Sunday, 23 May 2010

ACPO start the fight-back

That ACPO would co-ordinate a campaign of obstruction, distortion and disinformation in opposition to plans to introduce accountability to our police forces was not a difficult prediction for me to make; nor was the expectation that they would cry 'they don't know what they're doing'.

On 14th May I wrote;
We wish Mr Herbert well. In his jazz-loving Secretary of State he has an ex-Home Secretary and a QC with substantial gravitas and experience enough to counter Orde's coming accusation that Cameron's government is dealing with matters they don't understand.
Today the Observer reports;
One police source said the policies contained within last week's 34-page programme for government indicated that the new coalition had "no understanding of what policing is about".
Well, if the senior structure of the Met is anything to go by, what policing is mostly about is business meetings. Lots and lots of business meetings, emails, policy documents and the whole panoply of introverted, sterile, inward-focused bureaucracy. The Met has 38 senior officers of the rank of Commander and above - a small acre of silver braid - and they spend most of their time having meetings, and not only with each other. No, the Met's Commissioner, four Assistant Commissioners, seven Deputy Assistant Commissioners and twenty-six commanders have decided they need a further forty-nine senior civilian managers, equivalent to Commander or above, with whom to drink tea and discuss Modernisation. Don't believe me? Here they are;

Director of Information
Director of Resources
Director of Human Resources
Director of Public Affairs
Director of Legal Services
Strategic HR Director
Director of HR Operations
Director of Leadership Development
Director ofLogistical Services
Director of Catering Services
Director of Transport Services
Business PartnershipsDirector
Business Services Director
Strategic HR Director (2)
Strategic HR Director (3)
Programme & Information Manager
Director of Property Services
Director of Finance Services
Director of Strategy & Improvement Department
Director of Procurement Services
Director of Asset Management
Director of Construction
Director of Facilities Management
Director of Resilience & Compliance Group
Director of Commercial Operations
Director of Exchequer Services
Director of Business Development, Core Finance & Special Projects
Director of Business Support
Director of Business Strategy
Director of Business Performance
Director of Category Management
Director of Supply Chain Management
Head of Service Delivery
Head of Security, Standards & Architecture
Head of Business Systems & Integration
Head of Business Services & IT Training
Deputy Director of Information
Head of Technology
Deputy Director of Public Affairs
Assistant Director (Olympics)
Assistant Director (Head of Internal Communication)
Assistant Director (Chief Press Officer)
Director of Business Development
Director of Diversity and Citizen Focus
Director of Business Support
Director of Forensics
Head of Business Services (Human Resources)
Head of Business Services(Finance and Resources)
Director of Business Services

I think, Mr Orde, that we understand very well what your sort of policing is about.


Chuckles said...

Certainly untainted by any actual policing.

JuliaM said...

I wonder, if you started removing people on that list one by one, when you'd actually start to see a deleterious effect on the police service at the front line...

Half-way down? All the way down?

Sherlock Holmes' Mate said...

The only one missing there is the Director of Reducing Red Tape and Bureaucracy. Time to take choppers to the coppers...

English Pensioner said...

It would be interesting to know how many people of equivalent level that there would be in a private organisation of this size.
Or how many are employed by NYPD, which does have a directly elected police commissioner.

Crime Analyst said...

Excellent post.

52civilian managers on at least a commander salary of £103k = £5.3million.

Lets hope the cost cutters see where the real cuts are better made, rather than frontline essential resources.


Dr Melvin T Gray said...

Tut, tut and thrice tut, Raedwald. Surely you know that such organisations lose the plot when they are no longer able to compute their worth. Yet not all Police structures share that failing or mirror the Met's extravagance - so there is some positive news for public consumption.

For example in West Yorkshire, the post of Chief Constable has been amalgamated with that of Director General of Canteens. All the additional new key posts are finely tuned to daily operations and resources. Here they are:

Chief Constable/Director General of Canteens
Director of Moonlighting
Director of Freebies and Scams
Director of Overtime and Bonuses
Director of Bogus expenses and bank card shopping
Director of Tick Boxes
Director of Police Lodges, Nepotism and Favours
Director of Surfing, on line shopping and Police Blogs
Director of Lies and Cover-ups

Here at least is one model any new government would be glad to get itself behind.

