Brian's Brief Encounters

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

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Numbers Game

Ms Blears has had her abacus out.

Using a series of complex calculations she has worked out that although there are record numbers of officers in the country we’re not all on the street during the busy periods. If only she’d asked me, I could have saved her the trouble.

According to her, slightly less than ten percent of officers are on duty when the naughty people are at their worst. I can only assume that this is a national figure as I believe this to be dreadfully inaccurate as far as the Throbbing Metropolis is concerned. It’s more like five percent.

There’s a very good reason for this: The busy time isn’t between nine in the morning and five in the evening. It’s a bit later than that; at a time when most warrant card holders are tucked up in their leafy suburb homes. Having a well deserved rest after toiling all day in front of their computer screens.

Now, for those of us left this isn’t a great problem. As pleased as I normally am with the never-ending production of e-mails and policies dreamed up by my hard working colleagues cruelly confined to an office somewhere; they’re not much use in a pub fight. Although, having said that, at least I know to consider my safety before my health now. I’ve got a bit of a sniffle at the moment but, rest assured, I’ll be pushing this to the back of my mind the next time someone tries to take my head off with a bar stool. Thanks guys.

Ms Blears didn’t offer a solution to this ‘problem’. That’s okay; I’ve been considering the options on her behalf. Not that she asked me to you understand, I’m not even on the working party let alone the focus group or think-tank panel addressing the issue.

Option one would involve the nation’s saviours. They could be deployed in the hot-spots to provide that all important visible presence. Unfortunately, the whole point is that they get seen. With the busy period being when most of the people who wanted to see a ‘police officer’ are indoors watching reality TV; how would they know there’s a visible presence outside? We’d be accused of fibbing. Besides, the hours in question are generally dark; and they’re not allowed out after sunset.

Option two seems the obvious answer. We change the hours of work for the bulk of our workforce. Clearly this would look good on paper and get us a lot of brownie points. I don’t expect we’ll be getting to your disturbance in a private premises call any quicker though. Unfortunately, there are a few downsides to this option:-

1. With the lack of twenty four hour public transport, more private vehicles would need to be used to get to work. This will make the hole in the o-zone layer bigger and would give Prince Charles the right hump. It would cause a massive downturn in the leafy suburban economy too. Having to actually pay to get to work would mean less money to spend on those everyday essentials from Ikea, Blockbuster and the local takeaway. There’d be job losses everywhere.

2. Prime time TV viewing figures would drop sharply. This could result in a loss of advertising revenue and therefore less money to make quality programmes. The whole nation would suffer with having to be fed a stream of cheap reality shows, cut-price US imports and Celebrity specials.

3. Eastern European au-pairs would be exploited and forced to work unsociable hours. Hours they would normally put to good use studying English or looking for potential suitors in an internet chat room.

4. All computer maintenance is carried out during these busy periods. How could our policy makers be expected to work without a spreadsheet for company? They would have to take the drastic step of resorting to the old fashioned pen and paper. I’m sure you can see the tremendous strain this would put on the world’s resources and rain forests. Sting would be penning a protest song with Prince Charles on backing vocals.

5. We would start getting new policies that make no sense at all. Writing anything at four in the morning is not to be recommended; as any street officer would be able to confirm. Standing in the witness box trying to decipher your own handwriting, grammar and random words six months later is always a real hoot. I still have cold shivers about the time I had to explain how the word ‘pedalo’ got into my notes of an arrest in land-locked Small Corner.

As you can see, option two is fraught with danger. There has to be another alternative.

If only to stop Sting from releasing another depressing song.

(… to be continued…)


At 12/1/06 8:24 PM, Blogger Tom Reynolds said...

"Writing anything at four in teh morning is not to be recommended".

Sheer brilliance - and explains why I ended up writing 'Maternataxi' on my form one morning and leaving it like that.

At 12/1/06 9:55 PM, Blogger NotQuiteHere said...

coherency at four in the morning is not to be expected... this is why I make sure I proof read all those valuable reports and session planning sheets I inevitably end up filling in at that time of day. (after my two hours sleep though they somehow still make sence - three weeks later however I struggle to work out what I meant). The reason I do them at that time? I've generally forgotten about them and they're due in at 9 the following day.

At 13/1/06 2:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a few years ago strathclyde turned everyone out of their offices and on to the streets for some weekend late shifts.i bet the sickness rate went up from the mattress backs..

At 13/1/06 2:05 PM, Anonymous Ros H said...

Or Sting releasing another song period.

At 16/1/06 6:50 PM, Blogger Dantares said...

Just out of sheer interest - what do you feel about ID cards? As a police officer, what use can you see for them?

At 16/1/06 7:44 PM, Blogger John said...


In answer to your question, I can see them coming in handy for scraping ice off windscreens or getting mud off your shoes. As a crime prevention measure, they rank right up there with PCSOs and chocolate teapots!


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