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Old 23rd Sep 2006, 16:18
  #301 (permalink)  
Beethoven
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: What????
Posts: 114
Hi Allan, thanks for the memo! As a humble shift copper rest assured that our voice is NOT being heard despite pleas to the educated idiots that govern us.Moral is at an all time low on my shift due to the state of things but most of us really are trying to speak out. As stated before we have no union as we are not allowed one by law and are not allowed to strike and so forth. The job is now unrecognisable to what it was and "discretion" has become a dirty word to management. Yesterday we had a supervisor (non-active) come in to tell us that we were not working hard enough to get "detections" which simply are people charged,reported or ticketed and that we needed to work harder to get these figures up. The management doesn't care if these people are guilty or not, or would benefit from words of advice etc. There are many, many occasions where officers deal with situations in a way that most people of the public would find acceptable but that don't increase our performance figures and when we do this we risk an ass-chewing if found out. Example, 2 schoolkids fighting at a bus stop. Management want us to arrest both of them so that we can give 2 reprimands, hence 2 lovely "detections". How many of us do you think would actually do that? More likely the write-off over the radio (after suitably bollocking the kids) would be "Verbal argument, no offences disclosed" risking us being disciplined if found out. The system cares little for people and lots for performance indicators.
Every few weeks or so my shift has a meeting with supervisors which always ends up in a slanging match between "them and us" with us trying to get things changed but rarely being listened to, hence the dive in moral. I can only speak for myself but i recently was told to arrest an 80 year old woman due to allegations from a neighbour of harassment. I investigated further and found a history of trouble between the 2 households starting with the building of an extension. I went to tell the aggreived that I was going to arrest the woman to which they were horrified saying "we dont want an old woman arrested!!" The guidelines say arrest! it gets the figures up. I refused and made my feelings clear. The job was then passed to the local beat officer who dealt with it as it should have been..a neighbourly dispute. I stated that I would resign rather than stand in front of the custody sergeant with an old lady on a flimsy allegation from people who wanted to use us as a weapon.
Sorry to go on about my tales of woe, after all I am still in the job but believe me where I am we are fighting tooth and nail to change the way things are for the victims of crime and the ones who are plainly intent on advancing themselves are in the great minority and are very obvious.
Just to get back on topic a little, I have only ever issued one traffic ticket..to a driver on a mobile phone who nearly hit us in a marked police car who susbsequently denied using it. Suitable words of advice proffered , only for him to pick it up again when he thought I couldn't see. I think i will start noting down the times I use my discretion as well as when I arrest/issue tickets!
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