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#1 gerardthebutler

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:33 AM

I haven't found a previous thread on this. I'm involved in a discussion on another site where I voiced the opinion that, in my experience, there were significant opportunities for increased efficiency and reduced costs in having a single UK police force.

Now, there are a couple of ex-plods on said site but nothing like the wealth of experience here so I thought I would ask your opinion.

I've already stated my position as PRO but I'm more than ready to listen to the ANTIs point of view.

Gerard

#2 SimonT

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:38 AM

The initial cost of new uniform, new computer systems, new training etc would be pretty massive. We all do things differently, and we are stubborn, who does it right? Usually we get referred to the met as they are the largest, but they can do things that way because they are the largest.,

On the whole i think it would work, it would work very well, if it was done well, if the it systems were properly created and joined up.

My concern and the reason i am currently against is that we have shown ourselves time and time again to be barely competent when it comes to this sort of thing,

#3 gerardthebutler

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:55 AM

Forces have amalgamated before and changes to uniforms etc can be phased in. Why should training be disparate and different if the job is the same ?

I saw the first use of computers within the police and was dismayed to see every force going its own way, doing its own thing.

That may have changed (?) but you're right - everyone wants their own empire and some will be totally reluctant to give up anything to anyone else.

Your worries about procurement could also be justified - just look at the MOD. But there must be economies of scale to be leveraged ?

#4 DoubleG

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:47 AM

Can't forces stay, for the most part, separate and things like uniform, transport, procurement be nationalised? Surely making a national force will give those in charge more reason to reduce numbers of both officers and staff even more. 100 mile + blue light runs will not become uncommon. Look at the problems regionalised ambo service is having with the cutbacks they are facing. Different problems in different places....and what will they do with the 41 other pcc's now there in? Will almost make them a big waste of money....hmmm.

#5 scousejon

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:39 PM

each force is different. 1 force would not work. the methods we use in liverpool would not work in say, the cotswalds and vica versa. The system we have now works perfectly if it was left alone.

There are ways we can save money, we can all get our body armour together and just change the badges, etc etc. cars canI be bought in bulk. The north west forces bought a load of hyundai cars together saving a small fortune, the cars are just awful but it saved money.

We could do it on a national scale and with better cars and were onto a winner.

I am all for working together more but a national force is not for me

#6 sykes

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:46 PM

In theory a national or even regional force should work perfectly well, regional variations in policing requirement would be managed at a local level,however we will never get a national force or even regional as for all the talk of efficiency modernisation and change the police service shows time and time again it is opposed to change always here anyone with more than a couple of years spouting it was better in my day or i had to do it so should anyone else

#7 gerardthebutler

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:05 PM

" the methods we use in liverpool would not work in say, the cotswalds and vica versa. "

I don't understand that comment. Yes, a different approach depending on whether the situation is rural, urban or metropolitan but surely the underlying principles are the same. The methods used in Brighton differ from those used in Wisborough Green but their are both policed by the same force.

"for all the talk of efficiency modernisation and change the police service shows time and time again it is opposed to change"

That's interesting and, judging from the previous comment, carries some weight. I would have thought operational and organisational differences would have been an argument brought up by some but it seems that sheer bloody-mindedness and opposition to change would be a major hurdle.

#8 SimonT

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:48 AM

Part of the concern of front line officers about change is that our management have a solid track record for producing schemes which are backwards, counter produtive and clealy bad. The average 'good' idea lasts approximately 3 months before the forms stop being done or the extra patrol is dropped and we go back to policing the best way we can.

I would like to see some sensible changes or improvements but we seem almost incapable of doing such a basic thing. Each time we just end up with less moral and more forms to complete.

The steps to make one force are quite simple and easy. Joint procurement of all equiptment and a common set of computer programs and forms. Thats pretty much it. That way you can have all forces seperate but working together and then when that is done change the command structures etc and you have a national police force.

But who gets to decide which kit we get? Thats where it starts and all falls down at the same time. HMIC could just tell us what we are having and make us get it, but thats way to complicated in that its simple

#9 Anna32

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 03:54 PM

It's an interesting idea in theory (in England and Wales, anyway- Scotland has a separate legal system), but it would be a bureaucratic nightmare in practice. If we could all wake up tomorrow as one force with one set of computer systems, cars and so on it would be one thing, but the actual process involved would be horrendous. I think the best we could hope for is to slowly increase standardisation and national contracting, and hopefully increase regional collaboration.

#10 gerardthebutler

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:23 AM

I'm afraid time and distance means that I'm quite out of touch these days. Do Regional Crime Squads still exist ( a kind of rural Sweeney in my memory) ?

#11 stewie_griffin

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:31 AM

A national police force (or 'state police' if you'd prefer) would be a bad idea. It would take the worst ideas and processes from each police service and make one enormous mess. When was the last time you heard a police officer say, 'The IT systems down at the nick are really top-notch and easy to use, furthermore it's really easy for each system to communicate with all the others or, 'our patrol cars are a good balance of performance and cost effectiveness' or, 'our uniforms aren't simply the cheapest that were available.' So take the IT, the vehicles and the uniforms and make them even worse, even cheaper... now you have a state police.

There would be virtually no local input: the effort would go to the biggest urban areas where it would be easy to meet centrally dictated targets or it would go to marginal constituencies at the whim of the Home Secretary.

It would be even less efficient that British Leyland was, because, unlike Leyland, you could never sell it off.

Remember, there's no problem so bad that government can't make worse.

