secret of success in Police Air Operations is the ability to get overhead quickly, and before the culprit has left the scene. That ability is seriously challenged by any delay in getting airborne
. . . and also by being based, or on another task, 30+nm from the incident in question!
The promise that CCs will have greater availability of an aircraft, as there won't be any loss of operation while their normal machine is being serviced, completely ignores the fact that, although there might be one available, it's very likely that it'll be too far away to have any chance of success. Of course this won't bother the bean-counters and backside-covering control rooms, who will be able to say they "deployed every available resource" !!
Zorab! All that of course is true. I guess that I'm just getting tired of saying it!
I hope that Ollie can cut out all this "spin" crap. We all know that the system is broke, and there is very little in the budget. So why not tell the public the truth? What we can offer now, - is a sad reflection on what we could do before the cuts. But that's where it is! We can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear!
The public appreciate honesty! They may believe all this "Its an improvement" crap for a while, but once the truth starts to come out, they will not be happy.
But then I guess that all the Chiefs and Politicians responsible for this mess will be retired by then and can blame someone else.
Now! How many Police Officers have we lost since Theresa May told the President of the Superintendents Association that he was talking rubbish when he said that the reduction in Police funding would result in lower Police numbers and efficiency?
Sorry Guys I know that I'm a bore on this subject, but after so long in the job it hurts to see a proud service brought so low.
Is there anywhere that a member of the public can surf to in order to see how the National Police Air Service is coming along? As far as Joe Public is concerned, nothing has changed and all is going ahead as initially planned on 1st April.
The only thing out there is coverage of smiling Nick Herbert saying that it will happen.
I wonder how this new type of activity might slow down any plans of using 'drones' for police work. At a more basic level, all you'd really need is a control unit pushing out a stronger signal, as sometimes seen at r/c car tracks across the country !
It certainly makes sense to have a national air service as there are undoubtedly economies of scale to be had, however...
Why did they not first consider having borderless tasking to assess what spare capacity there is within the existing fleet? For example, each region uses one air to ground channel for all forces within that region to request assistance from air support. All units monitor the channel both in the air and on the ground, and make an assessment as to who is best placed to deal, based on current location, commitment and availability. Any unit based near to the border with a neighbouring region also monitors the air to ground channel for that region. Compare deployments over a six month or so trial period, with the same six months of 'in area' deployment for the preceeding year. There are of course a number of practicalities to overcome, not least of which is access to CAD information, mapping etc, but I have no doubt that all ASUs have worked out of county before without access to detailed mapping and incident information.
After that trial bring together a team from finance/HR/policing/aviation (preferably with aviation experience extending beyond flying off to a holiday destination ) to have a look at the implications of a national service. Starting with the legislative/operational reality of running a small airline over and above single aircraft operations, and then looking into all the other considerations, e.g. funding, HR, bases etc. After the initial study, come up with a plan for submission to the community for comment/consultation. Make a few changes based on practitioners experience and local knowledge and then come up with a final plan and implement it.
All a bit too late for that, after all we're a long way downstream with NPAS, but I don't personally think that the waterfall is just round the next bend, especially now that OD is at the helm. Should I add again to that? This can work, but probably only because those in the community will make it work, because they want to or have to.
Many comments have been made, both in general conversation and on this forum, about not having intelligence insulted by being told that this will be better. We all feel much like that. The government/public services have years of experience in telling us that less is more and that there are huge efficiency savings to be made, with a myriad of statistics to 'prove' it. I think hardly anyone, either practitioners or general public alike, believes the rhetoric; they just get on with it and make it work, figuring there is little they can do. You may win the odd battle, but in the long run you are unlikely to win the war once the political will (and I don't necessarily mean from polititians) is there to make something happen.
Within NPAS, there will be areas that receive a better service and reduced response times, but there will also be losers, and taken in the round the reduction in fleet is going to have a more detrimental effect than positive. I doubt very much that there was 30% excess capacity.
It may even be that NPAS will save forces money, but here's a thought. The cost savings of NPAS are becoming secondary (if they were ever primary) to the aim of nationalising a traditionally force based asset. As in, "Hey everyone, look at what we've managed to do with Air Support. What say we now have a look at Roads Policing, Firearms, Dogs, Public Order or even TPT? Hang on a minute, we could even look at police forces as a whole."
Whether the above is true or not, the success of NPAS will be very much dependant on who you are and what measure you use to quantify success. If you define it as a better service to the nation as a whole then I think the answer is no, but then again I'm not a politician.
Extreme care will need to be taken when assessing the changes due to NPAS. The effects of air support lie far beyond the parochial boundaries of air support past, present & future. It is my belief that air support has all sorts of positive impacts throughout the police and criminal justice system. Anyone trying to see what effect it has will need to look very widely. For example, if used well:
It makes prosecution cheaper, easier and more effective It can have a massive multiplier effect on resources It can save significant other resources by its effective use It does things that otherwise could not be done at all It even changes criminal behaviour for the better
We have never been very good at identifying exactly what its benefits are. It might be useful to try to do some of that.
