ACPO and hypocrisy

Political policing, again

The gravy train, don't get left behind!The gravy train, don't get left behind!
According to Gilbert and Sullivan, "A policeman's lot is not a happy one, happy one". Perhaps true then but would seem to be wide of the mark, for some officers, now. For here we are in the age of the cutbacks but for the lucky ones the gravy train chugs along as if there's no problem. The police, we are told, will get £150million in bonuses.This headline from the BBC (see link) is not quite perjury, but then neither is it the truth. The fact is SOME officers will get a bonus, not all. The BBC gives the credit for their source to the Daily Telegraph and even their headline - Police receive bonuses just for doing their daily job, begs a little care, see HERE.

It all begins with David Blunkett, one of the most awful and inept ministers in modern government; and yet Blunkett was no real friend of the police, remember it was he who introduced the 'plastic policemen', the Community Support Officers, so loathed by the regular police. In 2001/2 Blunkett came up with the idea of a bonus scheme. At the same time came the Police Reform Act 2002. It's now clear that 'reform' it was not. It was a bribe. Like so much of Nulabour's reforming zeal it was ridiculous, but for a while it worked. The money flowed one way while at the same time public confidence in the police plummeted. If it's all a matter of trust, how about this?

Just months ago, Sir Paul Stephenson, Britain’s most senior officer, stated that all types of police bonus should be scrapped to prove that officers were motivated solely by their duty to serve the public.

However, according to the 2009-10 figures, the Met remains one of the worst offenders for paying bonuses at a senior level.

Stephenson is fast becoming the ideal follow on act from Sir Ian Blair, whose sacking by MoL Boris Johnson, was a timely act. Not for nothing did Andrew Gilligan coin the phrase "Nulabour's top copper" for him. Blair was a rightly ridiculed figure of huge cost and limited public benefit.

This is pure hypocrisy and the political dimension to all this is obvious, interestingly, before the general election -

Sir Hugh Orde, the President of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), warned that chief constables would resist any moves to introduce "political influence" into the police service.

Sir Hugh, the former Northern Ireland chief constable who took over as ACPO president earlier this year, insisted that there should be no perception of political influence in policing.

So what does political influence mean? Orde's statement before the general election was a threat to the voters if they dared to go for a government that thought elected police chiefs was a good idea. That's a political act, yes? In other words stuff democracy we know best. You might think that it was not only politically motivated but dangerous.

Also consider the recent public posturing by the police over speed cameras The police have picked a fight over speed cameras on the same basis, they know best. I've always thought the police would be drawn to the overt authoritarian element of Nulabour. The police must be smarting that the coalition are not going to give them ID cards and the supporting databases. It would have been such a wonderful opportunity to poke around in all that data, regardless of any safeguards promised by Nulabour. Any rules set up would have been ignored "for operational reasons". The same way Birmingham now finds itself with illegal spy cameras in parts of the city.

Also consider how the speed camera thing has been spun - 'Hypocrisy' of speeding middle-class motorists, says Julie Spence, the outgoing head of Cambridgeshire police. Note how it's not simply motorists but they are middle class, gosh, how bad is that! The newspapers have pictures of Spence looking all twinkly-eyed and messianic, a bit like Tony Blair in uniform - not scary but pathetic. I think we all know what's going on here and it's wholly political and Spence retires at 55 while the rest of the nation works till 70, is that 'hypocrisy?'