Sunday, 30 September 2012


Two years forward from our research and article about what the Police actually do, it seems very little has been accomplished in returning frontline officers to what they would rather be doing, preventing and detecting crime. See our previous post and the PDF document "Where are all the police officers" in the link in the sidebar.

Bobbies on the beat

Sep 28th 2012, 15:14 by M.S.
WHAT do the police actually do? There’s an assumption by most sentient (ie, TV-watching) beings that they should be either out catching murderers or collaring hoodies who heave stones through old ladies’ windows. The police themselves will tell you they still waste far too much time ticking boxes and filling in forms.
new study by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC)--whose respected head, Sir Denis O’Connor, retires on Sunday--suggests that frontline police do, in fact, spend about 80% of their time on activities related to crime, however tangentially. But they should focus more on preventing crime, it concludes, not just huffing up to the scene afterwards. That this should need saying, nearly 200 years after Robert Peel pronounced crime prevention the central task of policing, is a story in itself.
The first problem, the HMIC maintains, after sifting through 4.6m substantive incidents recorded by six forces and observing 36 shifts, is that the police don’t actually know what they are supposed to be focusing on. All six forces had different mission statements and only one referred explicitly to preventing crime. In part because the policing mission is ill defined and in part because other agencies may be slow or reluctant to respond, police resources go on looking after the elderly, the ill and the abandoned when an ambulance fails to turn up or social services proves to have closed at 5pm.
Another problem is that the training of most officers dwells more on using police powers legally than on using them to fight crime effectively (CID training is an exception). In initial training just one module out of 190 is on evidence-based approaches to crime prevention, and it is not reinforced later in practice.   
A third, the HMIC says, is that the police on the street often don’t get good information about the incidents they have to deal with, so they either deal with them poorly or take too much time doing it properly. This is partly a matter of patchy and poor kit, partly a matter of mindset--what information they do receive tends to be reactive rather than predictive. Both gaps were stunningly in evidence during the riots in August 2011.
There are certainly flickers of inventiveness. A basic command unit in one of the forces studied has pioneered a technique of “predictive mapping” on burglaries to deploy staff to high-risk areas at specific times, and along with other measures this has brought about a significant fall in that type of crime. In the run-up to the Olympic games, another force pulled together intelligence gleaned by monitoring sentiment and mood across social media and made it available to officers to deter criminal gangs and homegrown extremists. But such examples stand out. More typically the reliance on experience over knowledge encourages a “craft-based professionalism” that helps forces get by but doesn’t help them get ahead of demand.
All this matters because the police, like everyone else, are being required to improve or at least maintain their levels of service with less money, and no one doubts that more budget cuts are coming. Some of the lower-hanging fiscal fruit has been plucked; forces have started sharing facilities, outsourcing activities and laying off staff. But their most important assets are sworn police officers, and how effective they are, individually and out of the station, will be crucial in achieving more with less. With so much reform in the air—an overhaul of police pay and condtions, elected police and crime commissioners, a new College of Policing, and innovation forced on forces by fiscal necessity­—the HMIC is surely right to urge a renewed focus on defining, training and equipping frontline police officers to act effectively in the field as independent professionals.
Incidentally, the HMIC figures show that 17% of recorded incidents to do with public safety and welfare (which make up 40% of all incidents) were hoax calls or abandoned calls to emergency services. That sounds like an awful lot. Expensive, too.

Sunday, 24 June 2012


Much has been written about the thorny subject of Locally Elected Crime Commissioners, the elections for which are due to be held on 15th November 2012. We will not enter into the rights and wrongs of the idealogy, rather we will watch with interest and say only: "Res Ipsa Loquitor" - Let the facts speak for themselves.

The point of police and crime commissioners, we are told, is to increase the democratic accountability of the 41 police forces in England and Wales outside London.

Ministers felt police authorities were not sufficiently responsive to the demands of an anxious citizenry. Chief constables needed someone with electoral clout to connect them to the people, to keep them honest.
Elections will be held in November and the first potential candidates are emerging. The concern, however, is that this American-inspired model of police accountability may not translate easily into English or Welsh.
The principles enshrined by the father of our modern police force, Sir Robert Peel, are to be found in the General Instructions given to the first Metropolitan Police officers in 1829.

