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Everything posted by OldAfricaHand

  1. OldAfricaHand

    Direct entry as Inspector.

    Mark 101 I am not sure if your "ïs he going to war or what" comment is about me personally? I said I was a direct-entry manager in the public service - and I didn't have peoples' lives & futures in my hands - I am not quite sure how that implies I am going to war. I work in Africa, the Arabian Gulf and SE Asia and I am not a CC but I often work at very senior government levels - so I have a view of wide range of things. For example, I have seen the deterioration in the crime and security situation in South Africa - brought about by having a dysfunctional Police Service in which anyone can join at any rank and be catapulted into situations for which they are unprepared - the current suspended National Police Commissioner was a project manager in a government department before she was appointed to the Commissioner post. Not long after her appointment, in a place called Marikana, her officers lost control of a situation, fired directly into a crowd of striking miners and murdered 30+men; she subsequently applauded her officers for being steadfast and professional. Her suspension has nothing to do with her poor operational leadership but rather her not being able to control the financial shenanigans in the Police procurement process - which you might have thought would be a no-brainer for a project manager. Now, I am not suggesting such a scenario could happen in UK - if only because the PCs and PSs would not follow such orders as they would clearly be illegal. For me, a much smaller scale action - if it affected the public or Police - would be bad. My perspective is that policing requires experienced people when dealing with operational issues. Direct-entry to admin jobs - fine - but warranted powers are not required. This is just my view - based on dealing with people at all levels in UK, USA, Africa, th Gulf & SE Asia. I could be wrong but I wouldn't take a chance!
  2. OldAfricaHand

    Where have they gone

    As a former Hobby Bobby (but it seems a long time ago - 27 years service that ended 20 years ago in another era) I understand Zulu's perspective but then we are both Mancunians; so we are a bit blunt by nature. I think that the quite lengthy suspension of the site's activities has had significant impact on members' feelings towards whether it is worth contributing - people find other things to do / other sites to visit. Certainly the interaction over the past 12 months has diminished but, perhaps, it will return to its former level of debate, banter, information and fun. I hope so! As far as the Met is concerned, I recall a friend of mine (an Amercian State Department staffer) saying "You can always tell an American....... but not very much!" I guess that syndrome might exist in parts of the Met (which continues a Force close to my heart)
  3. OldAfricaHand

    Direct entry as Inspector.

    HMS I think you have aptly encapsulated the situation. Change for the sake of change is never wise. As an MOP, I do not think it is right for the government to impose a system that might well impact on the safety of officers and public. I joined the public service as a direct-entry manager but I didn't have the lives and futures of people in my hands; had I done so, I might well have been one of those Ruperts you referred to.
  4. OldAfricaHand

    Direct entry as Inspector.

    I am not biased against direct entry because I have no right to be. However, as a fairly experienced senior manager across a number of public service-type organisations and 27 years as a Special, I have a view that the complexities and challenges of Policing are such that it would be dangerous to put relatively inexperienced individuals into command positions in potentially difficult situations. I know I need not tell you that the consequences of mistakes in such situations are significant - not just for the individual making the mistake but also others involved in the situation. I do not think that the marginal benefit that some might see from direct entry is worth the trauma and cost that would ensue from an inexperienced direct-entry Inspector making a cock-up simply because they did not have the depth of experience they would have gained if they had joined as a PC and progressed to Inspector through time as a PS.
  5. OldAfricaHand

    Direct entry as Inspector.

    I am not a Police officer but have enough experience of policing and as a junior, middle & senior manager in a number of structured organisations, to know that Direct entry to Police above the level of Constable would be very dangerous. There are very few non-Police managers who will have the breadth of experience that will enable them to take both a strategic and tactical view of policing situations and, at the same time, have the tacit knowledge gained from personal experience, that is essential when making decisions within split-seconds and under pressure. I have a pretty open mind (RM please note ) when it comes to developing people and moving them up in organisations depending on their skills and capabilities. However, a Policing environment is different - the "stakeholders" (sorry about that word) in a policing situation are not just Police Officers but the vast array of the public as individuals or organisations with varying levels of interest. To be able to deal with such interests, a Police Supervisor needs experience in dealing with people often in traumatic / pressured situations. That doesn't often happen in office environments nor even in the retail trade. What might be appropriate is for some senior level Police jobs that do not require warranted powers to be done by non-Police officers but the essence of the British Police Officer on-the-streets is that he/she is experienced, can exercise split-second judgement, can be compassionate and well-versed in the rights and wrongs of the Law and what actions they must take or can exercise with discretion. There might be small numbers of former Armed Forces SNCOs and officers who might be able to bring the necessary tactical / strategic skills & experience but run-of-the-mill civilian managers - sorry, not on!
  6. OldAfricaHand

