The Daily Mail has an article by the “esteemed” but somewhat misguided David Gilbertson who is so important in the press world that he has to write his name in block capitals. His article is centred on the public wailing over the fact that half of 58,400 complaints nationally were for incivility, rudeness or neglect of duty. Mr Gilbertson retired in 2001 and, for those of ACPO rank, that is about 10 years ago.
His uninformed article, full or rumour , conjecture and suspicion talks about the average age of the operational PC is under 24 as if, in the last thirty years, it has been any different. He talks about young officers getting to know their own beats and the local communities that lived upon them. What planet are you from, Mr Gilbertson? For the last god knows how many years and certainly in the eighties and nineties that model has been performed by very few officers. A direct consequence of ACPO led industries requiring immediate attendance at every job just so a tick in the box is achieved towards the next rank.
Typically, he rounds upon the the training given to officers which talks about compliance, using unambiguous language and criticises the officers for its use. The very policy formulated and agreed by ACPO, the business he now wants to take action against the officer.
Actually when you read the figures, rudeness and incivility amount to 11,500 of the complaints. This might equate to a figure close to 50% by retired, axe-to-grind, former ACPO calculations but in the real world it equates to 20%. Is this significant? Of course it is. The reason it is significant is because the other 30% of the figure relates to neglect of duty or the consequence of overloading officers with too much work and then loading them with even more to the point that either, they cannot do a sufficient job on the work they have or they try to cut corners.
These figures do not portray a true picture. Often complaints are made simply because the person making the complaint does not want to conform to the request of the police officer and is simply making an issue out of nothing. Gilbertson has the temerity to state that current day police have never been held in lower esteem! He talks about minor disciplinary sanctions by middle managers not being effective. Does this mean that he wants punitive sanctions by senior officers simply based on the un-corroborated complaint of a member of the public. Yes, it would appear so – that is why people like Gilbertson should be rounded up and sent to the ACPO funny farm somewhere near to Bramshill.
You know, ACPO are never wrong and former ACPO buffoons who are regularly trotted out to criticise current day police are always perfect. Particularly those who spent little time at the real sharp end and really are (or were) politicians in uniform. Mr Gilbertson, we are always embarrassed and disgusted by the behaviour of boorish, former high ranking colleagues such as you. You retired 10 years ago so stay retired as you don’t know what you are talking about.