More than a third of police and crime commissioners are already costing the public more than the police authorities they were elected to replace last November, according to parliamentary research.
14 of the forces overspent the Police Authority previous year budget. The remainder either matched or reduced it. However, the 14 that overspent did so to such an extent that all of the forces combined have overspent to the tune of 2.81%, equating to £1.3million.
The Home Affairs Committee produced a report that shows who spent what. To see the full report click the link below.
What they omitted to publish was the total expenditure and excess spend of the PCC's. We have taken the data and created a table to show the totals. Click the link below to see this.
To quote the 2010 Conservative Manifesto on Crime, Police & Justice:
Nick Herbert MP, the former Policing Minister, appears to be the instigator of the Police & Ctime Commissioner concept, having first detailed the proposals in a Conservative Party briefing paper "Policing For The People".
- We will
introduce measures to make the police more accountable through oversight
by a directly elected individual, who will be subject to strict checks and
balances by locally elected representatives.
The document makes interesting reading and Police Officers will find many of the issues they justifiably complain about having their roots in this document, in proposals made by Nick Herbert & Blair Gibbs (his former business partner at Policy Xchange).
The estimated first year costs for PCC's was in the region of £40million, a wishful saving of some £6million versus the prior year Police Authority spend. However, the PCC's have cost £48million. We will leave it for the reader to decide and for performance to reflect (if we can expect to see statistical probity!) if the money is well spent.
|Tom Winsor, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary, said he
wanted to review how police forces record crimes amid concerns officers are
deliberately changing statistics|
At last there seems to be some traction building behind the need to investigate the way police record crime.
Tom Winsor, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary, said he wanted to review how
all the country's police forces record crimes amid concerns officers are
deliberately changing statistics.
The review will examine claims that police officers recorded fewer serious
offences than the crimes that had actually been alleged.
Examples included theft being recorded as lost property, violence with
injury being recorded as common assault and burglary being classified as theft
in a dwelling.
The inspectorate would also look into suggestions that some officers would
get prisoners to confess to crimes they had not committed in order to boost
Mr Winsor addressing the Home Affairs select committee said: "The figures are critical to
a whole range of decisions which elected officials, chief constables and others
must make. Information is the oxygen of accountability and the information must
Mr Winsor added: “There have been anxieties expressed in relation to the
quality of crime data statistics. We will be doing an all-force inspection of
the integrity of crime recording by the police and we will report on it when we
have done it.”
He said the review would look at “circumstances where crimes are incorrectly
recorded or not recorded as crimes but are recorded as incidents”. (THIN BLUE LINE have been exposing this for a number of years).
He added: “It is alleged that from time to time police officers who are eager
to improve their clear-up rates will all go to a prison and get some people who
are already in prison to confess to crimes they did not commit, the ‘taken into
Regular visitors to these pages know that we have not only been protesting about
the scandal of police cooking the books of crime for many years,
but we have also provided detailed reports of precisely how this is being done.
There is more than anecdotal evidence, there is
officer evidence and detailed hard evidence to prove how the statistics are
regulalrly fudged and manipulated. Chief Officers must be held to account for
this. Whether they have constructed the systems that fiddle the numbers,
condoned the actions or merely turned a blind eye to the practices, it is ONLY
THEY who have benefitted from this distortion and manipulation. It is ONLY THEY
who received exhorbitant bonus payments down the years (payments that make the
MP Expenses Scandal appear small stuff by comparison), to reflect crime
reductions and detection increases. It is ONLY THEY who have advanced their
careers and political ambitions on the back of this disgraceful deception. It is
the general public who are being conned, the rank and file who have lost faith
in their superiors.
Most recently, in the same week the recent crime
statistics were released, Chief Superintendent Irene Curtis, President of the
Superintendents Association, showed integrity and courage lacking in her
colleagues when she admitted that the service was ridden with the Gaming or
Statistical fiddling culture. See the links below that refer.
in the police has fallen to an all time low, along with officer morale. It is
the senior officers who must shoulder the responsibility for this, stand up and
be counted, restore honesty and probity to the numbers. Start again if you must,
but this CANNOT be allowed to continue.
