Friday, 10 September 2010

Scotland's Police merger plans

Scotland's police forces, under the malign influence of its ACPO-dominated chief ranks, seem to be drifting inexorably towards a single, merged, national force. The ACPO chiefs are using the opportunity of expenditure reductions to bring forward their cherished merger plans, despite there being little hard evidence that merging the forces will lead to any appreciable savings at all.

The Glasgow Herald suggests that because police officers can't be made redundant (is this true?) the only way to make real savings is to stop recruitment and wait for retiring or resigning officers to drop off the other end - a process that won't produce overnight reductions.

The option that police bosses are determined to ignore is one that will improve the standards of local policing even as force reductions are rolled out.

Scotland's coppers, like England's, spend 95% of their time on call-outs to disturbances, road accidents, dealing with drunks, domestic burglaries, drug offences, road traffic offences, patrolling city centre drinking hotspots, dealing with shoplifters and the like. There is absolutely no benefit to be had from national control of police doing this work, and many substantial disbenefits. The bulk of bread-and-butter police work can be better managed, controlled and directed locally by independent, small, local forces. Indeed, the increase in efficiency resulting from local control will outweigh any overall reduction in police numbers.

Anti-terrorist work, forensics, international intelligence and surveillance, serious and organised crime work and the like, on the other hand, is best organised and resourced at a Scotland-wide level by highly specialist police working closely with the security services, under the direction of the Scottish Government's Home Secretary equivalent.

These apparent truths, however, are simply denied and ignored by Scotland's police chiefs as antithetical to their own very selfish interests.

It's worth watching how this plays out in Scotland - for England will be next.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

What do these dinosaurs not understand about 'small is beautiful'?
ACPO should be culled not the police forces.

Anonymous said...

Dear Boat

Everything EU is region-centric.

Scotland is a region of the EU. The Scottish 'parliament' is the regional assembly.

England is divided into 9 regions of which only one, London, has an elected regional assembly.

All administration is to be regionalised - fire services, ambulance, police, health, education, roads...

Counties will disappear, to be replaced with sub-regions, which currently exist in places as unitary authorities. There are plans to merge all boroughs and districts into unitary authorities, which will control the services currently administered by county councils and borough/district councils.

Fire services are being regionalised in England, county ambulance services have been amalgamated - the South East Coast ambulance service - http://www.surrey-ambulance.nhs.uk/ - has taken over Surrey, Kent and East & West Sussex. The local council works 'closely' with two adjacent councils (but seemingly not with other adjacent councils), but there are 'no plans to merge'.

When complete, the regional administrations' functions will be top down control. The police will exist to enforce EU criminal policy on the public. Our police force is now open to any nationality, the EU mixing policy will require police to be drawn from other EU regions and any expression of dissent will be ‘xenophobia’ – an EU crime. They will all be armed. There will be a second level police force whose job it will be to sort out minor crime at local level and run neighbourhood watch, where neighbours will watch neighbours. Crime will rocket, because everything will be a crime. Grassing up neighbours will become a sub-sub-sub-regional pastime.

Westminster will be redundant and will be scrapped.

And we will all live in harmony.

DP