Thursday, 17 July 2014

ACPO Mk1 - R.I.P.

"The best leaders inspire by example. When that is not an option, brute intimidation works pretty well too"
So, it has finally come to pass, that ACPO will be no more...
Readers of these pages will know that we have not been the greatest fans of the ACPO boys club.
The Police Oracle this morning reports:-
The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) will be scrapped and replaced with a new co-ordinating body following a ballot of senior officers.

In a statement following a three-week ballot of its membership, the Association said chief officers voted overwhelmingly in favour of the change following a review by General Sir Nick Parker.

The new body will be hosted in – but remain independent of – a lead police force.

An ACPO statement confirmed that just under 65 per cent of chief officers voted in the ballot. An implementation group is now addressing key issues such as developing an operating model, the process for electing a leader, future funding and a new name.

Progress over the change will be discussed at Chief Constables’ Council on July 17-18 and the Association will continue to provide national leadership until the new body is formed.

The statement added: “The coordinating body will help police cut crime and keep the public safe, by joining up the operational response to the most serious and strategic threats.

“Focusing on operational delivery and developing national approaches on issues such as finance, technology and human resources, it will work closely with the College of Policing, which is responsible for developing professional standards.”

The statement added that ACPO’s “core role” of co-ordinating operational policing and agreeing national approaches would be transferred into the new organisation.

The functions of the body will include co-ordination of national operations, delivery of counter terrorist policing and mobilising a national police response across borders.

It will also ensure operational delivery of standards and policy, working with the College of Policing on developing joint national approaches on areas such as criminal justice and human resources.

ACPO President Sir Hugh Orde said: “This is a very positive step and is to be welcomed.

“The Police Service needs its leaders to have a strong coordinating body to help ensure forces work together in the most efficient way possible to keep safe the citizens we serve.

“The change from our current arrangements to those which have been voted in by police leaders will ensure that the expertise of our chief officers is couched in a body which provides not only the best service for our forces but the best service and value for the public.”


The demise of ACPO will not be enough to start the restoration of confidence in the leadership as a group. There must be a definite change in culture if any successor organisation is not to be tainted with the same flaws.

As we approach the end of the ACPO MkI era we should remind ourselves of the challenges that will face ACPO MkII.

ACPO is a self-serving Lobby Group
Many of Labour’s policing laws that remain a legacy were effectively written by ACPO and designed to serve the interests of ACPO’s elite against the interests of the taxpayer. The Criminal Justice and Police Act (2001) is a prime example: under this legislation, ACPO staff—and remember ACPO is a private company—became entitled to expensive gold-plated civil service pension.

Their lobbying also extended to powergrabs: the Police and Justice Act (2006) mandates ACPO Ltd must be consulted prior to changes in certain police powers. The codes regarding PACE may only be modified with ACPO consultation.
ACPO has millions in cash at the bank and has an income of approximately £10 million per year. It has various commercial activities: it accredits burglar alarms, sells (and promotes) its own accreditation service for the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme and makes a profit each year in excess of £300,000 by holding an annual conference.

ACPO also has a sizeable property empire but refuses to say how large it is. It is known that a small subdivision of ACPO—the Terrorism & Allied Matters Committee—spent £1.3 million on luxury apartments for its members.
ACPO is highly political

Police officers are forbidden by law from joining a political party and diligently avoid accusations of political bias. The same cannot be said of Chief Police Officers and ACPO.
In an interview on Radio 4′s Today, the President of ACPO, Sir Hugh Orde, threatened to resign if Conservative Plans for elected Chief Constables became law.

In 2007, then-President of ACPO Ken Jones spoke out in support of the Government plans–opposed by the Conservatives–to increase precharge detention beyond 28 days.
This lead to the Conservatives writing in a private election note of ACPO giving “political cover to the Labour Government repeatedly and consistently” and engaging in “gratuitous photocalls” with Gordon Brown and other ministers. It goes on to say it “shows almost no criticism of the current Government”.
ACPO is a Secretive Private Company
ACPO president Sir Hugh Orde has acknowledged that its role as a private company was “uncomfortable” and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, the police watchdog, has said its ‘status as a private limited company ‘cannot continue’.

