It’s so easy, with the frustrations of bureaucracy, policy, and the big bosses “say so” to feel inadequate at what we do.
We spend our day apologising, because we haven’t done something, can’t do something, or won’t do something.
If we’ve said we’ll phone somebody, more often than not that phone call starts with “I’m sorry I didn’t phone yesterday like I said I would”.
We constantly have to tell people that we have no evidence, were too late so the CCTV has been overwritten, NFA’d the job another officer said would go to Court…and wonder why we are losing public confidence.
Whilst in the usual custody queue today, I was talking to my colleague about the recent spate of Police Chiefs’ speaking out about how forces can’t meet demand and need to prioritise – sorry no, your burglary isn’t something we can deal with, because we’ve had yet another stabbing.
The public are shouting out that they are feeling let down by us, that the Police aren’t doing enough, and that the service they have received is rubbish.
And we both said – but don’t they realise, often, that even we aren’t happy with the service we give? That’s a tough thing to admit.
If I (in Police mode) turned up at my own door (the victim) and gave the same level of service as I have to sometimes, yes I’d be pissed off with myself!
However, despite all the negativity, hard days, and constant (expected) negative press, we do make a difference, we do get good results, and we do help people.
We help those in a mental health crisis, those who’ve been assaulted, those who we have had to break awful news to. We get jobs to Court, and we are off hours late in order to do the paperwork, we even sometimes get a good result at Court!
My job can be so rewarding, and I do still get that feeling of “I made a difference today” when I go home. We joined the job for a reason, and under all the politics and paperwork, it’s so important to remember why we joined, and those little successes help us to do that.