Location: Liverpool based Geordie, so calm down, calm down kidda!!
Don't kid yourself that Joe Public will catch on that the service is reduced. 'JP' doesnt give a monkeys as long as someone is telling them that their council tax bill might be reduced by these savings. The only people that know are in the police service and the only people that actually care are the operators themselves. Senior officers look for promotion........ promotion does not come if they rock the boat. To be honest, no one other than yourselves actually cares if the service is reduced or not. Sorry to pee on the bonfire, but this is how it is.......
Police functions that must be the subject of force collaboration provision
(1)The Secretary of State may, by order, require a specified police function to be exercised in relation to—
(a)all police areas, or
(b)all police areas apart from any specified in the order,in accordance with police collaboration provision.
(2)An order under this section may specify whether the specified police function is required to be exercised in relation to the specified police areas in accordance with police collaboration provision contained in—
(a)a single collaboration agreement which relates to all of those police areas, or
(b)a number of collaboration agreements which, between them, relate to all of those police areas.
(3)Provision under subsection (2)(b) need not specify a particular number of collaboration agreements.
(4)A statutory instrument containing an order under this section may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.
(5)If, but for this subsection, an instrument containing an order under this section would be treated for the purposes of the standing orders of either House of Parliament as a hybrid instrument, it is to proceed in that House as if it were not a hybrid instrument.
(6)In this section “specified” means specified in an order under this section.”.
(4)Schedule 12 (collaboration agreements) has effect.
Police watchdogs have raised concerns and are monitoring the situation closely after news that the Dyfed-Powys Police helicopter could be scrapped in 2014.
Just a couple of things, without the trip around the old hamster wheel.
Under the proposals Wales will be served from bases at Rhuddlan in Denbighshire and St. Athan in Glamorgan.
...and given the right time of day or serviceability/availability, from one of the CRASU units. At 3 in the morning, I may well be able to get there, but apart from the fuel issue, spelling Aberystwyth could be a big problem. Hows the crime rate in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch ?
But Dyfed Powys Police Authority is not convinced the proposals would be of benefit.
As with SY, it would seem that it makes not a jot what the authority thinks.
I see that s. yorks did a prime example of "borderless tasking" last night, exctracting lost walkers from Kinder Scout (in Derbyshire)...
It really does grip my s@@t when NPAS bang on about borderless tasking. Yorkshire region have been doing it for about 14years with WYP,SYP, and Humbs ASU's being part of a mutual aid consortium. No money changing hands, no complicating protocols, just simple assistance being given across borders when one of the machines is AOG.
They (yorks consortium) really ought to step up to the mark with NPAS and tell them what is being sold to the public as "new and improved" is bo**ox. Its been happening up North for more than a decade quite succesfully.
Morris1.. You are correct in quoting your excellent example of cross force co-operation between ASU's.
My only slight critique is that what you describe is NOT all that unusual! I served for over 30 years in all aspects of operational policing but nowhere did I experience better examples of cross border policing, than from our own and surrounding ASU's.
Later when travelling around the country visiting nearly all of the country's ASU's, it was quite plain to me that the level of co-operation between units was constantly growing. It had become normal practice for one unit to cover their neighbour when an aircraft was off line for maintenance. The only times when this was not so forthcoming, happened when the neighbouring force had done nothing in the normal course of operational Policing, to avail themselves of air support when needed.
So there we have it. UK Police Aviation, as it stood, was an excellant example to the other sections of Police work, on how to do inter unit co-operation.
So how was it that the Hogan Howe report come to the conclusion that there was very little cross border assistance going on? - Well I'll tell you! - It was because the staff officer responsible for putting the report together, knew nothing about air support (probably deliberately) and ignored all offers of help in doing it. I know that to be true because I offered, - more than once.
It became a classic case of "Here's the conclusion, Now go away and write a report that covers it"
I submit, that that is why NPAS had such a bad start. It was flawed from the outset, there was only one aim, to save money. The provision of a properly resourced, properly commanded, and cost effective crime fighting body never featured in the equation. Now let me see, - what happened to the author?
Cross border work or "borderless tasking" as NPAS want to rebrand it, is indeed VERY common. Like i said, theyre re inventing the wheel. But the one they came up with has corners on it..!
It makes my blood boil when I see the NPAS sales pitch, when they say borderless tasking will be the saviour of modern ASU work. Weve been doing it (better than NPAS propose) for a VERY long time already..
Cross border ops for ASUs has been happening for years, with one or two units being a bit precious about their assets. Quite rightly sometimes money had to change hands. Generally though, where it involved 2 forces who had ASUs, it seems to be done on a quid pro quo basis. It will be a smoke and mirrors job if NPAS claim it was their invention.