Despite receiving much public funding, responsible for senior appointments in quangos and helping the state draft legislation, ACPO is immune to Freedom of Information laws and is not bound by the usual rules of the civil service, despite receiving many of its perks.
ACPO using the Home Office and the media to deflect attention away from their own nefarious conduct, submitted a secret document to the Home Secretary suggesting, among forty-nine recommendations, that the pay and conditions of the federated ranks be dramatically slashed. 
ACPO that conveniently didn’t tell the Police Federation that they had submitted the document, leaving no opportunity to consult with the rank and file representative body. It was ACPO that met with the Police Federation and the Superintendents’ Association, pleading for unity to resist the Government’s plans for elected commissioners to replace police authorities – after they had submitted their plans. 
ACPO showed arrogant disregard for the welfare and views of the policing frontline, that they are out to protect their own individual interests before anyone else, including the front line officers and the general public they are supposed to serve. 
ACPO have apparently stated that they believed incentive bonuses to show reduced crime and increased detections to be divisive. Intriguing that the now disgraced police recorded crime statistics have not led to any officer handing back the bonuses paid out on the back of fiddled crime figures.(Despite the fact that many senior officers took bonuses without complaint for many years anyway!). If anyone should know the definition of the word 'devisive" it is those ACPO officers who have participated in this scurrilous, deceitful, secretive act of outright betrayal.
As a group, ACPO have shown that they cannot be trusted to stand alone as the authoritive voice of British policing. Any organisation that fails to listen to the views of its root and branch staff, those who experience the real problems and use their initiative to overcome them, is destined to lose the confidence of their 'customer', in this case the British public. 
Senior Officers and the rank and file must be reconciled as one service. It must not be acceptable that the Federation hear about important decisions from leaked documents or other sources. They must be a visible part of the process, not merely an afterthought. 
This will take a monumental shift of culture from the Chief Officers, to accept that this is an essential element in achieving reforms that will last. If they fail to do this, this Government and the next will spend its administration umpiring the contrary view of ACPO and the frontline.
ACPO as an organization has been on the ropes for too long, both financially and in terms of its integrity as a so called professional body. The rank and file have lost all confidence in them. The public and media mistrust them. Accusations of scurrilous disloyal conduct have been too many and too visible to ignore. The Coalition merely tolerated them. The Conservative Shadow cabinet under David Camerons direction accused ACPO of giving “political cover to the Labour Government repeatedly and consistently” and engaging in “gratuitous photocalls” with Gordon Brown and other ministers. It went on to say it “showed almost no criticism of the current Government”. 
If ACPO had been allowed to continue, despite their weak protestations to the contrary, the "Us and Them" culture would pervade and decimate the service. Many times this has been evidenced in the private sector, where powerful Governing bodies have been able to "divide and conquer" opposing views from organisations. The police service is no different. Whilst ACPO played the political game, (yet all the time insisting they want to rid the service of politicisation), every Government used the division between the ranks as a lever to extract what THEY want from the situation. Only when the division no longer exists and the service is once again united, will it regain its strength and bargaining power. 

It is totally right that the combined experience of police leadership should be utilised to add value and optimise the service provided to the public and the rank and file. However, any ACPO MkII must look to proactively avoid the horrendous historical mistakes of the past.
Will they resist the temptation to make those mistakes again? We won't hold our breath.

Some of our most popular ACPO articles:

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Bob Jones, Police and crime commissioner for the West Midlands dies

Tributes pour in for elected official for West Midlands Police, who passed away in his sleep.

Courtesy of

The police and crime commissioner (PCC) for West Midlands Police died in his sleep last night (June 30), it has been confirmed.

PCC Bob Jones (59 and pictured) passed away at his home in Wolverhampton, his office said in a statement.

Deputy PCC Yvonne Mosquito said: "This is a huge loss to the West Midlands and to policing. Bob was a dear friend and a deeply committed public servant. All our thoughts are with Bob's wife Sarah and his family at this sad time."

