According to sources, North Yorkshire Police have hailed their recent recruitment ‘open evenings’ as a ‘great success’… But in reality, this latest episode in the long running control room crisis, was simply engineered to propel (the still evident) problems into the yesterday’s news basket…
The force may have been pushed into this recruitment drive, in an attempt to fill gaps resulting from the application of budgetary constraints however; many of the vacancies were mostly created by poor redundancy management. That and a limited management understanding of departmental processes and procedures.
But what constitutes success and, is it really acceptable to manipulate and massage facts to paint a rosier picture than actually exists? Could this be just another poor attempt at damage limitation marketing, simply to improve public perception of the organisation and it’s leadership?
According to Facebook apparently; ”staff were paid overtime to fill seats” and give a false impression of normal staffing levels. Strange the force can’t afford these levels of staffing when it comes to providing a proper service to the citizens of North Yorkshire, but they can when it comes to deceiving the press and prospective employees?
Staff were also
instructed to lie briefed about practices and procedures, and how to describe the quality of service, conditions and their working environment. Corporate clones espoused the virtues of departmental line management, the force executive and career progression prospects at every opportunity. No doubt the usual, mostly manipulated, call statistics were also trotted out to illustrate good levels of public service?
However, if anyone does have a pressing desire to work for North Yorkshire Police, especially during the current climate of public sector decline, perhaps they should really ask someone who does (or has) worked for them before applying? The ‘successful’ campaign (above) was and is little more than a sticking plaster applied to a gaping wound of problems, all delivered in a vain corporate attempt to market a lame duck. But who is to blame for the problems the staff and public are suffering from today?
Simplistically, many of these failings are born out of lack lustre self-serving leadership inherent in much of public service today. The type of management that is delivered solely to enhance the credibility and CV content of individuals. In real terms, it those managers who have caused the haemorrhagic loss of staff during recent years. Indeed, they themselves were surprised by the mass clamour for the voluntary redundancy ‘opportunities’ announced earlier this year. They may have dressed the process up under the mantle of budgetary constraint, caused by government austerity measures however, the question begs to be asked; why did so many want to leave, especially during this period of glum employment opportunity, if they were really happy in their work?
It’s obvious that previous concerns, around the force monitoring of social networks, relating to staff comments were unfounded. Either that, or the management don’t really give a toss about what their staff think about the organisation. Because if they did, they should be mortified about the comments and impressions of their staff currently. How can you realistically ‘sell’ a service when the ’sales force‘ has no confidence or belief in the product?
It is this type of senior management that is at the heart of North Yorkshire Police (and others). Irrespective of all the (mostly) piecemeal actions being implemented by the Government and Police Chiefs at present, most of what they do now is merely aspirational. It is unlikely to achieve the success a little boy’s thumb did in Hans Brinker‘s dyke.
Realistically, politicians and police leaders are (unfortunately) reaping the consequences of the seeds sown by their predecessors in the past. However, without a sea-change in that leadership methodology, the not insignificant changes they are (supposedly) implementing for the better continue to be destined for abject failure… The quality of public service we are all crying out for will not be enhanced any time soon!
Look after your staff properly and they will look after your organisation and enhance the service it provides; they are your most valuable (and expensive) resource (non more so than in the police). Keep them in the dark, consistenntly lie to them, constantly beat them with a stick and treat them like mushrooms, then (as a manager) you deserve all you get!
I have to admit, I often find it comical and somewhat ironic that; individuals external to an organisation or process always appear to know best? What’s worse is, these so-called ‘experts’ and ‘pundits’ are often ingratiated and lauded by many who really should know better…
We’ve all come across an irritating opinionated little twerp; the one who pokes his head over the garden fence and says, in a condescending grating and matter of fact tone… “Only me! You don’t want to do it like that, Oh No, you wanna do it like this!” If not him perhaps you have come across the Self-Righteous Brothers Frank and George Doberman or, obnoxious Old Gits who take great delight in persecuting younger people – sometimes even directing their cruelty of comment at other groups of people, so as not to discriminate.
As Harry Enfield & Chums observed towards the end of the last millennium; our society appears to be packed full of those who profess to know the answers to everything… Perhaps Enfield’s satirical and prophetic insight into the malady of British sociopolitical issues stemmed from his reading of politics at the University of York? Whatever the reason for his somewhat enlightened foresight, a worrying factor still remains; two decades down the line, very little appears to have changed in his comical prophecy?
The recent riots in England have served to creat a convenient stage for all manner of vociferous opinionated people. A myriad of individuals who suddenly (and arguably) have a ’valid’ opinion have raced to the dispatch box, soapbox and microphone to deliver their brand of answers and conclusions. It should be remembered however; much of this activity has simply emerged due to social, political or occupational personal agenda. Somewhat surprisingly, there appears to have been little pulpit activity, thus far?
