Senior-ranking police in Scotlands to be slashed

#1
HERE
The Scotsman said:
High-ranking officers face axe to free £2m for PCs

The number of senior-ranking police in Scotland's biggest force is to be slashed in a move to boost the number of front-line officers by up to 150.

It is hoped the shake-up will put more officers on the beatSteve House, the chief constable of Strathclyde, has decided to wield the axe over dozens of superintendent posts, freeing some £2 million in salaries to be spent on new recruits.

The extra spending on community officers will satisfy a clamour from politicians and the public for more front-line police.

The Scotsman also understands that hundreds of office-bound police have been given annual quotas of weekend shifts policing crime hotspots, such as Glasgow city centre – a move that has disgruntled many officers.

The Strathclyde shake-up has been welcomed by police representatives and politicians, and will be closely watched by Scotland's other seven forces, which are also under pressure to deliver more front-line officers.

Mr House, a former assistant commissioner with the Metropolitan Police in London, who moved to Scotland last November, has compared Strathclyde with other forces of similar size, such as Greater Manchester, and concluded it is top-heavy.

It is understood the number of superintendent posts – which come with a salary in the region of £60,000 – will be slashed from 85 to about 55.

Greater Manchester Police which, like Strathclyde, has about 8,000 officers, has only 59 superintendents.

The cuts will be phased in over the next three years and will be delivered largely by not replacing retiring officers with others who would hold the same rank, but instead giving lower-ranked officers more responsibility.

Representative bodies, including the Scottish Police Federation and the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents, have been consulted and are broadly supportive.

But Raymond Pratt, secretary of the Strathclyde Police Federation, said some chief inspectors were upset at the loss of promotion opportunities, which could lead to an exodus of experienced officers from the force.

He said: "We don't want promotion to stop, but we also appreciate that front-line policing is very important to the public.

"The chief constable is trying to get more officers in the front line through streamlining the posts. In principle, we don't have any objections to that. The management structure needs to be flattened out – but we also need to take into account career progression."

However, one officer said the move had caused discontent among the middle and senior ranks. "He (Mr House] went round a load of superintendents, pointing at them and asking, 'What do you do?', 'What do you do?'. You can understand why he did it, but it went down like a lead balloon," the officer said.

Councillor Paul Rooney, the convener of the Strathclyde joint police board, said that he supported Mr House's plans, and the move was welcomed by other politicians.

Bill Aitken, MSP, the Scottish Conservatives' justice spokesman and convener of Holyrood's justice committee – which branded police resources "inadequate" in a report last month – said: "The public want officers presenting a visible front-line police service. That is what we are trying to do, and I'm pleased Mr House is going in this direction."

Pauline McNeill, MSP, Labour's justice spokeswoman, said: "Anything that puts more police officers on the streets has to be welcomed."

Mr House is expected to implement a number of structural changes to make the force more efficient. One will involve giving chief inspectors more responsibilities by putting them in charge of subdivisions currently headed by superintendents. Another will be to reduce the number of subdivisions.

Cuts are also likely to be targeted at non-operational departments, such as personnel and corporate planning. These are currently headed by a chief superintendent, with a number of superintendents as deputies.

Under the plan, there would be fewer deputy posts, with a small number of chief superintendent posts also likely to be cut. The Scotsman understands that desk-bound police – who currently work nine-to-five shifts – will be forced to spend a dozen Fridays and Saturdays every year on street patrol.

One officer said: "It'll put more cops out on the beat, but it has really hacked a lot of them off."

Mr House said: "Since taking over the post of chief constable, I have made it quite clear publicly that my main priority is to free up all resources within the organisation to increase the number of front-line police officers across the force. This is what the public quite rightly demand.

"As a result, the force is currently carrying out a number of reviews to look at back-office structure and middle and senior-management posts.

"One of these reviews is around superintendents' posts and is ready for approval."

The chief constable added: "I'm sure that this, along with other initiatives, will allow the people of Strathclyde to see more foot-patrol officers on their street, tackling violence and antisocial behaviour in the community."

Fears chief was 'pressured' into shake-up
CHIEF Constable Steve House's pledge to shake up police ranks will be music to the ears of Kenny MacAskill, the justice secretary, who has repeatedly promised to deliver extra officers by "redeploying" resources.

But last night, Pauline McNeill, Labour's justice spokeswoman and the MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, said:

"I would like reassurances that these ideas are (Mr House's] alone, and he has not come under any pressure from government to make these changes."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "This is an operational matter for the chief constable. However, this government is committed to delivering a more visible policing presence on our streets and in our communities.

"We are directly funding the recruitment of 1,000 officers. We are determined to work with chief constables and police boards to improve the retention of officers and support the redeployment of officers to enhance operational policing."

NEW BOSS HAILED AS 'A BREATH OF FRESH AIR'
He has only officially been in post for a few weeks, but Steve House has already made his mark on Scotland's biggest police force.

Since replacing the retiring Willie Rae, the former Metropolitan Police assistant commander has spoken out about the terrorist threat facing Scotland and the need for more action to tackle domestic abuse. Raymond Pratt, head of the Scottish Police Federation in Strathclyde, said Mr House was a "breath of fresh air".