Number five of nine states that it is the duty of officers "to seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion; but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing".

British tradition has it that, to retain its legitimacy, the police service cannot allow itself to be politicised. Accountable, yes. Political, never.

How then, can the Government claim that the service will not become politicised, when the vast majority of candidates so far putting themselves forward for the respective roles, are from one of the political parties?
Look at the list for yourself, then see the table below to see which party looks set to take control of policing in your area.

Con Lab Lib Indep English Democrats UKIP Other
Avon and Somerset 2 2 3
Bedfordshire 5 3
Cambridgeshire 5 2 2 1 1
Cheshire 2 1
Cleveland 5 3
Derbyshire 2 4 2
Devon and Cornwall 7 2 1
Dorset 2 1 1 2
Durham 2 3 2 1
Essex 4 2 1 1
Gloucestershire 5 1 2
Greater Manchester 1 4 1 1 1
Gwent 3 3
Hampshire 7 2
Hertfordshire 3 1
Humberside 1 5
Kent 8 2 4
Lancashire 3 4 1
Leicestershire 5 4 2
Lincolnshire 2 2 1 1
Merseyside 4
Norfolk 3 2 1
North Wales 3 1 1
North Yorkshire 7 1 2
Northamptonshire 1 3 2
Northumbria 2 8 1 1
Nottinghamshire 2 4
South Wales 2 1
South Yorkshire 4
Staffordshire 2 2
Suffolk 3 2
Surrey 2 1 1 1
Sussex 7 2 4 1
Thames Valley 3 2 1
Warwickshire 3 3
West Mercia 4 1
West Midlands 2 3 1
West Yorkshire 1 2
Wiltshire 1
105 103 8 41 4 1 6

Whilst there is an equal split of candidates between the two main parties, it is evident that those splits are not as equal in the respective force areas, suggesting the political colour of policing in certain forces looks set to be dominated by political persuasion.

So here's the dilemma. How can you increase the democratic influence upon chief constables without undermining their independence?

The government's answer is to separate the strategic from the operational, with a layer of oversight to make sure it happens that way. Commissioners will formulate the policing plan, leaving chief constables to decide how best to achieve it with a panel of local politicians and lay members to ensure fair play.

But many police leaders remain profoundly uneasy about what will happen in practice. "All chief constables are quite cautious as we go into this period," says Sara Thornton, vice-president of the Association of Chief Police Officers and head of Thames Valley.
"individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing” Sir Robert Peel's 1829 instructions to police
It now appears certain that elections for commissioners next November will include candidates badged to political parties. Former Labour ministers have said they will stand and some Conservatives look set to campaign on a Tory ticket.

Democracy and political tribalism are so intertwined in the UK that hopes the elections could be conducted in a non-partisan, practical, grassroots way have been dashed. Although independents will fight for votes, they fear party machines will crush all but the most well-known local candidates.

This has led to even greater anxiety that the huge constituencies - some well over two and a half million souls - will see their police priorities influenced by the core voters from the political heartlands of a successful party candidate.

The neighbourhoods where people are least likely to vote are the same communities with the greatest risk of crime. If democratic accountability is about reflecting the views of those who vote, independent policing is about protecting the lives of those who do not.

Will the checks and balances of the system ensure their needs are not ignored? And what happens when the commissioner's democratic mandate clashes with the chief constable's independent principle?

And is there a risk commissioners might ignore the needs of those who didn't vote for them? The architect of this new model, Tory peer Lord Wasserman, thinks not.

"If anybody ignores great chunks of their community and allows crime in particular council estates where there are very few voters to rise, I think he will be exposed and he will be hammered," he tells me.

Who by?

"I'm relying on the community activists, I'm relying on the media, but I'm relying on far more than that. I'm relying on the community, and I want the community to feel that it has a role to play, and I think this will happen."

That, perhaps, is the real question posed by the introduction of police and crime commissioners. Is our local democracy good enough to keep them honest?

