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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Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Reasonable Response

Inspector Gadget's got a good post up about response times, and a video of one of our regular customers.  The video could be from any supermarket up and down the country.  Well, apart from M&S.  M&S shoplifters are not just any shoplifters.

In Blandshire, we've invented a brand new classification that has an open-ended response time, so anything we're not likely to be able to attend soon, gets reclassified as "non-urgent".
Other methods we use to meet targets for attending and closing jobs:
  • Arrest requests from other forces get printed out and left on the desk in Blandmore's main report writing room, then the log closed.  If a sergeant forgets to write it up on the board, the arrest may never get done, and the force never updated that it will never be done. There's no sensible place to log arrest attempts and there's a small chance that if it isn't rubbed out when the arrest has been made, the person could be arrested again. But on the plus side, the job gets closed within 5 minutes of arriving.
  • Jobs that can be dealt with by way of appointment get logged in a separate diary and closed.  If the appointment is never dealt with, due to redeployment, victim forgetting, or outside circumstances, it can be days before it is re-booked because there isn't a "live" job on the computer any more.
  • Crimes that are not "priority crimes" (these are crimes with a much more important target than the response time target) do not even go onto the computer.  They find their way through various departments and offices, before being allocated to whichever sergeant happens to be on duty that day.  If and when the sergeant notices the crime has been allocated, they will allocate an officer to deal with it.  It can be 2-3 weeks before the victim is contacted, and that's for cases with named suspects and outstanding property to find.  It's a helpless feeling when you ring up the victim to say, "I know, I wish I'd come straight round but your report was in the ether".  Other examples of "slow-time" crime reports can include shopliftings where the offender was still outside for 20min consuming the goods he had just stolen, but the job went "slow-time" because he had left the store - meaning it never went onto the Incident Control System to dispatch a unit.
On the plus side, Mother Theresa has abolished all targets for the police, so no one can do anything if we ignore the above system and use commonsense to resource jobs.
The truth about systems like these is that it is not just about targets, although they do figure.  If every crime requiring a physical presence and investigation appeared as a "live" job, response teams would simply drown under the weight of them.  Yesterday in Blandmore we had in excess of 40 jobs requiring attendance by 10 officers at one stage, and that's WITH a system that diverts a lot of jobs elsewhere.  Under the above system, a lot of investigations are closed that were solvable, and a lot of victims lost interest who would have provided evidence.  While we run around attending reports of racism and domestics where we are not wanted.

As with everything, it's all an excuse to make less officers do more, without any lessening of quality.

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


Anonymous Mrs Doughnut said...

" Under the above system, a lot of investigations are closed that were solvable, and a lot of victims lost interest who would have provided evidence. While we run around attending reports of racism and domestics where we are not wanted."

And that is truly the crux of the matter. Targets where never ever going to be abolished, they are far to ingrained into all of society by now.

24 November, 2011 14:33

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete why then bother reading any posts of hers if your so outraged. Though i have read the same article and believe you have misunderstood it, that is really neither here or there, why bother reading the blog if you dont believe anything thats written. Surely its like reading a post by David Icke and the getting annoyed that he thinks everyone is an alien. Im sure you will reply as i know you actually cant stop reading the post as you know she is right. However if you are a person with some morals i wouldnt.

25 November, 2011 00:07

Anonymous Shij said...

WPC bloggs say that she has no boyfriend,

Is she a lesbian?

25 November, 2011 17:23

Blogger PC Bloggs said...

Actually Shij I said no husband, but don't let the facts get in the way of your unoriginal and homophobic jibe. I never fail to be amazed at how many people think it's an insult to call someone a lesbian - if I were you'd be accurate and as I'm not I couldn't care less. Still, it has put you firmly in the "back-of-transit-Friday-night-customer" camp, so at least I can put a face to the fake name now.

27 November, 2011 19:35

Blogger Dave the Dog said...

"In fact, you now (rightly) come across as something of a caricature."
You couldn't have described yourself better! Well done you. Now, off you go, your Mummy is calling.

27 November, 2011 20:19

Anonymous Anonymous said...

'My sincere advice to you doll'

Not that she asked but thanks anyway!

27 November, 2011 20:53

Anonymous bullet proof vest said...

I guess there's no better way of sorting things.. There are really crimes which need more attention... But that's unlucky for victims of other "minor" and "non-urgent" crimes because they are also expecting justice...

Protect yourself. Wear a concealed bullet proof vest.

29 November, 2011 16:34


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