Home Secretary, Theresa May should display the same concern and awareness that this subject needs by instigating a root
and branch exposure of what is going on. Probity must be restored to the
numbers so rank and file officers no longer fear the damage to their integrity
as officers and the true picture of crime in the UK can be exposed.
As recently as Monday of this week, the Police Federation Chairman stepped out of the shadows to add his voice to the debate:-
Latest statistics reveal an eight per cent
drop in police recorded crime in England and Wales for the year to September
2012, but for the first time the Office for National Statistics has raised
doubts about the accuracy of police figures.
Officials suggested that police could have
left up to 400,000 offences off the books in recent years because of the
‘pressures’ to meet targets.
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said:
‘Fewer crimes are being solved, fewer criminals caught and fewer victims are
Yet the Home Office still stick by the figures with a Home Office spokesman stating: ‘Many police
forces are achieving significant reductions in crime with reduced budgets, and
crime is at its lowest level since the survey began in
John Flatley and Jenny Bradley at the Crime, Regional and Data Access Division of the ONS produced a paper analysing the methods of gathering crime statistics:-
In this report the ONS also concedes that a growing number of crimes reported to the police are not being captured in crime recording systems. There are a range of possible drivers for this including:
• performance pressures associated with targets (e.g. to reduce crime or increase detection rates) acting as perverse incentives for some crimes to be downgraded from notifiable into non-notifiable categories or as ASB or as crime-related incidents (which are not captured in data returned to the Home Office);
• though forces have continued with their own internal audits, the cessation of independent audits from 2006/07 onwards may have reduced the focus on addressing non-compliance;
• the move to Neighbourhood Policing in recent years may also have led to more low level crimes being dealt with informally and outside the formal crime recording system; and,
• in the context of pressure on police budgets and a general policy shift to promote greater officer discretion, a return to a more evidential recording model.
- So, in addition to the detailed reports we have amassed, containing evidence from front line officers, Home Office and force statistics down the years on this subject,
- The Office for National Statistics concedes that accuracy of the numbers is potentially affected by perverse incentives to downgrade, mis-report or ignore crimes.
- A high ranking Officer, Chief Superintendent Irene Curtis concedes that the service has fallen victim to the "Gaming Culture."
- The Chairman of the Police Federation confirms that rank and file officers are ordered to manipulate the numbers.
- Tom Winsor, the HMIC announces there will be a review to examine the probity of the numbers in all 43 forces.
- Behind the scenes, a number of debates in the House of Commons and the House of Lords are accelerating pressure in the right direction.
It is unfortunate that Mr Winsor has, by his police pay review recommendations in Winsor I and II become unpopular with the rank and file. It is these very front line officers whose support he will require when investigating the corrupt and digraceful practices that have become the norm within the higher ranks of the service. We can only hope that he will apply a ruthless honest approach to the numbers and be prepared to expose the truth, whatever that may reveal. Only when the books have been completely opened and cleansed will the glimmer of faith and confidence appear. We hope Mr Winsor will see beyond the initial co-operative promises of Chief Officers, and dig as deep as is necessary to expose the deceitful pernicious practices.
This scandal will raise further concerns over the leadership and integrity of many of the past and present Chief Officers. We should expect that a considerable degree of document shredding and concealment and we hope Mr Winsor is prepared for the extent to which some will go to protect their positions. Mr Winsor will have to display a ruthless determination to uncover the truth if the public and rank and file officers are to be convinced of his independence and intentions to root out any improper practices. His speech to the Police Federation this week announced:-
"I also wanted to mention our work on crime data
integrity, which I know has been a topic much debated during this Federation
conference. Accurate figures are critical to the decisions that need to be made
- information is the oxygen of intelligence. Because of what has been said here
at the conference, because of media stories on this subject and the damaging
effect on public confidence, because of concerns raised with HMIC by the public
and the service, HMIC will conduct an all-force inspection of crime data
integrity over the coming months".
Mr Winsor, whatever may have been said about your proposals for police pay and conditions, we wish you well in your endeavours in this critically important area.
