Ok so you fell for the salacious bait……..I am afraid this is simply the musings of an operational police chief inspector and no I have not read that book!
Who am I? I have worked in three forces over 21 years and recently spent three years ‘on tour’ inspecting forces around the country with Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary – what a roller coaster ride that was – certainly no ‘jolly’ as many seem to think but one for another day!
After joining Twitter a couple of months ago I have dived into a strangely addictive arena – and it often feels like an arena- one full stop or subtle nuance misinterpreted and the riposte is instantaneous – as I found when I tweeted support for PSNI cops sandwiched in their ‘no win’ maelstrom. And yes ask yourself – would you do that for £19k?
I feel an urge to paint a more accurate – and hopefully positive picture of policing and the seismic changes taking place in every area of our work.
My first big decision was whether to go ‘undercover’ or not in Twitter. As police officers, you have totread a very sensible and measured path on and off duty. One wrong comment or action can literally be career ending – or worse! Decision made.
Ok let’s challenge some myths!
- It’s not about the money – sure the overall police package is/was attractive but you won’t last long if you just join for the money.
- My frontline police officers on beat teams and 24/7 patrol spend much of their time as social engineers, tackling/supporting the minority of society who create the majority of our work. Just to check I spent three days on patrol with a patrol team recently.
- Corruption and poor professional standards are NOT endemic – certainly not in my world. I believe it should be seen as a ‘reluctant positive’ when poor practice or corruption is rooted out and dealt with.
- Police work is often a grey world of right and wrong. In court rooms and on the omnibus, and in some media, our live time operational decisions are picked over with hindsight – often years afterwards. We are human and police work can not always be ‘sanitised’!
- We get it right most of the time honest – policing is basically about managing risk on varied scales – clue in the word risk we cannot always get it right! You probably get a wrong view from the media – police prevent crime and ASB does not make good headlines!
Ok enough for now. Happy for feedback as it is the ‘breakfast of champions’ apparently.
Chief Inspector Steve Wallace
Basingstoke & Deane District Commander
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