Raedwald said...

... and don't forget that each one of those civilian managers will have perhaps two tiers of staff beneath them, making a vast pyramid of MBA-endowed Managerialism that rides on the backs of the thin blue line

Anonymous said...

Absolutely spot on. I've been ranting about the ACPO rank levels for years especially in the MET. I've never understood why they have so many people of chief constable and assistant chief constable that do fuck all except to exist for the sake of existing. The Tories were on the right track in 94 when they got rid of chief superintendents but this rank returned when borough restructuring came along and 'Borough Commanders' were created instead of the old 'Divisional' supers. Why so many 'Commanders, a rank peculair to the Met (and the City Police if you count their one leech in that rank). Time to amalgamate/subsume the City Police into the Met too.
ACPO bang on about radical changes being needed but all the time they protect their interests, radical change is needed but from the top down. Great post.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Once again, ladies and gentlemen, I give you...

Pournelle's Iron Law

It never fails.

If you haven't heard of it, my assistant Dr. Google will be happy to assist.

Ted Treen said...

ACPO (to the best of my knowledge) is an entirely private limited company. Although we all have the freedom to spout drivel, who gave ACPO the right to do anything else? To my layman's mind, there is the potential for a few 'incitement' charges, or if they attempt to obstruct reform, then surely they are demonstrably perverting the course of justice?

Maybe a few ACPO officers on the Moor, or residing in the Scrubs would concentrate the minds of the others most effectively...

Crime Analyst said...

Sir Hugh Orde, the President of ACPO, complains that the police would become "politicised", when the elected commissioner proposals come to fruition. Yet ACPO has spent years behaving in a quasi-political way, making statements intended to support this government policy or undermine that one.

ACPO – a private company funded by the Home Office together with contributions from police authorities – yet it is totally unaccountable for what it does.

ACPO - rank officers can be found at Home Office press conferences and they are up to their necks in politics. Sir Hugh's intervention is itself overtly political. So it is a bit rich for him to complain about the politicisation of the police.

ACPO is a self-perpetuating oligarchy where all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few that allows different people absolute power over certain aspects of the machine.

Members of an oligarchy achieve their leadership through selection from within the already established members. Therefore, an oligarchy is actually a form of shared dictatorship in which the people have a limited role in its government.

Even though it gets a state subsidy, ACPO is run as a private business with an annual income of around £18 million. Sir Hugh has £140,000 a year plus a police pension.

ACPO'S growth has taken place without any parliamentary debate and without being subject to public scrutiny, and its decisions are largely taken in secret.

ACPO has also been involved in blatant party politics, has enforced excessive “multi-cultural and diversity” programmes amongst
police forces across the country - all funded of course by the British taxpayer. The time has come for this unelected, unsupervised and powerful body to be brought to heel and replaced with a legislatively-controlled organisation which can be called to account for its activities.


Sir Hugh Orde criticises the lack of leadership over this issue, saying: "There is no political enthusiasm whatsoever to even raise this at a discussion level"

Perhaps they are suspicious of his motives. More accountability would throw the spotlight on ACPO, it's value and its function.

Would ACPO and Sir Hugh stand up to scrutiny?

There are 349 members in ACPO, perhaps he feels insecure in his position? Could this have an influence on his decision for fewer
forces? Would local authority accountability render ACPO and the invisible police authorities as obsolete and expensive mechanisms that have outlived their usefulness?

ACPO is a company limited by guarantee with no shareholders to answer to. Examination of the most recently posted accounts at
companies house make interesting reading. They show surplus funds of £2,813,167. If ACPO have almost 3million in reserve, surely
the best investment of those funds would be on equipment that will help protect the lives of the front line officers.