Two points spring to mind in conclusion. 

1. Whatever the Government say, politicization of the service looks inevitable. An already fragmented service will face the future difficulty of one force adhering to the political preferences of the elected commissioner, whereas its neighboring force may be playing by completely different principles. Regardless of the alleged honorable intentions of the Home Office with its printed objectives for the project, the temptation to influence decision making along political agendas will become irresistible. 
2. Locally Elected Crime Commissioners are appointed to follow the Home Secretary's focus on the reduction of crime which carries with it the implicit increase in detection's. For a number of years now, we have tried to educate readers about the "Crime Of The Century" (see previous posts). Crime statistics have been fiddled mercilessly and disgracefully for many years by successive Chief Officers and their management teams. Whether for political, career or financial gain, the fact remains that the public have been conned into believing that crime is reducing and detection's are increasing at a greater rate than is actually experienced. Indeed, it has even been suggested that the fallacious and dramatic drop in crime was largely responsible for policing NOT to be ring fenced in the comprehensive spending review. We have all witnessed events since then, with swingeing cuts to essential front-line services. With the books of crime being so corruptly "cooked",  we would maintain that actual crime figures and genuinely low primary detection rates that sit behind the fiddled set, would have forced any Government to take heed of protecting not decimating the service. 

Rephrasing the question above, Is our local democracy good enough to MAKE them honest?

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

‘Fiddling the figures’, ‘Cooking the books’ or ‘Good housekeeping'?

Readers might enjoy this submission by Dr Rodger Patrick to the Justice Committee.

Dr Patrick is recognised as expert in the field of exposing "Gaming" or the manipulation of crime figures by police forces to reflect improved performance.

It is also worth having a look at the West Midlands Police submission on behalf of ACPO later in the link above.

Ironic that Dr Patrick used the FOI to expose the failings of the IPCC by accessing internal reports from the West Mids Police and the Chief Constable now suggests that submissions raking over investigations conducted by the IPCC should be barred.

Written evidence from Dr. Rodger Patrick

Executive Summary:

The provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 were utilised to access the evidence to
substantiate the Doctoral Study, and subsequent academic articles, on the impact of Performance Management on the Police Service in England and Wales. Reflections on the experience of using the legislation as an academic device are outlined in the submission, as are examples of the type of information disclosed. It was established that the Act was a powerful means of accessing information with the potential to facilitate greater accountability. However, on its own it cannot ensure reform and further legislation may be necessary to realise its overarching objectives.

1. Rationale for utilising the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) as a research tool:

1.1 Participant observations as a Chief Inspector in the West Midlands Police had identified ‘gaming’ behaviour as an unintended consequence of Performance Management introduced as a means of improving Police governance and accountability. However earlier disclosures of similar perverse behaviours by practitioners (Young 1991) had been unable to establish an empirical pattern and was weakened by a lack of corroboration. The Police Federation had also responded to their members’ concerns by highlighting ‘gaming’ behaviours at their national conference in 2007 but were accused by the then Policing Minister Tony McNulty of ‘over‐egging the cake’.

The introduction of the Freedom of Information Act provided a means of accessing unpublished documents and detailed official statistics, thus addressing these methodological limitations.

1.2 Observations had identified four distinct categories of perverse behaviours designed to improve performance by unethical means, or give the false impression performance had improved. Such behaviours are referred to colloquially as ‘fiddling the figures’, ‘cooking the books’ or ‘good housekeeping’. In the academic literature they are referred to as ‘gaming’ behaviour and there is a body of theory on the subject (De Bruijn 2001 2007, Le Grand 2003 and Bevan & Hood 2006)

1.3 The four categories of ‘gaming’ behaviours identified are defined as follows:

• Cuffing: The under‐recording of reported crimes, the term being derived from the magician’s
art of making objects disappear up the sleeve or cuff (Young 1991).

• Nodding: This involves collusion between officers and suspects to admit to large numbers of
offences, usually whilst in prison after sentence, in return for favours such as reduced
sentences, access to partners, drugs or alcohol. The term is used to describe the act of a
prisoner pointing out or ‘nodding’ at locations where they claim to have committed
offences. (Wilson et al 2001:63)

• Skewing: This involves moving resources from areas of activity which are not subject to
performance measures in order to improve performance in areas that are monitored for
control purposes (Rogerson 1995).

