Einstein : Not everything that can be counted counts. And not everything that counts can be counted.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Constantly, and I mean constantly,

Well I have heard (again) that the Government wants to reduce bureaucracy, reduce paperwork and get us out onto the streets more. After all, thats what the public want. Thats the way to deter crime and increase public confidence and the feeling of safety. How many times have we heard this before.

The problem is that all these efforts to do this seem to be utter rubbish. As the tide of reducing paperwork ebbs the tide of accountability and measuring paperwork flows. They don't even cancel each other out.

The increase in statistical information is the only boom industry we have, all in the name of micro-managing the distrust the management have in the troops and the efforts to justify how they manage us. There are positive efforts to ensure that this information is submitted daily, weekly or monthly, depending for when the next management meeting is likely to be.

More time than ever is being used to complete and submit these electronically originated numbers so itis easy for the management to collate them and 'see' what we are doing without actually finding out for themselves.

Constantly, and I mean constantly, we are reminded that we are Police Officers but this only seems to apply applies to what Noddy called the 'bottom feeders' within the Force. The blame for this doesn't all rest with the Government, some of it lies with the levels of management who insist that this is the best way forward.

We haven't really looked forward from the audit commission report, some years past,that regarded constables on the beat as a waste of space and not really productive. They believed them to be an inefficient use of resources. This was because so much of what they did was not measurable within the big business context of how things work.

The efforts seem to be to show how well the machine runs, how efficiently itis maintained and managed without the same regards for what the machine actually does.


Charlie Lima said...

loving the quote from Einstein at the top of the page, its a shame to bosses don't seem to realise the same thing. Like recently We have been told we must acheive 3 santion detections a month. To get the percentage up. I said why not leave us alone and allow us more time to be pro-active thus reducing the number of recorded crimes and therefore the percentage of detected crimes would go up, but the boss couldn't see it that way.

Gazza said...

The paperwork is one side of the job that they neglect to tell you about in all the glossy recruitment brochures and fancy web pages. it disgusts me sometimes.
We recently had to complete a Cost of Case document. Almost 10 pages. And that was just the instructions on how to fill out the 4 page excel spreadsheet.
Someone (higher up) mentioned it should only take a couple of minutes to do. Pah. A couple of days more like. What an absolute waste of time, money and valuable resources. Grrr

Noddy said...


Bottom Feeder here.

Just back to work from annual spaniel and have spent the last two nightshifts chained to a desk completing statements and offence reports all due in sometime before I came back and requested whilst off. Does no-one look at your shift roster?

Gazza you have reminded me, feck that would be two bleedin' Cost of Case docs to do that I forgot about. Oh well looks like I'll be chained to a desk again tonight then. Enjoy your break and actually it's been q.....!


Here's another belter. Colleague got a task on his crime report from the cops (!) who pick over them asking him to select an option from those available in respect of whether HE was injured (and if so how badly) on the new upgrade to the crime recording system witness fields. Bear in mind he attended and filed a call where it was clearly unlikely he was in physical peril and he had not mentioned anything about assault/resist Polis why doesn't the damn thing default to not applicable?

I know why....

1) Those stat mad types want proactive responses.

2) It keeps the 'checkers' in a job.

Every time I complete a crime report I feel like I'm back at school and going to get a mark out of one hundred (it's actually 6 - no kidding) and hopefully no see me after class notations.

BelfastPeeler said...

I had this romantic notion dog handlers were all but immune to the death by paperwork plague, its one of the reasons I want the job.

At least the dog is still free...

(but I could never cope with the food)