Petition For a Royal Commission into Policing

MrBane

LE
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Reviews Editor
#61
Good luck with all that, mate. I know a couple of Police Scotland coppers, and their moral is not at rock bottom. You'd have to dig through the fifty foot of crap beneath Rock Bottom before you reached their level of moral.

A single national force is a nice idea in theory. In reality, Police Scotland have been so badly set up and commanded from day one, they make the Met look good.

Not for nothing are Scottish polis referred to as the, "Keystone Kilts" by members of the public.
@dingerr @HE117

Mentioned because multi-purpose is a pain on the phone.

A single force is an excellent idea, and there's no argument against it if it's implemented properly.

Lots of very powerful people and high rankers were against a single Scottish Force because it would lose them their jobs. It was as simple as that. With hundreds of Superintendents, Chief Inspectors and Inspectors, ranks were going to be hit hard through amalgamation.

That was the primary driver for a lot of influential ranks arguing against it.

What quickly became apparent as the mergers began, and as centralised teams began to look around the country, was that service delivery to the public was in many instances, ******* outrageously bad.

Some Divisions, a domestic was still 'What did you do to deserve it?'. One Division dealt with surrendered firearms from licensed holders by throwing them in a big box with no record of who handed it in, meaning people were left with firearms on their licenses they couldn't account for.

Two examples I know of first hand, that showed how badly run policing was in some areas. Every area had a different SOP for the same process, every area had a different way of reviewing or addressing the same issue.

Localism is great but it can only succeed based on a solid foundation of core principles and procedures.

Yes, it was Strathclyde that set up the force more or less, but the reasoning is incredibly simple. The CC for the single force was our old CC, so naturally he'd bring his way of working with him (and we hated his way of working fyi) but also, Strathclyde was the single busiest Force of them all. What Strathclyde did in a day, all the other Forces in Scotland couldn't match it. What a single Division in Glasgow did in a day, several Divisions in the north couldn't match it.

That simply meant our experience was much higher, much more proven and time tried and tested, and much more refined. That's not boasting , that's just basic logic.

If two cops in Glasgow were dealing with one or two domestics a night, compared to the one domestic every few weeks cops in the north or in the borders dealt with, who would have more practice, more experience and more understanding of the procedures which would have been constantly developed and evolved?

Same goes for violent crime. Strathclyde easily outstripped Edinburgh for violence, sonoir CID were far more advanced in detecting the offender's.

You would go to some Forces and say 'Whats your SOP for that? and the answer, genuinely, would be, 'We don't have one. We don't really get those'.

So that means when it does happen, people don't know how to do it, or do it properly.

Of course, finances were a huge part of it, but it's no different to what the Fire Service are doing and have done. Lots of money to be saved.

The one thing remains true - back then or now, there aren't enough of us walking or driving the streets. Ignore the top line numbers. Only a small fraction actually police.

I get around abit, and I met a cop up north stressing out, seriously, because he had four crime reports that month to deal with and the workload was too much.

I was flabbergasted.

A cop in Glasgow could easily get four in a day, which would add up and up and up. I know cops who have twenty or more crime reports to deal with, whilst more come in. Madness.

Anyway, a single force is crucial to success but it must be set up correctly.

PSOS now operates on localism. You must operate by force standards and sops, but Divisional commanders can then make many adjustments as to how they work in their area.

The targets are gone, thank ****, and things are much better now. The reason people hated it was because House broguth his targets to a wider audience who couldn't meet his demands and rightly, didn't agree with them.
 
#63
@dingerr @HE117

Mentioned because multi-purpose is a pain on the phone.

A single force is an excellent idea, and there's no argument against it if it's implemented properly.

Lots of very powerful people and high rankers were against a single Scottish Force because it would lose them their jobs. It was as simple as that. With hundreds of Superintendents, Chief Inspectors and Inspectors, ranks were going to be hit hard through amalgamation.

That was the primary driver for a lot of influential ranks arguing against it.

What quickly became apparent as the mergers began, and as centralised teams began to look around the country, was that service delivery to the public was in many instances, ******* outrageously bad.

Some Divisions, a domestic was still 'What did you do to deserve it?'. One Division dealt with surrendered firearms from licensed holders by throwing them in a big box with no record of who handed it in, meaning people were left with firearms on their licenses they couldn't account for.

Two examples I know of first hand, that showed how badly run policing was in some areas. Every area had a different SOP for the same process, every area had a different way of reviewing or addressing the same issue.

Localism is great but it can only succeed based on a solid foundation of core principles and procedures.

Yes, it was Strathclyde that set up the force more or less, but the reasoning is incredibly simple. The CC for the single force was our old CC, so naturally he'd bring his way of working with him (and we hated his way of working fyi) but also, Strathclyde was the single busiest Force of them all. What Strathclyde did in a day, all the other Forces in Scotland couldn't match it. What a single Division in Glasgow did in a day, several Divisions in the north couldn't match it.

That simply meant our experience was much higher, much more proven and time tried and tested, and much more refined. That's not boasting , that's just basic logic.

If two cops in Glasgow were dealing with one or two domestics a night, compared to the one domestic every few weeks cops in the north or in the borders dealt with, who would have more practice, more experience and more understanding of the procedures which would have been constantly developed and evolved?

Same goes for violent crime. Strathclyde easily outstripped Edinburgh for violence, sonoir CID were far more advanced in detecting the offender's.

You would go to some Forces and say 'Whats your SOP for that? and the answer, genuinely, would be, 'We don't have one. We don't really get those'.

So that means when it does happen, people don't know how to do it, or do it properly.

Of course, finances were a huge part of it, but it's no different to what the Fire Service are doing and have done. Lots of money to be saved.

The one thing remains true - back then or now, there aren't enough of us walking or driving the streets. Ignore the top line numbers. Only a small fraction actually police.

