff plus those with German Engineering and named parking spots make it their function to provide you with the stuff you need to do your job and the biro is a classic. How many forms can you fill in with no pen?If your Astra has no headlights and your uniform is looking ropey then you'll have to take one of the German 'pool cars' from it's named space and go on patrol in your dress uniform. Tip of the RSPCA that the dogs are underfed. You get my drift ;)

Good luck, the squeezed middle still respects you.

03 February, 2011 11:51

 
Blogger PC Bloggs said...

We don't have pool cars, or dress uniform any more!

But I take your point, unfortunately if we all become jobsworths it's the public that suffer.

03 February, 2011 17:12

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You joke about giving in and buying your own pens. I already do, I find the discussion about how many I go through too tedious... Our pen tsar is too scary for me.
Minty

03 February, 2011 22:36

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look on the bright side, buying your own kit is still tax-deductable.

04 February, 2011 10:20

 
Anonymous Mac said...

Anonymous,

Ellie's force already share helecopters with 2 other forces (which means they're always too far away from our little corner of the force to be any use at all.)
IT is already amalgamated with another force (not one of the other 2)and as part of the changes Ellie describes a lot of the 'roamers' like dogs will be shared with the same force.

Not that there'll be any loss of service you understand!!

04 February, 2011 13:05

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe sharing things such as HR may have real savings. But surely things such as dogs and firearms are often needed in a bit of a hurry. So them coming from what could be the other side of another force area just has to be an unacceptable delay. Just a thought.
Minty

05 February, 2011 00:08

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Minty, you are on a ball here. The Thames Valley Police struggled to get their own firearms team to Hungerford. If they'd had to wait for Hampshire or Wiltshire....

05 February, 2011 10:33

 
Anonymous STO girl said...

Anon, I think they got them there, they just had to wait round the corner.

06 February, 2011 10:14

 
Anonymous Mac said...

To be fair, the whole way firearms response was dealt with then was very different to now. The real sea change was the Highmoor Cross incident where the official 'stand back and wait' was found to be seriously flawed.
Again, playing devil's advocate, the intention is that actual resources will be covering the same areas they do now, but the supporting management/infrastructure will be amalgamated. So the theory is that there is no change on the ground. However you just know that once that happens, then next time savings are required or there is a shortage of resources for whatever reason(sickness etc.)suddenly individual resources will find themselves covering huge area across force boundaries.

06 February, 2011 19:50

 

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