Saturday, June 11, 2011
And I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For...
Yeah Gods, but the changes at Devon and Cornwall Police are getting on my wick!
As many of the plods have (mis)quoted back to me, the bods at Middlemoor in Exeter were very much hoping the public didn't notice the changes from B'day (Blueprint Day - not exactly Judgment Day a la Arnie Terminator, but not far off for some boys and girls in blue). And to be honest, you haven't.
I mean, you may never really notice, unless you have regular dealings with plod.
For instance, there is no traffic unit anymore. That's not to say there isn't anyone policing the avenues and alleyways, or highways and byways. It's just that traffic is effectively made up of response and patrol units, and the armed response units and a couple of other units who, while dealing with the day to day 999 incidents, are also doing the work which was once the sole preserve of traffic units.
So, let's just say that if the list of critical incidents, mispers, violent domestics, allegations of rape, assaults and the like all got a bit busy for a day, then perhaps it'd be a bit of a stretch to also patrol the A38 for those naughty drivers who like to do a bit over the limit, or do it drunk, or just drive like Stevie Wonder.
Needless to say, there are ugly rumours around of Devon and Cornwall's thin blue line appearing as underweight as a Size Zero supermodel.
The only way to see if there's any noticable difference is by comparing this month's figures for crimes, detections, fixed penalty notices, etc, with this month last year. I'll let you know.
For my part, it's a pain in the chocolate starfish as there are no geographical CID offices anymore. In the past, if I heard of a mugging in Devonport, I'd call Devonport & West CID. If there was a indecent exposure in the city centre I'd call South and Central CID. If there was a donkey sexually abused in Plympton I'd call North and East CID (but only after calling my mates back in Essex and saying "I told you it was true about the donkey-touchers down here!")
But now there's just two CID offices. One at Charles Cross, one at Crownhill. They house the teams who are set in five sections. Each section - A to E - have five sub-sections. They deal with offences covering Plymouth, Saltash, Ivybridge, Tavistock, bits of South Hams, bits of South East Cornwall and everything in between.
So, who I phone to ask for more information is a bit of a lottery. It took me an hour last week to find an officer dealing with the vandalism of a Plympton school which saw thugs kill two chickens - rumoured to be called Tikka and Masala. An hour of call after call, just to find out more information and do an appeal.
But that's not the best bit. Well, there isn't a best bit to be honest, but this I really loved because for me it encapsulates the wonders of how big organisations often forget how the little things matter.
Plod loves its acronyms. I mean it really loves them. You could go half an hour talking to some officers and not hear a whole word with four syllables.
MCIT, SOCIT, ARV, BCU, Pc, SOLO, FLO... gorgeous, aren't they?
The most well-known has got to be CID, which is, as everyone who watches TV copshows well knows, is the Crime Investigation Department.
Which, in their undoubted wisdom, the bods at Middlemoor have renamed... wait for it... LITs.
Local Investigation Teams.
Only - as one female detective pointed out to me - in Plymouth, we have two LITs... one in Crownhill and one in Charles Cross.
Crownhill Local Investigation Team.
Charles Cross Local Investigation Team.
No, seriously, I'm not kidding.
Honestly, would I lie to you?
And yes, I have asked the question.
Apparently a few of the male detectives haven't turned up for work yet because they can't find their new offices.
Thank you, thank you, you've been a lovely audience, I'm here all week, try the crab buffet.