Wednesday, 14 September 2011

A 'barely literate' plod is just a security guard

I've always favoured the traditional recruitment cohort for the police; young men not academically gifted but physically fit and who not only won't settle for being clerks or shop assistants but who possess a self-confidence that their poor academic prospects would otherwise leave unexpressed. None of which is remotely equivalent to the 'barely literate' standard of many new plods described by Tom Winsor. If a policeman can't write fluently in cursive script, if he can only painfully and slowly form mis-spelt words in BLOCK CAPITALS, if his vocabulary is functionally limited, if he's unable to understand the most simple mathematical relationships, he's unfit to wear the uniform. 


A policeman needs an ability to listen, to understand and to reason. He needs to be able to write statements quickly and fluently, to give evidence coherently. He needs to remember the Act and the section of the Act. He needs to understand basic abstract concepts such as probity, equity and stewardship. Above all he needs the self-confidence to carry out his duties without resentment of or fear of ridicule from more advanced citizens, and without sense of obligation. Literacy is a good indicator of many of these qualities. Without them, a policeman is just a security guard. 

11 comments:

Scrobs... said...

When I was a kid, policemen were the only people who licked their pencils before they wrote things in their little black books...

pjt said...

Yep, but you recruit only literate policemen and then don't meet the correct minority quotas, you don't have enough diversity, you don't have the confidence of the community you serve, and you lack diversity. That's the worst that can happen to a manager in modern public services anywhere in Europe.

The police leadership has to hire ethnic and other minorities, even if the people they get cannot read.

(This is not to say that minority people are illeterate and dumb. It is just to say that racial and other quotas override what I see as the most important criteria, i.e. hire the best and most competent man or woman, not caring about their race or other irrelevant properties.)

Greg Tingey said...

And, as for senior officers, very few have decent educations ...
And those that do are mostly "political" - how they survived the canteen culture is beyond me.
This new Hogan Howe person looks interesting?

Fausty said...

Hitler found recruiting thickos and thugs into his various forces to be quite helpful.

The British Police have become unthinking, militarised thugs.

Imagine how bad this will get when the UN and the EU get their way and we have militarised thugs from all over the world in our police force.

The EU's current target (which May has set in motion) is 30% foreigners in our forces.

So we'll have foreign, armed thickos and thugs on our streets. Does anyone truly believe that they'll harbour a single qualm before firing on UK citizens?

If that doesn't worry people, they're not paying attention.

DP111 said...
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DP111 said...
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DP111 said...

Fausty

What you write is absolutely right. One of the problems that the EU realizes, that when push comes to shove, the native police may just not have the resolution to fire on their own - after all they have to live the community.

But when you have a Diversity plagued police, there are no such restraints. For instance, Muslims will not join our armed forces now as we are engaged armed conflict in Muslim nations. But they will have no compunctions firing at Infidels over here.

The police should not try to understand cultural differences, but to enforce the traditions on which our laws are based.. That includes most certainly immigrants as well, who have come here of their own free will.

The way forward is not to have any diversity in the police at all. Immigrants of any hue can join if they meet the educational standards and cultural norms of the U

English Pensioner said...

My daughter is on the civil staff of a major police force, dealing with the paperwork before it is passed to CPS. From comments she has passed from time to time, I think it is wrong to assume that it is the ethnic minority in the police force which is the problem. Lack of ability to write clear English is a by-product of our schools today, where vocabulary, spelling and grammar are not considered important. Indeed she suggests that Asians in the force are no problem when it comes to written statements; their spoken English might not be perfect but their written English is OK.

allo allo said...

Sounds like half the members of the plod won't be able to understand a word of your post today then. Innit.

outsider said...

A generation ago, policemen were seen as respected professionals below the salt, on a par with nurses. Today, nurses require a degree. Not sure what this tells us about our values and priorities.

MTG said...

How insulting to security guards, the majority of whom are generally quiet and well mannered.

The illiterate policeman is just an unpolished version of the illiterate doorman.