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Round and round we go

November 27, 2006
There’s nothing new in policing, so how do aspiring Chief Constables prove their worth?

Re-organisation, or Force Review, or Restructuring, or whatever trendy phrase that comes to mind.

Anyone who has been in the job for any length of time will know what happens when a new chief lands. They all know that boundaries will move slightly, one or two little squads will be formed, one or two others will have their name changed and the different parts of the force will be renamed. If, like me, you have seen off four or five chief constables in various forces, you will recognise the weary e-mails that come out to sell this new vision to the masses.

Leicestershire Constabulary are currently in the throes of a shake-up, as reported in the local paper.

The story explains how the force is reducing from four policing areas to three, in order to provide a service that meets the needs of local people. It doesn’t say which local people want to be able to travel further to see a police officer, but there must be some out there! One reader comments that this force had three Divisions less than 14 years ago, before they broadened out into five Areas. These areas were then condensed to four, before yet another shrinkage to three. So in this relatively short space of time, the wheel has gone full circle.

What we don’t get to hear is the explanation from the senior officers who implemented the previous changes, so they can tell us what was so wrong with the system that it needed a complete overhaul (three times).

The cynics amongst you will of course say that the senior management were tinkering in order to provide evidence for their portfolios. I couldn’t possibly comment, other than to say that despite all the changes that are made in force structures, the humble PC still ends up getting the blame for not getting to the job on time. This was ever so – regardless of how the mountain is constructed, shit still rolls downhill and gathers at the feet of the bobby on patrol. I fail to see how the changes under way in Leicestershire can make any difference.

Don’t feel I’m picking on this particular force – it is going on across the policing community all the time. It costs a fortune and achieves nothing!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. PC South West permalink
    November 27, 2006 19:20

    Devon & Cornwall will see their new Chief Steve OTTER take up his post in the New Year; I wonder what changes he will be making?

    Wouldn’t it be nice to hear him announce that he is going to fight the political bureaucracy forced upon him by the government?
    And how he will take to task the bean counters and put office whalers back in uniform and on the streets.
    Put an end to putting detection targets in place and set about preventing crime rather than just detecting it.
    I won’t hold my breath.
    Not that I am a D&C officer you know.

  2. ExtraSpecialCopper permalink
    November 27, 2006 19:40

    My force have done the same as Leics in recent years. What difference has been noticed with this move?

    1) More radio traffic
    2) More area to cover
    3) Well, thats it really – nothing else has been acheived

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