West Midlands Police Chief Constable Chris Sims added: "Bob was a brilliant police and crime commissioner who brought great knowledge and empathy to the role.

"It was a pleasure to work with Bob over so many years. His public life was dedicated to always trying to get the best out of the Police Service which he did with vigour."

Under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act, the legislation underpinning police and crime commissioners, a by-election for the post should be held in the next 35 days.

Mr Jones, who was elected as PCC in November 2012, started his distinguished career in public service as a Labour councillor for Blakenhall in Wolverhampton in 1980 after completing a degree in public administration.

He became a member of the force's police authority in 1986 through to its demise ahead of the PCC elections in 2012. He was chairman of the authority from 1995-2000 and was chairman of the Association of Police Authorities from 2005-2009.

He was also a member of several law enforcement organisations including the National Policing Board and the National Criminal Justice Squad. He was also chairman of the Employer Side of the Police Staff Council.

He was made CBE in 2010 for services to policing.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said: "Bob was a very kind and intelligent man who cared deeply about the communities he represented. He served with great distinction as police and crime commissioner for the West Midlands, and before that leading West Midlands Police Authority, always championing neighbourhood policing and victims' rights. I have benefited from his advice and wisdom over the years and he was rightly awarded a CBE.

"He will be badly missed in the Labour Party and in the West Midlands as a caring public servant and a friend."

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Whistleblowing In The Police - James Patrick speaks to former Met officer James Patrick about what he feels needs to be done to promote transparency.

Former Metropolitan Police officer James Patrick has suggested that more needs to be done to beef up whistleblowing protocols in forces – and that the current state-of-play is unacceptable.

In an exclusive video interview with this website, the whistleblower highlighted what he believes are the deficiencies in the system and explains why he believes action is needed quickly.

The ex-officer – who has now resigned – made headlines with claims his force abused crime recording rules to manipulate the figures, having already blogged his concerns over the path of police reform.

In this interview with Police Oracle Editor Cliff Caswell, Mr Patrick also voices his concerns at the ongoing target cultures in forces – and why he believes they are unhelpful going forward.

"All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke (British Statesman and Philosopher 1729-1797)

Monday, 16 June 2014



Dishonest officers could be jailed for 14 years under new proposals unveiled by the Home Office.
Details surrounding the new offence of police corruption, which are being introduced following the Ellison Review into the Stephen Lawrence murder investigation, have been revealed.

If passed through Parliament successfully, the new law will cover cases in which a police officer acts improperly to try to obtain an advantage for themselves or someone else – or if they cause detriment to someone else.

It could also be used when an officer “fails to act” for a corrupt purpose. An example of this is if they know a suspect did not commit a particular crime but hide that knowledge because they have a relationship with the guilty party.

And it will apply when an officer threatens to do something, or not do something, for an improper purpose.

It will carry a maximum sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment.

Policing Minister Damian Green (pictured) said: "The public expect the police to act at all times with honesty and integrity. That is why this government is introducing a range of measures to improve the integrity and transparency of the police.

"Where police officers fall short of the high standards we expect of them, it is right that the full force of the criminal law is available to punish and deter acts of corruption by police officers.

"We believe the best way to do this is to create a new offence of police corruption, solely applicable to police officers, to sit alongside the existing offence of misconduct in public office.

"Corrupt behaviour in the police should be deterred and punished so we can maintain their standing in the eyes of the public and underline the important work done by the overwhelming number of officers across the country."

The law would be used in addition to the existing offence of misconduct in public office and is being brought forward as an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill.

It will apply to all ranks and special constables in England and Wales, British Transport Police officers, Ministry of Defence police, the Civil Nuclear Constabulary and National Crime Agency officers who have the powers and privileges of a constable.


There are two points of view we would consider.

1. The new law will cover cases in which a police officer acts improperly to try to obtain an advantage for themselves or someone else – or if they cause detriment to someone else. Chief Officers who orchestrated, condoned or merely overlooked the disgraceful manipulation of police recorded crime are guilty of this offence, so this would mean prison for a large number of senior UK cops. THEY benefitted from extortionate bonus payments, political and career advancement to the obvious detriment of the taxpayer. Case proven m'lud.