I get around abit, and I met a cop up north stressing out, seriously, because he had four crime reports that month to deal with and the workload was too much.

I was flabbergasted.

A cop in Glasgow could easily get four in a day, which would add up and up and up. I know cops who have twenty or more crime reports to deal with, whilst more come in. Madness.

Anyway, a single force is crucial to success but it must be set up correctly.

PSOS now operates on localism. You must operate by force standards and sops, but Divisional commanders can then make many adjustments as to how they work in their area.

The targets are gone, thank ****, and things are much better now. The reason people hated it was because House broguth his targets to a wider audience who couldn't meet his demands and rightly, didn't agree with them.
I don’t know where your getting your info from regarding the ‘experience’ and ‘how much more busy’ Strathclyde were than everyone else from because some of what you have written is complete bollocks.

Strathclyde were busy, as an area with that population would be, but they were far from the finest and the be all and end all - they had staffing to match the area they worked in which is, or was, reflected over most major cities. Yes it does have a high rate of violent crime and always seems to have had.

When the merger came they were the biggest bullies in the wash house plain and simple.

Finances.... if memory serves me correctly the Strathclyde Force was in the red for a number of reasons, mainly lack of funding.

Police Scotland is only working because the staff on the lower end make it work, the senior levels, as you rightly highlight, now worry as a he funnel is tighter for promotion however they are no longer police they are managers only interested in the next step up.

Your paragraph regarding PSOS working on a local level is of course correct but highlights the failure of what steamrollering into one force at the behest of the Scottish Government does.

Large workloads are seen across all areas where there are major cities, this has been compounded by increases in reporting of crime and staff shortages following cuts as the jobs we paid all the civilians half the amount of a top whack cop to do still had to be done by someone.

Personally 3 forces, one SOP would have been a better option IMO for merging. Moral is rock bottom just about throughout the organisation from what I’ve both experienced and heard.

One force is a great idea if it’s implemented properly over time, it wasn’t though if we’re all being honest.
 
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#64
Policing in Scotland is a devolved issue an RC by Westminster couldn’t touch it. The SNP aren’t going to change it.
 
#67
Can you elaborate?
Sorry for the rather oblique and Petersonian reference...

This is all about hierarchies and the way in which they operate.. hierarchies seem to be an inevitable part of organisation, and a necessary element of their operation, however they are both useful and dangerous because of the magnifying effect they have on power. It seems that any working system will form itself into a hierarchy that allows a small element to influence the operation of the larger remainder. In other words power is distributed in the form of a Pareto distribution, with (say) 20% of the organisation controlling 80% of the rest. This is necessary for the system to work effectively, if indeed at all...

Problems arise if these systems are allowed to grow and the power ratio reach a point where the percentage holding power is either incompetent at wielding it (the Peter Principal - "Individuals in a hierarchy rise to their level of incompetence".) or become corrupted ("all power corrupts, absolute power is even more fun.. "D Adams) or lose sight of the purpose of the organisation (The tower of Babel problem - Petersen)..

Because of the Pareto principal, not only are those at the top of an organisation able to wield overweening power, they are also able to divest responsibility, as they have convenient piles of suckers/victims sitting under them able to receive the blame... (see Banks, Politicians, Civil Servents etc..)

The solution to the problem is as old as the hills, and is something called reputation.. Until such time as the cost for screwing up organisations is raised to a realistic level, and such individuals stop being protected by the law, it ain't going to get better..

Time to reissue Mess Webleys IMHO...!

...another anti Pareto move is to have lots of smaller hierarchies so that when (...and not if!) they fail, then there is something else to replace it. Funnily enough, this is the way Armies actually work.. the working "brick" of an army is the Infantry Battalion.. everything else is just admin!
 
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#68
@dingerr @HE117

A single force is an excellent idea, and there's no argument against it if it's implemented properly.
Nope, sorry, fundamentally disagree..(see above..)

The problem with existing forces is that they have become too top heavy.. however this is nothing to the levels of hierarchy achievable with a National force..! You need to understand that it is the height of the heap that causes the problems, and creating a bigger base will inevitably cause a deeper pile of sh1t to accumulate, particularly if you create it overnight like PS.. where are you going to find the individuals who are capable of running a national police force with all the complexity and bollox that entails, when the current bunch seem incapable of running regional forces...?

Most of the issues you refer to are failures of local policing.. how on earth do you think a nationally focussed organisation is going to deal better with it..?

Deeply layered mega organisations are supremely bad at detail.. never forget where the scum always rises to!
 

MrBane

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#70
Nope, sorry, fundamentally disagree..(see above..)

The problem with existing forces is that they have become too top heavy.. however this is nothing to the levels of hierarchy achievable with a National force..! You need to understand that it is the height of the heap that causes the problems, and creating a bigger base will inevitably cause a deeper pile of sh1t to accumulate, particularly if you create it overnight like PS.. where are you going to find the individuals who are capable of running a national police force with all the complexity and bollox that entails, when the current bunch seem incapable of running regional forces...?

Most of the issues you refer to are failures of local policing.. how on earth do you think a nationally focussed organisation is going to deal better with it..?

Deeply layered mega organisations are supremely bad at detail.. never forget where the scum always rises to!
Nope, I fundamentally disagree with you. :)

There's nothing you can do about people. People can be shit regardless the size or shape of the organisation, and I won't for a second defend the creation of PSoS as being done properly. It was a shambles, because those cnuts in the SNP wanted to save money, and fast.

The thing is, policing isn't different, as such. Yes, each area has it's own local demands, but policing remains a fairly core and easily understandable concept. As such, it needs to be streamlined and standardised in terms of how procedures and processes are carried out.

A single Force creates that layer of standardisation. Each Division within PSoS then has it's own uniquely tailored setup, based on the standardisation the Force offers.

