Brian's Brief Encounters

This is an Unofficial Kaffe Fassett fanzine. Brought to you from a Leafy Suburb of the Throbbing Metropolis.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Bottom Of The Class

The think-tanks have been hard at it again.

You may have read a story or two about the report those very clever people at Politeia have just published. In case you missed them, let me enlighten you.

It’s official; I’m stupid.

Those of us who took a rather relaxed attitude to formal schooling were made to sit an entrance exam. Fortunately it wasn’t exactly ‘mind-stretching’, as I may not have scraped through if it were. If I had been a girly swot and spent a few years of my life at a polytechnic I wouldn’t have had to sit it. I may have been a really important policy maker by now too. Damn.

I’m sure I would have been much better equipped to do my job if I’d managed to stick it out in the education system. Only now can I see that a degree in Food Science would be invaluable when trying to sort out the melee outside a kebab shop at 2am on a weekend. Or, maybe, a qualification in Interior Architecture and Design would assist me when dealing with a ‘disturbance in private premises’?

The next time I’m called to a pub fight I hope I have a Cosmetic Science graduate in the car with me rather than an ex-marine without a GSCE to his name. Having two officers with ‘questions about our ability’ turning up wouldn’t give us a hope of being able to deal with it. We’d probably have to wait for a clever person to join us first; as the ex-marine and I would clearly need someone to ‘inspire confidence’ and to provide the ‘leadership’ before we could get stuck in.

Politeia don’t think our insistence that all officers join us on the bottom rung of the ladder is very fair to those ‘abler’ people. They’d like to see a return to streaming, where graduates could skip working with us thickos and get straight into ‘key service delivery roles’.

Those extremely bright graduates with a First could start on a senior management team.

The ones who just missed out with a 2:1 could join at Inspector level.

If three years of hard study resulted in a ‘Desmond’ then a Sergeants position awaits. We like Sergeants who know how to party.

Being uneducated and with ‘issues about my academic ability’ hasn’t, until now, left me believing that I’m ‘ill-equipped to combat crime’. In fact I thank Politeia for pointing this out. Having spent years thinking that I only have to be slightly smarter than the criminals I deal with just won’t cut it anymore. It’s time I did something about it so I can appear less ‘incompetent’.

I have only one question for the geniuses at Politeia:-

Which degree do you think will be the most useful in my role as a 21st century Police officer;

Polymer Engineering or Spatial Arts?


At 8/11/05 11:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the early 90s when the recession was on, it was clear to some graduates that they were not going to be in work for some time, so some of them joined the police.

I was at a presentation to a local authority the other day by a new Chief Constable, he talked about policing where the officers would do fixed points at schools in the morning and evening, would patrol shopping high streets, would communicate with the public, leave their cars behind and walk.

Police stations would be open longer hours with some open 24 hrs, phone calls to the station/force would be better monitored and the service improved.

Officers would be encouraged to jettison their "aggressive" utility belts, body armour, flourescent jackets whilst on daytime foot patrol.

Community policing, relating to the public, a smart officer in polished boots/shoes pressed trousers and tunic wearing a brushed helmet with a ready smile and quick wit were the answer.

So you see these graduates really do now how to bring in effective 21st century policing.

At 8/11/05 11:44 AM, Anonymous Hotel Tango said...

One is pleased that their existence in the greater scheme of things is appreciated. I was starting to have my suspicions whether the higher echelons of senior management team really appreciated my efforts in attracting diverse clientele to take advantage of our excellent custodial services.

I am most pleased to know that my escapades amongst the needy has been closely monitored by think-tanks. The result denouncing all police officers as intellectually challenged (aka "thick'n'stupid brigade) has immensly improved the quality of my work:

1)It has made my diesel vauxhall fly faster through the traffic jams.
2)It has reduced the amount of time spend in paperwork. After having attended a domestic incident, I am no longer expected to replicate the same piece of information into 124D, CRIS, Crimint, Merlin & EAB.
3)CPS now prosecutes 90% of the cases instead of 20%.
4)The age old conandrum - ("overtime not authorised" - "But these papers need to be in the court first thing tomorrow morning, gov") no longer exists.
5)Refreshment breaks are honoured by Metcall.
6)There will be no more bodily fluids found on my pristine metvest.


The improvements are too many to mention - I am overjoyed that for once tax payers' money is being used for something worthy ( = keeping researchers out of the DSS queue, giving someone at NSY the well deserved promotion, you know, that sort of thing).

At 8/11/05 11:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your writing skills would put some PhDs I know to shame..

At 8/11/05 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the idea of raising the standards of entrants is a good idea...of course, we still need the old support group meatheads...but as a former CID officer, I have on occassion been embarassed by the standard of evidence giving of some of my uniform colleagues in crown court...remember its not just the drunks and scrotes we have to be able to confront but the solicitors and barristers too..

At 8/11/05 12:15 PM, Blogger Merys said...

careful, the degree classification of Desmond does not necessarily mean that a student has partied hard through their degree - a lot of the students on my masters have desmonds, and worked their arses off. We just did proper degrees like science.

At 8/11/05 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someones got a bee in their bonnet about being academically limited !!

