The Problem with the Public
- There is no sign that the Government plans to withdraw the vast array of measures and statistics used to grade police forces, nor provide legislative backing for forces to bin lengthy and expensive risk management systems.
- The public do not have the time or inclination to comprehend a vast amount of what the police actually does, but if they stopped doing it, there would be an outcry.
- Searching for 14-yr-olds whose parents can't be bothered to look for them.
- Ensuring paralytically drunk teenagers who've spent their taxi money on booze get home safely.
- Picking up vulnerable old or ill people from the street, spending hours ensuring they receive medical treatment, taxiing them between different institutes who can't or won't take care of them, and then searching for them again when whichever institute finally accepts them phones to say they've walked out the door.
- Bringing to justice armed hitmen who target drug dealers who have reneged on debts.
- Counselling and intervening in broken relationships.
- Setting up teams to monitor high risk dangerous offenders, gathering intelligence, visiting them regularly and gaining court orders or filing reports to probation when their behaviour becomes worrying.
- Allocating dozens of detectives to visit thousands of addresses until every last person in each house is spoken to, to investigate serious crime.
- Keeping custody suites secure and safe, ensuring prisoners are treated correctly and dealt with expeditiously.
- Compiling rock-solid evidence files for court.
- Transporting prisoners to and from hospital, court and other forces, as well as back home again, using caged vehicles, a mass of diesel, and at least two officers a time.
- Training officers about discrimination and Health and Safety.
Without a massive overhaul of Health and Safety, civil litigation, the European Court, and a number of other public services, the accountability of police forces will be wholly unaffected by the election of police chiefs. All that will happen is that uniformed officers and hard-working detectives will be trying to do the same work with less time, money and resources.
'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.