• Stitching: This includes a variety of malpractices designed to enhance the strength of the
evidence against a suspect in order to ensure the desired criminal justice outcome.
Fabricating evidence or stitching someone up are forms of this behaviour.

1.4 All of these ‘gaming’ behaviours were operating in the West Midlands Police during the period 1996 to 1999 and had a major impact on the force’s performance (Patrick 2004, 2009 2011 2012a 2012b). In combination they can be regarded as a ‘perverse policing model’. The statistical profile of the force during this period provided a template for identifying similar practices in other forces.

1.5 Various ‘events’, some in response to the behaviours being uncovered by regulators or specific incidents which had the potential to become scandals, had resulted in the force conducting reviews of the concerning behaviours. The resulting documentation, much of which was completed prior to the introduction of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI), was never intended for public consumption. However when presented with a FOI request, the force released the documents. Many of these reports quantified the scale of the behaviours and by supplementing this information with analysis of national performance data it was possible to calculate the extent to which ‘gaming’ behaviour distorted results.

2. Use of the FOI Act to conduct an academic survey:

2.1 The introduction of a False Reporting Policy in the West Midlands Police in 2004 corresponded with a marked reduction in reported crime. It was argued that this represented a return to an evidential crime recording standard and the associated ‘cuffing’ (Patrick 2011). This demonstrated a flaw in the National Crime Recording Standard introduced in April 2002 with the stated objective of standardising crime recording procedures and eliminating such distortions. In order to establish if other forces had experienced similar reductions, when they introduced such a policy, all forces in England and Wales were sent a questionnaire under the provisions of the Act asking them to supply copies of any false reporting policy.

2.2 They were also asked to provide any analytical assessment of the problem of false reporting
completed under the National Intelligence Model (NIM) and any Impact Assessment completed on the policy under the provisions of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act. It was hoped the National Intelligence Model assessment would quantify the scale of the potential threat from what was believed to be the bogus reporting of crime in pursuit of fraudulent insurance claims.

The Impact Assessments should have been completed as the re‐introduction of greater discretion into the crime recording process could be influenced by officer bias. Again some quantifiable results were being sought.

2.3 A 100% response rate was achieved. The identification of those forces operating ‘false reporting’ policies enabled a statistical analysis to be completed and this supported the hypothesis that the crime recording standard had reverted back to its pre NCRS interpretation. Unpublished data on the number of crimes which had been declassified as crimes i.e. ‘no crimed’, was released by the Home Office and this strengthened the academic argument.

2.4 Only two of the forces to have introduced false reporting policies had conducted NIM
assessments on the threat and neither supported the introduction of the policy. None of the
identified forces had carried out comprehensive impact assessments on the re‐introduction of
discretion into the crime recording procedures although one had identified the potentially
discriminatory consequences of the refusal to issue crime numbers to those reporting passports

2.5 The ‘evidence of absence’ is a valuable facet of the Act and proved valuable when exploring why the Home Office ceased publishing the validation tests they carried out on the police recording rates in the British Crime Survey (BCS). A FOI request established that they ceased asking the relevant questions in the 2006/7 survey despite the fact that the results in 2005/6 indicated ‘under recording’ was increasing (Walker, Kershaw and Nicholas: 2006:52).

3 Accessing Statistics:

3.1 In order to quantify the extent of ‘nodding’, associated with abuse of the Offences Taken into
Consideration (TIC) procedures, it was necessary to analyse the impact of preventative action on the number of offences detected as TICs. The Home Office again released the data in response to a Freedom of Information request and the scale of the abuse could be estimated from the fall in TICs after the incident or scandal which stimulated the remedial action. A consistent and compelling pattern was evident in all the cases examined (Patrick 2012a).

