Friday, 4 July 2008

Diktatwatch: Police Cycle Skills

Diktatwatch is an occasional feature on Question That that highlights the effects of ideological correctness and general idiocy on our public services. These are the type of stories that appear in the Mail and Sun and are dismissed (by people with an ideological axe to grind, usually) as fiction, when in fact they are often all too real. I take them from the public services blogs, and occasionally - as in today's instalment - from the broadsheet press.

Today's Diktatwatch comes from the Telegraph, via The Policeman's Blog. In Kent, a PCSO who covers his patch, consisting of several villages, by bicycle was told he has to use the bus and walk until he completes a two day 'Basic Police Cycle Skills' course.

Dear God in Heaven, how have we come to this?
'All the relevant skills and knowledge' to ride a bike? That would be getting on, pedalling and getting off, then. Two day course, £200 a day for the trainer. It's nice work if you can get it.
- PC David Copperfield
Yes, a police officer has to complete a 2-day 'cycling proficiency' course (a little like the one you probably did at school when you were a teenager), costing £400, in order to be allowed to ride a bicycle during the course of their work.

As a commenter at PC Copperfield's puts it: What next? Paper-handling courses to avoid paper cuts? Biro handling courses in case someone gets jabbed in the eye?

You literally couldn't make it up.


ianni said...

how come every policeman has now started to refer to themselves as police took me five years to become an officer in charge of men and women.In the words of the old song^where have all the police CONSTABLES gone.

Colin Campbell said...

Where does this fit in with reducing our carbon footprint?

Absolute classic.

QT said...

@ianni: I think the blanket use of "police officer" (or "police community support officer") has come in to avoid having to say 'policeman/woman' all the time.

Merckx of the job said...

Hmm. I am a little confused as to why a chap who rides a bike for a living having to take a cycling proficiency test falls under the heading of "political correctness gone mad". I know that criticising the finance industry is a little infra dig round here :-), but I blame the insurance industry for this sort of thing as much as anyone else-they after all, actually benefit from this risk-averse nonsense, us bleeding-heart liberals don't!