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To all those wondering why police aren't investigating crime

268 replies

stillvicarinatutu · 30/09/2022 13:35

Prompted by a discussion on here.

I'm a police officer and today we received an email from out chief constable to say that only 17% of incidents police in our force attend are for crime .

The other 83% are non crime related - mainly mental health issues. Police forces are now taking on the work of other agencies which means that they are not dealing with crime .

Partner agencies are so stretched the fall out is now being dealt with by police because we don't shut shop, don't only work 9-5 , and cannot say no .

I read and see regularly that police are criticised for not dealing with crime .

Well - this is why . Because we are picking up the slack from mental health, social services and medical incidents.

I think it's time for people to decide what they want from their police . If we weren't dealing with the 83 % of incidents that are not crime related then perhaps we could spend more time on the 17% that are . ?
I don't think people realise that this is happening to this extent .

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DuckBilledFattypus · 30/09/2022 15:17

stillvicarinatutu · 30/09/2022 15:12

A career ? You work 24/7 shifts , 365 days a year . Get assaulted. And the starting salary is 19k . It's hardly a career. You could earn more in Aldi.

Good pension and early retirement though. And you get to drive round in pretty multi coloured cars and dance at events like pride 👯

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Andante57 · 30/09/2022 15:17

@Georgeskitchen ·
There would probably be a drop in mental health issues if the government/police got a grip on the enormous drug problems that we seem to have acquired over the past few years

How should the government/police get a grip on drug problems?

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FromageRouge · 30/09/2022 15:18

DuckBilledFattypus · 30/09/2022 15:17

Good pension and early retirement though. And you get to drive round in pretty multi coloured cars and dance at events like pride 👯

She can’t do the Macarena in a tutu. 😉

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blockpavingismynightmare · 30/09/2022 15:19

@Florenz · Today 15:05
Too many people join the police for the wrong reasons nowadays, they just see it as a career, not a vocation. They couldn't care less about crime or the victims of crime.

To be fair, the same could be said about nurses doctors dentists. No vocation just a career structure and a pension

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MangyInseam · 30/09/2022 15:20

stillvicarinatutu · 30/09/2022 15:05

What's changed is that people used to phone 999 in an emergency.

They'd be asked police , fire or ambulance.

Police dealt with crime happening, or that's happened.

Fire dealt with fires and cutting people out of cars

Ambulance dealt with medical issues .

Now we are dealing with more and more that other agencies should be - such as social services, schools, parents , mental health services, drug and alcohol services.

We do try to get to every incident that's created- however if someone rings saying there is someone in a car smoking a spliff for instance, and it gets out on as a non emergency (which it isn't let's face it ) by the time an officer is free to view that incident it could be 10 hours later - they aren't going to still be there ! So no point attending that .

Incidents are triaged. The risky jobs are attended first . So emergency calls - graded emergency are first

Then everything else is graded by threat , harm and risk . If it's deemed a low risk , it goes down the queue . Someone will get there eventually if it's not like the example I gave above - but someone slashing their wrists will take priority over a burglary for instance .
So we are not getting to deal with crime - now it's always been that police would go to back up ambulance etc but now the police are left to deal . The workload has become less about crime and solving it / preventing it and more about chasing our tails running around after other agencies workload.

Police should primarily fight crime .

And we can't . We've become a Jack of all trades . It's not sustainable.

Maybe, but I don't know that you are really getting to the root of this.

If you believe that local police did not deal in the past with local, non-crime issues, you are wrong. They did, whether it was captured statistically or not.

I suspect that what is part of the issue is that we expect a whole lot more care for people overall. Hospital visits are a good example, people did not in the past have anything like the same expectations for medical and hospital care. Partly because there was a lot less that could be done. Older people were most typically kelp at home, life was not extended to the same degree. People lived close to their younger relatives more often.

That's not a bad change necessarily but it is expensive and requires a huge amount of infrastructure.

I think we've created a situation where communities are much less self-ordering, for a variety of reasons but we can see this in all kinds of research. People are not happy, they are lonely, they don't have extended family or community networks, they don't know the people who live nearby, many are transient. Plus drugs has made a huge, huge difference. And our attitude to drugs has changed. Patenting has changed. Schools are unrecognizable.

When the social order changes and becomes so unstable it is going to be difficult for services to contain problems.

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mantequilla · 30/09/2022 15:21

purpleboy · 30/09/2022 14:28

I have zero confidence in the police, I would not call them unless I literally had no choice. I know a fair few police officers and I wouldn't want to deal with a single one on a personal level.

Same.

The ones local to me are too busy telling people off for not calling male paedos in dresses stunning and brave.

In the meantime the house down the road was burgled and it took the police 4 days to attend.