Retired Police Officer
Thin Blue Line UK
|Steve Williams - Police Federation Chairman|
Crime figures are being kept artificially low because of pressure from chief
constables, a police leader will warn this week.
Steve Williams, the head of the Police Federation will suggest a "fear factor" is preventing officers from blowing the whistle on how crime
statistics are being manipulated.
The intervention by Steve Williams, chairman of the organisation which
represents 130,000 frontline officers in England and Wales, is highly
significant because it appears to confirm widespread public scepticism of how
crime is recorded.
Official figures show crime is at an historic low, despite cuts to police
budgets and staffing levels.
Mr Williams will say that police transparency on crime levels and other areas
has been badly hit by the Leveson inquiry on Press standards, which examined
alleged collusion between police officers and journalists.
Officers now fear that speaking out about scandals, mistakes and other serious
issues - including pressure from senior officers to massage crime figures - will
lead to disciplinary measures or the sack, he will suggest.
Ahead of his speech later this week at the Federation's annual conference in
Bournemouth, Mr Williams said: "The latest crime figures showed a 5 per cent
fall in crime but in reality, based on the anecdotes I'm getting, I am not sure
that is the case.
"Pressure is being brought to bear on frontline officers on the way they are
recording crime, and I am very concerned about the current situation. "Cops are very reluctant to speak to the media and say how it really is. It is all on the back of Leveson and some chief officers have imposed almost
a gagging order on their staff. According to what we hear in the Federation it is happening en masse around
"I do not think the true story is getting out because of the 'fear factor' of going public would have on police
"Officers feel that speaking to journalists will lead to them being labelled
troublemakers and that it could lead to them losing their jobs, facing
disciplinaries or affecting their promotion prospects. It means officers are not telling things how they really are and spin about
things such as falling crime figures is not being challenged."
Mr Williams said there was considerable anecdotal evidence from police
officers that the true level of crime is not being recorded.
"Closing police stations and reducing the number of cops means it is not so
easy for victims to report crime to us," he said. "And most significantly bobbies find themselves under huge pressure about how
to record crime. Crimes are downgraded in seriousness or the numbers are hidden. For example,
if 10 caravans are broken into overnight with 10 different victims it will
sometimes be recorded as just one crime. And a stolen mobile phone will be recorded as lost property, and so will not
appear in crime data at all. If there is a crime where there is little or no evidence, and little chance
of police detecting it, then that will be screened out at a very early stage so
it does not appear in the stats."
He added: "With property crimes such as burglary and mugging, victims would
historically report them because they needed a crime number for their insurance. People are now not too bothered about insuring their property and so it does
not get reported."
"Officers need to know what they can and cannot get involved in, and when
there is a public interest in them coming out about what they are asked to do,"
said Mr Williams.
In latest figures published last month the total number of crimes recorded by
the police fell 8 per cent to 3.7 million last year. And the estimated level of crime in England and Wales fell by 5 per cent to
8.9 million offences against adults, according to the Crime Survey for England
and Wales, which asks the public about their experiences of crime regardless of
whether they reported incidents to the police. Separate figures showed the number of suspects arrested by police fell more
than twice as fast as the decline in crime rates.
The Opposition said the 9 per cent fall in arrests raised concerns that
criminals were “getting away with it”.
The Office for National Statistics has suggested that pressure to meet
targets may be leading officers to downgrade crimes.
THIN BLUE LINE COMMENT
Regular visitors to these pages know that we have not only been protesting about the scandal of how police have been cooking the books of crime for many years, but we have also provided detailed reports of precisely how this is being done. Well done Mr Williams for raising your head above the parapet on this issue. We would go further though to say there is more than anecdotal evidence, there is officer evidence and detailed hard evidence to prove how the statistics are regulalrly fudged and manipulated. Chief Officers must be held to account for this. Whether they have constructed the systems that fiddle the numbers, condoned the actions or merely turned a blind eye to the practices, it is ONLY THEY who have benefitted from this distortion and manipulation. It is ONLY THEY who received exhorbitant bonus payments down the years (payments that make the MP Expenses Scandal appear small stuff by comparison), to reflect crime reductions and detection increases. It is ONLY THEY who have advanced their careers and political ambitions on the back of this disgraceful deception. It is the general public who are being conned, the rank and file who have lost faith in their superiors.