This means that where you have an officer brought in from outside the Division area to assist with events, or a Major Incident, the processes and procedures are by and large, identical in terms of how to handle and process things. There are still differences but these are being ironed out slowly but surely, major cockups aside.

The current situation of the Divisions within PSoS, now that the ******* bunkernut House is gone, is that everything has more or less stabilised out and Divisions are now acting more like their old Legacy selves, carrying on with business as normal. The only difference is now that the vast majority of procedures are standardised.

It's working very well in that respect (there's still a lot wrong).

The biggest benefit has been to the individual cop. Now, I'm no longer constrained to Strathclyde. If I want to move elsewhere in the Force, it's a piece of piss. Career opportunities have shot through the roof, and people are now moving nationally, rather than Divisionally. Whereas before, people would never leave their Legacy Force because that was the kiss of death, they're now jumping from G Division in Glasgow to E Division in Edinburgh chasing a promotion or a job they've always wanted.

If I have a query about something, I can now phone with ease, Dundee and ask them, if I can't get an answer to the relevant people in Glasgow, because departments and procedures are standardised. Same for tackling crime. I can phone anywhere in the Force now and have a chat as if they're sat in the office next to me, and discuss an issue or a nominal, and share that information on our systems with them.

Before, you couldn't share a goddamn thing because it was all so separate and silo'd. The end game if they get it right, will be for complete cross-boundary communication and information sharing which will be a godsend.

In terms of resource support, Commanders in N Division who never had access to the resources of Greater Glasgow, have that access. There was one famous anecdote of a Divisional Commander going mental after an Area Commander had requested the presence of the mounted branch in his area - something he'd never had access to before because he was a separate Force from Strathclyde, who had them.

Glasgow City Council for example, is hellbent on bidding for every event going. So as cops in Glasgow get seriously shafted for cancellation of rest days and duty changes at short notice, we can at least draw in resources from other Force areas to help supplement. It's no longer the huge red tape exercise it used to be when they were crossing Forces. It's the same Force, they just get told to report here and help.

There is also more job protection and security now. The bullying, the harassment... It's a lot harder to get away with when it's a national organisation with some right jobsworth cnuts at the top. There was lots of it in Legacy Forces. Before at Legacy Force level, if you had a complaint about something like that.... good luck, because your Force was ultimately a small place, with a cronyism network that'd **** you over hard. Many a decent cop got shafted because they'd tried to complain about how a 'insert rank here' had treated them, not knowing they were 'insert rank here''s best mate.

Even things like Counter Corruption. Found to be quite a dodgy bunch of cnuts. Now a greater level of centralised oversight preventing (hopefully) things like that from happening again.

The bigger the organisation, the more exposed you are and the harder it is to hide illegal or very morally and ethically wrong actions.

People also keep throwing out the argument of people being assholes at the top, nepotism, etc, etc. That's always been there, and is present in many organisations both public and private. That shouldn't stop a sensible move from being made.

There are a lot of arguments put forward for not having a single Force. Many are emotive and don't stand up under scrutiny.

@Mick9abf

I had an involvement in the process when Greater Glasgow was being formed as part of the single Force, and again a couple of years later when I was on a team tasked with changing operational policing. As such I had access to various reports, analysis documents and white papers which outlined the varying trends and demands.

Strathclyde was busier than anywhere else, not just in terms of incidents per 'x' of population, but a very well written and detailed report showed the workload per individual officers from each Legacy Force. I can't remember all of it now as it was some time ago, but an Strathclyde Officer compared to a Northern Officer for example, had somewhere in the region of 4-5 times the amount of work (averaged out to take into account the busier/quieter areas of each Force). This was based on everything, from 999 calls, crimes recorded, events recorded where the cop would be working the event rather than focusing on their enquiries, etc. I think if I recall, it even took into account things like hospital watches, prisoner observations - anything that effectively meant they weren't free to walk the street.

It wasn't uncommon to lose a whole shift run to going to the hospital to watch a suicide risk, or sit watching a prisoner through a glass window as they wanked and shat on the walls. :D

This isn't make believe, it's solid fact. Northern had around 700 officers, Strathclyde had around 9,000. The difficulty with Strathclyde was that out of that 9,000, many thousands were snuck away in non-frontline roles, creating a false figure effect.

The firearms story, that was factual and the pictures were shown to me by a Sergeant colleague who was in Policy and was travelling the country at the start to figure out how each legacy Force managed surrendered firearms. He was tearing his hair out. Literally a large, MFO sized box, in an old cell, filled with hand guns.

The domestic abuse story, that was factual based on a forum that came together near the start again, once the domestic side started to develop and push out across the force. Victims from various Forces were brought together to speak of their experiences with policing and the weaknesses in some areas of Scotland were highlighted in terms of how people had been treated, how incidents had been responded to.

Don't get me wrong, much came back in the other direction from other Forces - at the start it was very much Strathclyde this, Strathclyde that as again, House was in charge. Once he left, it moved to a more two way exchange of methods and styles, and less is being centralised in Glasgow now with more key functions being spread around the country such as Perth, Inverness, etc.

The biggest thing to point out to anyone saying a single Force is bad, is to look at the history of policing in Scotland. It's always been about amalgamation. It's always been about smaller Forces being pushed together to create one bigger Force. It's happened since policing began in Scotland.

It's now just reached it's logical conclusion.

It's got a long way to go, but it's much, much better than it ever was under one Force. Most of the people who complain are old in service, and will complain but don't have the balls to leave. The Probationers coming in now, who know nothing better, don't have a problem with how it's run other than the usual justified moans about lack of resources, which has been a problem in Legacy Forces never mind PSoS, and will never change until the SNP pony up some money.

