The NDM and decision making – what’s the reality?

I was on a busy Bank Holiday weekend shift and with that comes issues in relation of officer numbers, but after the initial melee I finally grabbed a cuppa and thought I had better get on with something I had been putting off but had to do. E-learning, or NCalt training as some would call it.

The one I did was the National Decision Model. Now those who read my last blogs know what a fan I am of e-learning, it’s user friendly, interactive, informative and evokes discussion. Not.

There is the usual introduction of someone of ‘authority’ saying how this is very important and we must adhere to this and then the pages start rolling through.

The first being

Make Communities Safer

Off to a good start, but hang on?, make them safer? So there is an example where there are two Grade A’s come in, but only one unit to send, and so it starts. No other unit to send. Great.
Officer numbers are already at minimum and when Winsor 2 gets slid in undetected by the public whilst we get further bad press about how rubbish we are, it isn’t going to get any better. Now call me a cynic but I suspect that when the 10% shift allowance for ‘unsociable’ hours (8pm – 6am) comes in, we will be even few and far between. Have a think – training and extractions, what would save money?

Taking officers off shift on their Early shift or Lates/Nights?? (and since when was 6am -7am ‘sociable’? I bet if I rang the Chief Constable at 6.05am as it is now deemed ‘sociable’ I think they would be none too pleased!) sorry, I digress.

So anyhow, the Grade A comes in, followed by the other, so who decides which is more important? Well this is where staff in the control room or supervisor needs to work through the NDM.
In rural areas there can be only one officer covering 50 square miles and although there is some extra time added on to rural times but it can still miss the time frame given.

act with integrity

I would like think that all my officers act with integrity. I know what immense time and pressure on your work load officers have, however, as long as you have done what you deem is right and you have done as much as you can at the time then if there were to be any complaints you would have nothing to worry about. Even if you acted with 100% integrity there are those who would be willing to make a complaint. I would support my officers knowing that they had done their best very time, always have and always will.

accountable for our decisions

Accountability is always at the forefront for anyone especially those in the public ‘spotlight’.
You have to think about the fact that you are there to ‘make communities safer’ and ‘act with integrity’ therefore any decisions you make you have to make sure your umbrella is fully up to stop anything coming down and hitting you later. We all have the pressures, and particularly when officer numbers are down and you are being sent from job to job, and there is a lot of paperwork involved, and when control room are trying to put on the pressure on you for jobs, it is up to you to stand your ground and tell the control room that you are still dealing with the last job (unless of course you can break away and finish) because if you don’t do everything you should have, the s**t will well and truly land at your feet!

work with communities

We work with our communities every day, but do we ‘work’ with our communities? We deal with our communities, but don’t always get the opportunity to work that much with people in the communities. Beat Managers are more interactive as well as the PCSO’s, but as response officers, there is very little time or ability to be able to interact.
This isn’t going to get any better as time restrictions and staff won’t allow so the most interactive you ever can be is with a victim, witness or with an offender.

reduce risk of harm

Reduction of the risk of harm is what we do in our every day of our lives as officers, we try to prevent harm coming to others but reducing the risk is a little more difficult. The downtime of the regular officer gets less and less and when we do deal with domestic violence or mental health we are faced with the barriers of hospitals, social services teams and mental health assessments. It’s an ongoing nightmare. An officers dealt with one job which due to its sensitivity took 4 hours to call VPD, Night turn CID, Social Workers and was met with difficulties with agencies outside of the police. In order to reduce the risk of harm we do need other agencies ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’ and giving us the support we need.

apply only that force which is necessary

Force and necessity do work hand in hand, and is just common sense. We have to be aware and be able to justify the force we do use and as long it is ‘proportionate’ then officers will get the full support of their force. Unfortunately there are times where it has been reported as disproportionate and this is where again the press grab hold of this and we get a bad name. Doesn’t it just feel like any excuse to kick us when we are down? It feels like a no win no win situation.

I know that officers are feeling quite depressed and anxious about what is going on with the service at the moment, and then the bad press with officers being suspended for racism, this of course leads to we are all racist – the mud sticks to all of us.

I know this model makes sense and it is what we should all be doing and in fairness there is no reason why you can’t but I understand the constraints of day to day patrolling and just how much pressure they are under. This is not going to get any better so we need to buckle in for the ride, bite down and just make damn sure that you and your colleagues that you have that umbrella well and truly up and give no one any excuse to p**s on you from anywhere.

My roots started as a PC and my heart is still there and I will always will, I know the constraints and I get it, and I will support my officers and my colleagues 100% as support is a better option than stamping down on people trying to find the faults – there are plenty of people doing that already.

Wow – all this from an e-learning package and perhaps there will be a discussion which comes out of it after all!

2 Responses to “The NDM and decision making – what’s the reality?”
  1. David Woods says:

    If you want a really ‘good’ example of wasting Police resources , spend half a day learning to suck eggs and watch the Olympics e-learning- provided for all agencies but aimed at work experience school pupils who’ve never watched the bill. I retired before the e-learning police caught up with me on that one… phew

  2. PC C******* says:

    why the hell would anyone join the job now,with all this bloody rubbish going on?
    surely anyone,not long in service,would be looking to get out asap!

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