Sunday, 22 February 2009

Our own worst enemy.

Today I attended an incident that came across as a race/hate crime. Someone had racially abused a male and called him a "paki". I wait for the alarm bells to ring and the front door to get smashed through for typing that. With appropriate race/hate pack in tow I arrive at the address, knock on the door and get greeted by an IC1/W1 male when the door opens. His first comment was "that got you here quick enough didn't it". The job was graded as attendance within the hour (grade 2) despite it being very busy for a Sunday, the tag was met. I asked him what he meant and he told me that he wished to report some youths causing annoyance in the street but knowing that he would probably get little if any response he decided to totally change the nature of his call. In order to ensure a prompt police response he lied. I told him that this was not a wise idea as other people might have more pressing issues for the police to deal with not just children who lived in the road playing football on a Sunday afternoon. They were watching when I turned up and continued their game as I knocked at the address. In short they weren't actually doing anything wrong. The "encounter" with this individual then deteriorated as he pointed out that I was a disgrace to the police as I had taken 32 minutes to respond to a racially aggravated public order offence that actually hadn't taken place. In my most professional manner, which can be very good when needed, I then cautioned him and pointed out the offence of causing a wasteful use of police time. He not so politely told me to go away and tried to slam the door. Anyway end result £80 PND issued and no doubt a complaint on the way.

In the mean time the radio room had composed several e-mails notifying the race/hate coordinator of the incident and whatever else they needed to do. When I resulted the job it did not fit with their criteria, ie no race/hate pack completed, and they would not accept that the job was a crock of poo.

This highlighted to me yet again how fearful the job is of not being politically correct. The "buzz" words all demand ultimate compliance, boot licking and a general over-reaction that is not necessary. We must always be diverse, I don't have a problem with that. I do object to having several mandatory computer presentations rammed down my throat with non compliance threats if I don't do them.

The police service in general has been criticised for not updating "victims" regularly during the course of the investigation. Genuine victims you will bend over backwards for and do everything you possibly can to trace and arrest the offender, the matter will be passed on to the jacks if serious enough and they will also do their best. Locally we have a term for the vast majority of matters, SOSHNI (Shite On Shite Humans Not Involved). This relates to the average domestic, threats, assault etc etc that the "victim" has supposedly endured. You arrive, know damn well that the job is a load of bollocks from the instant you start speaking to them, but according to NCRS you must crime it. Many jobs are not crimed as the "victim" twists them self into knots whilst lying about the "facts" but unfortunately some matters you can't advise accordingly and they become a statistic. The victim charter then comes into force and next thing you are up for non-compliance. We must do better is the frequent e-mail that we receive. Yes you do very well for meeting all the grade ones and twos and your arrests and other performance indicators are outstanding BUT you didn't phone Chantelle to let her know that the complaint she made about her friend telling her to stop having sex with friends boyfriend was a load of poo and written off accordingly. What idiot took that complaint in the first place needs sacking!

In short the various think tanks that have looked at the way the police deal with people have made their recommendations. This is good and is a learning curve for all forces which does need addressing. The manner in which it is done is positively overdone. They have taken fully fit officers, many of them, and put them in roles where the sole purpose in to ensure compliance with whatever the current trend is, Citizen Focus, Victim Charter, Policing Pledge or Blueprint Promise Etc. Etc. Etc.

Must stop now, blood pressure on the way up. It seems that the role of the police now is not to police. It is to be scared of the faults that have been pointed out about it and make inordinately large efforts not to do anything wrong again. In order to do this the "squad mentality" takes over and a new team is formed to ensure we can never be criticised again.

Unfortunately due to the nature of the occupation we will always be criticised, we arrest people, we meet them at times of their greatest need and we generally get involved with people who would sooner we didn't. We are meant to be a uniformed disciplined force there to do a job and not be afraid of anything, least of all ourselves.

It needs to stop, lessons can be learned and within my area they are, after a moan. The job needs to stop trying not to upset people and remember why it is there. We are all appointed to the office of Constable and after training are given certain powers not granted to the general public. We swear an oath and then find ourseves unable to fulfil our oath as some other piece of crap has apparently overridden the fundamentals of policing.

Let us get out there and do the job and accept criticism, not be chained to a desk or computer screen complying with whatever nonsense that has been invented in order to ensure we don't upset anyone.

Sorry very long rant know, fed up.


Annette said...

Sorry your feeling 'fed-up'at the moment,but after listening to that male I'm not surprised.
You b.p.up?
And mine, yet again!

Anonymous said...

Agreed mate, the police police are more of a worry for us now than the unwashed could ever be.

Area Trace No Search said...

Feel your pain, all I can say is Thank God the Met haven't signed fully up to the NCRS scheme.

We're still (in most circumstances) allowed to chose which offence best fits the call we go to - if any at all.

Racially aggravated calls of course are a different kettle of fish altogether.

And no, I didn't have a cold...

Anonymous said...

Well said C.C It makes one wonder where did it all start to go wrong, and WHY is it a long time coming to put it all right again.