As the riots have occurred at the exact point when our government are pushing through radical reforms in UK policing, this current state of affairs has served to bring an even greater number of ’experts’ out of the woodwork. Everyone, connected or not, as the case may be, finally has an opinion on policing, even some (perhaps) unrelated journals and periodicals have got views…
Send for Supercop – What British police chiefs might learn from America’s most effective one… Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, questioned the value of tips about gangs from parts of America with so many of them, especially considering that America’s level of violence and style of policing “are so fundamentally different”……(economist.com)
Trying to keep abreast of current opinion on these recent events; I found it interesting to read the comments of Sir Hugh Orde in today’s Times – Opinion Column; Tension between politicians and police is healthy…
One of the foundation stones of British policing is Robert Peel‘s doctrine of constabulary independence. This insulates the police from political control and allows them to rely on their expertise, judgement and experience in their operations…(Sir Hugh Orde)
As per media normality, much of what Sir Hugh has said recently has been cherry picked by journalists, manipulated and presented in a manner to ‘evidence’ a particular (sociopolitical) story line. Sir Hugh states there is ‘no ’tension’ between the police and politics, just ‘healthy debate’. Accusations have been made (from outside) that the service is “insular” and that both he and the service are “resistant to change” and opposed to any “advice” from outside the service…
It is disappointing to see a mounting attack on British policing. We should be proud of our tried and tested model of policing – a largely unarmed service based on minimum force and minimum interference with citizens’ rights – and we are determined to preserve it. But let no one think we are not open to challenge and change…(Sir Hugh Orde)
The latter comments enforce and sit squarely with those made on numerous occasions by the Police Federation of England & Wales. Both the leadership and the rank and file of the police service are solid on this ethos and (for a change) totally united. Conversely, Prof. Tim Newburn of the London School of Economics argues that…
The long-standing tension between police and politicians needs to be dealt with now. We cannot keep politics out of the police, and we should not seek to…(blogs.lse.ac.uk)
In a way I can see his point, all policing not least the British brand, has to be accountable to the society it serves. I can also see that in may respects, any particular brand or colour of politics reflects the views of our multi-faceted society. A society that formulates and bases its opinion, and consequently its politics, on where individuals actually sit within their social hierarchy. That said, accountability is a whole different ball game to political influence, or interference. Any ‘accountability’ must be a-political.
I suspect this is one of the reasons that Tim appears to agree with the rank and file of the police service. A service that, despite allegations of insular objection to change, has for some time now be calling for a full and impartial proper examination of what we as a society require of our police service…
So where do we go from here? Though they are deeply unfashionable, I remain of the view that this is the moment for a new Royal Commission on the Police. Governance and accountability ought to be its key theme…(Prof Tim Newburn)
The pomposity of our predominant hindsight political machine, where comment or action is often configured and delivered simply around a craving for (perceived) public popularity, usually does little to resolve the problems. However and just for a change, perhaps an outsider such as Tim Newburn really does have the right answer!
- Are the police open to new ideas? Compare Sir Hugh Orde and Bill Bratton (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- Exclusive: Orde ridicules Cameron over US ‘Supercop’ (independent.co.uk)
- Police hit out at ‘supercop’ plan (bbc.co.uk)
- Are Britain’s Top Cops Anti-Innovation? (blogs.hbr.org)
- VIDEO: PM under fire over US ‘supercop’ (bbc.co.uk)
It is one of those sixty million dollar questions that so many have failed to adequately and fully answer over recent years and months, me included probably…
I’ve long-held the belief that in certain respects, it’s also a question that many have not actually been minded to find a definitive answer to, until now.
Whilst successive governments were continually throwing money (that we didn’t actually have) at half-baked solutions to policing problems all was ok with our lot. However, many of those ‘solutions’ were in effect, devised by self-interested and self-motivated senior police officers who were happy to aquess to the demands of similarly motivated politicians. Now they’re all trying to pick up the pieces and find someone to blame!
The public purse is now finally empty and what do we do? We throw our hands in the air in disbelief, and seek to blame our predecessors whilst attempting to place sticking plasters over gaping wounds in the framework of our failing public sector. All because of money and mostly, because of how it has been wasted and mismanaged in the past. Add all the ‘new’ costs of policing, previously unknown or often ignored, to the resulting equation and you can finally start to understand the predicaments we face.
Back in January 2010 the Thin Blue Line grasped a politically hot potato and reported on a subject that too many shy away from. Many say or do nothing because of fear. Fear of being branded a bigot or racist or, they are simply worried about their personal career prospects after a run in with the diversity police.
In his article ‘The Uncomfortable Truth about UK Immigration’, the author (rightly) seeks to point out the many issues having a profound and negative impact upon policing costs, not to mention our nation and its society as a whole. Immigration policies as they currently stand, are in many ways, actually producing unseen (or unvoiced) negative impacts on our society.
European migrants are committing more than 500 crimes a week in Britain and officials are powerless to deport many of them…. (telegraph.co.uk)
Like the author of the following comments, I am more than happy to live and work in a multi-cultural society. I have friends and colleagues from all manner of ethnic and religious backgrounds. I embraced the value of diversity long before anyone told me I had to, or face the consequences of criminal prosecution. However, as Steve Bennet points out, perhaps the time has come for us to rethink some of our policies on immigration?
The Thin Blue Line: …There are those that say (including certain diversity obsessed Chief Officers of Police), that crime has not risen disproportionately when measured against the population increase. HOGWASH! The fact remains, that these are additional crimes committed by visitors to this country, who abuse the hospitality and generosity extended to them. At the moment, the criminal fraternity, including the law breaking element of the foreign national community is laughing at the farce of British justice… (Read more)
Irrespective of the undoubted negative impacts upon the public purse, failure to finally do something about the issues is no longer an option, it simply plays into the hands of the warped minds behind such bigoted and misguided far right organisations like The British National Party and extremist English Deffence Legue. More importantly at present, it also provides some true background to the costs of policing our nation.
In many ways, we are fast approaching the circumstances which led to the birth of other extremist and nationalistic organisations in modern history. Adolf Hitler’s German Nazi Party and Pol Pot‘s Khmer Rouge were in many ways, born out of a loss of cultural identity, a feeling of no longer belonging to or being a part of the society you were born into. Organisations that capitalised and grew on misunderstanding and mistrust…
Is this really what we want for our modern culturally diverse and tolerant society?
- Cameron promises immigration cut (bbc.co.uk)
- David Cameron says that immigrants should learn English (guardian.co.uk)
- David Cameron on immigration: full text of the speech (guardian.co.uk)
- PM claims immigration is wrecking communities (independent.co.uk)