Most recently, in the same week the recent crime statistics were released, Chief Superintendent Irene Curtis, President of the Superintendents Association, showed integrity and courage lacking in her colleagues when she admitted that the service was ridden with the Gaming or Statistical fiddling culture. See the links below that refer.
Confidence in the police has fallen to an all time low, along with officer morale. It is the senior officers who must shoulder the responsibility for this, stand up and be counted, restore honesty and probity to the numbers. Start again if you must, but this CANNOT be allowed to continue.
Question for Theresa May "When will you display the same concern and awareness that this subject needs a root and branch exposure of what is going on? When will you restore probity to the numbers so rank and file officers no longer fear the damage to their integrity as officers?"
STOP using crime statistics as your political football.
ADMIT the statistics are fiddled mercilessly and in their present form are worthless, other than to help ACPO Officers ascend the greasy pole.
START again with a clean sheet if necessary. Only this will enable officers to focus on protecting life and property, preventing and detecting crime, which is what the tax payers are entitled to expect and what the majority of committed loyal officers joined up for.
Retired West Midlands Police Officer
Thin Blue Line
The Essex Police and Crime
Commissioner (PCC) has decided to pay the new chief constable the top amount,
saying he was “the very best” of an outstanding field of candidates.
Met Deputy Assistant Commissioner
– and from May 7 – Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh (pictured) will receive a
total of £192,163. PCC Nick Alston has the power to pay a chief 10 per cent
below or above the spot of rate of £148,194 for the role but only when an
appointment is made.
|New CC of Essex - Stephen Kavanagh|
As far back as September
2010 we were writing about the scandal of Chief Officer pay. It seems if anything, the situation has not improved.
Chief Officers feature frequently in the highest paid Rich List the public
sector. Panorama did a piece on it around Sept 2010 and we were asked to
contribute (via the Bureau of Investigative Journalism). What should be born in
mind though, is that the program was completed before the 2.5% pay rise that
the Chiefs enjoyed from September 1st in t hat year. So even the astronomic
figures quoted are understated.
In our article, we reported the TOP 10 HIGHEST PAID police personnel above and
would ask the question "Are they really worth this much?"
Furthermore, is it right that these highly paid, self serving ACPO ranked
officers should have a total say in the pay and conditions of the rank and
In a report we published subsequently, we revealed that even based on basic
14 Chief Officers are paid a basic of £150,000+
- 6 Chief Officers are paid between £140 to £150,000 per annum
- 26 Chief Officers (inc Met Deputies) are paid between £130 and £140,000 per annum.
On that basis, it is even conceivable that Mr Kavanagh may have taken a drop in
salary to move!
When the Government started applying the fiscal scalpel to policing, they
should have started at the top.
THERE ARE TOO MANY CHIEFS. MANY OF THEM ARE PAID TOO MUCH.
THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH INDIANS AT THE FRONTLINE OF POLICING.
THESE ARE FUNDAMENTAL BASICS. THE GOVERNMENT MUST REVERSE THIS PROFLIGATE TREND
IF THERE IS TO BE ANY HOPE OF RESTORING FAITH IN THE SERVICE, MORALE IN THE
TROOPS AND CONFIDENCE IN THE LEADERSHIP OF THE SERVICE.
A few comments from the Oracle piece sum it up...
Maverick22 - Sun, 05 May 2013
Once again we are all ''in it together'', no wonder PCC's are been as devisive . Why is he any better and more deserving than the previous Chief. If Kavanagh had any integrity he would turn it down and tell the PCC we are supposed to be setting an example, not being greedy.
cadiar - Sun, 05 May 2013
Now of course the PCC will remunerate all his Police Constables in a similar fashion... thought not! He certainly knows how to win friends amongst those he is going to rely on to get his figures right.
Guest - 9 hours ago
Talk about double standards, this is treble standards and Gov hypocrisy at its highest level.
'I find it hard to imagine a more important job than keeping us all safe'?