4 Accessing Confidential Documents:

4.1 The information contained within sensitive and confidential documents had a major impact on the direction of the research and the conclusions reached. Whilst participant observation and
knowledge of procedures was a great benefit, the willingness of organisations to comply with the
statutory requirements was commendable. The release of a confidential force inspection report
completed by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC 1998) stimulated interest in the way regulators addressed ‘gaming’ when it was uncovered. It was clear from this document that HMIC were aware as early as 1998 that post sentence admissions, Prison Write Offs, were being converted to TICs and that the practice was prone to abuse.

4.2 A draft report on Nottingham Constabulary, following the Chief Constable’s admission that the force was struggling to cope with a marked rise in gang related murders, revealed that the redeployment of officers from specialist HQ squads to local policing units had not gone well. This
‘skewing’ of resources in favour of more affluent areas had been identified in the West Midlands and it appeared, in both cases, that it could have contributed to the rise in gang related crime or
curtailed these forces’ ability to respond to the emerging threat. The paragraph referring to this was omitted from the published version of the report.

4.3 Confidential documents released by one force facilitated an assessment of the capabilities of the Independent Police Complaints Commission. The documents challenged their findings on an
important investigation triggered by the death of a child (Patrick 2012b).

5. The Appeals Process:

5.1 In order to pursue the hypothesis that regulators may be pressurising forces to introduce
‘gaming’ type behaviours to improve their performance, information was requested from the Police Standards Unit (PSU). Specifically sought were their assessments and recommendations on West Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire police forces. It was known that both forces had experienced ‘gaming’ type problems during the late 1990s/early 2000s and the remedial action no doubt contributed to their low station on the national league tables. Their performance improved markedly after Police Standard Unit intervention and examination of their performance profiles suggested ‘nodding’ and ‘cuffing’ had been resurrected. The request for full disclosure was refused and this led to an appeal to the Information Commissioner.

5.2 Whilst the Information Commissioner found in favour of the appeal, the process took over three years to complete. This is believed to be due to a lack of resources at the Information
Commissioner’s Office and is something the Committee may wish to comment on.

6. The scope of Organisations subject to the provisions of the Act:

6.1 The Act was again to prove invaluable when studying the behaviour of the regulators. In 2006 problems with the impact of ‘gaming’ on the reliability of detection data appeared to be behind the decision to audit a range of detections which did not involve the charging of a suspect. Contrary to long established practice the results were not published by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC). However, despite the fact that HMIC are not subject to the provisions of the Act, they responded to a request from an unknown applicant and published the results on their web site. The exclusion of HMIC from the Act may be something the Committee may wish to review.

6.2 The audit of detections highlighted major quality failings, including insufficiency of evidence, in relation to cautions, penalty notices and informal warnings. Such deficiencies would have
implications for the Criminal Record Bureau and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) who administer the Police National Computer (PNC). The use of the FOI to follow the documentary trail was not an option in relation to ACPO as this organisation is not covered by the Act. Again the Committee may wish to review the organisations covered by the legislation.

7. The Operating Philosophy of the Information Commissioner:

7.1 The evidential ‘blind spot’ in relation to ACPO was partially overcome when they wrote to the Information Commissioner admitting that the audit of detections had uncovered potential breaches of the Data Protection Act. All the documentation in relation to this exchange was released by the Commissioner’s Office. The subject of the correspondence was encapsulated by the following disclosure:

“From my perspective I am most concerned that individuals were not being informed that
they were considered to be the perpetrator of an offence even though this did not involve a
legal process, especially if such information could be used in future Enhanced Disclosure
relating to them. This clearly breaches the requirement of the first data protection principle
that the processing of personal data must be done fairly. I am also worried by the sufficiency
of evidence used. If a police force is going to label an individual as the de facto perpetrator
then they must have a good objective reason for doing so. Not having this could lead to a
record being viewed as inadequate or inaccurate (breaches of the third and fourth principles
respectively).” (Information Commissioner 26.3.2007: Unpublished)

7.2 Whilst ACPO were less than candid about the scale and nature of the ‘insufficiency of evidence’ uncovered by the audit, the decision by the Information Commissioner not to alert the public to the risk they had been exposed to demonstrated a tendency towards a ‘professional body’ approach to regulation, as opposed to a ‘democratic model’ where information is made available to the public in order for them to hold officials to account:

“I would prefer to work with chief officers to ensure compliance. I would like to know more
detail about how this has come about and what action is being taken to ensure future
compliance” (Information Commissioner 26.3.2007: Unpublished)

7.3 The reply from ACPO disclosed the fact that the Home Office and HMIC were also aware of the nature of the problem:

“Please rest assured that the issues that have come to light as a result of the recent Association of Chief Police Officers’ and HMIC audits have been taken extremely seriously by the police service. To this end a series of meetings have taken place in fast time with all relevant parties, including the Home Office, to consider how best to address the concerns that you raised to which we are alive” (ACPO letter to the Information Commissioner 10.4.2007: Unpublished)

8. Conclusion/Discussion

8.1. The provisions of the Freedom of Information Act were an invaluable research tool overcoming a number of methodological limitations faced by previous studies. Whilst the findings could be damaging to the State, thus defeating the desired objective of enhancing public trust, research in this area suggests that such loss of trust can be transient (Van de Walle et al 2008). So in the medium to long term, greater transparency will lead to reform and better governance thus vindicating those who introduced the legislation.

8.2 It should also be borne in mind that the study referred to benefited from an element of surprise and many of the documents relied upon preceded the enactment of the legislation. Anecdotal evidence would suggest such candid documents are being shredded. It could also be surmised that they may not be commissioned at all. If this were to be the case then it could be argued the Act has been counterproductive.

8.3 The Information Commissioner appeared to give voice to this concern in Plymouth City Council Vs BBC (2006) (ICO Ref FS50082254). In this case the BBC had requested full disclosure of the documents submitted to a serious case review into the death of a child by individual agencies. The Information Commissioner judged that the disclosure of the reviews conducted by individual agencies may deter them from being open thus limiting the ability to learn from experience. This rational was challenged by the deliberations following the death of Baby P.

8.4 Whilst the reluctance of Chief Officers to disclose relevant information to regulators or other
forms of official inquiry can be addressed by legislation and conferring greater powers on
investigators, this will be to no avail if the regulators themselves are not committed to making their findings public. The failure of the Financial Services Authority was a damning indictment of this approach. Structurally this flaw may be alleviated by aligning the regulators to Parliament and its Scrutiny Committees may be the most appropriate bodies to oversee their work.

8.5 Another consideration raised by the study was the means by which information uncovered by Freedom of Information requests is disseminated to the general public. Many of the documents disclosed were not made public or easily accessible on the web sites of the originating organisations, including the Information Commissioner’s Office. This is seen as good practice but is not a statutory requirement. The media is one outlet but they have their own agenda and move on quickly to the next breaking story (Howard & Waisbord 2004). Academic articles are one outlet but publication is slow. The official regulators appear to be the most obvious recipient but as can be seen from the evidence presented appropriate action may not follow.

8.6 In relation to the information uncovered by this study the most appropriate outlet would appear to be the Parliamentary Scrutiny Committees. Certainly something needs to be done for those citizens who have police records which are not justified. Witness testimonies and analysis of the Home Office data would suggest the same problems are occurring with offences dealt with as Restorative or Community Resolutions. It may be worth the Scrutiny Committees considering making themselves more accessible to un‐solicited submissions.
January 2012

