Mushrooms we have a problem!

North Yorkshire Police

N.Yorks Police

Less than a few days since my last post on the smell lingering at North Yorkshire Police, here we go with yet another media splash, for all the wrong reasons.

A smidgen of evidence has emerged (thanks to a press FOI request) that tends to support the well-known fact… You actually can’t do more with less,  at least not to the same standards and certainly not with the previous expediency… Despite all the politically motivated management rhetoric!

Nobody likes a smug smart arse muttering “I told you so”, do they? However, on behalf of all those who were brave enough to lock horns with the management and voice their concerns before the shit hit the fan, and who’s services were ultimately later dispensed with any way… “We Told You So!”

The Superintendent (currently) heading the Control Room functions is quoted as saying it’s “impossible to make such a major change without temporarily affecting the speed of response to calls” but they are still ‘within target’. Well thanks for that, I’m sure everyone who has received poor service at the end of a phone, or suffered additional problems due to a poor response time from reduced resources, will be grateful for that comforting statement. And let’s not forget all those devoted and hardworking individuals who lost their jobs during this dog’s dinner of change management.

I used the term ‘currently’ above as I understand from various sources that, the end of the man’s tenure is imminent. He would probably say he is moving on after a job well done however, most would suspect he is being put somewhere he can’t cause any more damage, hopefully.

POLICE have admitted they are taking longer to answer phone calls, following a switch to only one control room for the whole of North Yorkshire…(yorkpress.co.uk)

The above article contains some interesting comments from readers to help gauge the public’s feelings on the matter.

Police answers emergency calls more slowly: North Yorkshire Police is taking longer to answer emergency calls after closing one of two control rooms in the county… The force says the situation will improve with the recruitment of new staff… (bbc.co.uk)ment

Despite the spun apology of sorry but it will get better, the York Press article goes on to highlight other factors, such as the adoption of the 101 non-emergency number later this year, which will have a negative impact upon the limp promises. In addition, other comments from sources close to the issues would tend to suggest; the problems currently being experienced within the Command and Control function are actually worse than the senior management are prepared to cough to and admit to the public.

It’s worth pointing out that; call statistics are based only upon those that get dealt with and not lost i.e. the times quoted only relate to calls answered and makes no mention of how many were lost due to undue delay. It is also interesting to note that any staff or system failures are rarely used in call handling statistics. Once again, the blind following and use of statistical information actually says very little about quality!

That in it self is unsurprising, senior police managers have become extremely adept at putting positive spin on negative issues over recent years. Blowing sunshine up the backside of the general public is now something of a CV requirement for police commanders. Being a little more honest with the whole truth wouldn’t go a miss, if only to prevent being found out after the event, never mind the advantages of not providing false expectations about ability. The service is hung up on bean counting and stats but hey, that’s ok so long as the force is within target… I’m also sorry to say North Yorkshire Police are not alone in this, a similar situation exists within most forces!

As I’ve said previously, this whole issue is about so much more than job losses, it’s about people and service to our community. All through the downsizing process, staff at various levels, were kept in the dark and fed bullshit by managers speaking with forked tongues. The last couple of years have proved to be; one of the finest examples of Mushroom Management I’ve seen for many a year. Whilst the public have been continually fed with good time stories that could win a literature prize.

There is no doubt that money has to be saved right across the public sector, the public purse has been more or less empty for some time. That said it’s somewhat farcical that; many of those charged with stemming the cash flow are actually the ones responsible for the original mismanagement in the first place.

And as the force fails to find a suitable Deputy Chief Constable to fill the vacancy resulting from the nepotism incident last year, to say there is a problem with the management of North Yorkshire Police is something of a bloody understatement. Is it any wonder that workforce morale is so low and major blips are starting to appear in the public confidence graph?

“Mushrooms… We Have A Problem!”

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About Dave Hasney

National Coordinator for UK SMART Recovery - Previously a Recovery Worker and prior to that a Management Consultant and H&S Practitioner - Kept sane by Angling, Good Food, Real Ale & Wine - Cynical thoughts sometimes developed from others.

Posted on 29-07-2011, in Leadership & Management, Police and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Chief of Elves

    HMIC to CC – “You need to widen the criteria so that more officers can be successful at interview”.

    CC to HMIC – “What, you mean allowing anyone who has “Briggs” in their name as well as anyone who has “Maxwell” in their name?”

    Like

  2. Chief of Elves

    That superintendent always had a problem with listening … perhaps he still has

    Like

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