Saturday, 5 June 2010

Predictable opportunists call for national Police

With utter predictability, the ACPO lobby and their dags are being quick to use the Cumbria shootings to call for the creation of a national Police service, happy to consign their colleagues in Cumbria to implied failure in their argument. The following points were seriously made by ex-Met AC Andy Hayman, perhaps demonstrating why he never made Commissioner.

'Cumbria is one of the smallest forces in the country. It is too small to cope with this type of incident'
Point one; could Kent or Essex or Thames Valley have done any better? Could any largely rural force? In fact, it now seems armed officers from Cumbria were as close as 30 seconds behind him, but he was a cab driver, on his own turf. The only point that seems to be at question is whether there was a helicopter available, and access to a (shared) helo is a very weak argument to merge forces.

'In the last 12 months, Cumbria police have faced the Cockermouth floods, a coach crash in which two people were killed and now Bird. They're too small to cope with these major incidents'
Um, this would make more sense if all three major incidents occurred at the same time. They didn't. And Cumbria police coped well with all three. Look, when we build a street of houses, we connect the whole lot up to a nine inch sewer. If they all flushed the toilet at once, this would be grossly inadequate; we'd need a three foot diameter pipe. But we don't. You see, one uses probability theory to size things, including police forces.

'When a major incident occurs, forces may need 'mutual assistance' from neighbouring forces. This is an expensive solution at a time the government is cutting budgets'
No it's not. It's a damn sight cheaper than paying for a surplus of resources sitting idle most of the time. Neither is it an argument for merged forces; a Chief Constable is probably keener to contribute resources he can charge his neighbour for than a divisional commander would be to deplete his own resources. The overall cost to the economy is exactly the same.

'The most important factor in responding to a fast-moving incident is clarity'
And Hayman's own force, the Met, has demonstrated on several occasions the utter failure of clarity amongst commanders in Britain's largest, best equipped and most heavily resourced police force. Ask how much clarity came from Cressida Dicks last time she commanded a major incident.

While there is sound common sense in forces sharing helicopters, forensics and SOC investigators, even rubber rafts and specialist plant, this is not a valid argument for either merging forces or creating a national force. Major incidents form less than 1% of all police activity; we need forces designed to provide the 99%.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Same old BS from our top brass 'boys in Blue empire builders', haven't they heard?
There's a new government (- they don't want to know, Nu-Labs loved the new police), there is a huge national deficit.....these college grad's......pen pushers in coppers jobs are running scared.
I used to live in a small town, they shut the cop shop, local villains had a bloody field day and still do.
In coppering terms, small is beautiful, centralisation plays into the criminal fraternities hands especially the chancers and addicts/low lifes, a local bobby with knowledge of the 'patch'(old idea) would cut low level misdemeanours, why can't our 'Professional' police 'service' brass understand this??
Because it doesn't fit the 'narrative' - bureaucracy and more bureaucracy = more and bigger budgets and less time on streets for 'frontline staff'.

talwin said...

Let's just say there was a national police force or even a regional effort. Does that mean there would be helicopters, firearms teams, forensic teams, and so on, whizzing about all over the place all of the the time? And, in this case, would these resources readily have been available in Cumbria?

I doubt it. The incident would have occurred and these additional resources would have been requested and supplied from outside. Just like happened here with, for example, a helicopter willingly and quickly provided from down the road in Lancashire.

A time or two in the past, I've disagreed with your view on ACPO or the cops in general, but not here. Hayman's remarks are opportunist bollocks.

Chuckles said...

Well they would, wouldn't they?

The only mystery is why some incompetent hack thought it wise to ask them their trite and predictable opinions, and then to inflict them on us.

Spent Copper said...

Another good post Raders. From my perspective, at the bottom end of the food chain, what we need are more and smaller Police Forces, not larger and fewer. Strange that diverstiy is only a good thing when used to impose other peoples choices on us isnt it?

I would suggest that Police Forces should be based on the City or County Council. Of course, if we went that way the politicos at the centre and their hangers on in ACPO would find it harder to control a large number of independently minded Chief Constables, especially if their first loyalty was to a local comunity which could - through an elected Sheriff - sack them.

Sadly, more 'talking their own book' from ACPO.

English Pensioner said...

I would suggest that if we had had a National Police Force, there would have been even less police on the ground in the area as it would normally be expected to be a relatively crime free zone and they would have been deployed in the big towns, not in relatively peaceful countryside.

Perhaps every time APCO starts arguing that we should have a National Force, we should say "Yes that sounds like a good idea, could you let us have some figures as to how much money we could save by avoiding duplication of all the high level jobs such as Chief Constables, Assistant Chief Constables, Deputy Assistant Chief Constables, etc." Perhaps they might get the message that we would need fewer people at the top and their promotion opportunities would be reduced.

AndyB said...

"Point one; could Kent or Essex or Thames Valley have done any better?"

I think it's fair to say that had this occured in a big city, the carnage would have only been restricted by the number of bullets the guy was carrying.

It's a freak occurance. Like a space shuttle exploding on take off, a ship sinking or a politician talking a bit of sense.

Once every twenty five years or so, it happens.

Blue Eyes said...

Spot on R! (I keep writing that)

Fausty said...

Let's see how many of these over-paid oafs keep their jobs when Cam's elected sheriff policy takes off.