    Senior Police Woman Suspended

    "Despite being absolutely appalled at the behaviour and all too aware of the damage to public confidence, I do not think I can reasonably take a different view without any significant reason to do so.” The above are the words of the DCC Ian Pilling in giving his decision that the ACC in question will be allowed to keep her job. Frankly, I think it is outrageous - if her behaviour was such that it appalls a more senior officer and he is aware that it has damaged public confidence in the Police, what more reason does he require to remove her from GMP? Isn't appalling behaviour and damafing the public's confidence significant enough?
  7. OldAfricaHand

    When things go wrong

    As you say, Zulu, this case seems a little messy in some respects but my personal belief (not ever having been a firearms officer) is that the actual firearms officer who shot Grainger cannot be faulted. His was a split-second decision made when he thought that the threat to life was real; had he not made that decision on the basis of what he knew / had been briefed, lives may have been lost. But Grainger was not murdered as his mother suggests not does the fact that he and his partner (do people in Manchester no longer actually get married I wonder?) were trying for children have any bearing on the case. But i guess these add to the emotion of the story and helpa pain Police in a negative light - which can be expected from both the BBC and MEN.
  8. OldAfricaHand

    Huddersfield shooting

    An interesting perspective from the Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-4093184/Pray-4-Badboy-PortaShrines-99-99-RICHARD-LITTLEJOHN-says-usual-suspects-jumping-bandwagon-shooting-drug-dealer-M62.html
  9. OldAfricaHand

    Serious Public Disorder

    I think the matter that concerns me most about the manning issues is the apparent lack of strategic understanding that Police Officers have physical and mental limits that require adequate rest and this is particularly the case at times of high demand for services. I think Zulu's point is very clear - police SMTs have a duty of care and that is not an "after action" duty but one that ensures that adequate numbers of properly rested officers are available for each shift. I know i am being impractical but there has to be some realisation of this matter before there are more (physically & mentally) injured officers. I hope all officers on the front line will be safe over the holiday period and 2017 might see some improvements. To all forum members, a belated Happy Christmas and may you have a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2017.
  10. OldAfricaHand

    Equality before The Law

    The very recent news that two former paratroopers - now both pensioners - have been charged with attempted murder of an Official IRA man during their time as Parachute Regiment soldiers on duty in Northern Ireland, seems to me to be a stark example of lack of equality before the Law. I say this because Tony Bliar gave IRA terrorists a letter of guarantee that they would not be prosecuted for crimes committed during The Troubles - the murderous activities of terrorists against The Crown. It seems that the chief prosecutor in NI is the former legal adviser to Gerry Adams; being a cynic I cannot imagine that he is less-than-partisan in his decision to pursue these, and potentially other, former soldiers whilst not investigating actual murders committed by the IRA - be they Official or Provisional. Frankly, this situation smacks of political witch-hunting and the Law being used to "settle" scores against people who were doing their jobs in protecting the public of NI. I just wonder when the Government are going to wake up to the fact that they have allowed all sorts of people with anti-establishment agendas to gain positions of power and influence.
  11. OldAfricaHand

    His 1st diplomatic error

    Do not be misled by the Chinese "anger" at Trump taking a call from the President of Taiwan. There is significant business going on between Taiwan and the Mainland. It suits PRC to have Taiwan as it is otherwise it would already have invaded and secured the island. The irony of the divide is that both sides fought the Japanese and it was a tussle for power between Chiang-Kai-Shek and Mao Tse Tung rather than outright politics (the were both followers of Sun Yat Sen - the father of Chinese independence from the dynastic Emperors). there will be lot of hot-air but it will not amount to much. On the other hand, the British Government deploying the Royal Navy to patrol the South China Sea (when it should be in Home Water defending the country's borders) has really p#ssed-off the PRC - I suspect because they thought they had good working relations in the anti-piracy patrols in the Indian Ocean. All-in-all, it is often difficult to fathom the actions of politicians - in fact, I think it may be the case that they don't know what they are doing but feel the need to do something - a bit like a novice chess-player!
  12. OldAfricaHand