"He's come in with lots of ideas to get more officers on the street. We support what he's trying to do."

Mr House was born in Glasgow and attended Kelvinside Academy, but his family moved to London when he was 12. He joined Sussex Police in 1981 and has since served with West Yorkshire and Northamptonshire Police. In 2001, he joined the Met as a deputy assistant commissioner and was put in charge of specialist crime.

'Harder task' in other forces

MIDDLE and senior management posts in Scotland's police service are facing a growing squeeze amid a clamour from the public and politicians for more front-line officers.

For each superintendent, up to three constables could be hired.

But Strathclyde is unusually top-heavy and some say it will be harder for Scotland's other forces to be streamlined.

Strathclyde has one superintendent for every 88 officers. Under Mr House's plan, that ratio would increase to about one in 150.

The ratio at Lothian and Borders is about one in 95. At Dumfries and Galloway, it is one in 100.
 
#2
Good idea and a good start. Unfortunately, it's little more than a drop in the ocean; ACPO has already said they need a MINIMUM of 2,000 new officers.
 
#3
Superb idea considering the money these chaps and chappettes get paid for the level of responsibilty they actually take on and the little impact they have on the stats and figures our government love so much!
 
#4
Outstanding idea! Maybe Eck will get to deliver those 1000 bobbies on the beat after all.

Now if he could just do the same with all those Local Council fuckups that bleed us dry, I'd be a happier man.
 
#5
You wonder what the effectiveness of a load of reluctant desk wallahs will be on their odd trips onto the streets. A visible presence and not much else. Personally if every desk cop can give up 10% of his time (or whatever) to street policing with no apparent loss of useful other output I would put 10% of them permanently back onto the relief system and reallocate their admin work among the remaining 9-5 staff. Chances are some of the new relief workers will jack, replace them with younger more motivated (and slightly cheaper (at least in the short run)) cops, and continue. Be ruthless.

As one Strathclyde cop told me, "If we spent half the time fighting crime that we spend trying to fit each other up on disciplinaries there wouldn't be a crime problem". A lovely insight into a working environment, don't you think - "fitting each other up" on disciplinaries? Whoopy doo.
 
#6
gobbyidiot said:
As one Strathclyde cop told me, "If we spent half the time fighting crime that we spend trying to fit each other up on disciplinaries there wouldn't be a crime problem". A lovely insight into a working environment, don't you think - "fitting each other up" on disciplinaries? Whoopy doo.
They have to learn about "fitting up" somewhere, and where better than the comfort and security of the station? You don't want them to get it wrong when it comes to "fitting up" Joe Public (no relation).
 
#8
Lothian and Borders are also at the cutting edge of Law Enforcement - they have started flying the Gay Rights Rainbow Flag at Fettes Police HQ.

Of course, Murders on their patch have gone up from 10 to 13, Attempted Murders from 72 to 109 and Serious Assualts from 617 to 109 between 2006 and 2007.

But hey - as long as the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Community feels "supported", that's the man thing... :roll:
 
#9
FrankCastle said:
But hey - as long as the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Community feels "supported", that's the man thing... :roll:
My bold: deliberate or not, that certainly made me laugh! Works on so many levels.
 
#10
smartascarrots said:
FrankCastle said:
But hey - as long as the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Community feels "supported", that's the man thing... :roll:
My bold: deliberate or not, that certainly made me laugh! Works on so many levels.
Err...of COURSE it was deliberate... :oops:
 
#12
eveyoz said:
Should senior ranks in the Armed Forces reading this get a little worried?
At Col level upwards - probably.
 
#13
So Scotland has police forces as well? What a jolly good idea. I do hope it works
 
#14
Damn right. Any idea how many 1 Star "Brigade Commanders" we have compared to the number of deployable brigades? Apparently in the region of 36 compared to 8 (stood by to be corrected) deployable brigades. I know we need a rank pyramid but that smacks of a gravy train.....
 
#16
At the start of every major war Britian suffer clock ups untill the hierarchy gets sorted out.
So lets chop most of the really high seniors, all those without 'Battle' expireance and we'll be one jump a head of the game.
john
Used to be a long thread on arrse about Seniors Officers without Combat expireance.
 
#18
Did'nt some general(Monty?)in WWII make his Staff officers run 5 miles a day? IIRC, his reasoning went something like: they will either get fitter, in which case they will work harder and more efficiently for me. Or they will die of heart attacks. In which case I'm well rid of them anyway...
 
#19
Werewolf said:
Did'nt some general(Monty?)in WWII make his Staff officers run 5 miles a day? IIRC, his reasoning went something like: they will either get fitter, in which case they will work harder and more efficiently for me. Or they will die of heart attacks. In which case I'm well rid of them anyway...
Spike Milligan describes it one of his books on his Army days. To paraphrase him, he said it was like a breath of fresh air.
 
#20
When DLB tok over as Boss man down the Falklands he was doing his initial tour of inspection with some of his staff and the Chinhook had to land several thousand mtrs below top of the Radar station on the highest mountain.
He had the pilot drop him and the staff off and set off up the hill.
He almost ran to the top, the staff where told to to get fit, or.
john
We used to see him running around his 'Estate' all the time.
 
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