Policing is undergoing extreme changes.
The article comes straight from the pages of the Daily Hull. I think you will enjoy the editorial style, language and terminology.
Can you imagine the scene? It’s a tense stand-off outside a foreboding derelict house. Inside a desperate gunman holds a terrified hostage to ransom. Outside the police cordon flutters in the wind while the blue flashing lights illuminate the oppressive night sky and the world’s media are herded behind barriers, their cameras trained on the house watching the drama unfold.
Then, out of the darkness, a police car screeches into view and out steps the superintendent with a megaphone. Is this the grizzled, battle hardened copper we all recognise from endless Sunday night TV dramas and Hollywood blockbusters?
Is this the cross between Gene Hunt and Inspector Morse who’s dealt with dozens of tense situations in his career – here to save the day, to talk the nutter down or tell the armed response unit to take the clean shot?
No, it’s Barry, it’s his first day on the job and, until yesterday, he was a senior investment banker specialising in cocoa derivatives. “Ooh, this is tricky,” grins Barry with a goofy smile. “I never got this working at RBS.”
Welcome to the police force of the future – a place where you don’t need any policing experiencing to be a top cop.
Think I’m joking? A new Government report is recommending our police forces should look at bringing in “outside” managerial talent into its higher ranks – labouring under the, quite frankly, bonkers illusion that management is management, no matter what the industry/public service/whatever is.
Just because the bloke from the Village People wears a police uniform, it does not make him a policeman.
The assumption is it doesn’t matter if you’re overseeing a bank robbery or a bank transaction – it’s all the same. People are people, tough decisions are tough decisions. Blah blah blah.
Quite obviously this is nonsense. It’s like recruiting someone to write a newspaper column who can’t spel or even right that English proper or nuffin. Its stoopid.
Imagine recruiting a top manager from, say, a bakery firm and dumping him in at inspector level above those who have chased shoplifters, dealt with endless drunken domestics and walked the beat in the cold and wet wee-hours for decades.
Just imagine the resentment, the lack of respect and rancour from the rank and file below.
Rancour is probably what they’d call him. And just because you know your sesame seed paninis from your whole grain baps doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got any idea about how to help old ladies across the street or take down a major gangland drug baron. Admittedly, the sandwiches in the canteen might improve, but you can hardly take to the street armed with baguettes instead of batons.
Of course, there is a glimmer of a half-nugget of intelligent gold buried amid this fetid, stinking dog egg of an idea. The report suggests taking on “exceptional” people from the military and security services and I wouldn’t be averse to having some no-nonsense former captains bringing a bit of army grit to law enforcement.
They say it currently takes about 25 years for a newly recruited constable to work their way to the most senior level of policing, a process that critics say puts off many of the brightest and best from entering the coppering profession – meaning it’s slim pickings at the top when it comes to finding quality candidates. I’d argue the complete opposite.
The fact it currently takes a quarter of a century to reach the zenith of bobbying means only the most formidable and dedicated candidates stay the course – and when they do get there, they at least have a passing regard for what the average rozzer on the beat faces.
You can’t just flounce into policing on a whim, decide you want to be a an inspector because you’re bored with your career in interior design and decide you want to be that angry Victorian copper from Ripper Street, unleashing all those years of pent-up fury on that bloke who keeps nicking your parking space.
If you want to do that, get yourself a utility belt, a psychotic personality disorder and a Batcave.
It worked for Bruce Wayne.
So please, Mr Government, leave our coppers alone. I don’t want my justice dispensed in seeded baps or baguettes – I want it delivered at the steely end of an experienced truncheon.