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Brefugee · 30/09/2022 15:21

I don't think there is anything wrong in joining the police because it is a good career with a pension and so on. Doing a slapdash job once you're in because you really just want to be a desk-jockey but you have to go on the beat is a whole other thing.

The answer, as we all know, is a combination of a lot of things, starting with proper funding of all services (including but not restricted to: the police, the NHS including mental health services, social services and education). Another thing that society needs to get a hold of is the idea of more personal responsibility to go along with all the lovely rights we have now. and so on.

And we need those organisations in receipt of public funds, to be efficient and effective in how they use them.

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MissConductUS · 30/09/2022 15:22

The NYPD has created a special unit for mental health calls, made up of EMTs and social workers.

www.police1.com/patrol-issues/articles/nyc-expands-program-that-sends-emts-social-workers-to-mental-health-calls-8XWeKrucFBmxgXgo/

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stillvicarinatutu · 30/09/2022 15:24

And when you dial 101 /999 it's
Not a police officer you speak to .

It's a call handler in a call centre . And I work with them and they're lovely but they are managed by people who have only experience in call centres and have never faced an angry man in their lives.

The call handlers are instructed to out an incident on "the box" even if it's not remotely a police matter, they have no legal training so they always err on the side of caution.

This does not help the boots on the ground . But the blame game and culture is now such that no one says no . It's "yes sir of course we'll get an officer to see you " for someone's parcel turning up at the wrong address.

Is that a police matter? Nope .

Now those jobs can be dealt with fast and closed - but when social services ring at 5pm Friday to say they want a "safe and we'll" check on someone they should be looking after , or schools that ring last day of term with 20 pupils that they haven't seen for 3 months, or we end up stuck in a&e or 136 suites for hours - it means we aren't getting to the people that really need police help .

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FromageRouge · 30/09/2022 15:24

MissConductUS · 30/09/2022 15:22

The NYPD has created a special unit for mental health calls, made up of EMTs and social workers.

www.police1.com/patrol-issues/articles/nyc-expands-program-that-sends-emts-social-workers-to-mental-health-calls-8XWeKrucFBmxgXgo/

Interesting. Especially as NYC was the cradle of zero tolerance and broken window theory.

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ChilliBandit · 30/09/2022 15:24

Starting salaries are closer to £24k and they go up very quickly. They are also paid a lot of overtime. I am not saying it’s not deserved but they aren’t poorly paid compared to paramedics/nurses etc

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Pengwinn · 30/09/2022 15:26

That's nice, what can we do about it? I suspect a lot of people don't even bother calling the police unless desperate to be honest, they fully expect them to be useless. I was mugged at knifepoint and they didn't give a shit, in fact I was made to feel it was my fault for daring to be using my phone out and about.

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stillvicarinatutu · 30/09/2022 15:27

I won't get a good pension since I didn't join till I was 38 . I'll never get full pension.

I joined for all the right reasons.
Just now I hardly get time to do the job I signed up for.

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stillvicarinatutu · 30/09/2022 15:29

ChilliBandit · 30/09/2022 15:24

Starting salaries are closer to £24k and they go up very quickly. They are also paid a lot of overtime. I am not saying it’s not deserved but they aren’t poorly paid compared to paramedics/nurses etc

There isn't laid overtime on response. The only depts that pay overtime now are CID and that's only because you can end up working an 18 hour shift and then are expected to be back on duty 4 hours later .

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Lavenderflower · 30/09/2022 15:29

I think in many of these incident a crime is being committed - however, the police fail to act in these cases because they perceive the issues to be mental or social care issues - this isn't actually very helpful.

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MangyInseam · 30/09/2022 15:29

Andante57 · 30/09/2022 15:17

@Georgeskitchen ·
There would probably be a drop in mental health issues if the government/police got a grip on the enormous drug problems that we seem to have acquired over the past few years

How should the government/police get a grip on drug problems?

I don't know that anyone has any real idea about the answer to this question. Which is maybe why there is so much emphasis on other things which really don't touch the issue.

But I have a suspicion that the answer would be found in things like - encouraging, socially, things like stable families with two parents, discouraging young women from having babies from different fathers and relying on the state to fund them.

Which sounds even to my ears terribly old fashioned - but all of the research seems to indicate it is the things like this that are likely to make the biggest difference.

But they aren't about social investment in police or social workers or even health. It's about social attitudes and I don't see us changing those any time soon.

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Etinoxaurus · 30/09/2022 15:30

Florenz · 30/09/2022 13:51

Why don't the police deal with crime instead of mental health issues?

