Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Was that an admission of failure just there?

From Hansard
Mr. Coaker: The Government are committed to delivering a visible and reassuring police presence. At the end of March 2008 64.9 per cent. of police officer time was spent on frontline duties. The fourth successive annual improvement since 2003-04.

Since April 2008 there has been a neighbourhood policing team in every area.The Policing Pledge includes a commitment for neighbourhood policing teams to spend at least 80 per cent. of their time visibly working on their patch.
Perhaps there are clever semantics at play here in his answer, but "neighbourhood policing teams" include "police officers", so by that measure did they just admit they'd failed to meet they're own pledge?

Update:
Ann Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment she has made of progress towards delivering the policing pledge.

Mr. Coaker: The policing pledge is an essential part of the reform programme to increase public confidence in how crime is tackled and justice delivered. That is why I am delighted that all 43 chief constables have committed to deliver the pledge by the end of the year.

8 comments:

Letters From A Tory said...

"64.9 per cent. of police officer time was spent on frontline duties"

How anyone can consider that to be a success is beyond me.

John M Ward said...

I think the difference is because PCSO, who form part of the Neighbourhood Policing Teams, spend nearly all their time on their patch.

As there are typically either one or two PCSOs for every Neighbourhood Constable, that can affect their figures, but not the rest of the police.

Neighbourhood crime victim said...

I was really excited when my area started to be covered by "Neighbourhood policing teams" - our very own police officers, run by an inspector and supported by some CPSO's. I read about them on the West Mercia web page and was impressed that by this structural reorganisation, my small area of Telford was now better covered and safer due to the team being "exclusively dedicated to your area". But my balloon was soon pricked when I clicked on the NPT details for the neighbouring area and saw that it was - the same team, (different inspector)! And the next area - same team, (different inspector)! AND the next one - exactly the same team, (different inspector)! So there you are - a NPT in every area, but now with the same overstretched Bobbies having four times as much form-filling as before and three extra promotions to Inspector! (Wonder which of those newly-created Inspectors thought-up this promotion-enhancing, public-deceiving spin project!)

Mark Pack said...

Aren't there a lot of police who aren't in a neighbourhood team? So those teams could be on the front line 80% of the time, but the overall police average brought down by the rest.

Niccolo Machiavelli said...

Err, no it's not Dizzy.

As you know I never miss an opportunity to blame the Government, but I can see no way of claiming that March 2008 comes after April 2008.

sorry mate :¬)

Guy Herbert said...

Those figures can work very easily without including CPSOs, and indeed without police doing anything very useful.

Assume I have a station of 50 officers. To beat 64.9% last year I need on average 33 of them on frontline duties.

I assign 10 of them to neighbourhood policing teams and have the divisional PR team send out a newsletter to public with the names and pictures of the neighbourhood teams for their ward.

That gives me 20% of my force being visible on their patch (like the street stall outside Marylebone Waitrose all this week). That counts as frontline duties automatically. Provided not too many of them are sick, or involved in dealing with actual crime (since going to court or writing reports causes down-time) then beating the 80% is not too hard. Assume I get 90%.

So for the remaining 40 officers I only have on average to deploy 24 (60%) on the front-line, wherever it is, to beat target.

The two figures are complementary, not in conflict. Deploying neighbourhood teams is an easy way of hitting such targets. Whether the targets (or the neighbourhood teams) have any effect at all on crime is not a question the Home Office is equipped to answer.

Sickness and trials will make meeting the targets harder; penalty powers, hanging around pointlessly at demos and roadblocks, and overtime, make it easier. Whether those have any effect on crime is not a question the Home Office is interested in answering honestly.

JMB said...

What is the betting that "frontline duties" is not what most people would consider "frontline duties"?

trevorsden said...

The point is police are being deployed to meet arbitrarily set targets aimed to provide political propaganda rather than respond to the real needs of the public and / or target and deal with crime.

Its odd that when some prole from Dewsbury pretends to loose her meal ticket that police in their nice protective overalls come out of the woodwork from all directions to ferret their way through every lawn they can run their fingers through.