Not a police matter

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NArf
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Not a police matter

Post by NArf » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:49 pm

One of my colleagues, a regular with 27 years service said something quite profound the other day.

"We did police work. Then we started getting sent to jobs that were nothing to do with police. Then we had to get to jobs within a certain time, so we got in the cars. Now they're so used to us getting there quickly, we can't get out of the cars."

This got me thinking. I realise that part of the PCSO job is victim reassurance, but here's the highlights of a job that fell to me a couple of weeks ago....

A cow escaped from a slaughter house and went on the rampage in a residential area. The butcher managed to corner it, and called in on the 9's for permission to kill it using his (licensed) shotgun. Permission was granted and the cow dispatched, and the area cleaned up. All the residents affected were spoken to and the situation explained to them. However, one women was so upset at this taking place outside her house, a couple of days later on return to duty, I was tasking with going round to talk to her.

Is that really within my remit? She'd already had one reassurance visit. I'm sorry she had a distressing experience, but I have more pressing things to attend to than comforting someone because a cow got shot.

Coincidently, my Inspector, on an unrelated matter, commented that he can see the police focus shifting towards counselling. I think we're already there, and that isn't the job I signed up for.

Is it just me or is the PCSO job drifting away from policing matters and into other areas such as being a social worker, and is that really something we should be getting involved in?
It's not true. I never use my tongue, it's just for stamps and emergencies.

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Re: Not a police matter

Post by JEA » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:05 pm

The problem is when "something should be done" , but there's no one else to do it.
When all other agencies say no, or don't work outside office hours, we can't (or won't) say no.

I think your example boils down to a weak call taker who didn't want to upset the caller (policing pledge, customer focus...) and has no idea how busy it is on the front line.

I've had LOADS of jobs like these. Kids doing nothing more than playing, playground arguments, ridiculous parking complaints...

... and of course the "misper" that's nothing more than a bratty teenager that's missed their curfew and a) parents are too lazy to look, b) foster parents don't give a toss, have been told by social services to report them to cover all their arses by passing the buck.

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Re: Not a police matter

Post by Felony » Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:52 am

I'm sorry, but I couldn't read that without laughing...

All I can say is: Me, Myself & Irene :slhi:
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Re: Not a police matter

Post by averagejoe90 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:32 pm

I saw something similar in the form of a letter from a local PCSO in relation to a local neighbour despite. Hat off to him he basically said grow up its Christmas. Kind of the same in relation of do the police need to get involved in every small verbal dispute? (with no swearing so no public order offences)
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Re: Not a police matter

Post by robber_roo » Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:49 pm

I've always thought a certain amount of our work is 'social care'. Very hard not to be when you become part of a community.

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Re: Not a police matter

Post by NArf » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:04 pm

One of my colleagues has to deal with what he calls 'Small Village Syndrome'. He has spent months dealing with what is essentially a neighbour dispute. A horse riding school suffers from a series of thefts. On his advice, they install a beeper on the exterior doors. No more thefts.
A neighbour of the riding school complains the beeping is too loud and disturbs him. Another neighbour complains about the amount of traffic the riding school generates (despite the business being established some 20 years before he moved in).

As well as what must be in the hundreds of hours of PCSO time, this stupid dispute has also taken up the time of a regular, crime prevention officer, community safety officer from the council and parish council meetings.

It's like the job I spent a week dealing with of two sets of neighbours reporting each other for walking over the shared garden> It's really not what I'm paid to do.


Incidently, to top off the bizarre job with the cow - because it was roaming the street, it was recorded as transport related!
It's not true. I never use my tongue, it's just for stamps and emergencies.

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Re: Not a police matter

Post by nottac » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:23 pm

NArf wrote:One of my colleagues has to deal with what he calls 'Small Village Syndrome'. He has spent months dealing with what is essentially a neighbour dispute. A horse riding school suffers from a series of thefts. On his advice, they install a beeper on the exterior doors. No more thefts.
A neighbour of the riding school complains the beeping is too loud and disturbs him. Another neighbour complains about the amount of traffic the riding school generates (despite the business being established some 20 years before he moved in).

As well as what must be in the hundreds of hours of PCSO time, this stupid dispute has also taken up the time of a regular, crime prevention officer, community safety officer from the council and parish council meetings.

It's like the job I spent a week dealing with of two sets of neighbours reporting each other for walking over the shared garden> It's really not what I'm paid to do.


