Maxwell’s Last Post?

North Yorkshire Police
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On the 4th April, the Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police had his views on the government imposed policing cuts published in the Yorkshire Post (see below).

Much of what Mr Maxwell said simply follows the ‘party’ line. It has undoubtedly been worded to fit the previous rhetoric inanely trotted out by the remainder of his ACPO colleagues i.e. “it’s not our fault, we’re very sorry we have to do this and we’ll try to do our best for it not to hurt too much.” No surprise there however, the question that realistically still remains is; the best for who and how?

Yorkshire Post: …I believe the next decade will see fundamental structural changes. Neighbourhood policing must continue to be delivered within local communities. Everything else is up for debate. Innovation, creativity and leadership will be required. The journey will undoubtedly be painful at times, but the current financial constraints may yet prove the catalyst to creating a leaner and more effective service. (Grahame Maxwell QPM)

Some will say here he goes again with his ACPO bashing… Not so! Those who have read any of my previous posts will be aware, I am actually fully supportive of change within the police service. However, despite the service being in an almost constant state of flux for the last thirty years, much of the change which is ongoing, simply doesn’t go far enough. As I’ve said before, the service actually needs visionary leadership for the 21st century, not jobbing builders from ‘Blodget & Scarper’!

North Yorkshire may be doing its bit with the remainder of the regional forces under the banner of collaborative working. The Policing of Yorkshire & Humberside initiative is about as ‘cutting edge’ as it gets in the service and it’s heading in the right direction, all be it far too slowly. Because it doesn’t actually go far enough under the current financial predicaments, there are still going to be massive impacts on the front end service delivery. At least until something is finally done about the massively unwieldy police service administrative machine.

From the outset of the public sector reform process, born out of the government austerity measures, we have consistently been told by the politicians; the effects on frontline services will be minimal. I believe this can actually be the case, as do many others however, there are far more cuts taking place in frontline services of local authorities (and now the police) than was ever expected. But why?

The management of the cuts is in the hands of those who, for all intents and purpose, were responsible for originally wasting much of the money we are now trying to recoup. People who are also renowned for their self-preservation skills, and the creation or replication of additional management roles and administrative structures…

In terms of sheer cheek, you really have to hand it to our Chief Officers. They have managed to deliver an emergency response system with less officers, based in fewer places taking longer to get to you and yet it’s all done with a cynical promise that ‘frontline services’ will be unaffected by the cuts! The confusing thing is that we are not actually saving any significant amounts of money, being as the officers being removed from these teams are simply being redeployed elsewhere, mainly ‘prisoner handling teams’ where the rich harvest of ‘Detections’ are found.

Publisher Dan Collins and I talk about this all the time. We can’t understand where these useless ideas come from, and how such nonsense can be adopted time and again, only to be abolished later at vast expense. My only suggestion is that after 13 years of top-down, target driven, bureaucratic and ideologically driven policing nonsense being peddled by Centrex and then NPIA in the selection and promotion of senior officers, we have a whole generation of fools at the top… (Police Inspector’s Blog)

Could this be Maxwell’s Last Post? I hope so but doubt it, after all, it’s hardly likely that anyone is going to rock their own boat intentionally now is it? After all, turkeys still don’t vote for Christmas! 

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