The Priorities of Policing

When did filing a GBH as undetected become acceptable?

Never. It’s totally unacceptable. It’s just become something we do.

I watched the episode of Dispatches this week about the Police. About how many crimes are filed, about how many crimes are screened out, and about how much the Police aren’t doing a good job.

Arguably, they’re correct. We aren’t doing that good a job anymore. Not as good as we would like anyway. But it isn’t for the hell of it.

It’s the cuts since 2010 that have left the Police nationwide on the bones of their arses.

It’s the change in types of crime, with the explosion of the internet, there are ‘new’ crimes that didn’t exist before.

It’s the changes in boundaries, so no we aren’t just round the corner, our patch is now huge.

It’s the changes in crime standards and how we have to record things. Gone are the days of one job being recorded as one crime. Often now, we have to record multiple. We’re getting better at that, which in turn means the stats have changed.

Yes, there’s a rise in crime. There’s also the fact that our better crime recording is showing a “rise” which is steeper than it is.

Our workload is massive. Our demand is massive. Our shifts are long. Our victim satisfaction is poor.

Public say we don’t do enough. Public don’t report to Police. This makes it look like a crime decrease. This leads to the Government deeming there to be no need for extra funding and resourcing. So the next year, it gets harder. You see the pattern.

We need the public to report crime. It’s the only way we get a true picture of what’s going on. We also need the public to have lower expectations of what we will and won’t, can and can’t do. And yes, that doesn’t seem fair, because it’s not really. If you report a crime you expect a good service and a good outcome, none of us blame you for that.

We have to prioritise, we have no choice. Purse thefts and shoplifts don’t get the same response as armed robberies and GBH offences, and that is just how it is. If we could, we would solve all crime. But we are not superhuman, and we can’t. So we have to focus on the violence and the serious offences. We can just try our best.

“You can’t help everybody, but everybody, with their skills, can help somebody.”

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