Which they won't.

cnuts. :D
 
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#71
Nope, I fundamentally disagree with you. :)

There's nothing you can do about people. People can be shit regardless the size or shape of the organisation, and I won't for a second defend the creation of PSoS as being done properly. It was a shambles, because those cnuts in the SNP wanted to save money, and fast.

The thing is, policing isn't different, as such. Yes, each area has it's own local demands, but policing remains a fairly core and easily understandable concept. As such, it needs to be streamlined and standardised in terms of how procedures and processes are carried out.

A single Force creates that layer of standardisation. Each Division within PSoS then has it's own uniquely tailored setup, based on the standardisation the Force offers.

This means that where you have an officer brought in from outside the Division area to assist with events, or a Major Incident, the processes and procedures are by and large, identical in terms of how to handle and process things. There are still differences but these are being ironed out slowly but surely, major cockups aside.

The current situation of the Divisions within PSoS, now that the ******* bunkernut House is gone, is that everything has more or less stabilised out and Divisions are now acting more like their old Legacy selves, carrying on with business as normal. The only difference is now that the vast majority of procedures are standardised.

It's working very well in that respect (there's still a lot wrong).

The biggest benefit has been to the individual cop. Now, I'm no longer constrained to Strathclyde. If I want to move elsewhere in the Force, it's a piece of piss. Career opportunities have shot through the roof, and people are now moving nationally, rather than Divisionally. Whereas before, people would never leave their Legacy Force because that was the kiss of death, they're now jumping from G Division in Glasgow to E Division in Edinburgh chasing a promotion or a job they've always wanted.

If I have a query about something, I can now phone with ease, Dundee and ask them, if I can't get an answer to the relevant people in Glasgow, because departments and procedures are standardised. Same for tackling crime. I can phone anywhere in the Force now and have a chat as if they're sat in the office next to me, and discuss an issue or a nominal, and share that information on our systems with them.

Before, you couldn't share a goddamn thing because it was all so separate and silo'd. The end game if they get it right, will be for complete cross-boundary communication and information sharing which will be a godsend.

In terms of resource support, Commanders in N Division who never had access to the resources of Greater Glasgow, have that access. There was one famous anecdote of a Divisional Commander going mental after an Area Commander had requested the presence of the mounted branch in his area - something he'd never had access to before because he was a separate Force from Strathclyde, who had them.

Glasgow City Council for example, is hellbent on bidding for every event going. So as cops in Glasgow get seriously shafted for cancellation of rest days and duty changes at short notice, we can at least draw in resources from other Force areas to help supplement. It's no longer the huge red tape exercise it used to be when they were crossing Forces. It's the same Force, they just get told to report here and help.

There is also more job protection and security now. The bullying, the harassment... It's a lot harder to get away with when it's a national organisation with some right jobsworth cnuts at the top. There was lots of it in Legacy Forces. Before at Legacy Force level, if you had a complaint about something like that.... good luck, because your Force was ultimately a small place, with a cronyism network that'd **** you over hard. Many a decent cop got shafted because they'd tried to complain about how a 'insert rank here' had treated them, not knowing they were 'insert rank here''s best mate.

Even things like Counter Corruption. Found to be quite a dodgy bunch of cnuts. Now a greater level of centralised oversight preventing (hopefully) things like that from happening again.

The bigger the organisation, the more exposed you are and the harder it is to hide illegal or very morally and ethically wrong actions.

People also keep throwing out the argument of people being assholes at the top, nepotism, etc, etc. That's always been there, and is present in many organisations both public and private. That shouldn't stop a sensible move from being made.

There are a lot of arguments put forward for not having a single Force. Many are emotive and don't stand up under scrutiny.

@Mick9abf

I had an involvement in the process when Greater Glasgow was being formed as part of the single Force, and again a couple of years later when I was on a team tasked with changing operational policing. As such I had access to various reports, analysis documents and white papers which outlined the varying trends and demands.

Strathclyde was busier than anywhere else, not just in terms of incidents per 'x' of population, but a very well written and detailed report showed the workload per individual officers from each Legacy Force. I can't remember all of it now as it was some time ago, but an Strathclyde Officer compared to a Northern Officer for example, had somewhere in the region of 4-5 times the amount of work (averaged out to take into account the busier/quieter areas of each Force). This was based on everything, from 999 calls, crimes recorded, events recorded where the cop would be working the event rather than focusing on their enquiries, etc. I think if I recall, it even took into account things like hospital watches, prisoner observations - anything that effectively meant they weren't free to walk the street.

It wasn't uncommon to lose a whole shift run to going to the hospital to watch a suicide risk, or sit watching a prisoner through a glass window as they wanked and shat on the walls. :D

This isn't make believe, it's solid fact. Northern had around 700 officers, Strathclyde had around 9,000. The difficulty with Strathclyde was that out of that 9,000, many thousands were snuck away in non-frontline roles, creating a false figure effect.

The firearms story, that was factual and the pictures were shown to me by a Sergeant colleague who was in Policy and was travelling the country at the start to figure out how each legacy Force managed surrendered firearms. He was tearing his hair out. Literally a large, MFO sized box, in an old cell, filled with hand guns.

The domestic abuse story, that was factual based on a forum that came together near the start again, once the domestic side started to develop and push out across the force. Victims from various Forces were brought together to speak of their experiences with policing and the weaknesses in some areas of Scotland were highlighted in terms of how people had been treated, how incidents had been responded to.

Don't get me wrong, much came back in the other direction from other Forces - at the start it was very much Strathclyde this, Strathclyde that as again, House was in charge. Once he left, it moved to a more two way exchange of methods and styles, and less is being centralised in Glasgow now with more key functions being spread around the country such as Perth, Inverness, etc.

The biggest thing to point out to anyone saying a single Force is bad, is to look at the history of policing in Scotland. It's always been about amalgamation. It's always been about smaller Forces being pushed together to create one bigger Force. It's happened since policing began in Scotland.

