The meetings were attended by community members, press and cops. One of my contacts described to me how, prior to the arrival of the public, an inspector organised a police-only 'briefing'.
“We need to make this look good,” he told the assembled constables. “If you are asked questions, give the impression that it's working well. Reassure them and don't say anything negative.”
A constable told me afterwards:
“He was asking us to lie to people - sickening. Our job was to make Simon Byrne and the Local Policing Model look good.”
The officer explained that people looked askance, but Byrne just kept pointing at his graphs and repeating himself:
"Look at the figures - they prove there are more officers out there. The figures prove it's working!”
LPT certainly could function with a little tweaking, but only Sir Bernard is allowed to change anything. An unfortunate element of police management culture is a fear of losing face, and senior bosses think that acting upon constructive criticism means losing face. They therefore refuse to accept any useful constructive criticism, of which there is plenty coming from the constables struggling to make it work.
Simon believes his graphs really do indicate increased patrolling and more effective policing. His a certainty is an interesting symptom of the dichotomy between senior management and rank-and-file:
Their spreadsheets and graphs are the senior bosses' reality. To the guys and girls who are hands-one with victims and criminals, the reality is the people, the events they witness and the day-to-day organisational stupidity that threatens to drown them.
It's hardly surprising that Simon Byrne has this misconception – he is nine ranks above a constable. Nine! When does his job ever intersect with reality? Like Sir Bernard he is unashamedly a spin doctor, a PR manager. A politician.