Sunday, 6 June 2010

Another Tidy Up On the Cards

Kenny Mac Askill, Scottish Justice Secretary (centre above) has urged police forces to share services and admitted that the police's current structures were no longer possible in the face of £35 billion cuts from the Scottish public services budget over the next 15 years.

He raised the spectre of radical reorganisation when he said that back office mergers would have to take place across forces to reduce duplication of effort. "We are a small country and we can no longer afford to do everything eight times over," he warned.

Restructuring of Scotland's police forces has proved a deeply divisive issue in the past. HM Inspector of Constabulary for Scotland suggested last year the creation of a single Scottish force to meet the challenges of the economic crisis but this was fiercely resisted by the eight chief constables.

Of course chief constables will want to protect their own power base, but that's not necessarily good for the public purse or the country. As Kenny MacAskill says, "There is a need for fresh thinking and new approaches." That's fine as long as it doesn't mean civilian taking over tasks which should be undertaken by a qualified police officer.


banned said...

SR, I would be very wary of any move to introduce a single police service for Scotland.
Some months ago I posted this on
Callingengland.blogspot but it applies equally well to Scotland and ACPO are sure to use the recent tragedy in west Cumbria to further their agenda.

CE blogged
"Regional Police Forces via the backdoor are on the cards again. When has this government ever done what it says on the tin? Why are the British people always given a can of worms to open? The Policing & Crime Act goes beyond encouragement of collaboration and gives the Home Secretary the power to compel joint working. It states that a Home Secretary “may give chief officers or police authorities directions about collaboration agreements or related matters”. I've been mentioning this on and off since March; it's all in the interests of EU 'harmonisation'. A supra-national body cannot function effectively unless its institutions are harmonised and uniform across all countries. It's worth noting that it's supported by the Conservative Party."

I responded
"It's only two years since they last tried this on and here The Times reduces opponents to rural dilitantism with "collapsing in 2006 amid shire county opposition to the loss of local cap badges", (insert swear word here).

Regional Police forces are all about redrawing Public Services of all kinds from the Police to Sport England and the National Lottery to mirror the so-called Government Regional Development Offices/Agencies/Corporations which proto-Traitor Dave has promised to abolish because they are "wastefull".
Well he can't, and he knows it, because they are not Government Offices at all, they are European Offices/Agencies whose existence has been plain ever since I took my 'A' levels in the late 70's aided by a very nice package of full colour glossy brochures provided by the EEC informing me of the benefits of 'Europe Pays Bas': Europe Of The Regions.
I did not realise at the time what specious nonsense it was because there was my very own Region, the good old GLC (Greater London council, as was).
The reason he can't is because those same Regions are the conduit for UK to get its' money back from Europe to fund those projects that we should be doing for ourselves."

And a further point is that the fewer Police forces you have, the fewer Chief constables you need to suborn in the event of a Coup d'Etat.

Anonymous said...

A smart move by MacAskill.

Give then Police forces extra money for front line staff and red line it. Then tell them to make economies which forces the political CPOs to have to confront the growth of their backroom bureaucracy and general unproductive pseudo plods.

Neat move

Strathturret said...

Yes I'd go for three forces; Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

subrosa said...

I remember reading your comment on GV's blog banned. It's quite smart of MacAskill to throw the ball into the Inspectors' courts instead of throwing his own weight around.

subrosa said...

It is a neat move Bugger. There needs to be a good clear out with all the retired bobbies pushing paper around and still receiving a salary way above the relevant civilian rate.

subrosa said...

I'd go for 5 Strathturret. Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and possibly Inverness to cover the Highlands.

Between Dundee and Aberdeen there's a large population, including Perthshire.

The Highlands is sparse as you know but I think it deserves it's own police force - small though it may be.

subrosa said...

Forgot to mention Strathturret, that a Highland police force would have by far the greatest coastline to police. Since the end of customs officers doing the job our coastlines are wide open.

Dramfineday said... thing to look at is the measurement sets .....(Oh no, he's off again on his "beware of what you measure as it drives behaviours" kick - I'm am, I'm afraid) what are we asking the police to do in terms of declared targets? Why? How is it used etc? Don't assume that shared "back office" is going to make savings - in most cases it can actually end up costing more. So, key is to understand what we are asking the police to do and to understand the problems they are having in delivering this service (including responding to Mr Rob when he calls about the local nerdowells damaging people and stuff)before we start howling for savings.

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...


Off topic again but Maxi dress is back Mrs M must have one(daughter in law had one on last night looked a stunner)

anyway did you?

subrosa said...

I would agree with you there Dram. Accurate assessments would have to be made. The differing problems as well as the similar ones have to be taken into account.

Changing just for the sake of it, without proper cost analysis would be daft.

subrosa said...

Niko, I've several in the wardrobe from the 60s and 70s which I love. Knew they'd come back into fashion. Plus a few lovely skirts too. Jings, I'm feeling better already knowing I won't feel overdressed these days. :)

BrianSJ said...

Do read John Seddon's stuff on all this. The target setting is almost certainly massively disfunctional and the back-office merger is likely to be a disaster. Also, do not knock keeping experience in the force rather than outsourcing jobs to cheap labour.

Dramfineday said...

"Do read John Seddon's stuff on all this" BrianSJ I couldn't agree more (and Rosie will no doubt confirm that I've named the same Gent) Sign up for his free newsletter at Vangard uk. (And I'm not connected with his org ot him)

Dark Lochnagar said...

It sounds like the sound of vested interests, one more time. There has to be a 20% reduction in Policing costs. Do it whatever way you feel is best, but do it. The cuts will come quickly while there is still time to blame Labour, whose fault, of course, it was.

subrosa said...

I wasn't aware I was knocking experienced policemen Brian. Quite the reverse.m My last sentence stated I (and hopefully others) wouldn't like to see civilians taking over more roles which the public consider require trained police.

subrosa said...

Yes Dram, you have mentioned John Sneddon several times where police matters are concerned.

I signed up a while ago but hope others do too. Some very thought provoking articles he writes.

subrosa said...

Have you inside information DL? What's the better way for MacAskill to handle this. For him to draw up a list of savings or to ask the organisation itself to do it?

The latter of course has a better chance of success.

subrosa said...

Sorry forgot to give the link to John Sneddon's newletter site.

Then go down lh menu to John Sneddon- newsletter.

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