We have just completed an in depth report "TOO MANY CHIEFS?" that looks critically at the ACPO/Senior Officers mis management and profligacy within the service.

Feel free to drop by, your insightful commnents would be most welcome!

Steve @ The Thin Blue Line

Dr Melvin T Gray said...

Dear Steve @ The Thin Blue Line,

Your voluminous opinions are always well aired on police blogs. You post with such frequency during the day that no time can be left for any real police work.

You venture outside your separate police community, to enlist support from the public when (and only when) it suits your purpose.

Otherwise you are fiercely hostile towards criticism of police and hoist your true colours with tirades of obscene abuse. These tirades are always levelled against honest citizens who have the effrontery to freely express themselves.

You Steve, represent all that is wrong with current policing. Selfishhness, laziness, greed, intolerance, bigotry and arrogance.

Citizens should find a suitable place for the likes of you in the new public stocks, seated adjacent the infamous traitor Gadget.

Crime Analyst said...

Good morning to you too Melvyn!

Thank you for your opinion, to which you are entitled.

However, permit me to make one very minor correction. I am not a serving police officer, I am a retired officer now engaged in the business sector in a related industry, so your fears about my time spent distracted from policing are unfounded.I am fortunate that I have control of my own time so that any articles I may write do not adversely affect other activity.

You are quite right to point out that there is a lot wrong with policing. My efforts focus on raising public awareness about such issues, in an effort to stimulate sensible debate.

As a former serving officer, I can confirm that the job did, and no doubt still does contain elements of selfishhness, laziness, greed, intolerance, bigotry and arrogance. Speaking from first hand experience, I can honestly say that the majority of colleagues were committed to providing the best possible public service.

The police bloggers, from my knowledge of them, are out there doing the job within the restraints imposed upon them, to the best of their ability. They comment frequently about topics that prevent them from delvering the service the public tell them they actually want.

Reform is needed badly within the police service, and that is why most police bloggers write.

The selfishhness, laziness, greed, intolerance, bigotry and arrogance of which you speak is most evident in the upper echelons of policing.

That is where the real problem lies and must be rooted out and reformed if the front line are to have a better example to follow. That, and the negative effects of senior officer and political influence is where my attention and efforts are focused.

The front line is far from perfect. However, the many thousands of good and even great acts of police work do not make good headlines whereas the negative elements are rarely missed.

Bad cops of any rank should be kicked out. There are not many that would argue with that. But there is a danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Some misinformed comments detract from the bigger, more important objective of removing the real obstructions to the best quality of policing the tax payers money can buy.

Yes, I will defend the front line masses from unwarranted, ill informed vitriolic attacks. By the same token, I will not shy away from expressing carefully thought out fair criticism where, in my humble opinion, I believe it is warranted.

Freedom of expression is a right. So is censorship by the authors of sites such as this one. The author may moderate and veto content if he so wishes. That is what the moderate button is for. It his his train set.

I am aware that your comments have been blocked by numerous sites across the internet. Each site owners will have their own reasons for this. Perhaps you should create your own site where you would experience no such censorship.

Dr Melvin T Gray said...

Dear Steve @ The Thin Blue Line,

Were we disposed to trust policemen in the UK, there would be little hesitation in taking your word you are not drawing police wages whilst moonlighting with another extended 'sickie'.

Your dishonesty manifests itself in the manner you present evidence. You state "your comments have been blocked by numerous sites across the internet". Going overboard to impress the Jury are we, old chap? As far as I know (and it troubles me not) only Gadget and his sidekick WPC Blogs have attempted to block my posts for no good reason. This pair of public servants actually boast of the huge scale they censor sources of truthful citizen comment. In consequence, their blogs are distortions, wallowing in the deep filth of crude police language and hostility towards the public.

Citizens of the UK are tired of lazy, public servants who form the useless barnacles on a keel of public funding and distort the truth. Your parasitic ilk have reduced our Nation to a point where it stares bankruptcy in the face.

Just for once in your life, old bean, try honesty on a modest scale (such as expression without resort to lies/distortions.)