This blog is mainly about the governance and future of policing and crime services. (Police & Crime Commissioners feature quite a lot.) But there are also posts about the wider justice system. And because I am town councillor and political activist, local & national issues are covered a little, as well.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Glossary: The Secret PCC is relieved

I see that the HMIC have just published their analysis of policing in a cold climate. The report manages to be all things to all people: everyone, be they the Federation or the Home Secretary, will find something to gloat about / delight in. This makes it a rather clever report in my humble opinion. The HMIC doesn't sit on the fence quite so well as when a general election is looming and the tick-tock of pension count down alarms are ringing in their ears.

The report helpfully begins with a full glossary stretching over three volumes. Policing is darn complicated after all: I had never met so many TLAs before I got involved with the job. And the girls in boys in blue seem to enjoy wiling away whole afternoons coming up with the name of the new 'operation'. I am still yet to discover what Operation Obfuscate is all about, despite asking lots of times.

But seeing the glossary in the HMIC report gave me a warm nostalgic feeling as I remembered those first heady days after the election when everything held such glistening promise... The outgoing chief constable had prepared a handy list of words and their definitions that I still keep in the back of my wallet. I know his parting email to me was a little challenging, but his glossary was just the ticket! So I thought, I would reproduce a few of his choice definitions below for others to use.

  • ACPO: the people who think they are the real bosses (but are not)
  • Home Secretary: the person who thinks she is the real boss (but is not)
  • The APCC, Federation & Superintendents Association: the bodies who think they have influence (but don't)
  • Custody Sergeants & HR Departments everywhere: the people who really have the power
  • The force's drivers and taxi drivers we regularly use: the only people who really know what is happening
  • Crime in run down areas: what we are supposedly trying to stop (says the Home Secretary)
  • Anti social behaviour in nice leafy avenues: what we actually spend our time tackling
  • Meetings: a good way to appear busy (meetings about meetings are even better)
  • Partnership meetings: warm places to catch up on sleep
  • The former Police Authority: the source of all of our problems that we now face and which can be blamed with impunity for at least the next ten years
  • Home Office Targets: the various dart boards distributed around the constabulary with pictures of Home Office ministers on
  • Democratic mandate: what you must claim to have at every opportunity - the more you talk about it the more real it will seem to become
There was more, of course. I will try to dig out a few extra ones when I have a moment. Meanwhile, I have a partnership meeting to attend...


The Secret PCC Diary until now:

Legal disclaimer: just in case you thought this series of secret PCC blogs is based upon a real person or persons: it isn't. It really isn't. Any similarity to a living PCC is entirely coincidental.

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