How exactly does 'he' do that? NOTHING he will ever do, say or decide will EVER have the same 'keeping the public safe' as regular response officers that put their own safety in jeopardy every single shift the do. They are the 'real' deservees of decent remuneration and the victims of this atrocity. Where on earth was the necessity to pay him this much at this precise moment? Did he say he was only going to come over for the big bucks or was this more likely a 'you stroke my back and ill stroke yours' pre arranged ready done deal prior to even applying? Yes i think the latter is the most likely.. Well done PCC yet another prime example of an overt corruption or at the very least a grotesque inneficient waist of valuable resources. Nobody will ever believe he's worth that much more than the others who would not have pre-demanded such a high salary, but perhaps they wouldn't be the PCC's yes man either..watch this space..puppet.
A NOTE TO THE COALITION MINISTERS SO KEEN ON IMPLEMENTING THE PCC STRATEGY
Can someone please explain how paying Chiefs this much is an indicator that PCC's will provide more efficient management of the police purse? With fewer officers on the front line we have absolutely no doubt that Essex will be yet another force to show continued declining crime and improved detections. The PCC and new Chief will have to show the money was well spent, by fair means or foul.
yet again, we are expected to swallow the tripe that crime in the UK has
or later, the lid will be prized off this statistical can of worms and the
public will learn, once and for all that the senior officers of UK policing
have been fiddling the figures mercilessly for years.
BBC & The Guardian among others continue to ride this fallacious bandwagon
being peddled by the Chief Officers.
Ironic then, that in the same week that these astounding new
revelations about falling crime (an alleged drop in recorded crime of a further
8%), that ONE senior police officer has raised her head above the parapet and
admitted that it’s all one big sham.
In an article in Police Oracle Chief Superintendent Irene
Curtis, Charr of the Superintendents Association, showing courage and integrity
lacking in her ACPO colleagues, admitted that league tables and performance
targets had created a culture of “Gaming” – cooking the books or just plain
fiddling to you and me.
This is precisely what we have been saying from these pages
for a number of years. We haven’t just said so, we have produced the evidence
of the extent of the fiddling and the modus operandi being used to orchestrate
the fiddling. See previous articles from these pages and the detailed reports
in the section to the right of this article.
To quote Chief
“For many years forces have been compared with others at a
national level and this has resulted in league tables being promulgated
throughout the service down to individual level.
I know this because I was part of it. As both an Operations
Superintendent and a BCU Commander I spent much of my time focused on the reds
and greens. I recall conversations with colleagues about them holding back
detections for the current month as they had reached their target and therefore
could keep some in the bank for next month. Discussions about whether we should
be encouraging staff to charge offenders with public order offences or drunk
and disorderly, depending on whether our focus was on detection rates or crime
reduction. I’ve also sat through many performance meetings trying to explain
why my BCU’s crime figures had gone up or down by X per cent and what I was
going to do about it.
I look back now with some sadness that I was part of a
culture that appeared to treat numbers as being more important than doing the
right thing and yet for a long time I didn’t do anything to challenge it.
I've spoken to a number of colleagues about this recently,
including some chief officers, and I often hear responses such as, 'that
doesn't happen in my force' or, 'targets are necessary otherwise staff won’t do
Well that doesn’t fit with what I’m hearing. I'm picking up
a growing sense of frustration from colleagues in the federated ranks who feel
under immense pressure to deliver targets and feel that gaming is often the
only way they can deliver this. There’s no doubt about it, the use of numerical
targets in performance management is embedded in the police psyche”.
Better late than
Chief Superintendent Curtis goes on to talk about the
restorative justice processes , cautions, PND’s TIC’s and the other “out-of-court”
disposals now available to police officers.
Chief Superintendent Curtis : “What I'm proposing is a
return to common sense policing which focuses on doing the right thing for
victims and the public. This would include freeing up the performance
management framework from targets that don't just lead to dysfunctional
behaviour, but also an often disproportionate bureaucracy of audit and
I strongly believe that such an approach is essential to
reduce demand and thus create further capacity for the diminishing resources
that will be available for policing as a consequence of this and the next
Comprehensive Spending Review. We need to minimise the impact of these cuts on
our ability to reduce crime and protect the public”.