It's now just reached it's logical conclusion.

It's got a long way to go, but it's much, much better than it ever was under one Force. Most of the people who complain are old in service, and will complain but don't have the balls to leave. The Probationers coming in now, who know nothing better, don't have a problem with how it's run other than the usual justified moans about lack of resources, which has been a problem in Legacy Forces never mind PSoS, and will never change until the SNP pony up some money.

Which they won't.

cnuts. :D
Nope, I fundamentally disagree with you. :)

There's nothing you can do about people. People can be shit regardless the size or shape of the organisation, and I won't for a second defend the creation of PSoS as being done properly. It was a shambles, because those cnuts in the SNP wanted to save money, and fast.

The thing is, policing isn't different, as such. Yes, each area has it's own local demands, but policing remains a fairly core and easily understandable concept. As such, it needs to be streamlined and standardised in terms of how procedures and processes are carried out.

A single Force creates that layer of standardisation. Each Division within PSoS then has it's own uniquely tailored setup, based on the standardisation the Force offers.

This means that where you have an officer brought in from outside the Division area to assist with events, or a Major Incident, the processes and procedures are by and large, identical in terms of how to handle and process things. There are still differences but these are being ironed out slowly but surely, major cockups aside.

The current situation of the Divisions within PSoS, now that the ******* bunkernut House is gone, is that everything has more or less stabilised out and Divisions are now acting more like their old Legacy selves, carrying on with business as normal. The only difference is now that the vast majority of procedures are standardised.

It's working very well in that respect (there's still a lot wrong).

The biggest benefit has been to the individual cop. Now, I'm no longer constrained to Strathclyde. If I want to move elsewhere in the Force, it's a piece of piss. Career opportunities have shot through the roof, and people are now moving nationally, rather than Divisionally. Whereas before, people would never leave their Legacy Force because that was the kiss of death, they're now jumping from G Division in Glasgow to E Division in Edinburgh chasing a promotion or a job they've always wanted.

If I have a query about something, I can now phone with ease, Dundee and ask them, if I can't get an answer to the relevant people in Glasgow, because departments and procedures are standardised. Same for tackling crime. I can phone anywhere in the Force now and have a chat as if they're sat in the office next to me, and discuss an issue or a nominal, and share that information on our systems with them.

Before, you couldn't share a goddamn thing because it was all so separate and silo'd. The end game if they get it right, will be for complete cross-boundary communication and information sharing which will be a godsend.

In terms of resource support, Commanders in N Division who never had access to the resources of Greater Glasgow, have that access. There was one famous anecdote of a Divisional Commander going mental after an Area Commander had requested the presence of the mounted branch in his area - something he'd never had access to before because he was a separate Force from Strathclyde, who had them.

Glasgow City Council for example, is hellbent on bidding for every event going. So as cops in Glasgow get seriously shafted for cancellation of rest days and duty changes at short notice, we can at least draw in resources from other Force areas to help supplement. It's no longer the huge red tape exercise it used to be when they were crossing Forces. It's the same Force, they just get told to report here and help.

There is also more job protection and security now. The bullying, the harassment... It's a lot harder to get away with when it's a national organisation with some right jobsworth cnuts at the top. There was lots of it in Legacy Forces. Before at Legacy Force level, if you had a complaint about something like that.... good luck, because your Force was ultimately a small place, with a cronyism network that'd **** you over hard. Many a decent cop got shafted because they'd tried to complain about how a 'insert rank here' had treated them, not knowing they were 'insert rank here''s best mate.

Even things like Counter Corruption. Found to be quite a dodgy bunch of cnuts. Now a greater level of centralised oversight preventing (hopefully) things like that from happening again.

The bigger the organisation, the more exposed you are and the harder it is to hide illegal or very morally and ethically wrong actions.

People also keep throwing out the argument of people being assholes at the top, nepotism, etc, etc. That's always been there, and is present in many organisations both public and private. That shouldn't stop a sensible move from being made.

There are a lot of arguments put forward for not having a single Force. Many are emotive and don't stand up under scrutiny.

@Mick9abf

I had an involvement in the process when Greater Glasgow was being formed as part of the single Force, and again a couple of years later when I was on a team tasked with changing operational policing. As such I had access to various reports, analysis documents and white papers which outlined the varying trends and demands.

Strathclyde was busier than anywhere else, not just in terms of incidents per 'x' of population, but a very well written and detailed report showed the workload per individual officers from each Legacy Force. I can't remember all of it now as it was some time ago, but an Strathclyde Officer compared to a Northern Officer for example, had somewhere in the region of 4-5 times the amount of work (averaged out to take into account the busier/quieter areas of each Force). This was based on everything, from 999 calls, crimes recorded, events recorded where the cop would be working the event rather than focusing on their enquiries, etc. I think if I recall, it even took into account things like hospital watches, prisoner observations - anything that effectively meant they weren't free to walk the street.

It wasn't uncommon to lose a whole shift run to going to the hospital to watch a suicide risk, or sit watching a prisoner through a glass window as they wanked and shat on the walls. :D

This isn't make believe, it's solid fact. Northern had around 700 officers, Strathclyde had around 9,000. The difficulty with Strathclyde was that out of that 9,000, many thousands were snuck away in non-frontline roles, creating a false figure effect.

The firearms story, that was factual and the pictures were shown to me by a Sergeant colleague who was in Policy and was travelling the country at the start to figure out how each legacy Force managed surrendered firearms. He was tearing his hair out. Literally a large, MFO sized box, in an old cell, filled with hand guns.

The domestic abuse story, that was factual based on a forum that came together near the start again, once the domestic side started to develop and push out across the force. Victims from various Forces were brought together to speak of their experiences with policing and the weaknesses in some areas of Scotland were highlighted in terms of how people had been treated, how incidents had been responded to.

