Just a quick line to say that I am back from a very busy but enjoyable visit to the UK and to thank Kevin, Robin and Bob for keeping the blog ticking over, please do not stop. Thanks also to those of you who take the time to comment, it is appreciated.
Lots of things happening during my absence not least the slow growth of Graham Glazier’s ill-fated moustache that will disappear much more rapidly than it is appearing but all in a good cause.
I thought I was reading an April Fool’s story whilst in the UK but, no, it seems that it is true that NSY is to disappear although I could not help shouting at the TV in my son’s house when I heard a reporter stating that it will stop police officers hiding in there. Obviously he had absolutely no knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes in New Scotland Yard so I look forward to seeing the Anti Terrorist Branch and others operating out of Tesco’s or in a library where they can be more visible to the public to meet yet another non-existent government target.
Another report that did not get blogged was the one about the fact that the ‘Met Police earned almost £23m in gifts and sponsorship’ so in one breath we get that NSY is too expensive and in the other the Met getting criticised for raising funds to help the struggling budget pot. The report said that ‘While such sponsorships were within the rules, critics today questioned whether they “could be perceived as compromising the force’s position”.
As the current government does not seem to worry about compromising the position of the police service but seems hell bent on politicising every aspect of it with the introduction of PCC’s there should be no worries there then.
And let us not forget that it has been reported that ‘Police cuts mean more specials and volunteers, chief signals’ Sara Thornton, the chief constable of Thames Valley who is also the vice president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said, “it was time to decide whether community policing should be left solely to professional police officers and key staff”. In 2010, Theresa May, the Home Secretary, announced plans to boost the number of special constables by 50,000 as she backed the idea of volunteers patrolling alongside professional officers.
As another paper reported that reservists would fill cuts in army numbers, here is another example of the way this government is currently thinking, policing on the cheap. Sara Thornton is playing the government’s tune when she said, “in terms of cuts, the “low hanging fruit” has already been picked and the use of specials and other volunteers was “undeveloped”.
Another regular contributor to the blog pointed out this story, ‘Morale crisis at the Met as only a third of officers say they believe public receive good service from police.’ So whilst Rome burns ACPO continues to fiddle.
We seem to be heading towards a country that is staffed by an army of volunteers that make no financial contribution in terms of tax and other fiscal charges with those in work facing the prospect of working into their dotage that will leave many young, disadvantaged and unemployed, with few future prospects other than to work as volunteers for no pay; yeah, that will happen of course! What is likely to happen is that the unions will become more militant to try and protect member’s jobs as they see hard fought for rights being eroded.
That in turn will create more unrest and more pressure on an already stretched police service that will be staffed by part timers. I suppose the government could do what they did with the Olympics and call in the army, but wait, the army will also be staffed by volunteers so that will mean volunteers being called in to back fill the jobs that the volunteer police, army, (and no doubt), fire fighters will have to vacate whilst they do their other part time job of clearing up the mess that the government has created!
Meanwhile we have another report that said, ‘Revealed: Cars used in police campaign showing vehicles seized from criminals were borrowed from showrooms’ Strathclyde police put a £350,000 collection of cars seized from gangsters on public display, it was supposed to be a public relations triumph in the war on crime.
Strathclyde Police acting chief constable Campbell Corrigan posed with 10 gleaming motors sporting registrations of “SEIZED”. They included an £80,000 Audi and a £50,000 Range Rover with windscreen stickers saying “one criminal owner”.
But The Daily Record revealed that the motors had not been seized from organised crime but were actually borrowed from a car dealership.
It took over five weeks for the force to respond to the paper when they asked who had owned the cars.
Finally, they said: “The vehicles used in respect of this event were representative of vehicles seized.”
Yesterday, politicians warned that the police were risking public confidence for publicity.
Scottish Conservative chief whip John Lamont said: “This is an issue of trust. The event would have been worthwhile if they’d either used the real cars seized or come clean about where they were actually from.
“How are the public supposed to be persuaded the Proceeds of Crime Act is being carried out honestly if they are being deceived by publicity stunts?”
And there lies the rub, spin in every guise has eroded public confidence in the police service and it is a hang over from the spin of the last Labour government of Blair, Browne and ‘spin doctor’ Campbell.
Time the truth be told warts and all because nobody is buying what is being pumped out about the police service, least of all those on the ground who have to get on with an already difficult job in the face of government hostility.
It seems as though there will be plenty to report on so keep visiting and let us hear your thoughts on what is happening in the news.
In the meantime amongst the many emails I received whilst I was away, I received this: -
One sick individual, now universally loathed by a nation for shafting the innocent. Seen here with Jimmy Saville.
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