Common sense policing. Now where have we heard that before?
Let’s hope someone is listening to her wise and ethical advices.
Again from these pages, we have reported how the restorative
justice processes are abused beyond recognition. We have recently submitted
articles, again providing evidence of the Gaming Culture, directly to Chris
Grayling, who has commissioned a review of the cautions and restorative justice
Working with retired DCI Dr Rodger Patrick, now well known
for his excellent detailed contributions, recently heard at the Home Affairs
Committee and House of Lords debates on the subject, we have frequently espoused
how mercilessly forces, led by Chief Officers who either created, overlooked or
condoned these systems.
The latest media reports confirm that the message has yet to
many thousands of officers wiped off the headcount as a result of the cuts and
yet they STILL expect us to believe a further 8% drop? It doesn’t take rocket
science to see that the numbers are being fiddled even more to suggest that
forces indeed can achieve more with less.
Crime Down or Emperors New Clothes?
What is most worrying, is that these numbers we are expected
to swallow, harm both the rank and file officers and the general public.
Chief Officers can con the politicians and their respective
Police & Crime Commissioners that crime continues to fall no matter how few
officers are available to deal with it. ACPO and the Chief Officers have shown
themselves to be totally self-serving and shamelessly uncaring about the front
line consequences of their strategies. But why should they care? They get paid
handsomely for showing how wonderfully effective they are, what incentive is
there for them to play the honesty card?
Cuts to the police service were authorised largely as a
result of the many years of declining recorded crime. The statistics are
crooked and distorted beyond belief. Many thousands of officers less to protect
life and property, to prevent and detect crime. Yet the Chief Officers that are
responsible for fudging the statistics remain in post, happily drawing their
salary without conscience that they are the authors of the misfortunes dumped
on the rank and file.
this is allowed to continue, the tax payer is being cheated out of the service
he and she deserves and the front line officers are expected to toe the line,
play the game and submit to behaviour that compromises their professional integrity.
A few responses to Ch Supt Curtis' article:
So very true, I hope those in command will listen to
this Chief Superintendent who is in touch with reality...let's us get back to
policing, not targets, tackling crime not counting numbers!
Common sense at last, but will it ever be used or
implemented by our command teams? I fear not!!!!
What a sensible officer, so refreshing
Unfortunately she is but one voice in a sea of many,
it's ACPO that needs convincing.
Yes I am a dinosaur and can remember when officers had discretion and not get
ticks in the box to make your CC look good, it was also down to common sense,
once the bean counters took over common sense went out the window.
This has been a problem for years. Performance can be
improved without top down targets. Governments of all hues and senior managers
need to understand this:
I find it amusing when the author states " I'm
picking up a growing sense of frustration from colleagues in the federated
ranks who feel under immense pressure to deliver targets and feel that gaming
is often the only way they can deliver this."
Where have you been for the last 10 years. Federated ranks have been generally
unhappy with the culture for nearly a decade and we were ignored and treated
like peasants for objecting!
I agree but wasn't it ACPO who cosied up to the last
government and got all sorts of goodies from them to play the numbers game and
make the government look good. They did exactly the same with the health
service. you go to any A & E you'll get seen by a triage nurse in quick
time then given a ticket and probably three hours you will be seen by someone
who will deal with your injury, but on the records it will show that you were
seen within 5 minutes. I really don't care how many rings it takes for the
phone to be answered, I care that when it's answered the person on the other
end knows how best to deal with my problem and I care that when the cop gets
there they know what to do. ACPO have a lot to answer for.
The obsession with targets is a manifestation of a
deeper misunderstanding of the police role – that of a crime-fighter – and that
is why the articulate,intelligent and sincere leaders persist with them.Police
as keepers of peace,maintainers of order,and dispensers of justice is the role
that need to be emphasized to get rid of the targets of crime and detection
It's all true what she says, but I bet targets still
Always worth a visit is Dave's site over at Bankside Babble... Particularly relevant article this week looking at the same subject from a different angle.
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