Incidently, to top off the bizarre job with the cow - because it was roaming the street, it was recorded as transport related!
Glad I'm a response cop. All of the above referenced off within seconds of arriving on scene as follows. Civil dispute. Not a police matter. No offences disclosed. NFPA. Please close and switch log for the attention of local NBM/CSO for info only.

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Re: Not a police matter

Post by tnpmonkey » Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:11 am

these sort of jobs happened all the time, the Police are bending over backwards to increase public confidence.

However...

Confidence is now not a measure so it should only be a matter of time before we stop getting these again.

Kent are already talking about dropping all PACT, surgeries, public meetings etc because no one turns up and the ones that do are the same people with the same issue that is normally council related.

I get calls like "car parked on double yellow lines not blocking traffic (so a council job). 5 mins later the IP calls again and says the car has gone.

This is marked as "ASB" on the call system and gets pended out for local PCSO to do reassurance visit (has to be visit and not phone).

I go round, say "oh the car has gone" they say "yes, why are you wasting your time coming around" !!!!

The Police have gone crazy.

That said, new Kent Police CC today announced with the new Police model "why on earth are we taking and/or going to noise calls, dog fouling, fly tipping etc" so hopefully our crap will stop in the next few months.

TBH I would have said to my supervisor that I am not going to visit the victim of the cow shooting incident as it is not crime related. They are normally pretty good.

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Re: Not a police matter

Post by steve999 » Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:45 am

Confidence is now not a measure so it should only be a matter of time before we stop getting these again.

Kent are already talking about dropping all PACT, surgeries, public meetings etc because no one turns up and the ones that do are the same people with the same issue that is normally council related.

That said, new Kent Police CC today announced with the new Police model "why on earth are we taking and/or going to noise calls, dog fouling, fly tipping etc" so hopefully our crap will stop in the next few months.
Here, here...fully agree but wait for Restorative Justice Conferencing coming in for crime & non-crime incidents ie noise issue is a council matter but police could deal with it via RJ.

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Re: Not a police matter

Post by Felony » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:18 am

steve999 wrote:Here, here...fully agree but wait for Restorative Justice Conferencing coming in for crime & non-crime incidents ie noise issue is a council matter but police could deal with it via RJ.
Oh right? Can you have Restorative JUSTICE for noise issues? I always thought it was the job of trained, COUNCIL mediators to deal with that sort of thing... :slwo:

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Re: Not a police matter

Post by steve999 » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:21 am

Felony wrote:
steve999 wrote:Here, here...fully agree but wait for Restorative Justice Conferencing coming in for crime & non-crime incidents ie noise issue is a council matter but police could deal with it via RJ.
Oh right? Can you have Restorative JUSTICE for noise issues? I always thought it was the job of trained, COUNCIL mediators to deal with that sort of thing... :slwo:

We're PCSOs, not councillors!
A fifth of our force (PCs & PCSOs) have all been trained up in this and it is the future, they tell us!! I say b-ll-cks

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Re: Not a police matter

Post by tnpmonkey » Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:50 pm

yeah most Kent PCs and PCSOs got the training last year for RJ, but PCSOs cannot use it without a PC being present, what madness we live in!

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Re: Not a police matter

Post by Jimmy_bobby » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:05 pm

I’m one of two PCs working a neighbourhood area with about 8 PCSOs. We often get request through our call handling centre to attend for welfare checks and reassurance visits for things that simply have nothing to do with the police. Of course if no-one visits them or takes any steps and something bad happens to them, then we are to blame, regardless if we are ACTUALLY to blame or not.

So this is what I/we do:

We forward the log/email request for action to the local social services/housing officers/age concern etc and then shred the paperwork.

If it is clearly NOT a police matter then pass it on to someone else. We are far to busy not getting to real crimes in time, without wasting more time going to things that have no relevance to our job at all. I think some people need to stand up and make a bit of noise about this sort of thing.

The public may not be 100% happy with that, but its got to be done. I recently received a complaint because I was asked to arrest a youth for throwing a snowball at someone, and I chose not to, offering him words of advice instead. Bit me! :slbx:

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Re: Not a police matter

Post by steve999 » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:12 pm

tnpmonkey wrote:yeah most Kent PCs and PCSOs got the training last year for RJ, but PCSOs cannot use it without a PC being present, what madness we live in!
In our Force it is as long as a PC signs it, they don't have to be present. Things are changing, watch this space..

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Re: Not a police matter

Post by PI & GI » Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:24 pm

Felony wrote:I'm sorry, but I couldn't read that without laughing...

All I can say is: Me, Myself & Irene :slhi:
i like the scene where Jimmy carrey has a reaction to the tablets and the face he makes, give me the giggles!
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