Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Orde's order odure...

Is Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, a bleeding stump? Thanks to 'It doesn't add up', commenting HERE, for posting the link to John Redwood:
"Only in the public sector is an increase a cut. The current debate over public spending is bogged down in the parade of the bleeding stumps..."
Orde, he of the secretive, controversial and unaccountable super-quango, is claiming that it was "misleading in the extreme" to claim that current police numbers are "sustainable" in the face of proposed cuts but with no detail of those cuts he is clearly just staking a claim, getting his defence in early etc. A bleeding stump. The Home Secretary Theresa May told the same conference she would be "ruthless in cutting out waste, streamlining structures and improving efficiency" but that the 'cuts' amounted to a spending freeze or a reduction of only 1% or 2% (link through image to BBC).

Looking at the graph (or look up the numbers) it is clear about one thing: over the last decade and a half, police officer numbers have risen by about 10%; civilian staff have risen by about 50%. So...there are loads more police officers AND loads more civilian staff doing the backroom work: fine, dandy, great news; so, if you ask anyone if they've seen an officer on the beat and/or the last time they saw an officer on the beat: know what? No, I'm not going to tell you that they'll say no: they'll say yes! And what's more they tell you exactly where and when because it such a rare thing! So where are they all hiding? Who knows, you know Hugh?

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Paul said...

Don't know about beat officers, but then to be honest I can't ever remember this mythical Dixon of Dock Green era we supposedly lived in. It's one of John Major's fantasies isn't it, up there with village nurses on bikes, warm beer and jam for tea.

Must have been great to be alive in the austere 1950's!

I saw a police van with a speed camera hiding behind a pick your own strawberries sign yesterday morning. What's even funnier is I noticed this morning that they seem to have planted a fake bush (no not a Kate Bush) to cover the pick your own sign!

Span Ows said...

LOL! Now, you being a photographer should have been right back to take a picture of that bush and sign (with of course the added risk of being arrested for taking a picture) I imagine you've read about the kid in Romford (about a 10 minute exchange with the police) for taking pictures of children without their consent (I believe it was an Armed forces cadet parade or something...fucking unbelievable)

Re the bobbies on the beat, never like 'Dock Green' but plenty of Dixons. But not since the 70s (but then again I've been out of the UK for more time than in it since then!).

Anonymous said...

Proof if proof be need be.

I see quite a few police people - on the beat? not sure of the terminology - where I live in London. It isn't necessarily the sort of observation I would have committed to memory so certainly can't pretend to be wholly, honestly accurate when I say that - as far as I can recall - in the 20 odd years since I've lived in London, that the number of police officers I see walking about is a drop from years gone by though on the other hand, I can't say whether it's an increase or a stagnation, either.

You can't have it both ways: use stats to beat everyone over the head with to prove a point then shoehorn some glib, fatuous shared anecdote as the counter punch when it suits you. The police collect an enormous amount of data about how they deploy their force: why not go and dredge it up and see if there really are fewer bobbies on the beat rather than nudging and winking at your audience that you're all in this together and you know what's *really* going on despite what you're being told? That way at least I could imagine there was some insight at work rather than a bit of partisan tub-thumping with either no basis in fact or - at best - purely an accidental one that had nothing to do with the author bothering to see if his thesis was right in the first place.

Span Ows said...

My thesis? LOL! It's a blog mate, get used to it. In London I have no doubt you'll see MORE Police out and about.

'You can't have it both ways: use stats to beat everyone over the head with to prove a point then shoehorn some glib, fatuous shared anecdote as the counter punch when it suits you.'

I would have thought with stats it is exactly the case that YOU CAN have it both ways.

And while we're at it, 'partisan tub-thumping'? Are you suggesting then a connection between New Labour and ACPO? I haven't made any such connection: also why don't YOU go and dredge up the info and come back and hit me with it instead of your own version of glib and fatuous (anonymous) "insight". Ta.

Span Ows said...

P.S. Anon, THIS from the DT today may interest you too. Of course this doesn't mean it's true either and - as someone said a few days ago (can't remember where!) - "the plural of anecdote isn't evidence" but you pays your money and you takes your choice.

Paul said...

I'm sure I've told you the story of my brother working at Paddington Green Police Station, the most high security station in the U.K - if not here goes. He turned up for work on the Monday with his 'gang' for security checks and by the end of the checks he was the only one who could work on site! Anyway, part of the job was to kit out a locker room so the wet uniforms could dry off. Well a combination of water and heat produces steam and by the end of the week the relief sergeant was having to drag the boys in blue out of their new 'sauna.'

I did a six week police awareness course back in the 1990's and made myself really unpopular with the police present because they hated the media and reporters and I was doing some research at the time into certain police operations and found the police incredibly helpful. When it came to a Q & A everybody was slagging the public relations side of the job and I just put my hand up and said I'd found them to be absolutely first class - silence.

Span Ows said...

I can't remember you mentioning it...but that doesn't mean you didn't! I can just imagine the faces.