It could also be used when an officer “fails to act” for a corrupt purpose. An example of this is if they know a suspect did not commit a particular crime but hide that knowledge because they have a relationship with the guilty party. Knowing the figures were being fiddled, and it many cases causing them to be fiddled, Chief Officers failed to act by stopping the practice, for a corrupt reason, their own financial and career gain.

2. Lets make this an offence for all in Public office not just the Police. Politicians, judges, lawyers and many more are corrupt and many of those can do more damage to a country than the bobby on the beat. Corruption in a Public Office only seems to be used against the police - We didn't see any of the 'honourable' MPs charged with that offence when they took our money - even a previous Home Secretary was involved and that person is a 'Right Honourable'!

The public also expect politicians to act with honesty and integrity and we know full well that there is more corruption in political circles than in any other theatre of work. Yet what sentences have we seen for the corrupt (perjury) thieving(expenses) politicians. At worst a few months in jail then out with a tag because they are suffering from ill health !!!! We need a complete overhaul in Westminster first, to root out the criminals therein. Then start with others !! 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Theresa May Visited by the Ghost of Conservative Past - The Iron lady - Margaret Thatcher

With thanks to the "Retired and Angry" blog for this one. Reposted from
Scene. The Home Secretary’s Office in an almost parallel universe that is running about one month behind ours.

The holder of one of the UK’s great offices of state is sitting at her desk typing on her computer. There is a knock at the door.

Home Secretary: Enter.

Jeremy, a youthful looking civil servant enters.

Home Secretary: Ah Jeremy. I’m working on my speech to the Police Federation tomorrow. I’ve just drafted the nice bits.

Jeremy: Nice bits???

Home Secretary: Yes, you know. Naming dead officers, talking about bravery.

Jeremy: Oh good Home Secretary. You are going to offer an olive branch. The boys and girls have been through a rough time lately….. (Voice tails off as he receives an icy stare from the Home Secretary)

Home Secretary: No Jeremy. After that I want to kick them in the balls, grab a few headlines, teach those plods who’s boss.

Jeremy: But police morale Home Secretary. It’s on the floor already.

Home Secretary: Jeremy, I want a list of every plod transgression that’s hit the headlines over the last few months from Hillsborough to Plebgate and throw in smearing the Lawrence family and oh yes, stop and search is always a good stick to beat them with.

Jeremy: But Home Secretary

Home Secretary: No arguments Jeremy. Ah rigged police crime figures. Add those to the list.

Jeremy: Excuse me Home Secretary, you’ve already included the fact that crime is down in your speech and that’s surely based on those rigged crime figures.

Home Secretary: Jeremy, Jeremy. I’ll just keep them a few paragraphs apart. The British public will never notice and every newspaper has got it in for the old bill so they won’t bother printing anything.

Jeremy: But….

Home Secretary: No buts Jeremy. Tell me what’s the name of that latest lot we’ve just got up and running, you know that organisation that’s even more secretive than MI5.

Jeremy: Oh yes Home Secretary. The National Crime Agency who were set up to be more effective that the Serious Organised Crime Agency who were set up to be more effective than the National Criminal Intelligence Service.

Home Secretary: I want them to obtain the full identities of all those behind those troublesome police blogs. If they’re serving officers get them sacked and if they’re retired, shut them down and get their pensions stopped. There’s no point in emasculating the federation if that lot continue their sedition.

Jeremy: (puzzled) Sedition? Forgive me Home Secretary, haven’t we got other problems. You must have seen that report I left on your desk which shows cocaine and heroin seizures at ports are down by 76%. Customs officers are complaining that they are kept on passport controls stamping passports.

Home Secretary: Now now Jeremy, there’s no such thing as customs officers. They are all now one effective, efficient and flexible UK Border Force in nice uniforms that make them look more like police officers than police officers. And I have the perfect statement ready if this gets out.

