Itâ€™s fair to say that I am vexed.
Last night I tripped over a Twitter conversation concerning one of my favourite organisations, Police Now.
Two of their 2015 intake were promoting the benefits of the Police Now route into Policing, and, in my opinion, did not take kindly to being challenged by crusties like myself and others. Â I am not alone in not favouring this route. Â I donâ€™t need to reiterate my views here, I expect you can all imagine what they are, but last nightâ€™s conversation, taken together with an evaluation of Police Now by MOPAC, just pushed me over the edge.
In fairness, one of the two Police Now â€˜recruitsâ€™ was far more engaging and willing to answer questions than the other, and DID answer all the questions I put to him. Â Fair play for that.
The other was a different kettle of fish entirely, immediately (in my opinion) confrontational and hostile. Â Not happy about being challenged at all. Â Whilst not seemingly Tweeting from an official Police account he was Tweeting from an account that clearly identified him as a Police Now probationer.
His contributions to the eveningâ€™s discussions included;
I make no comment whatsoever on the officerâ€™s abilities as I know nothing about him, but some of his Tweets tend to reinforce my concerns and reservations about thecwhole Police Now scheme;
As I said, I have no knowledge of the abilities of this officer, but studying for entry into the CID used to be unheard of during oneâ€™s probationary period. Â I was too preoccupied studying for my Final Exams to have the capacity to study for CID at the same time. Â It certainly was not the norm.
As for Police Now themselves, they seem to be convincing their cohorts that they are so much better than their predecessors.
The Executive Summary of the recent evaluation of Police Now made interesting, and in my view, disturbing, reading.
The final sentence is the most disturbing of all. If this is the view of those in charge of Police Now it runs a serious risk of being highly divisive, and if this rubs off onto their students it wonâ€™t be long before the public are offended.
Why do they seem to have this view? Â Retired Met DCI and Policing Commentator Peter Kirkham had this to say
In the context the use it, â€œthe right onesâ€ is The Establishment saying â€œone of usâ€â€¦ They want relatively rich/posh members of The Establishment, with â€œthe right stuffâ€ in policing so The Establishment can control it. THAT is what Police Now & Direct Entry is all about â€“ turning policing into something done by the ruling classesâ€¦
My concern is more basic. Â If the new Police Now recruits are â€œRight Peopleâ€. What does this say about the hundreds of thousands of exceedingly good and competent officers that have served us well since 1829?. Â Speaking for myself I am vexed. Â I honestly believe that I served the public well during my 30 year career, and added value to the Metropolitan Police Force. Â Like our Police Now recruit I, and many of my colleagues, spent some time in hospital during our careers, many suffering career-ending injuries or worse. Â Were we the â€œWrong Peopleâ€ then?
Iâ€™m renowned for not giving a tuppenny toss wether a Police Officer has a degree or not. Â Iâ€™m not anti-graduate I just think itâ€™s a vocation that you can either do or not, irrespective of what sistifikits you happen to have. Â A PhD in Theology? Â Does that make a good Police Officer? Â Or somebody whoâ€™s prepared to just get down and dirty and do it. Serve and Protect the Public.
So do I think Police Now and their cohorts are the future? Â No I do not, and more than that, did I say, Â I am vexed by them?