Don't get me wrong, much came back in the other direction from other Forces - at the start it was very much Strathclyde this, Strathclyde that as again, House was in charge. Once he left, it moved to a more two way exchange of methods and styles, and less is being centralised in Glasgow now with more key functions being spread around the country such as Perth, Inverness, etc.

The biggest thing to point out to anyone saying a single Force is bad, is to look at the history of policing in Scotland. It's always been about amalgamation. It's always been about smaller Forces being pushed together to create one bigger Force. It's happened since policing began in Scotland.

It's now just reached it's logical conclusion.

It's got a long way to go, but it's much, much better than it ever was under one Force. Most of the people who complain are old in service, and will complain but don't have the balls to leave. The Probationers coming in now, who know nothing better, don't have a problem with how it's run other than the usual justified moans about lack of resources, which has been a problem in Legacy Forces never mind PSoS, and will never change until the SNP pony up some money.

Which they won't.

cnuts. :D
Comparing anything to legacy Northern (which really still in its own bubble/time zone) isn’t the best analogy however I digress. If I needed to speak to someone I’d pick up the Alnmac or whatever it was called to get the answer or information I needed once contact had been made.

Since you obviously have involvement can you say how much money has been saved overall and thereafter regionally by the amalgamation year on year since it’s inception, I’m genuinely interested to compare it to legacy budgets?

Edited to add, I think the Polis IT have been in charge of my phone today as it’s double posting, slow and generally not working haha!!
 
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MrBane

LE
Moderator
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Reviews Editor
#72
Comparing anything to legacy Northern (which really still in its own bubble/time zone) isn’t the best analogy however I digress.

Since you obviously have involvement can you say how much money has been saved regionally by the amalgamation year on year since it’s inception?

Edited to add, I think the Polis IT have been in charge of my phone today as it’s double posting, slow and generally not working haha!!
I'll hang fire - your post doesn't appear complete mate? There's half a word and a double quote.

I don't have access to that kind of info, however a quick scoot around the books from 2008 - 2010 era, shows that Northern for example had a revenue (monies paid in to the Forces from government) of £58m one year, Strathclyde had a revenue of £517m one year and Fife had £61m one year. For 2016-2017 PSoS had a revenue of £1,128m. So if you look at the dirty maths there, £636m in one year was eaten by three Forces, with another five Forces to go and the Scottish Police Authority (now merged) and you're not kicking far off of the current budget.

That's as down and dirty as I can get, but it was always acknowledge the new Force would cost money before it saved money.

Also, an interesting stat extracted from one of the reports:

Stats.png


In Strathclyde, we hit 'em hard enough that they never complained. :D
 
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#73
Nope, I fundamentally disagree with you. :)

There's nothing you can do about people. People can be shit regardless the size or shape of the organisation,
It's got a long way to go, but it's much, much better than it ever was under one Force.

Most of the people who complain are old in service, and will complain but don't have the balls to leave. The Probationers coming in now, who know nothing better, don't have a problem with how it's run other than the usual justified moans about lack of resources, which has been a problem in Legacy Forces never mind PSoS, and will never change until the SNP pony up some money.

Which they won't.

cnuts. :D
I think, with respect, we will have to agree to disagree! You are very much taking a view from the inside, looking out. I am taking a view from the outside looking in!

At the end of the day, the Police are a service to society, not the other way around. The problem with creating ever larger and more integrated organisations is that they forget this and morph into self licking lollipops that are increasingly difficult to control. The dangers of a self propelled Police force should be clear to anyone..

You seem to suggest that by placing control of Policing at an ever higher level in society that this will result in better and more competent decision making.. "I hae mah doots!" History would clearly suggest this is not true...!

Most of the folk at the top of both UK and Scottish politics are demonstrably unable to run a proverbial whelk stall.

Interesting, the Judge Dredd solution suggested above is probably the nearest .. Dredd is Police, Judge and Jury rolled into one... no hierarchy, no accountability, simply a trust in an individual to do the right thing in the circumstances.. the problem of course is finding the right person.! It all depends on your definition of dystopia I suppose...!
 
#74
Nope, I fundamentally disagree with you. :)

There's nothing you can do about people. People can be shit regardless the size or shape of the organisation, and I won't for a second defend the creation of PSoS as being done properly. It was a shambles, because those cnuts in the SNP wanted to save money, and fast.

The thing is, policing isn't different, as such. Yes, each area has it's own local demands, but policing remains a fairly core and easily understandable concept. As such, it needs to be streamlined and standardised in terms of how procedures and processes are carried out.

A single Force creates that layer of standardisation. Each Division within PSoS then has it's own uniquely tailored setup, based on the standardisation the Force offers.

This means that where you have an officer brought in from outside the Division area to assist with events, or a Major Incident, the processes and procedures are by and large, identical in terms of how to handle and process things. There are still differences but these are being ironed out slowly but surely, major cockups aside.

The current situation of the Divisions within PSoS, now that the ******* bunkernut House is gone, is that everything has more or less stabilised out and Divisions are now acting more like their old Legacy selves, carrying on with business as normal. The only difference is now that the vast majority of procedures are standardised.

It's working very well in that respect (there's still a lot wrong).

The biggest benefit has been to the individual cop. Now, I'm no longer constrained to Strathclyde. If I want to move elsewhere in the Force, it's a piece of piss. Career opportunities have shot through the roof, and people are now moving nationally, rather than Divisionally. Whereas before, people would never leave their Legacy Force because that was the kiss of death, they're now jumping from G Division in Glasgow to E Division in Edinburgh chasing a promotion or a job they've always wanted.