You’re a call handler. Who do you send the police to?
a) man on a ledge with a bottle of pills
b) man whose car’s been stolen

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ChilliBandit · 30/09/2022 15:34

stillvicarinatutu · 30/09/2022 15:29

There isn't laid overtime on response. The only depts that pay overtime now are CID and that's only because you can end up working an 18 hour shift and then are expected to be back on duty 4 hours later .

Maybe in your force. My closest relative is a PC and is taking it in with overtime. With annual leave and rest days it feels like a good deal. Again not saying undeserved but loads of jobs do not pay overtime or get the same amount of time off.

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ChilliBandit · 30/09/2022 15:34

*raking

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OldChinaJug · 30/09/2022 15:36

stillvicarinatutu · 30/09/2022 15:05

What's changed is that people used to phone 999 in an emergency.

They'd be asked police , fire or ambulance.

Police dealt with crime happening, or that's happened.

Fire dealt with fires and cutting people out of cars

Ambulance dealt with medical issues .

Now we are dealing with more and more that other agencies should be - such as social services, schools, parents , mental health services, drug and alcohol services.

We do try to get to every incident that's created- however if someone rings saying there is someone in a car smoking a spliff for instance, and it gets out on as a non emergency (which it isn't let's face it ) by the time an officer is free to view that incident it could be 10 hours later - they aren't going to still be there ! So no point attending that .

Incidents are triaged. The risky jobs are attended first . So emergency calls - graded emergency are first

Then everything else is graded by threat , harm and risk . If it's deemed a low risk , it goes down the queue . Someone will get there eventually if it's not like the example I gave above - but someone slashing their wrists will take priority over a burglary for instance .
So we are not getting to deal with crime - now it's always been that police would go to back up ambulance etc but now the police are left to deal . The workload has become less about crime and solving it / preventing it and more about chasing our tails running around after other agencies workload.

Police should primarily fight crime .

And we can't . We've become a Jack of all trades . It's not sustainable.

I always read your posts with interest, vicar several of my family members have been in the police so I see both sides. I know that, when my dad retired 20 years ago, he said it wasn't the career he entered even then.

But please don't point the finger at schools. We are in the same boat when it comes to picking up the slack from other agencies (largely the woefully underfunded social services and child mental health services).

Unless you are being called out to teach children literacy, numeracy and about the Ancient Greeks, you are not doing any part of what should be our job!

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Relevanceiskey · 30/09/2022 15:38

ChilliBandit · 30/09/2022 15:00

Oh I forgot the police also attended the vigil or Sarah Everard and brutally arrested the women peacefully showing their respects. Not sure if that falls under crime or not?

@ChilliBandit brutally arrested?! I saw no brutal arrests. Just 6 officers on one person. Which they have been taught as the SAFEST way to arrest someone to cause minimal injury to suspect. I had friends at the vigil who were there to pay respects and also I have a sister in the met all of whom said the police only stepped in when the crowd started getting rowdy and the flowers trodden on. But don't worry, you carry on pulling whichever bits of the media you can to fit your narrative. Let me guess, they are all rapist murderers too? 🙂 No one nowadays can be bothered to do their research into incidents and form their warped opinions based on what they have seen be shared on Facebook and the media, which, by the way, make their money giving you the juiciest headlines possible

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SplashingMermaidSparkleTail · 30/09/2022 15:40

Surely lots of crime is mental health related?

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Florenz · 30/09/2022 15:40

Send the police to the person whose car has been stolen if there is a chance of doing anything, dusting for prints if their house was broken into to steal the keys etc. The police used to know who all the criminals were on their "patch". If they wanted to know something, they'd only have to twist a few arms to be able to get the necessary info. Now the police are far too detached from the people they police to be able to be effective.

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Paq · 30/09/2022 15:41

The police also need to prevent crime, in the same way the fire brigade help to prevent fires. Some of that will involve dealing with neighbour disputes and attending to people with MH emergencies. However, by the time there is a MH emergency like someone trying to jump off a bridge there's likely to have been multiple points of failure by other services.

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stillvicarinatutu · 30/09/2022 15:42

On the last day of term before the summer holidays we were inundated with no less than 13 schools all reporting pupils they had concerns about as they hadn't attended school- one hadn't been seen for 6 months !! I got a bit cross that day .

I know all public services are under pressure. I'm not turning on teachers or nurses or paramedics- but it seems police are the last bastion and can't say no

It doesn't help now that people have mobile phones and it's free to call 999 - now when two school kids have a playground spat the first thing that happens is a call to police .

Years ago before everyone had a phone the kids would have gone home , things would have calmed down and school would deal with it next day

Now we have 12 year olds ringing 999 because their mum won't stop the car at Mac Donald's. !

Course 999 should be free but my god it gets misused.

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