An interesting news release today from the GMP chief, Peter Fahy, who says that the relentless following of policy & procedure is wasting time and money & sometimes is contrary to what victims intend.
This will come as a shock to those people tasked with making sure every policy and procedure is followed to the nth degree, such as supervisors in police control rooms who are usually non-police, have no experience of policing other than from within the confines of a call-taking centre, and are too often promoted beyond their ability. But they are good at making sure everyone sticks rigidly to policy and procedure.
Fahy says he has the backing of the Home Office when he assures officers in Greater Manchester that they will have his support if they fail to follow strict policy but apply common sense, act with integrity & a sense of ‘doing the right thing’.
He cites a particular case, one which we deal with several times a shift in one form or another, and which policies dictate should be recorded and investigated as a full-on crime taking up hours of officers’ time investigating, interviewing, recording and form filling; Â he gives the example of a punch up in the school playground which results in Â all of the above procedures and often involves getting other bodies such as social services involved.
He said:Â ”You have to ask – is that what the victim wanted?Â Would it have been better for the officer to talk to those involved instead and visit the school to talk to the head teacher?”
It might also save us many hours chasing up people who initially report an incident, often through sudden anger, but then spend days avoiding us because they don’t really wantÂ anythingÂ done but get harassed by the local police saying they have to be seen to report the incident because that’s our policy.
It will be interesting to see whether he follows up on his stance and whether any other chiefs fall in line with him, and also what the NCRS (National CrimeÂ RecordingÂ Standards) and those charged with implementing and tick-boxing them, make of it.