If I have a query about something, I can now phone with ease, Dundee and ask them, if I can't get an answer to the relevant people in Glasgow, because departments and procedures are standardised. Same for tackling crime. I can phone anywhere in the Force now and have a chat as if they're sat in the office next to me, and discuss an issue or a nominal, and share that information on our systems with them.

Before, you couldn't share a goddamn thing because it was all so separate and silo'd. The end game if they get it right, will be for complete cross-boundary communication and information sharing which will be a godsend.

In terms of resource support, Commanders in N Division who never had access to the resources of Greater Glasgow, have that access. There was one famous anecdote of a Divisional Commander going mental after an Area Commander had requested the presence of the mounted branch in his area - something he'd never had access to before because he was a separate Force from Strathclyde, who had them.

Glasgow City Council for example, is hellbent on bidding for every event going. So as cops in Glasgow get seriously shafted for cancellation of rest days and duty changes at short notice, we can at least draw in resources from other Force areas to help supplement. It's no longer the huge red tape exercise it used to be when they were crossing Forces. It's the same Force, they just get told to report here and help.

There is also more job protection and security now. The bullying, the harassment... It's a lot harder to get away with when it's a national organisation with some right jobsworth cnuts at the top. There was lots of it in Legacy Forces. Before at Legacy Force level, if you had a complaint about something like that.... good luck, because your Force was ultimately a small place, with a cronyism network that'd **** you over hard. Many a decent cop got shafted because they'd tried to complain about how a 'insert rank here' had treated them, not knowing they were 'insert rank here''s best mate.

Even things like Counter Corruption. Found to be quite a dodgy bunch of cnuts. Now a greater level of centralised oversight preventing (hopefully) things like that from happening again.

The bigger the organisation, the more exposed you are and the harder it is to hide illegal or very morally and ethically wrong actions.

People also keep throwing out the argument of people being assholes at the top, nepotism, etc, etc. That's always been there, and is present in many organisations both public and private. That shouldn't stop a sensible move from being made.

There are a lot of arguments put forward for not having a single Force. Many are emotive and don't stand up under scrutiny.

@Mick9abf

I had an involvement in the process when Greater Glasgow was being formed as part of the single Force, and again a couple of years later when I was on a team tasked with changing operational policing. As such I had access to various reports, analysis documents and white papers which outlined the varying trends and demands.

Strathclyde was busier than anywhere else, not just in terms of incidents per 'x' of population, but a very well written and detailed report showed the workload per individual officers from each Legacy Force. I can't remember all of it now as it was some time ago, but an Strathclyde Officer compared to a Northern Officer for example, had somewhere in the region of 4-5 times the amount of work (averaged out to take into account the busier/quieter areas of each Force). This was based on everything, from 999 calls, crimes recorded, events recorded where the cop would be working the event rather than focusing on their enquiries, etc. I think if I recall, it even took into account things like hospital watches, prisoner observations - anything that effectively meant they weren't free to walk the street.

It wasn't uncommon to lose a whole shift run to going to the hospital to watch a suicide risk, or sit watching a prisoner through a glass window as they wanked and shat on the walls. :D

This isn't make believe, it's solid fact. Northern had around 700 officers, Strathclyde had around 9,000. The difficulty with Strathclyde was that out of that 9,000, many thousands were snuck away in non-frontline roles, creating a false figure effect.

The firearms story, that was factual and the pictures were shown to me by a Sergeant colleague who was in Policy and was travelling the country at the start to figure out how each legacy Force managed surrendered firearms. He was tearing his hair out. Literally a large, MFO sized box, in an old cell, filled with hand guns.

The domestic abuse story, that was factual based on a forum that came together near the start again, once the domestic side started to develop and push out across the force. Victims from various Forces were brought together to speak of their experiences with policing and the weaknesses in some areas of Scotland were highlighted in terms of how people had been treated, how incidents had been responded to.

Don't get me wrong, much came back in the other direction from other Forces - at the start it was very much Strathclyde this, Strathclyde that as again, House was in charge. Once he left, it moved to a more two way exchange of methods and styles, and less is being centralised in Glasgow now with more key functions being spread around the country such as Perth, Inverness, etc.

The biggest thing to point out to anyone saying a single Force is bad, is to look at the history of policing in Scotland. It's always been about amalgamation. It's always been about smaller Forces being pushed together to create one bigger Force. It's happened since policing began in Scotland.

It's now just reached it's logical conclusion.

It's got a long way to go, but it's much, much better than it ever was under one Force. Most of the people who complain are old in service, and will complain but don't have the balls to leave. The Probationers coming in now, who know nothing better, don't have a problem with how it's run other than the usual justified moans about lack of resources, which has been a problem in Legacy Forces never mind PSoS, and will never change until the SNP pony up some money.

Which they won't.

cnuts. :D
I'm sorry, mate, but Polis Scotland has been an unmitigated Omni-Shambles since day one. Which, appropriately enough, was April Fool's Day. The Comm's centre was so badly run it directly resulted in the death of a woman who was left trapped in a car for three days because relevant information wasn't passed on to the coppers on the ground.

Then we had the brilliant idea of using ARV coppers for normal Response duties. This had the dual effect of scaring the crap out of civvies and also potentially slowing down the response of AFO's. It was such a Full Special Needs idea that even Dr House himself was finally forced to reverse the decision.

And then there's the joke about senior officers being able to put on their own version of Beechgrove because so many of them are on, "gardening leave"...

I also take issue with your description of the SNP; cnuts are good for something ;)
 
#75
Definitely. Across the military as well.
I dont know if its the same but everytime we (not police) have a review they put the bloody senior empire builders in charge and they cut the indians.

Job cuts needed, take out 4 admins, take out 2 maintenance guys, take out 1 operator....

I know you cannot put an indian in charge of a shake up but FFS.

Signed
 

MrBane

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#76
I think, with respect, we will have to agree to disagree! You are very much taking a view from the inside, looking out. I am taking a view from the outside looking in!