Bevan & Hood (2006). What’s Measured is What Matters: Targets and Gaming in the English Public Health Care System. Public Administration Vol. 84, No 3, 2006 (517‐538)
De Bruijn, H. (2002). Performance measurement in the public sector. (London Routledge
Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (1998). An Audit Report by Her Majesty’s Inspector of
Constabulary completed on the West Midlands Police in December 1998.Not published: available via Freedom of Information request to the West Midlands Police.
Howard T. & S. R. Waisbord (2004). Political Scandals and Media Across Democracies, Volume II
AMERICAN BEHAVIORAL SCIENTIST, Vol. 47 No. 9, May 2004 1143‐1152
Le Grand J. (2003). Motivation, Agency and Public Policy. Oxford University Press.
Patrick, R. (2004). The Lot of the Poor is Unlikely to Improve Until They Have a Greater Say in Their ‘lot’: Going Local and the Impact on the Distribution of Public Services. Vista Perspectives on Probation and Criminal Justice & Civil Renewal Vol. 9 No. 3 2004.
Patrick R. (2009) Performance Management, Gaming and Police Practice: A Study of Changing Police Behaviour in England and Wales During the Era of New Public Management. University of
Birmingham. PhD Thesis.
Patrick, R. (2011). ‘Reading Tea Leaves’ an assessment of the reliability of police recorded crime
statistics. The Police Journal, Volume 84 (2011) pgs. 47‐67.
Patrick, R. (2012a). ‘A Nod and a Wink’: Do ‘gaming practices’ provide an insight into the
organisational nature of police corruption? (The Police Journal. Accepted for publication,11.3.11
Ref.: Ms. No. PJ‐D‐10529R1).
Patrick, R. (2012b). 'Public Champions or Protectors of Professional Interests?' Observations on the performance of those bodies entrusted with the regulation of the Police Service during the era of New Public Management’ (The Police Journal. Accepted for publication 17.6.2011 Ref.: Ms. No. PJ‐D‐11536R1)
Rogerson, P. (1995) Performance Measurement and Policing: Police Service or Law Enforcement
Agency? Public Money & Management, October‐December 1995
Van de Walle Steven., Steven Van Roosbroek and Geert Bouckaert (2008) Trust in the
public sector: is there any evidence for a long-term decline? International Review of
Administrative Sciences 2008; 74; 47
Walker A., Kershaw C. & Nicholas S. (2006). Crime in England and Wales 2005/2006 Home Office, London
Wilson, D., J.Ashton, & D. Sharp (2001). What Everyone in Britain Should Know About the Police. Blackstone.
Young, M. (1991). An Inside Job. Policing and Police Culture in Britain. Oxford: Claredon Press

Saturday, 21 January 2012


With special thanks to Dave Hasney over at Bankside Babble for his book review. I uploaded the book today and couldn't put it down until I'd read the last word. Any serving, retired or former police officer that reads this book must surely think "There but for the grace of God Go I ... "

The true story of a young police officer’s imprisonment for a crime he did not commit. It was Michael Bunting's life ambition to follow in his father's footsteps and become a police officer. But six years after his family watch him pass out and begin his life's dream, he is serving a sentence for a crime he didn't commit. This is his story.

Beaten almost senseless as he tried to arrest a violent criminal, the 23-year-old PC was left with head injuries and blurred vision that took him months to recover from. Back at work he was astounded to learn that his attacker had filed a complaint against him and that the Police Discipline and Complaints Department were following up the allegation.

Two years later he was found guilty of common assault against his assailant and received a prison sentence that left him living his devastated life amongst the criminals he had previously sought to keep off the streets. Hard-hitting and at times heart-breaking the book is a graphic account of life behind bars for a policeman in one of England's hardest prisons.

An extract from A Fair Cop:"The prisoner arrived once more with the trolley and placed the plate of food on to my hatch. 'Bunting,' he shouted pleasantly. I wasn't fooled. 'Thanks,' I said, as I walked across the cell to collect it. As I put my hand out to reach for the plate he snatched it away. He held it up to the hatch and peered through at me. 'PC Bunting, isn't it?' he asked, and then took a deep breath to muster as much saliva from the back of his throat as he could. With one swift movement he spat a big glob in to the middle of the food. The white phlegm floated around in brown gravy. 'Hey lads, I'm feeding the pig,' he said. With this, two other prisoners came to my cell hatch. They looked at me, sniggering. They then spat in my food too. The first prisoner put the plate on the hatch and gestured for me to come closer. 'You're in our territory now, you f***ing filth, and we're gonna f***ing carve you up.'

Following his prison sentence, Michael Bunting was dismissed from the police force. He now runs a successful sports injury clinic and is currently working as a lecturer for the company with which he trained upon his release from prison. He spent the first four years after his release writing A Fair Cop.

Visit Michaels website at His blog link now appears in our favourite police blog links to the right of this page.

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