Friday, September 14, 2007

Performance, Stats, Targets etc

Carrying on with this performance v policing debate.

I was talking about our teams performance with another skipper today. The ethos on our team generally amongst the skippers and PCs is that on response teams, response work should take priority. (The governor is trying to get us to push more the other way, towards stats, more on that another day.....)

We had a look at the response times of the top performing team. They are pretty poor. For some reason, response times to calls are not one of the team performance comparisons given any weight.

And herein lies the dichotomy.

The top team have the best or at least high statistics for arrests and stop searches /stop accounts and detections. This is because they are quite happy to arrest people left and right and centre for minor crap. They are in fact encouraged to do so. The usual tales of "its not drunk and disorderly, its section 5" and all that.

So- they can be said to performing well and are providing good value for money for the public. The statistics say so.

And in a certain way, that may be the case. Unless you're one of the unfortunates who's called 999 to find that the top performing team is on duty and they're all already busy dealing with (on the whole) more minor stuff.

Broad generalisations here but the overall picture is accurate. A police team that is performing the best on paper is more likely to be providing a worse service if you're the one actually calling us.

But how do you measure the performance of the police? Its your money being spent on us lot. I wouldn't accept just being told "We're doing a good job, just believe it". But the current system isn't exactly working, nor accurate.

Suggestions welcome.....