Saturday, 30 May 2009
One of the changes brought in is an emphasis on 'leadership' (meaning management) and the role of being a 'leader' (meaning being a manager).
Go into any UK police force, and I would be surprised not to find posters, leaflets, online resources, training courses, and enormous volumes of hot air all about this 'leadership' thing.
This is something that has come in on the crest of the wave of introducing ideas and concepts from private industry (who else has 'customers','business partners','business cases' and so on) - I mean we are the public sector - monopoly suppliers of policing - there is no customer choice - I would argue that they are not customers as they have no choice and certainly aren't expected to pay... but that's a different rant.
With the posters, also came the motivational ones, spreading like the ravings of benign vandals across corridors and noticeboards and even the occasional office. I hate these with a passion. Below is an example - albeit a satirical one, but it gets the point across:
(For more - I suggest you get over to despair inc. )
So does knowing John Kotter's 8 point model for successful change help me in the slightest? - it's clearly an obsession for modern management - for example, Google gives nearly 36 million hits for 'managing change'. There are plenty of books or courses available to help executives 'create coalitions', 'communicate', 'express a vision', 'empower' and so on - in fact, I've noticed that the language of 'management' and the language of counselling often have a shared vocabulary (is this significant I wonder...?) - but in the long run - does it really help?
I may be wrong, I may be in a minority of one, but people who talk like professional managers, with 'vision' and a 'mission' come across as massive wankers. Not necessarily bad, evil or stupid - quite the reverse, but very often as misguided, naive, and deluded, and certainly anyone who wants to 'link in' with me, as opposed to come and 'speak to' me has already got my hackles up.
Don't let the bastards grind you down.
Monday, 18 May 2009
Just when the number of anti-Police coverage in the media was getting too much.
Just when the fall-out from the G20 summit was making all cops look like out-of-control bullies.
Just when the Met seemed to have totally lost the plot.
Both sides of the venerable House have joined their noses in the trough !!!
Meanwhile, back in Grim-on-th't-Moor, Sgt Custerd is still head of the trivial crime squad.
What this means, is that our 'customer' rings one of our call centres. Their complaint is graded from 1 to 5.
1 is serious - blue lights and sirens.
2 is fairly serious - a stripy vehicle will be with you in an hour.
3 is reasonably pressing - a stripy vehicle will be with you during the same day.
4 is trivial. Or has been regraded through a lack of stripy vehicles. Or we've been creative with the truth, and decided that there is no evidence to lose - or it's been lost - or else our 'customer' is happy with an appointment (within 48 hours - remember the Pledge).
5 is when a Police 'officer' will call you back and take details by phone.
The grading determines how quickly - and whether you will be seen. A grade of 4 means that one of my team will deal with your complaint.
'Deal' in this sense means we make an appointment for our customer - who comes in to see us. In the case of a recordable crime - with a line of enquiry to a named suspect, then a statement and crime report is taken. Which in turn now gets fed into the sausage machine of 21st century policing.
A crime is allocated to an officer - who arrests the suspect - brings them to a police station, books them into custody, where:
someone else takes fingerprints, photos and DNA,
someone else interviews them,
someone else decides if there is sufficient evidence to charge or refer to the CPS,
(in which case, someone else makes the decision to charge),
someone else puts together the file for Court.
On paper - all very simple - in practice, like herding cats, juggling eels, and nailing jelly to the ceiling. In the dark. With your feet on fire.