This morning, I had the unenviable task of explaining the current security situation to my 11 year old daughter. In doing so, I have one advantage – my job.
I work in the world of firearms command. I have been familiar with Operation Temperer for a long time. I understand what the deployment of armed officers means and how they are used.
Some of the reporting, particularly from Sky News, has been hysterical. By which I don’t mean “funny” – I mean panic inducing. If you took everything you’ve seen on TV as fact then you’d never leave the house again and I don’t want my children to live like that.
So here – without hysteria – is roughly how I explained the situation to my daughter. It may help those of you struggling and with less knowledge than those of us who work in this world.
Last night, terror encroached on childhood.
Last night, evil robbed innocence.
Last night, cowardice struck the defenceless.
Those watching the early report of events in Manchester would no doubt have hoped that this was a small scale technical problem or an inconsequential structural failure at the Arena but as time went by, the images of ambulances racing to the scene, the sight of armed officers and then the arrival of the Bomb Squad began to confirm the worst fears.
My esteemed colleague Michael Brown OBE, recently posted this blog called missing the point as a response to the comments of Sir Thomas Winsor, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, in relation to police managing mental health crises.
My blog Ever Decreasing Vicious Circles was posted very soon after the report was published and covers a lot of the same territory.
Both of us have attempted, in our own ways, to consider the issue of whether we actually want the police dealing with such incidents and how we have ended up in this position. Not just looking at the how we do it or the where we do it – but asking the more fundamental question of how it got to a position where the police are a first resort response to mental health issues? Read More…
If you have been following me on Twitter or reading my blogs you will know that I have raised a few issues with regards Evidence Based Policing (EBP)
To begin with, I would like to clarify that the concept of EBP – actually knowing what works and using it – is something I have absolutely no issue with at all.
In theory it makes total sense – if there is science or evidence which suggests that a certain thing is effective then why on earth would you not adopt it as best practice.
No – it is not the principle of EBP which concerns me.
It is not the theory – but the practice. Read More…
This is a short and immediate response to the publication of HMIC’s state of policing report.
The top headline is that the police can no longer continue to plug the gaps of other agencies and the primary example of this is around the provision of mental health crisis care.
Sir Tom Winsor identifies that the police have become the first resort of MH crisis management and that this is not right for anyone involved – least of all the person who is unwell. Read More…