Saturday 28 June 2008
It's disconcerting when Officers above the rank of Inspector go out and about on the streets. It's strange enough when Inspectors go out.
Of course, when senior officers to go out for one of their annual walk abouts on the street, things are never as they seem.
Just as the Queen is said to believe the world smells of fresh paint, the same kind of thing applies for our senior officers. Whenever they turn up to parade, we have by some miracle scratched together enough officers in the parade room to make it look as though we are acheiving minumum numbers on the streets. Even if that means taking officers off other, already over stretched teams.
They then usually commandeer the area car, and float about taking no calls and dealing with nothing they come across.
Inspectors are stuck in the middle of this - there are more and less proactive Inspectors. We recently had one covering as duty officer, who not only turned up to parade, but booked out a car and actually went out; and took calls! This in itself is unusual, but not unheard of. Our regular Inspector very occasionally takes calles, but on arrival will call a PC down to the scene to do the paperwork/take the crime report/make the arrest/do the accident book.
This substitute Inspector even dealt with the calls though - one day he even brought an arrest in. I've only ever seen an Inspector produce a prisoner to custody once before, so it got the team talking.
In fact, we've had him a few times recently, and ended up being a bit spoilt. Much as we like our current Guvnor, having a boss that goes and gets his hands dirty occasionally is very invigorating for the troops.
I have even seen the odd glimpse of morale on team.
One of our area car drivers is running bets on how long it will take before something comes along to help destroy this.
As the old saying goes "Are the men happy Sergeant?"
"Then stop their mail and cancel their leave."