Saturday, 17 May 2008

Diktatwatch: I'd Rather Be A PCSO

"Reduce police paperwork" - It's a policy change that has been promised so often it's becoming a political cliche. But is the form-filling situation getting better or worse?

What do you think?

As The Plastic Fuzz -a PCSO* blogger - explains, the "paper-based workload" faced by police officers is:

"getting so bad in some parts that Police officers are contemplating becoming a PCSO and take a pay cut, just so they can get back out on the beat."
Police Community Support Officers were, as PCSO Bloggs puts it, introduced to perform some of the time-consuming tasks that previously police officers had to do, and allow the latter to get out on the beat.

Instead, both PCSOs and police officers are spending more time filling in forms than ever before:
"What concerns me even more is that we (PCSOs), are now having to do more forms ourselves. We now have stats in place for the number of FPNs, PNDs, Stop and Account forms, Intelligence Reports we do. We are having to copy council officers, probation officers and unusual ‘squad’ officers in to every email or action we take. We are having to justify what we do in a day, results we expect to achieve and analysing results we actually achieve."

If the paperwork situation is this bad for PCSO Bloggs, one has to wonder how much worse it must be for the actual Officers, such that taking a pay cut and becoming a PCSO is actually preferable in terms of getting to do what Mr Average would call "policing"!

The conclusion of PCSO Bloggs' post says it better than I could:
"We also have to fill in a document, daily, to explain (for some Home Office evaluation) exactly what we did in that day and how long spent doing it.

I’m filling in a useless forms, apparently designed to try and see what it is that we are doing that we end up spending so much time in the office filling in forms.

Are they taking the piss?"
(bolding mine)

Yes. Yes, they are.


TBRRob said...

Well, if those boxes weren't ticked how would we know if they had done anything?

Anonymous said...

Worrying stuff!