Police hampered by addiction to targets

True enough but of course it is very far from being just Plod which has suffered badly at the hands of central government control freakery and the need to spin everything.

Police hampered by 'addiction' to targets, warns chief constable

"Peter Fahy, chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, claims Labour's culture of central control has produced a generation of middle and senior managers who are expert administrators but have no instinct on how best to catch criminals.

He says: "There are conflicting messages and behaviours from Government and from the small army of people who run the many initiatives which hold us to account.

There is every indication the centre is struggling to overcome its addiction of central control through statistical approaches and one-off initiatives.

"It is also inevitable that as we move towards what looks like the end of this Government, but also a political era, the centre has less credibility and we are seeking a more bottom-up approach."

The two-and-a-half page document was circulated to around 20 senior officers from superintendent rank and above.

Mr Fahy calls for police to be given the freedom to channel resources into tackling crime direct, rather than having officers tied up in "routine and reactive effort."

He attacks the culture of blame that can affect an individual officer in the aftermath of "poor" performance figures, and says he wants to see the deployment of more police who are "resourceful and cunning".

Mr Fahy, 46, likens the Office For Criminal Justice Reform to "the last Japanese soldier left in the jungle who appears to be cut off from the developments going on around them'".

He says: "For all forces the short-term statistically-driven approach is now deep in the DNA and any adjustment away from that will take some time and trust building.

"The performance regime of the last few years has produced a style of performance management which is focused on the figures themselves as the outcome and sees compliance with processes as the best way to produce that outcome. At its worse it becomes an inquest on what has already happened in an attempt to catch someone out.

"It focuses on types of offences rather than the degree of harm because that is what performance is broken down into.

'It does not lift the soul. Unfortunately this regime nationally has produced a generation of middle and senior managers who have not experienced much different."

Acknowledging that the public's faith in police was at a low ebb, the chief constable goes on: "The best way to drive up public confidence is to be reacting to those crimes that make the public feel unsafe and capturing those individuals that the public know are bang at it.

"Capturing the most prolific, the most dangerous, the most harmful is the best way to reduce crime, increase public confidence, and lift the souls of our staff.

"In my experience if you get this right there is a clear sense of purpose and, yes, a buzz in a team or division/department then the key figures will look after themselves."


(And yes I now see it has been done...... :roll: )

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