Wednesday, 27 August 2014

A Convenient Bottleneck

I've spotted something – a rather devious and clever trick that the Met senior management have pulled. Recorded offences have reduced over the last year and Sir Bernard is joyfully claiming responsibility. Yes, less crime has been recorded since the LPM started – Why might that be?

The first reason is that since the Local Policing Model started we have very little time to go looking for crime – instead we are tied up with appointments and drowning in trivia. Instead of seizing dangerous dogs, searching drug dealers on the street, or closing crack houses, I now visit café after café checking if their CCTV shows lost handbags left under chairs.

Officers were moved from prisoner-processing teams to bolster the Local Police Teams. Ironically, those officers now spend much of their time replacing response team or desk-bound officers across the borough who are sick or on leave – reducing the Local Policing Teams to skeleton crews.

The teams are running on minimum numbers because of the above, so the second reason is that the few of us left each day spend all their time running from one appointment to the next. Compared with two years ago we are on our knees, and it's because of Sir Bernard's LPM – the reorganisation that was forced on us during 2013.

There is a very clever third reason. The appointments system seems bizarre until you see the Commissioner's trick. It's admirably sly and this is it: There are only ten appointment slots each day. Within each LPM 'cluster' a maximum of only ten crimes can be reported.

It's a bottleneck. No matter how busy the criminals are, no more than ten crimes can be reported each day – plus a few at station front counters and a few taken by the response teams.

Goodbye to embarrassing crime trends. No more bad press or awkward questions in relation to the crime figures.

Perhaps there is something intelligent behind the Local Policing Model, but it isn't what Sir Bernard is telling us.

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- Justice and Chaos