Chef’s Dilema!

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Private sector-style bonuses have “no place in policing”, chief constables have said amid reports officers received more than £150m last year. (BBC News)

Pffft… Talk about double standards! Another case of ACPO jumping on the most popular political band wagon of the moment. It’s all well and good the hierarchy of the police service saying that; “Acpo has consistently argued that performance-related pay deals styled on the private sector should have no place in policing” now. There are plenty at that level (and within the Superintendents Association) who have been more than happy to sit on the gravy train and accept substantial bonus payments, until now. Why is that?

I suspect they are actually starting to feel the heat of public opinion in their kitchen of mismanagement and book cooking. It’s taken some time however, perhaps they are finally waking up and smelling the coffee, which has to be good for the service and the public. The realities of policing spin are finally reaching boiling point and, Senior Officers now know that before long, action to trim the number of cooks who have been spoiling the broth is very likely!

One thought on “Chef’s Dilema!

  1. Yet another example of the ACPO ranks using the media to protest their innocence about the bonus schemes . Sorry chaps… TOO BLOODY LATE!

    More smoke and mirrors to suggest that this was forced upon them by the Labour adminstration. HOGWASH!

    The cat was out of the bag even before we wrote our first article on this on 9th December 2009

    Heather Brooke (she who broke the MP expenses scandal) and Sean O’Neill (Times crime editor) submitted FOI requests about Chief Officer expenses and bonuses over a year ago that were thwarted by ACPO.

    Then we wrote a three part feature starting on Wednesday, 19 May 2010

    Introducing the full report we wrote “The arrival of a new Liberal/Tory Government committed to opening the books of public sector profligate spending has resulted in Senior Police Chiefs hitting the headlines this week, protesting that the gravy train bonus scheme they have enjoyed was “forced upon them”.

    How things have changed since last year when ACPO intervened to stop The Times finding out which chiefs were receiving bonuses and how much they were getting.

    Our report digs deeper than ever before into the numbers of senior police officers and the effect of their salaries, bonus payments and perks, revealing the scandalous waste of millions of the taxpayers cash with officially sourced financial data and observations about what must be done to restore a fair balance to UK policing.

    In advance of our full report we summarised our thoughts on the Chief Officer bonus rip off.

    “All that’s necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke (British Statesman and Philosopher 1729-1797)

    How these words ring true when applied to so many of the upper ranks of British policing.

    Where were the protestations and signs of dissent when the bonuses were introduced? For at least 7 years many of these fat cats have gleefully jumped aboard the gravy train and happily taken their millions in this orchestrated, deceitful practice.

    The ACPO private ‘boys club’ :-
    *Are paid scandalously high performance target bonuses, often linked to decreases in crime.
    *Knowingly manipulate or condone the fiddling of crime & detection figures on which these outrageous bonuses depend. The practice is called ‘Gaming’ and is well documented and has been conveniently overlooked by Her Majesties Inspector of Constabulary.
    *Secretly pocket bonuses and perks, such as private health care and car allowances worth tens of thousands of pounds.
    *Earn excessive salaries – approximately 5 or 6 times the national average wage, many earn more than the Prime Minister. (Confirmed by the BBC & Telegraph articles today and
    *Are proportionately too large as a group, draining essential front line resource funding with their scandalous bonuses & perks.
    *Direct street-duty officers to concentrate on higher volume ‘advantageous’ misdemeanors where a detection is certain.
    *In doing so, they divert front line attention from more urgent calls for assistance to the public.
    *Pay lip-service to what the public really want, blaming front liners when their latest schemes and mad cap projects fail to deliver.
    *Suck-up to their current political masters by concentrating too heavily on diversity issues and crimes.
    *Are too politically influenced and immersed to provide an independent police service for the public.
    *Complain about being “politicised”, yet make statements intended to support this government policy or undermine that one.
    *Could frequently be found at Home Office press conferences and their comments are often helpfully attached to government press releases.
    *Flood the streets with PCSO’s – a cheaper option than fully empowered police constables.
    *Are profligate and wasteful with public funds, wasting millions on projects & benefits for senior officers (ACPO & NPIA).
    *Are financially incentivized and motivated to the detriment of the public interest and grass roots policing.
    *Maintain an unhealthy degree of secrecy about matters of public interest.
    *Dictate national policing policies via their unaccountable private clubs – ACPO and the NPIA
    *Have, by their conduct replaced the honour and distinction of achieving a high rank in public service with greed.
    *As a group, lack consistency and vision with their policies and strategies, losing respect with grass roots officers.
    *Are totally out of touch with the needs of the public and woefully oblivious to the concerns of front line officers.

