Saturday, 12 July 2014

Whom Do We Serve?

I recently saw a front page advertisement in a local newspaper for Adult Education courses. An email address was given so, interested in IT, I sent an enquiry. The response was:

'Error - mailbox unavailable'. 

I tried a second time, but, yes – the email address was wrong. So, how much business will they lose because of their lack of interest in getting that simple detail correct?

That problem was caused by the fact that civil servants' customers are not the public – the council officer working in adult education is responsible not to the people taking the courses, but to other civil servants. Surely the police has a very similar problem?

Who is our boss? :

1. The mayor's office pays our wages.

2. The Commissioner is our ultimate line manager.

3. The Home Secretary creates policy and the police is within her portfolio.

4. Like soldiers, officers swear oaths to the Queen.

5. The police senior management regularly prostrate themselves before the newspapers, like spineless supplicants, and vow to make whatever changes the media imply is necessary.

6. The performance indicators determine our actions and the level of criticism from our managers.

7. Lastly, it's only the public who actually need and want us.

Of course, it's the public to whom we feel responsible, and yet we are accountable to all these other bodies and persons listed above, all of whom feel entitled to direct us. We are pulled and pushed in many directions and continually given mixed messages. The public and the media have been told there are no individual targets, but that is a lie, as everybody knows.

Sir Bernard, Mrs May, etcetera, could you please discuss amongst yourselves and resolve this problem, then leave us alone and allow us to serve the public?

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- Justice and Chaos