Jeremy: Yes Home Secretary.
Home Secretary: We simply say that seizures are down because our border controls have become so effective that the drugs networks have given up. Oh Jeremy, can you get me another bottle of water. I don’t want to drink any of that stuff which comes out of the taps that’s contaminated with cocaine.
Jeremy leaves returning with a bottle of Evian.

Home Secretary: Anyway Jeremy, you know the maxim of government. If your department is in trouble create a separate firestorm that attracts everyone’s attention and diverts them from other er….little difficulties. So an attack on the Police Federation followed up perhaps by a spat with a Cabinet rival …..

Jeremy: Isn’t that what General Galtieri did with the Falklands; (mutters) that worked well.

Home Secretary: Pardon Jeremy.

Jeremy: That must have been hell Home Secretary, the war that is.

Home Secretary: Quite so. But such strong leadership from a great leader; the one and only Iron Lady. (Looks wistfully at a photo of Margaret Thatcher that adorns her desk). None of this hug a husky or I’m greener than you rubbish. Strong leadership Jeremy, to stop this UKIP nonsense.

Jeremy: But Home Secretary, Mrs Thatcher loved the police. She used to make the DPG officers tea and invite them in for a chat. She got very upset whenever a police officer died in the line of duty.

Home Secretary: Even great leaders have faults Jeremy. She thought the miners were the enemy but little did she know it was the police.
The Home Secretary goes back to her computer while Jeremy shakes his head sadly and leaves.
After spending five minutes typing, she leans back in her chair and rehearses some of her speech;

Home Secretary:(loudly) That’s why, if there is anybody in this hall who doubts that our model of policing is at risk, if there is anybody who underestimates the damage recent events and revelations have done to the relationship between the public and the police, if anybody here questions the need for the police to change, I am here to tell you that it’s time to face up to reality. (pauses, yawns, leans back in her chair, shuts her eyes and dozes off).

Home Secretary; Snores, snorts and opens her eyes staring at the blank wall opposite her which is becoming shrouded in mist.
Emerging through the wall into the mist is a translucent, wispy ghostly image of what appears to be a female. As the figure floats across the room towards the Home Secretary’s desk, the form becomes clearer and the image can be seen sporting a royal blue outfit and hat and carrying a large handbag.

Home Secretary:(gasps) Margaret. Margaret Thatcher. How wonderful.

Mrs T: (sharply) Prime Minister to you. I’ve always said just like the US Presidents we former Prime Ministers should retain our titles.

Home Secretary: Yes Prime Minister.
Another shadowy figure smartly dressed in a three piece pinstripe suit emerges from the mist and stands just behind Mrs Thatcher. It becomes clear that he is distinguished educated man.

Home Secretary: Who’s this Marg….er Prime Minister?

Mrs T; This is Lord Edmund-Davies who, back in 1978, under a Labour yes Labour government reviewed police pay and conditions which we all, yes all, Labour and Conservative, accepted. You have just trashed that beyond all recognition. (Turns to the distinguished figure)

Mrs T: Thank you Herbert. You can go back to writing the History of Wales now and I look forward to reading it.

Edmund-Davies; My pleasure Prime Minister. (Turns away and then turns back) Just try and talk some sense into this Muppet.
Distinguished figure turns and vanishes into the mist.

Mrs T: So Home Secretary, you’ve managed to turn an entire police force against my Conservative party and in four years have completely destroyed their morale.

Home Secretary: Well, the corruption, the deaths in police custody, the racism, the mistakes.

Mrs T: (icily). Do you know how many 999 calls police deal with a year.

Home Secretary: No Prime Minister.

Mrs T: More than four million and of those one million are real, nasty emergencies.

Home Secretary: I didn’t realise.

Mrs T: So isn’t it inevitable Home Secretary that amongst those one million calls there are going be a few cock ups, excuse the phrase, and very occasionally will not be dealt with well by those few poor performing police officers or even by good officers rushing from call to call who make mistakes because of the pressure they’re under. .

Home Secretary: Well yes.

Mrs T; And do you accept that most of those one million calls are dealt with capably and professionally.