#12 Macadian

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:23 AM

If you want an example of a 'National Police Force, you need look no farther than the Royal Canadian Mounted Police ' here in Canada.  It has been in turmoil for years...and it would seem that bigger is not best!  As has beren pointed out, we all do things diferently at not only Regional level, but at local force level with the Region too.  I rememebr well the turmoil in the West of Scotland when such at the City of Glasgow, Renfrewshire, Ayrshire etc were amalgametd into Strathclyde.  I was City of Glasgow prior to amalgamation  and I don't care what anyone says, we were more efficient, cohesive and happier as a 'City' force than what we became on the implemantation of  Strathclyde!



#13 Sub-seven

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:52 PM

We are amalgamating eight forces into one in Scotland.



#14 Macadian

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 03:47 AM

We are amalgamating eight forces into one in Scotland.

I wish you well...though you should be very afraid.... :crazy:



#15 Sub-seven

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:20 PM

Nah, it'll be fine - honest.....



#16 Fritz@Customs

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 05:54 PM

Border Force (and its immediate predecessor, UKBA) is a national law enforcement agency, which merged two different approaches to dealing with people (immigration) and goods (customs) crossing UK borders.

 

The first thing management did was to regionalise us, so we don't get the benefits of scale or easy access to assistance from colleagues in the next region over.

 

We half-heartedly tried to integrate work across the old regimes into one all-singing, all-dancing volunteer multifunctional officer, but we didn't get equivalent training or powers for both work streams and half the staff seem to have exemptions from nights, weekends, trains, and shift working. Most of customs is criminal, most of immigration is administrative.

 

After three years, we still run two seperate IT systems and have contrived an intelligence network which is supposed to feed both streams but makes sure officers have access to only one of the two IT systems.

 

Uniform, when it is available, has been bought from the lowest bidder and cannot keep up with the demand for white shirts with epaulette tabs, never mind speialist kit like body armour and life jackets. The purchase of one-off items is treated as being subject to EU tendering rules and results in costs about 40% greater than a single purchase from a specialist website.

 

We saved on new uniforms recently by issuing new velcro badges and plain ties, which are bright and clean and stand out when applied to the faded blue shirt issued three years ago and awaiting replacement.

 

Our senior managers come from both streams and enjoy a 2 day conversion course allowing them to fully understand the entirety of the work area they did not grow up in. Decision making is clearly enhanced by this process and produces well thought out and practical solutions to frontline issues.

 

Both the original merger and the Border Force divorce were conducted without any additional funding to cover the costs. We still have UKBA warrant cards, so I guess it's fortunate they never created an offence of impersonating a UKBA officer.

 

Resourcing is placed in the largest ports, hoping to cash in on the higher chance of detecting offences, leaving the smaller ports and the uncanalised coastline almot entirely unprotected. If Joan Collins complains about queues at Heathrow, we stop doing customs work in the rest of the country and fly down to swipe passports.

 

Moving to a national police force would not only recreate all of the pitfalls of previous government backed mergers, but would doubtless create some special ones all of your own. There might be some advantage to a national uniform and kit standard, but I can see no advantage to surrendering local control of policing in the counties to a national board which would become subject to direct Home Office interference.



#17 Nykad21

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 06:55 PM

Personally I quite liked the idea of merging some police forces and I was suprised when the proposed merger from the last government was abandoned. That said I wasn't a police officer at the time so there was probably more than a few issues with internal politics that I wasn't aware of. If I was in charge of such things then I would have try and regionalise forces in a similar way to the CPS map on this website:

http://www.cps.gov.u...07/annex_h.html

The only changes I would make to that map would be to have all Yorkshire forces together and have West Midlands as a separate force in the same way as GMP and the MET given that they are much larger city forces.

Some forces (such as Hampshire and thames valley) have already merged their specialst operations teams firearms, traffic, etc. I can't see why those ideas can't be extended to a whole force. A few chief cons would have to go saving hundreds of thousands of pounds alone.

Of course I doubt that either a full merger or several regional mergers will happen anytime soon and quite possibly never, not in my lifetime just for the reasons already mentioned on this thread.

I certainly think that a national procurement system could and should be implemented as it would reduce the costs of uniform, equipment, vehicles etc. I think a national set of IT systems would be a good idea. It is certainly possible in this day and age and I think that it would be relatively simple to do over time if all forces agreed to it in advance and then procured the same system that had the ability to be linked together gradually. After that forces could change their own local systems over to the national systems in their own time and as existing contracts are completed.

Of course the main obstacle to any changes are the government, the SLT's and the brand new PCC's as none of these parties will do anything that makes the slightest bit of sense to the rest of us!

#18 Paladin1

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 01:54 AM

The OP for this topic will have the ideal opportunity to see this idea first hand when the 8 Scottish forces merge to form the Police Service Of Scotland (catchy no ?). Like some posters here there are concerns that like the Met would in England , Strathclyde as the biggest force in Scotland will have the biggest say over procurement, computer systems, best practice etc. I personally am all for anything that reduces the amount of red tape and paperwork we do but in all honesty it would appear just to be a money saving exercise. I await April 1st with a feeling of both interest and trepidation.  



#19 Rudi

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 09:38 AM

National Police Force...........http://en.wikipedia....ice_Air_Service

Having seen what it takes to get just the air support units under one umbrella and the 350 staff I don't think a national police force would ever happen.

#20 Sub-seven

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 02:35 PM

The OP for this topic will have the ideal opportunity to see this idea first hand when the 8 Scottish forces merge to form the Police Service Of Scotland (catchy no ?). 

We will be known as Police Scotland....






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