The Times yesterday summed up what many police officers see as the real reason for the Winsor report.
"The police are outraged by these reform plans. Good."
The comment article then goes on to bewail thick, fat policemen and the shocking culture of being paid for hours that are worked.
Winsor 2 essentially purports to do two things:
Unfortunately, Winsor can't quite decide which of these two things is the priority, and is thus full of contradictions. The entry requirements to the police will be raised to include the need for three A-level passes, and direct entry will be permitted to certain ranks. Yet the starting salary for police officers will be cut. Just what kind of smart, ambitious A-level students are going to be encouraged to apply for the police under the new salary regime?
Winsor also advocates yearly fitness tests up to Chief Constable rank, with money to be saved by cutting the salaries of those who fail tests. Does Winsor think that the best talented business and management minds - supposedly attracted to direct entry at inspector and superintendent level - are the same kind of people to thrive on annual fitness tests?
You can't blame Winsor for wanting senior ranking officers to be fighting fit though. After all, leaders throughout history have required the highest standards of health and fitness to do their jobs. I mean, imagine the thought of a high-up Naval officer who can't do press-ups, or somebody in a wheelchair presuming to the role of President!
Other reforms are flawed too: on paper, the plans to stop paying full pay to those on restricted duties is sensible. But in practice a high proportion of people (in my experience) on restricted duties are on them temporarily, due to short-term injury, and cutting their pay for that period may force them out of the job. And I wonder just what proportion of restricted officers is made up of pregnant women. Does Winsor think that in the Twenty-First Century, you can get away with cutting a woman's pay because she falls pregnant? I look forwards to the legal challenges ahead.
So when you really dig down through Winsor's proud claims of savings and professionalism, you find a mishmash of contradictions and flawed arguments. Is it any wonder that police officers are seeing this as a direct attack?
Why are you wasting your time with that? Send that dog to university immediately.
'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.