Home Secretary: Yes Prime Minister but I’m only trying to improve….

Mrs T: If you were, you’d be offering a lot more carrot and much less stick. There are those who are saying you are trying to emulate me.
(Leans across table and puts her face menacingly within inches of the Home Secretary’s now pale features).

Mrs T; Love me or hate me, and I can see why people may hate me, there will only ever be one me. Do you understand?

Home Secretary: Yes Prime Minister.

Mrs T: Look at this (stands away from the desk and points to the blank wall as a picture slowly emerges). This is London four years from now.
Picture forms of Parliament Square. A riot is in progress. Police are being pelted with missiles and petrol bombs as they struggle to keep the rioters out of the square. The picture changes to the House of Commons which shows Parliament is in session. The scene reverts back to outside and police lines are broken. Police retreat to the railings outside Parliament as rioters swarm into the square.

Mrs T: Just look at what happens now.
Police lines now have their backs against the railings and they desperately use their shields to fend off a hail of missiles. Groups of rioters armed with staves repeatedly rush the police line, deliver a series of blows and retreat. Numerous officers are going down injured are being helped towards Westminster Bridge where lines of police carriers and ambulances are waiting. The scene switches to the House of Commons chamber where the Home Secretary can be seen talking to the house. It is not clear what post she holds but she is on the front bench.

Home Secretary: What am I? Have I made it?

Mrs T: Watch carefully.
The scene is back outside and the shot closes in on two police officers crouching behind their shields. Their conversation can just about be heard.

PC 1: I’m beginning to think I’d rather be doing something else Reginald. We are even less popular than Millwall supporters as far as that lot(points behind him to Parliament with non shield holding hand) are concerned.

PC 2: I couldn’t agree more Rodney. I was quite happy as manager of the Gravesend Branch of Tesco’s but they told me I’d be a Chief Superintendent in two years if I transferred.

PC 1: If we were defending something worth defending then I wouldn’t (pauses as concrete slab hits his shield) mind but defending this corrupt shower who all hate us (voice tails off).

PC 1: Reginald, there’s looting in Brixton and the EDL are marching in that direction. If we stay here we’ll have to baton charge and then we’ll all be accused by that lot in there of police brutality.

PC 2: Rodney, lets bugger off and look after Brixton. Pass the word along.
Camera pans out and the message can be seen being passed from officer to officer to both the right and left of the police lines. Officers begin moving slowly behind their shields to their right towards Westminster Bridge. A couple of Chief Superintendents make a half hearted attempt to stop them. The scene again focuses on the two police officers.

PC 1. Hey up. Listen to that. (PC2 leans towards his Radio)

Police Radio; (in a voice displaying a distinct lack of enthusiasm) All units from GT. Remain where you are. Repeat all units outside Parliament remain where you are.

PC1; That’s old Jason who use to work with us. He’s as pissed off as we all are.
Scene pans out to show police still moving towards Westminster Bridge then zooms in on the two officers.

PC1; (ear inclined to radio) Wait for it, wait for it.

Police Radio: All units from Gold Commander. All units from Gold Commander. You are to remain exactly where you are. Repeat you are to remain exactly where you are. This is a direct order. You vill oops sorry, will obey this order,

PC2: Who’s that?

PC1: That’s Flashman, the Commissioner’s hatchet man. You know, the Assistant Commissioner who goes around shouting, swearing and sacking Borough Chief Superintendents who don’t bring their crime figures down.

PC2: Which is why everyone lower down the ladder is still fiddling them. Am I not correct Rodney?

PC1: You are Reginald. At least this’ll put paid to his chances of a knighthood.
As the officers withdraw, the missiles stop and the mob begins cheering. Hundreds of police congregate on Westminster Bridge and form up behind their carriers. The carriers reverse and slowly cross Westminster Bridge protecting the officers retreating behind them.

Home Secretary: My God. They’re deserting us. They can’t. We’re their leaders.

