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Sunday, 9 February 2020

Police organisation - time for a radical rethink?

One of the reasons that academics have had such difficulty in determining the most efficient size and scale of a police force is the degree to which police forces are vertically integrated. We are used to each of our 43 police forces, under the hierarchical control of a Chief Constable (The Met is a special case) and with detective and CID branches that may have specialist sub-squads dealing with drugs or counter terrorism, a traffic division, armed response units, specialist operational functions that may include scenes-of-crime, armourers, procurement and stores and vehicle maintenance and back office functions including HR, finance, payroll, pension administration, media communications and PR.

And one of the problems we have in discussing the structure and composition of policing is that there is always an implicit assumption that this degree of vertical integration is how it must be. Thus those who argue for larger national or regional police forces inevitably do so on the basis of claimed efficiencies in back office and specialist operational support services. But why should the key part of the police service most valued and wanted by the public that owns it, local policing, be dragged into the hubristic empire-building of ambitious senior officers?

One of tensions at the heart of the long struggle between Whitehall and Town Hall for control of policing are two very different views of what the UK's police forces should do. One the one hand we want local policing, community building, informal dispute and disturbance resolution, reinforcement of the Little Platoons and the ears of sworn constables attuned and receptive to the concerns and priorities of citizens. On the other hand Whitehall fears an ever-present danger of chaos, anarchy, terrorism, major incidents, fire, flood, disease and strikes, and even more than such events themselves it fears its own inability to deal with them. Whitehall therefore wants a large, flexible, mobile force with existing command and communications structures as closely under the control of the Home secretary as possible to be deployed to maintain the well-being and security of the State.

If we accept that both ambitions are to some extent legitimate, we must ask how, or even if, they can both be achieved without a duplication of resources. Can we integrate and amalgamate the back-office and specialist operational functions? Can we regionalise and specialise counter-terrorism policing and detective work for indictable offences such as rape that needs particular skills and resources? Can we roll out integrated communication systems and secure mobile information access that can serve a local beat copper both when on his rounds and when he's called upon to police football crowds in the nearest city?

But above all, can we return local policing to being local policing, immune from the woke fads, promotion obsessions and box-checking of ambitious middle-ranking managers? Under the democratic direction (but not operational control) of watch committees, elected bodies and even lay magistrates?

Policing is broke. It needs fixing. It is simply not acceptable that the police no longer respond to reports of non-indictable offences. It is even less acceptable that the organisational and management failures that allowed the systemic child sexual abuse of thousands of young girls in our town and cities are permitted to continue. 


DeeDee99 said...

It wasn't organisation failures which "allowed the systemic child sexual abuse of thousands of young girls in our town and cities....."

If it was an organisation failure, it would be reasonable to expect that the same failure would NOT be replicated across the country and in multiple Police administrations.

It was not "a failure." It was an undeclared policy that in order to maintain community relations in communities "enriched" by large-scale Muslim immigration, mainly from Pakistan, the police were not to pursue complaints against the perpetrators. The question is, where did the policy originate? It appears to be the Blair/Brown Labour Governments.

The other question is why hasn't ANYONE in authority been prosecuted for Malfeasance in Public Office?

I realise your topic is about the future of policing but that requires admitting the real nature of the grooming "failure." As I said in my comment on your first post about the future of policing: the grooming/rape gangs would not have been allowed to operate under genuine local policing.

But then, the Government wouldn't have got what it wanted to present as harmonious relations between the various ethnic/religious groups they have imposed on us under their policy of immigration/multi-culturalism. And whatever the future of policing is, the Government isn't going to do anything which requests in it giving that up.

Control of policing will not be localised. Not even one tier of policing will be localised. Instead we get tokens like Police and Crime Commissioners and their Bureaucratic Empires - to pretend that citizens concerns are prioritised and are being addressed.

John in Cheshire said...

Once again I agree with DeeDee99.

In addition to returning to local policing, I think all meetings of chief police officers should be minuted and televised.

DiscoveredJoys said...

I've not commented until now about police organisation for I have little idea of what it *should* be.

However I do agree with DeeDee99... control of the Police Service(!) has been centralised. Partly I think because of the Long March through the organisation, and partly because Governments fear the implications of public policing not under their control.

If 'grooming', MPs expenses, corruption and styles of policing were not under top down control who knows who might end up being convicted. If you run governments on 'patronage' then a handful of 'Get out of Jail Free' cards are part of that package of rewards for services rendered.

Dave_G said...

Seems to me that the Policing structure has been deliberately designed to permit certain people to evade prosecution and others to be disproportionately persecuted/prosecuted.

In other words it has been changed to suit the needs of the few, not the many.

The criminal prosecution structure is now a business - a very profitable one at that. Except those with the least ability to pay are the ones most likely to be fined.

DD99 hits the nail.

Anonymous said...

Once again I recommend former police detective Maggie Oliver's book Survivors in which she outlines her battle to expose the Rochdale child abuse scandal.

This is the story of what happens when vulnerable children are left to fall through the cracks of our society. It reveals how thousands of girls, as young as ten, were trafficked and brutally raped by gangs of (mainly Pakistani Muslim) paedophiles in Rochdale. The same is probably happening now in your town or one nearby.

It's a heart-breaking story but the failure of the authorities (every one of them Labour controlled) to take action cuts even deeper. You'll find it hard to read but you really must. We need to make a change.'

