A little birdy has told yours truly of an outrageous costly exercise of sycophancy by none other than our old favourite Sir Peter Fahy, the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police and ACPO mouthpiece. As most police officers know and, now soon many members of the public, the current ACPO fad of having visions in the workplace is the “in thing” whereby the Chief can outline his latest, often hare-brained scheme to rid the world of crime. Gone are the days where officers were required to protect life and property, prevent and detect crime in that order (Minute 1 of hour 1 of day 1 at the Police Training centre), a missive so ingrained in police officers that it is something they never forget.
Years ago, people who had visions were sent to the loony bin or just generally besmirched in society but not our great British Police leaders. The cost of this pointless exercise could be justified if it was a video to be watched on the internal computerised system or even an email to all officers followed by a poster campaign. I tell you now, if you put important posters on the back of bog doors they would be read and digested over and over again. However, Sir Pete has decided to go one costly step further.
He has ordered every officer in GMP to attend a seminar where His Vision will be passed on. Then the officers will face workshops to ensure that they understand the Vision. It appears that swathes of officers are being bussed around the force to central locations for this process which is a 3 hour session plus the travel time. The conservative estimate for the cost of this debacle must be in the region of £1/2 million. Any rumours that, to offset the cost, there are deific offerings of Sir Pete available or lifelike Toby Jugs with a reminder of the Vision on are purely speculation. Surely in these austere days, stunts like this one should be consigned to the bin in favour of spending the money on real policing.
I mean, isn’t he famous enough? Why does he need to have these Visions and then send his apostles out to spread the word like some latter day messiah? Could he have rigged up one the paintings at his brand new HQ to start weeping or alternatively have a loyal Chief Superintendent cut into an orange and find an image of Sir Pete inside? That way they could display it and have all come and pay homage to something tangible and realistic! Perhaps, he has finally succumbed to the jolly-boys roistering that takes place when he meets his immediate underlings when they gather to laud over him – or at least I think that’s what they do!!
Perhaps the honour Sir Pete got was the wrong honour and it should have been a sainthood.