Sorting this out will be good. It
countless years since the police force was subject to a major
re-organisation. Why? Every time there's a Soham or a Ripper the media
trots out the failings of the police. Soham, in particular, highlighted
a situation where it demonstrated that a police force made up of
regional empires does not
work. The boss of the East Riding force stripped his system of data
because he didn't know, didn't understand or couldn't be bothered to
read the data protection act. So, when Mr. Hunter should have been
vetted for his job at Soham school, it couldn't be done because the
system was full of holes.
We have seen 4 major forces in
amalgamated and the screaming can still be heard. The senior coppers
didn't like it. They are all too interested in protecting their little
empire with the sizeable salary and pension to go with it, and, oh,
don't forget the power that they have surrounded themselves with. This
amalgamation is one pace in a marathon.
The police did realise that there was an
incidence of cyber crime. Just like a Danger Mouse decision, the answer
was "right, well have a cyber crime unit". Well done, that is another
finger in one of the thousands of holes in the badly leaking dyke. And
still the penny doesn't drop, does it?
It is high time the "old boys" regime
and moulded into an effective force to deal with modern day crime. This
business of the insularity of the police and the all stick together
system and the "we will investigate our own problems" has surely been
exposed as unworkable by now. Look at the death of Mr De Menezies at the
hands of the police. After the killing, Mr. Blair, the Chief Constable,
straight away defended the actions of his force, only to have to claw
his words back later. He should have been bright before shooting from
not after. When a man is knocked to the ground and has more
than 1 bullet pumped into the back of his head, that is assassination. It is
certain that the officer responsible meant to kill. Please do not ask CB
to believe that they thought Mr Menezies had a bomb on his person. If they
thought that to be the case they would have shot from a distance.
What to do to update the force? CB
suggests a national unified force. Crime these days is getting ever
more organised with the use of technology to assist the criminals.
The force to deal with that must be just as professional.
should be a board of directors which should, at minimum, have a
Chairman, Managing Director, Finance Director, IT Director, PR
Media Director and an Operations Director. Only one
of these should come from the ranks of the police, the Operations
Director. Every other job is its own specialist area. If this structure
works the world over in business, then it will work for the business of
a professional police force.
There is an increasing need to liaise
other police forces, particularly with our partners in Europe. Crime
sees no borders. The IT Director of the police should provide an IS
infrastructure to serve the force but also be open, given certain
safeguards, to the Railway Police, Customs and Excise, Interpol etc.
they are all in the same business of catching the criminal. If the
Railway Police have dealings with an unruly passenger, surely they
should have the ability to check the police computer to make sure that
their customer hasn't got unfinished business elsewhere in the system.
The days of keeping information secret to protect "my collar" are long
gone. If an ammendment to the data protection act is needed, get it
done. Also the "competitive war" between the police and the
customs and excise should cease immediately. They are both after the
With a board of directors, the police
governed by national policy decisions. With all data at a central
source and under the control of an IT professional, then the data
dumping incident would, hopefully, not happen again. Statements, such
as the hasty one made by Mr. Blair after the De Menzies killing would
come from the office of a seasoned media professional and not have to
be retracted later. The general pooling of knowledge all tied together
with a good data base and serious sql techniques should help
to track down and apprehend criminals much more quickly and,
therefore, more cheaply. The board may create regions which might then
have chief inspectors, superintendents or whatever the board decides.
These regional senior officers would be responsible for the
administration of the boards decisions and policies in the regions, but
would not be empowered to take major decisions without the boards
sanction. All operations would be under the central control of the
board, hence a coherent and nation wide policy.
This is a long term deal which would
years to implement. For this reason there is ample time for the old
guard who would refuse such a move to be pensioned off. The new
promotions within the existing force would soon come to realise the way
forward and not be a problem over acceptance. The effective removal of
the "Peter Principle" which seems to be the current norm can
move us forward. Is there something wrong with the
training methods? Once again, central control may
help this problem. A few highly skilled decision makers must have a
greater control than a fragmented organisation like the police force we
have at the moment.