Common Purpose indoctrinated (NLP) plod..those little English girls didn't stand a chance.


Anonymous said...

As a front-line PC I've been reading the last three posts with interest. There's no way I can write on here all that is right about the police and all that is wrong, so I won't try. Everyone has an opinion on how the police should act and there are a lot of armchair experts out there who have never done my job. I, for example, wouldn't criticise my plumber on the internet as I've never done the job and have no idea what I'm talking about.

All I will put is that the front-line chaps and chapesses generally do an excellent job under huge pressure and massive scrutiny. The real problem are the pole-climbing senior officers who make us cringe,and of course the politicians.

Raedwald said...

jaded - appreciated

But not being a plumber means you're not well placed to evaluate a soldered joint in copper tube. It doesn't mean you can't comment with authority on the design of a town's water supply.

JPM said...

DeeDee, if only you supported your claims with reliable evidence then that would be a brilliant post.

But, alas, you have not one bit of it, do you?

However, there is quite a lot out there, as to what actually happened at Rotherham and elsewhere. Why don't you research it?

Anonymous said...

JPM said @ 13:15

'However, there is quite a lot out there, as to what actually happened at Rotherham and elsewhere. Why don't you research it?'

You mean like this:

How Anti-Fascists Helped Muslim Grooming Gangs in the UK


JPM said...

What have sometimes naïve and silly groups got to do with a non-existent claimed "policy" of the Blair governments by Dee Dee?

Especially since we have had Tory rule for ten years now?

I think that they were helped rather more by those police under investigation for receiving pay-offs from the gangs, don't you?

JPM said...

PS, you see, Raedwald, I told you that they wouldn't let you change the subject away from immigration, didn't I?

So what is Johnson going to do about it?

Anonymous said...

I real terms policing has not existed in my area for years. We have not seen a uniform here for well over two years. Drugs are openly used and deals happen openly in the streets and parks. Anti social behaviour is everywhere violence happens on our streets criminal damage and drunks go unchallenged. We have been abandoned by the police who now are often viewed as nothing more than the states revenue gathers praying on those who are by nature law abiding.

Span Ows said...

DeeDee, seems consensus on your comment! Well said.

Jaded (anon 12:02), I think most people would agree entirely it is not the fault of the 'bobbies on the beat', to coin a phrase. Fast Track and constant kowtowing to the PC (oops) brigade and woeful politicians has meant the Police Force became a police service became a Police...thing.

JPM, the biggest scandal in the UK in my lifetime (IMHO) is the grooming (aka rape, gang rape, drug abuse paedophile, child trafficking) scandal. It is literally about tens of thousands of vile crimes.

When you work out the number of men involved and work out the numbers of men in that actual "community" the percentage is staggering; it makes it even more evil. The cover-ups and implicit 'suppport' by non action and even blaming the victims is salt in a wound.

How you separate that from immigration to the UK I don't know.

JPM said...

Span, it's not me trying to change the subject.

It's the Tories and their media.

I'm happy to debate the pros and cons of immigration at any time, and the fact that a fair proportion, maybe most of the abusers were actually born here, not immigrants.

None of them came from the rest of the European Union, however.

Anonymous said...

JPM said 15:07

'What have sometimes naïve and silly groups got to do with a non-existent claimed "policy" of the Blair governments by Dee Dee?'

The policy of the Blair government was to "rub" people's noses in diversity.

Nothing penetrates with you does it mate.

Gotta 12 year-old daughter who's been raped by over 100 Pakistanis on a weekend? No you haven't so you obsess about hurty words and wrongthink.

Is the destruction of the lives of little English girls across the West Midlands a price worth paying as many on the Left think? Do the ends justify the means? These little girls are from my ethnic group mate so you'll forgive me if speak out about some of the effects of post-war immigration on my people. My own mother was sexually assaulted by two West Indians in London in 1949 when she was 18 years-old.


DeeDee99 said...

@ Jaded

My late father was a Met Police Officer, who did 30 years' service, retiring in the mid-80s. I remember him telling me, when I expressed an interest in becoming a Police Officer, that the job had changed beyond all recognition during the course of his career.... and not for the better.

Front-line Police Officers are now trying to do an impossible job; basically keeping the lid on a completely fractured society; whilst the Political Class and Common Purpose trained senior police prioritise "diversity" and monitoring "hurty words" to protect the sensitivities of various minorities who are very easily offended.

DeeDee99 said...


Nazir Afzal, former NW Chief Prosecutor told the BBC “You may not know this, but back in 2008 the Home office sent a circular to all police forces in the country saying ‘as far as these young girls who are being exploited in towns and cities, we believe they have made an informed choice about their sexual behaviour and therefore it is not for you police officers to get involved in.’”

JPM said...

Thanks Dee Dee.

It's curious that no one can produce this circular isn't it?

I mean, it would exonerate countless police for their inaction, wouldn't it?

I note that the sources use the word "allegedly" before the claim that you make.

If there were much substance to it, then it would rightly be headline news across all the anti-Labour press, such as Express, Mail, Telegraph etc., I think.

It never has been.

Anonymous said...

That Windrush fellow about to be deported for trading in Class-A drugs. Would he have been ok if Michael Gove was his customer? That would simplify life for the police.