    Senior Police Woman Suspended

    It is totally outrageous that she should be found guilty and the panel recommend she retains her job. Gross misconduct would attract dismissal in any other job and GMP will give the wrong signals if they accept this recommendation. I cannot imagine how any officer would continue to have respect for this senior officer - she is a drunken bully! Being a cynic, I wonder what the fragrant Sir Tom Winsor had to say and just how much he influenced the panel - after all, his mandate is to diminish the status of Police Officers - maybe this is part of his master-plan?
  13. OldAfricaHand

    A Recovery continues

    "Trump may become the best President the USA ever had" RM, may I direct your attention to the tongue-in-cheek emoticon ....... mind you, you may have the same challenge as I have - these days I seem not to be able to get all the necessary formats when I am trying to write a post. I began to wonder if it was some liberal-leftie plot but then I realised that might be unconscious bias and I'd have to eat humble-pie (which I will do if thee need arises):-)
  14. OldAfricaHand

    Nasty, nasty, nasty....?

    It certainly seems an unpleasant way of dealing with the children of illegal immigrants. But the whole question of what access any illegal immigrants should have to any welfare and related services is certainly one that has to be tackled. I am one of those people who believes that illegal immigrants should not bee kept in the community but should be lodged in some form of secure (but not prison-like) accommodation. Old military facilities - ideally with the H block style living accommodation that can easily be subdivided into accommodation for single individuals or families - could well b ideal. There are adequate toilet and catering facilities and space and appropriate resources could be made available for teaching any children. But the important thing is for decisions / actions on illegal immigrants must be made quickly; so that the people concerned are nor held in such closed facilities for more than a few weeks. It requires effort to do this; it also requires a smooth administrative and quasi-judicial process to get things moving. Of course, it would also require a process that isn't at the mercy of interference from extra-territorial institutions and the necessary resources to enforce deportation where that is appropriate. As I said at the start, "deprioritising" children of illegal immigrants is certainly unpleasant but I can see that as a knee-jerk reaction, it might easily be considered - particularly when educational resources are spread thinly due to resource-constraints. I doubt it will happen!
  15. OldAfricaHand

    Judges rule on Brexit

    I think Zulu's point is important - if a General election is triggered by thee Brexit issue, it could well focus so much attention on Brexit that it becomes the one issue and in the noise of the event, people will see it as solely a one-issue election. I suspect that many who voted "Leave" would follow the party that supports that action because they feel that once expressed, it is the stance they should continue! But I may be wrong!
  16. OldAfricaHand

    Judges rule on Brexit

    "The idea that someone might believe in fairness and racial equality and kindness toward others and yet still rationalise that being in the EU or voting Clinton wasnt for the best for everyone" The problem with the liberal left is that they always occupy the moral high ground and, frankly, that seems to prevent them from having a shorter-range perspective and view other people as individuals - odd, really, seeing as they are liberal left! However, in my experience (conscious bias) I find many members of the liberal left to be self-centred, champagne socialists who do not actually care much for their fellow humans but like to espouse the virtues of doing so!
  17. OldAfricaHand

    Judges rule on Brexit

    "though I do detect a certain amount of denial".............cheese'- I admire your persistence :-) You are right, of course, it will be interesting to see how things evolve. The latest comments I sw on Sky News around 4am this morning was a comment from the ÜK Judge" on the ECJ - she suggested that it would be the ECJ that made any final determination if the UK Supreme Court cannot reach a decision. It was apparent that she relished the opportunity - it is just this sort of mediocre (a QC but then so is Mansfield) public servant that has established themselves in the EU and its institutions (not unconscious bias I assure you) Anyhow, let's see how things turn out
  18. OldAfricaHand