Mrs T: They obviously have a greater regard for the people of London than for politicians who have rubbished them for years. The worm has turned after you shot their morale to pieces.
Back outside Parliament the rioters are swarming over the fence while others are battering their way through the doors. The view switches to the House of Commons chamber. The Home Secretary is still speaking but stops as shouting can be heard from outside the chamber. Suddenly behind the speaker’s chair masked youths appear pushing their way inside the chamber before pausing as if to take in their surroundings. For a moment everything seems frozen in time as MP’s stare in horror at the mob. Suddenly there is a roar from the rioters who swarm into the chamber. The Home Secretary can be seen screaming and placing her hands across her face as if to shut out the sight of the rioters rushing towards her.
The scene fades.
At her desk the Home Secretary awakes with a start as Jeremy enters.

Jeremy; Home Secretary are you OK? You’ve gone very pale.

Home Secretary; (in a trembling voice) I’m fine Jeremy.

Jeremy; I have that list of transgressions Home Secretary.

Home Secretary: No need for that now Jeremy. Tell me is there a police officer on duty outside today?

Jeremy; I believe there is a DPG officer stationed outside.
Home Secretary walks across to the window, opens it and leans out shouting.

Home Secretary: Officer, officer. Yes you. Would you like to pop up here for a cup of tea?
Jeremy watches as the Home Secretary turns away from the window and returns to her desk now looking a little pink.

Jeremy: Home Secretary?

Home Secretary: He told me to piss off.

Jeremy: Ah
Home Secretary: No matter. Leave me now Jeremy. It’s time to rewrite my speech.

Scene: The Police Federation Conference.
The Home Secretary makes her way on to the stage to a smattering of half hearted applause. She begins:

Home Secretary: I stand before you knowing how easy it would be and indeed what a cheap shot it would be, to denigrate you all by listing all the blips that have been alleged and in many cases just alleged, over the last few months. But I know that is just a very tiny fraction of the truly outstanding work that is carried out by you and your colleagues on a daily basis. I am truly proud that every day you and your colleagues undertake thousands of daunting tasks on behalf of your public and are rarely found wanting.
There is murmur of surprise from the delegates who can be seen looking at each other somewhat bewildered. Older officers remove their hearing aids and tap them vigorously.

Fifteen minutes later:
The speech is drawing to a close and the atmosphere has lightened to the despair of the various TV news producers.

Home Secretary: And I promise you this. I want to sit down with you all, with all the rank and file. I want to listen and I want to learn. I want to hear the truth from the sharp end, from the front line. If anyone attempts to impede me from hearing the truth from you then believe me the consequences will be grave. I will set up mechanisms in consultation with yourselves to ensure the protection of sharp end officers from those who may not wish to hear the truth or who may wish to cover up poor operational decisions or wrongdoing. On this you have my word.

Finally may I, on behalf of the British public pay tribute to you and your colleagues who do such a magnificent job with professionalism, restraint, kindness and compassion. I salute you all.

She steps to the front of the rostrum and begins applauding the delegates. There is a stunned silence and then a roar of approval as the delegates leap to their feet and begin cheering her to the echo.

Scene: The Pearly Gates.
Mrs Thatcher stands just outside looking down at the scenes at the Federation conference. Husband Denis waits just inside the gates a few yards away from St Peter.

Denis: Everything alright old girl?

Mrs Thatcher: (turns around) It seems to be Denis, thank goodness.

Denis: Excellent. Fancy a nice cup of tea.

Mrs Thatcher: (entering the gates with a smile and a nod to St Peter). I think a snifter or two after that Denis don’t you.

Denis: Oh rather.

Mrs Thatcher: Sadly the job may well be a lot harder in the other universe Denis. I’m afraid that woman has already made that speech. Even I might not be able to fix that.

Denis: Damn that bloody woman.

Mrs T: My goodness Denis, I made some awful mistakes but destroying the police is just beyond belief. (pauses for thought) If she doesn’t change, I’ll make sure that she’s got as much chance of passing through these Pearly Gates as the Argies had of holding on to the Falklands.
Slips her arm through Denis’s and the two walk off towards a spectacular sunset.

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