If you're not cut out for're not cut out for it!

If all cops were smart we'd all be in jail ha hahahahah

At 8/11/05 12:42 PM, Anonymous Ex Thames Valley said...

youre not gonna get feck all with a desmond under your belt..

At 8/11/05 5:07 PM, Blogger Merys said...

Really, so if i'm going to get nothing with a desmond, can people with 2:2s go on to study medicine, dentistry, become solicitors, do PhDs, Masters degrees and go on to become high level researchers???

At 8/11/05 5:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh dear Brian ........ some people are getting very defensive about their degrees - perhaps you ought to have differentiated between American Studies/Zoology and degrees which are more industry/workplace orientated ? - FedRep

At 8/11/05 7:42 PM, Blogger Merys said...

ok mon amie, if you want to know why I got a desmond, read my blog. I actually have a biological and medical sciences degree, meaning a 'proper' degree in an underrepresented subject. I'm not defensive about the 2:2 classification in general, just the circumstances in which mine occurred. Get in touch if you have queries, my email address is on my blog. Merys.
PS, sorry for ranting on your blog brian!

At 8/11/05 7:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that the thread here is that there are plans afoot for degree owners will be streamed into management positions... WE AREN'T AT WAITROSE, WE ARE THE POLICE FORCE!!

At 8/11/05 9:05 PM, Anonymous Jurgen Befehslshaber said...

I think there definately merit in raising the selection criteria.... the spelling of some management e-mails is atrocious, and as for the statement taking well ..... we've all seen the results of an education system that has been meddled with continuously for the last 20+ years. but scarcely improved.

At 9/11/05 12:58 AM, Anonymous Speravi said...

No, Merys, with a 2:2 you can't do a PhD, and you certainly can't become a high-level researcher (you've proved with your 2:2 that you're not very good at low-level research!).

At 9/11/05 8:07 AM, Blogger The Nivs said...

It's all well and good attracting Phd's, Bsc's etc into the Service, it's not the degree but rather the capacity to learn and learn quickly that's at stake here. Once a fresh Cop is taken out of the box, there's no time to stand or walk, it 'run' as soon as your feet hit the bricks. That's the demands of today's policing.
No degree will ever satisfy the basic and most fundamental personal skills which are:-
1 Great sense of humour
2 Common sense in abundance
3 Fine tuned sense of justice

If you don't have these along with your 2.1 in 'whatever'. forget joining the Police

At 9/11/05 8:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While Sarky Brian, as I affectionately call him, is a veritable genius I feel that some his colleaugues are somewhat lacking:

Oh dear.

At 9/11/05 11:40 AM, Anonymous disgruntled said...

reminds me of the old Eastern European joke about why policemen go round in threes - one who can read, one who can write, and one to keep an eye on the dangerous intellectuals...

At 9/11/05 2:05 PM, Blogger Merys said...

Speravi, you can do a PhD with a 2:2. I can do a PhD after I've completed the masters. I've had offers already hon.

At 9/11/05 5:24 PM, Anonymous Speravi said...

Merys, you're doing a PhD with your Masters (as evidence of your ability, rather than your 2:2).

At 9/11/05 6:00 PM, Blogger Merys said...

tell you what speravi, send me an email, and i will explain it nicely to you

At 9/11/05 6:49 PM, Blogger World Weary Detective said...

A number of police officers are clearly schooled in the university of life. A minority are indeed thick. When this stupidity is combined with the power trip of the truly ignorant in uniform, a dangerous brew is mixed. Thankfully the government has decided that as of 1st Jan every offence will be arrestable, and that those delighful PCSOs will have more powers - didn't see that one coming! My uniform police colleagues - your days are numbered. Join the department before it is too late! (No thickos)

At 13/11/05 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, i'm missing something this meant to be about potentially pants police management? Sureley the other thoroughly interesting banter would be better off in another blog about
world weary detective.....I always thought that CID was a nice indoors job for those who can't cut it at the front line any more!!

At 13/11/05 10:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry above is just meant as banter! There's enough buggers who want o put the metephorical boot into us as an institution. In my gang, the suits have qualified for the SPP next year.....traffic have not been so lucky!

At 13/11/05 11:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 8/11/05 12:04 PM, Anonymous said... "we still need the old support group meatheads...but as a former CID officer, I have on occassion been embarassed by the standard of evidence giving of some of my uniform colleagues in crown court"...

No need for that sort of comment.... IMHO those who can, wear the uniform with pride.... those that can't go to CID...

At 15/11/05 12:50 PM, Anonymous Another Constable said...

One of my colleagues was most incensed recently when a particularly obnoxious woman we were dealing with shouted to him "if you had been to school and got a decent education you'd be able to get a proper job!"

This was from a woman that spends all day at home watching daytime TV, letting her kids stay at home because they don't like school, and not realising that our education and ability to work help pay for her benefits!

She'd called us all the names under the sun, and it was like water off a ducks back until she decided to have a go at our intelligence :-)

At 17/11/05 6:09 PM, Blogger World Weary Detective said...

Uniform / CID banter just confirms what a great number of the public suspect. Simple things please simple minds....


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