James Miller


Friday, August 24, 2007

Cutting Crime


A friend of mine, was a policeman in London for many years from the mid-1960s. He always used to complain about the amount of reports that had to be typed and how inefficient, it all was. I read now, that policemen on average spend only a couple of hours of each shift doing real policing, with the rest spent on an increasing amount of paperwork.

From my own experience, many other government ministries, local councils and the NHS, all seem to be drowning in paperwork, red tape and micro-management from central government.

Compare this to any well run company, that uses a fully-integrated computer/telephone/message system, has cut out large numbers of middle management and given responsibility to all of their people at the sharp end. These companies also can afford to pay better and consequently get the best employees.

That doesn’t sound like the police to me, who have ridiculous and incompatible systems, with each force having its own independent ideas. They have too many chiefs, who spend too much time writing pointless reports to each other and the average policeman on the beat has less and less discretion in what he can do.

No wonder there are so many places in this country in a mess.

So what’s the government’s solution to crime? ID cards. Pull the other one.

I wouldn’t like to be a policeman arresting a stroppy youth for not carrying his ID card. But they won’t do that will they?

They’ll only arrest law-abiding citizens, so that they can then show that they’re ticking the right boxes and that ID cards are working.


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