    As far back as January 2009, Heather Brooke, who famously exposed the MP expenses scandal attempted to quantify the vast sums of profligate waste that was involved in the Chief Officer expenses, bonus and perks scandal.

    The police chiefs who accepted bonuses not only refused to reveal the amounts, but also declined to say what they were for. They cited the Data Protection Act, claiming that it would be an invasion of their privacy for the public to know the details of their salary and benefits.

    In the private sector, Chief executives of public companies who must disclose this information in their annual reports. The Data Protection Act is intended to safeguard the privacy of private individuals – not to help public officials to avoid accountability.

    In the case of chief constables’ pay, the public has a right to know how much and for what they are paying. Heather asked “Are bonuses paid for cutting particular types of crime? Has this resulted in changes to the way crimes are recorded?” Had Heather been successful in opening the books, she would have discovered, as one frontline officer put it “A scandal of such enormity that it would pale the MP scandal into insignificance”.

    Rodger Patrick, the retired DCI with the West Midlands Force revealed the practice of ‘Gaming’ late in 2009, illustrating the mass deceit that has been foisted upon the British public by senior police officers fiddling the books of crime statistics for thei own greedy financial gains.

    In business, when a company is audited, the profligacy, waste and deceitful conduct of the senior management rises to the surface, when all the books are examined. It is only now, when the Lib/Tory audtors are on the verge of discovering the full extent of the outrageous plundering of the public purse that senior ranks have perpetrated, that the ‘worm is turning’ and they are bleating that the bonuses and perks were forced upon them by a Labour administration. Again we say HOGWASH! Had they put their case straight away, and refused the payments, we might be more inclined to believe them. As it stands, these after the event defences (and many more will follow) do not hold water.
    We published the full report “TOO MANY CHIEFS”on 25th May 2010

    As the latest Telepgraph article reveals:-
    “Although many chief constables, their deputies and assistants are NOW refusing to accept their bonuses, half are still receiving an average £11,000 based on their performance.
    Five chief officers at Northumbria Police shared performance-related bonuses last year of £115,500.
    In Durham ONE chief picked up an £18,700 bonus in 2009-10;
    In South Wales another received £14,300,
    In South Yorkshire four senior officers shared £69,000.

    In May, Sir Paul Stephenson, told The Daily Telegraph that all types of police bonus should be scrapped to prove that officers were motivated solely by their duty to serve the public. However, according to the 2009-10 figures, the Met remains one of the worst offenders for paying bonuses at a senior level.

    Superintendents and chief superintendents who earn a performance-related bonus receive, on average, £3,000 a year on top of their salary of £62,000 to £78,000.

    In the Met, Britain’s largest force, 136 of the highly ranked officers shared £567,000 in bonuses – a 70 per cent rise since 2007-8.
    (Only last week we published a report “Where are all the Police Officers?” Examination of the Met staffing levels begs the question “Why do they need a managerial structure that in addition to a Commissioner, 4 Assistant Commissioners, 7 Deputy Assistant Commissioners and 26 Commanders, they also engage 49 DIRECTOR level managers, each of them being regarded as equivalent to Assistant Commissioner, Deputy Assistant Commissioner or Commander rank and paid as such?”

    Senior Police Officers – Guilty as charged. Now will the new Government have the courage to do something about it? The culprits have taken far more than 30 pieces of Judas silver’ – it is time they were brought to book for it.


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