I was sitting in the control room the other day, shining my arse, looking at the ever increasing mountain of jobs outstanding when it struck me. Why? Why does the list of jobs keep getting bigger when the amount of stuff we don't deal with anymore keeps growing?
At the start of the 90's when according to the government we had far less Police Officers than today the parade room was always full of officers and we dealt with stuff that today has long been discarded such as :-
School Crossing patrol cover. Where did that go?
Parking Offences. Now in the hands of local authorities.
Noisy parties. Sorry thats a council matter.
Collecting found property. Can you bring it to the station as we're busy.
Forged currency. Then, required a crime report and evidence bag. Now, take it to the bank.
Audible alarms. Complain to the council about the noise.
There's probably more but it escapes me at the moment and yet we still managed a lot better than today.
I have my theory on why. We used to be regarded as a Police Force not a service. A semi military run emergency response force. NOT a business!
We are supposed to deal with situations that need an effective and firm response.
Instead we're given performance indicators, league tables and monthly appraisals, all of which takes our focus away from what we should be doing, our job, and instead leaves us with the sad FACT that the reason we are wearing stab proof vests is to protect us from the knives that are being wielded by our line supervisors ( didn't they used to be called Sgts? ) in order for them to be able to evidence to their managers that they have lost the ability of common sense and are therefore suitable to climb up the promotion ladder where backbone and integrity are not essential requirements.
We used to have effective leaders which encouraged us to stand together, look out for each other. These days if you voice an opinion that actually makes sense you stand out, you are asked by your team leaders to reflect on what you have said, you realise that suddenly you are standing alone and in silence as everyone else is just relieved that you have taken the attention away from them. Anyway, that's enough for my first rant. Back to taking complaints from Joe Public about how crap we are and how much better we were in the early 90's.....