Friday, March 16, 2012

More On The Police

I am going to risk the wrath of Murdoch by quoting from the (paywalled) Times site; for one thing, I think he has enough on his plate not to to have to bother about little me (too poor to be worth suing) and for another thing the Times listed this as one of the 40 blogs that really count, and for yet another, I do have a full six quid a week sub to the Times multimedia output (and jolly fine value it is - is that all right Rupert?).

So here goes:-
...the lack of formal educational attainments for entry (to the police) is striking, and could well deter intellectually able people with the right qualities. For too long, policing has been unfairly regarded by many as an occupation with most in common with blue-collar work. The roots of policing are firmly in that context and the attitudes of some police officers remain fastened in that mindset of the past. It holds them back and reinforces the lower social and professional standing that too many people wrongly associate with police officers.

So says Tom Winsor in an article today. I have made more or less the same points over recent months, but I elicited virulent abuse from some bloggers who think that any comment on the way the police is run makes me anti-police. I made the very point about the 'blue-collar' attitude of some officers, and was branded with saying the police were 'below stairs' which I have never said and do not believe.

Anyway, the cat is out of the bag. The management of the police service is fossilised, and its governance is sclerotic. Change is coming, and not before time.


  1. Some US police departments use IQ tests for recruiting... and exclude anyone who scores too high.

  2. Unfortunately I fear that Winsor has based his experience of police officers on the fictional focus groups he claimed to have consulted in Part 1.
    The external attitude towards the police as "blue collar workers" might be tackled better with a long hard look at his own prejudices followed by a reflection on the make-up and views of society.
    However venal, criminal and poorly qualified they might be - "the bankers" will always be viewed as "white collar workers", whilst nurses - regardless of the fact they are now graduates - are never going to be viewed in the same light as Doctors.

    The mind set of officers is very much to moan and groan and then get the job done, regardless of numbers, ridiculous shift patterns, stress, danger, rapidly changing legislation, a bizarre bastardisation of a business "target culture" and an unholy conjoining of the worst that civil service and "management" bureaucracy can produce.
    It may well appear as a mind set resistant to change or mired in the past - but when there is a promotion system in place where it is almost mandatory to demonstrate what change you have driven through in order to climb the greasy pole - then forgive us when we don't cheer in the streets as the wheel is continually re-invented and each Chief Inspector's "vast improvement" is hailed by the new chief Inspector as "unfit for purpose" and changed again.

    Still for all those who criticise the current mind set and attitudes of the police officer's alleged self-perpetuating canteen culture - do you think things will get better or worse when we have a "professional police"?
    Recruited from school via self funded police training college courses, placing a huge financial hurdle on any prospective joiner such as those today who might have graduated in other fields, carried out a variety of (white, blue and collarless!) jobs and brought their own range of life experience to the job.

    Still if we are professionalising the CJS I have a vision : - properly trained legal graduates sitting as magistrates, no more of these part-timers bringing their prejudices to the bench, 24/7 courts, recognition that a guilty plea at first opportunity is at the police station - not the doors of the court, accountability of the judiciary when bail decisions go bad, prolific offenders faced with meaningful punishments - even if it does appear to require some moral fortitude to suggest that on your 100th conviction there may be "some" grounds for stepping outside the comfort blanket of the sentencing guidelines.

    Still what do I know. I am a fat, uneducated, unfit, blue collar plod.

    (I suspect you are going to see many less comments now that there is the requiremtn to log in :-( )

    1. I suspect you are going to see many less comments now that there is the requiremt to log in :-( )

      Sorted. You can be Anon or whoever now. All are welcome, just like in the Ritz Hotel.

    2. Well said Tang0. See you at The Ritz. You can hand in your blue collar and they give you a white, collar, jacket and tie. You can pretend to be one of them, for a while at least.

  3. Brontosaurus,
    Odd isn't it that you can sneer at a PC yet hobnob with a Superintendent, whilst apparently forgetting that they have both walked the same streets.
    Me, I prefer to take people as I find them - and if I have to divide them into classes I prefer to separate the criminals from the non-criminals.


  4. Before pointing the finger at police officers, maybe you and your colleagues should take a long hard look at yourselves. We are the ones who bring the offenders to justice, normally after jumping through numerous hoops as laid down by CPS. Unfortunately it is you and your colleagues who continually allow these people to walk out the doors of the court with a token slap on the wrist. It is high time you actually listened to the views of police and victims before passing sentence. I would also suggest that your views of officers would not be so slanted if you dealt with the immediate aftermath of such offenders activities on a daily basis.


Posts are pre-moderated. Please bear with us if this takes a little time, but the number of bores and obsessives was getting out of hand, as were the fake comments advertising rubbish.