Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Bonus is under threat

No, not the banker kind.

The Superintendent's bonus.

We have experienced a rise in Burglary. A rise significant enough that apparently the absolute top of the police tree is apparently somewhat upset and the rumour machine has it the Superintendent's performance related bonus is on the line.

Well hellfire if things haven't suddenly happened. We have a support squad who generally patrol in unmarked cars, although nothing as decent as the performance motors seen on Road Wars. Well, they have been hoiked out of their normal taskings and are now solely focused on burglary. Somehow from somewhere they have sourced more unmarked cars, somehow blagged from a different force.

They're normally a small unit but not any more. People have been dragged off the core response team to go and assist. I mean dragged. Some of them only a weekend's notice to turn up to a different police station on Monday. The little Support unit now has more officers parading than the entire outfit of core response team officers. Except the support lot only have to deal with burglary.

Now, not only have they taken officers from team but they've taken some of our response cars too!

To be fair to the support boys and girls they're mostly embarrassed. I've worked with them a lot and most of them are thorough and decent cops, with an encylopeadic knowledge of all the bad guys they've arrested or know are up to no good. They dig up some good results with a style of policing occasionally robust enough to make the Community Superintendent choke on his Earl Grey, but when you're talking about youths with loaded firearms there isn't time to introduce yourself and get consent for your search.

They're more than aware that they're being used as little more than a tool by the top brass to tackle one specific thing, and all their previous good work like the above has been swiftly ignored. They're ashamed of how the core teams have been stripped.

In the meantime as far as you're concerned all this is great if you've been burgled. You'll have a flood of officers arriving darn quick.

However. If you've been thumped on the head by some drunken yob; are cowering in fear from a violent partner; or have been crashed into by an uninsured driver; well, you'll have to wait. That'll still be the beleagured response team in our remaining battered Astras, picking up all the slack for every other darn call generated.

We dealt with a particularly sad fatal accident the other day. Load of units tied up for the shift with cordons etc, dealing with traumatised witnesses, furious drivers who don't care about what has happened, etc. It was a job well done by all us lot who turned up.

Next day, we're greeted by an email from the Superintendent who has analyzed the arrest figures for everyone. It is clear as a bell that as far as she is concerned that if you're not arresting people you're not performing and you need to get your act together.

Who said the performance culture is dead?