A Coppers Rant

Monday, May 15, 2006

Performance Targets

We have just had a change of management on my area, as the supernintendo, after spending considerable time and effort persuading us not to go to the Met for more money, claiming we should think of the quality of life we have in our lovely county and not the extra money, went to the Met for more money.

After some indepth looking at figures and polling staff etc etc the management have decided that sections should have 30+ arrests , 60+ Intelligence reports and 20+ PND's per month. Not too terrible I thought at the time, but as is my want, I started to think about it a bit more and got me gander up. So it's time to get it off me pidgeon chest!

Why is it that some sections are seen by the management to be better performing than others, when if you look at the quailty of some of the arrests you would be able to find 5 juveniles brought in for theft of 1 mars bar or something similar. Still that's 5 crime arrests to add to the list, not sure how you would justify it under SOCAP though. I have always had the opinion that as a holder of the rank of Constable I should excercise my powers fairly and without bias and that the taking of someones liberty is the last resort. What with the constant erosion of our powers of discrection and the nightmare of the sanctioned detected crime report game, the job that I joined to help people and detect criminals now seems to be... ' For Gods sake keep the Home office happy.'

I have one arrest this month, a drink driver who gave false details as she had no insurance and was a Provisional licence holder only. In my opinion that's what good policing is about, removing a danger from the public. She was twice over the limit and I like to think that I stopped her from killing or harming someone or herself. Are the powers that be interested in this bit of proactive policing? Simple answer, no, it's not a crime arrest.

I watched as my Sgt asked us at the end of an early turn how many arrests had we each had and a colleague replied " None, but I've given out a load of tickets." to which the instantaneous reply was " I'm not interested in tickets!"
Last month we had 54 arrests and the Inspector came over and thanked us for our hard work, what has changed this month, have we all become a bunch of lazy sloths or could it be that we have been sent to piles of rubbish that shouldn't get past the telephone operator, reporting offenders for offences, issuing fixed penalty notices and god forbid, using discretion! I decided not to point out to the skipper that 1 officer was on a 3 week driving course, 1 was on an attachment to another dept and 5 others had all been given the same annual leave and rest days in lieu, as there was steam coming out of the back of his neck.

I was led to believe that the Human rights act (God bless it) had put a stop to performance indicators. Then I stared thinking about performance related pay. If the job starts saying that you will be paid more for beating your performance targets and you haven't at the end of the month and a five 11 year olds fail to pay for a sherbert Did Dab, would you bring them in? Tempting isn't it? cause it's worth money in your back pocket! How fair and unbiased is would that be?

Now I'm in a bit of a quandry. Do I issue a PND for a shoplifting or do I arrest them to get me figures up? Do I submit quality intel reports or do I put any old rubbish down to get the figures up? Do I carry on policing the way I feel it should be done or should I bow down and play the numbers game? I feel like i'm losing the will and am already wishing for the next 20 years to go quick so that I can retire and rant about how my pension has been mislaid down the back of a filing cabinet somewhere.

3 Comments:

  • Welcome to the world of cop blogs. You will already have noticed that you are not alone in your loving of all things statistical!

    Like you, I can't stand the constant emphasis on quantity with no regard to quality. When I was a PC, I would prefer to have one prisoner for a decent job than five ticks in the box for no hope jobs.

    I'll stick your blog on my sidebar and you might get a few more messages of support

    By Blogger Stan Still, at 11:00 AM  

  • Thanks Stan,
    It felt like getting over a really bad headcold, getting all that off my chest.

    By Blogger Invictaplod, at 2:31 PM  

  • Good start, keep it up...oh, and stay safe.

    By Blogger gonorr, at 12:32 PM  

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