    Judges rule on Brexit

    I am well-aware of the academic theory but, like all theories, whilst it may have its champions and adherents, there are others - perhaps like me - who say that there can be exceptions to all theories. the advantage that the academics have is that they invariabley have a depth of research (I don't say "knowledge" because sometimes they are in possession of few hard facts that we might expect). I am fortunate to have worked closely with a lot of academics - some are good, some are bad and some, frankly, very indifferent. The one thing they have in common is that they will invariably support each other and, unless there's the chance of a major accolade, will rarely challenge each other (although challenging is more likely to happen in the physical sciences). I take your point about age and susceptibility to unconscious bias (and new-borns' lack of it but, if you accept the theory of "original sin", you could not be quite so certain about that) But I reiterate my view that my bias are all conscious - and I stick by it. As you don't know me, you only have theory to support your view. Maybe we should leave it there?
  19. OldAfricaHand

    Judges rule on Brexit

    RM, you are a "reasonable man"; so I would expect that :-)
  20. OldAfricaHand

    Judges rule on Brexit

    I do not want to prolong this diversion from the topic RM, but frankly, I think you cannot make such an assertion. Granted, some academics / psychologists may hold that view but it is their view - there is no definitive evidence that unconscious bias is present in all human beings. It may well be the case BUT you cannot state it for certain - it is simply your view (which, of course,you are entitled to hold)
  21. OldAfricaHand

    Senior Police Woman Suspended

    The Manchester Evening News has a blow-by-blow account of the first morning of the disciplinary hearing: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/rebekah-sutcliffe-police-disciplinary-live-12245050#rlabs=1%20rt$sitewide%20p$1 Having read this. I am even more certain that disciplinary hearings should not be in public!
  22. OldAfricaHand

    Judges rule on Brexit

    Quite simply, Cheese', because I've been "around the block" quite a few times and have a pretty good idea of what I like and dislike across the different societies in which I have lived. So unless there is something lurking deep in my unconscious that I do not know about, I think I know!
  23. OldAfricaHand

    Judges rule on Brexit

    RM I don't have any unconscious bias. Whilst I have listed my bias as far as immigration is concerned, I do have other things about which I am clearly biased. These include inconsiderate drivers, loud young people who think they are the only ones entitled to an opinion (I taught some at university; so I know what a pain-in-the-butt they are), people who want to live in UK but refuse to accommodate British customs and norms, any form of criminal, and LGBT people who insist on imposing their views that their way-of-life has to be lauded and promoted to children (I have plenty of LGBT friends but, generally, they are people who are comfortable in their lifestyle and do not feel the need to be strident propagandists). That just about covers all my prejudices. I can tolerate people who have opposing views to mine (including Manchester United supporters - some of whom are close friends and family). So that's my "unconscious" - all of which are affected by age (grumpy old-man syndrome), gender, and social-conditioning!
  24. OldAfricaHand

    Judges rule on Brexit

    My bias in terms of immigration is very conscious. I believe strongly in not allowing in any European unless they can add value to the country and will not become a charge of the state; entry only if they have a job in advance that cannot be filled by a British worker. It would mean of course that we would have to force the idle and feckless British unemployed to forgo social security and work. It would mean some compulsion and I believe that it reasonable in the context of the benefits of full-employment to the wider society. I also would not allow in any non-European immigrants who fall into the category of economic migrant nor any young, single men from any country outside The Commonwealth. I would permit a maximum of 10,000 under 16 years children in each year if they either had family in UK or could be adopted - not fostered - by UK families. I would also allow British citizens to bring their foreign spouses to UK - the spouses would have immediate right to work; any children would likely be British by descent from their father or mother; so their status is not in question. I do not have any unconscious bias - mine is all very explicit and based solely upon what is best for Britain. My bias is not discriminatory on grounds of ethnicity nor religion. I would always want to ensure that any immigrants who committed criminal offences would b deported at the end of their sentence and not permitted to remain on spurious human rights grounds relating to their "rights to a settled life".- their conduct having disturbed any prospect of being "settled".
  25. OldAfricaHand

    Judges rule on Brexit

    And we were in such a bad way because we had shouldered a significant burden of the costs of WW2 and I am not so sure that we benefited from The Marshal Plan - I think that went more for reconstruction of Germany and Japan - instead we had to continue to re-pay the laons we had received from USA.