At the end of the day, the Police are a service to society, not the other way around. The problem with creating ever larger and more integrated organisations is that they forget this and morph into self licking lollipops that are increasingly difficult to control. The dangers of a self propelled Police force should be clear to anyone..

You seem to suggest that by placing control of Policing at an ever higher level in society that this will result in better and more competent decision making.. "I hae mah doots!" History would clearly suggest this is not true...!

Most of the folk at the top of both UK and Scottish politics are demonstrably unable to run a proverbial whelk stall.

Interesting, the Judge Dredd solution suggested above is probably the nearest .. Dredd is Police, Judge and Jury rolled into one... no hierarchy, no accountability, simply a trust in an individual to do the right thing in the circumstances.. the problem of course is finding the right person.! It all depends on your definition of dystopia I suppose...!
Hahah, and such is a free society that we can!

I know exactly what you are saying and I agree with it, but I'm not sure if with respect, you're missing the point I'm trying to put across.

It's not about placing control of policing at a higher level, it's about ensuring policing, regardless where you are in the country, is delivered in the same, consistent, proven way.

I'm not referring to the old House tactic of every area needing to get a bazillion stop searches or anything like that, but that the way a crime is dealt with is the same across the Force, dealt with with the same level of attention, detail and working processes shown to give the best opportunity for success.

When everything merged, it quickly became apparent that some Forces were far ahead or far behind in terms of how processes and operating procedures were dealt with. That's a service delivery failure across the board. That has now, for the most part, been rectified.

I'm sorry, mate, but Polis Scotland has been an unmitigated Omni-Shambles since day one. Which, appropriately enough, was April Fool's Day. The Comm's centre was so badly run it directly resulted in the death of a woman who was left trapped in a car for three days because relevant information wasn't passed on to the coppers on the ground.

Then we had the brilliant idea of using ARV coppers for normal Response duties. This had the dual effect of scaring the crap out of civvies and also potentially slowing down the response of AFO's. It was such a Full Special Needs idea that even Dr House himself was finally forced to reverse the decision.

And then there's the joke about senior officers being able to put on their own version of Beechgrove because so many of them are on, "gardening leave"...

I also take issue with your description of the SNP; cnuts are good for something ;)
Couple of points from yours:

1. The Lamara Bell incident. Tragic, yes. However, everyone was screaming and pointing the finger at Police Scotland because it was a nice, big, easy target. It was a mistake that would probably have happened with whatever legacy Force covered that area had it occurred during their time. PSoS really had nothing to do with it. A strong statement, but true. A call was made, the report wasn't handled properly. Lots of human errors there - nothing to do with the organisation per'se when it's individuals at fault. Trust me, lots of calls don't get answered and it's a sheer fluke that only every so often does it all go tits up. This also isn't about centralised call handling centres, because even when it was local call handling centres, stuff still wasn't being answered or dealt with properly. Let's not forget with the Bell incident that John Yuill hadn't passed his driving test and was driving illegally, and looks by all accounts to have purposefully driven the vehicle off the road - though we'll need the full PIRC report to understand exactly what happened.

2. ARV's should be getting used for calls, though I agree not P1 or some P2. Several reasons. After the public got upset about a tiny number of cops with guns wandering the streets, they were pulled right back. So they spent a lot of time sitting about in their offices doing nothing, or just driving around, doing, nothing. So you've got cops who are experiencing operational policing skill fade for a start. You've got cops who are demoralised and unmotivated, because they're being hidden out of sight.

They're actually getting used again for low grade calls and incidents, because it's been recognised that they need to be out in the community engaging with people and keeping themselves active. It doesn't slow down any response time, in fact, it has every chance of decreasing response times as they'll already be out the office (several flights of stairs and a yard to negotiate out of) and in the community. If they're at a call and they get an ARV task, they just say sorry and run off. They're not tied to the incident.

Alongside that. we now have 500 officers wandering about toting tasers. No-one has said a ******* word. How's that really, really any different from a slack handful of cops wandering about with firearms? Put it this way - a terrorist attack is highly likely, and if it happens, it's going to be a crowded place such as Buchanan Street in Glasgow. **** me if I wouldn't much rather have my AFO's walking or driving nearby than sat in an office eight minutes away watching telly.

Funnily enough, a few trucks ploughing through some people seem to have suddenly reversed the general opinion people have of ARV / AFO capabilities and would quite like them out and about. Odd that. Very much a short version of Kipling's 'Tommy' - "But it's " Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind "
 
#77
Not sure if a royal commission into policing is the way to go or an investigation into police recruitment and promotion policies is the way to go. When I joined the job in the late 70s lots of ex servicemen many with NI experience, cadets from Met cadets recruited at 16 and various other odds & sods, Seemed to all mix in well into the 4 shift system, each relief had its own idiosyncrasies, clearly some reliefs better than others, similarly each division had its own identities, but each thought it was the best.

Mid 80s police started to recruit a new sort of officer, one who didn't want to walk the beat, lock up criminals, or even for some of the more depraved specialise in traffic. This new type of officer from the start wanted to be a manager, I deliberately don't use the term leader as that suggests a certain degree of ability and rigor, not found in these individuals. As these people thrived in the leadership stakes, they have recruited more of their like to follow on and take over behind them..

As a result of this police not just in the UK but also other jurisdictions have an entire management structure who have avoided at the front end operational police work until, when they are the commander on site and are required to make sound operational decisions they don't have a clue. The disgusting example of senior officers seeking to blame others for their own shortcomings at the inquest into the murder of Keith Palmer is one example. These managers may be great at producing spreadsheets, introducing new non confrontational policies may be outstanding, but operational decision making at the sharp end forget it. There are no leaders, no senior crime investigators left, just administrators.
 

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