Wednesday, 24 March 2010

There Is 'Self-Promotion' Of One's Organisation - Then There Is This!

Reposted from Inspector Gadget:

"Sometimes I question the wisdom (and sanity) of being the infamous Inspector Gadget.
As the site approached 3.25 million hits today, I started to wonder if this is worth the stress of waiting for the inevitable early morning knock by PSD officers with a warrant to seize my computer.  The pain of seeing my young children witness me being taken away to Headquarters for questioning, the resulting suspension from duty and the eventual sacking for a trumped-up Orwellian “Undermining Public Confidence” offence.
And then I read about Northumbria Police and their Deputy Chief Constable, Sue Simm.
And about how they nominated themselves and won a public relations award for the way they handled the media after the tragedy of a schoolgirl knocked down and killed by a speeding patrol car.
The family of Hayley Adamson, 16,  have reacted with anger that Northumbria Police put themselves forward for the prize after the horrifying smash.
Hayley, 16, was killed when a speeding patrol car with no blue light or sirens on smashed into her in May 2008. The driver, PC John Dougal, was jailed for three years after being convicted of driving at  94 mph moments before he ploughed into her in the late-night tragedy.
Hayley’s mother Yvonne Adamson, branded the move as ‘sick’.  Mrs Adamson said:
“It’s a complete joke. I can’t believe they have nominated themselves for the award.  ‘What about all the complaints that were put in against them when it happened?  ‘Life is truly hell. This is an insult to her memory. Tomorrow would have been Hayley’s 18th birthday. ‘It’s just a massive shock. It couldn’t have come at a worse time for the family.”
Hayley’s sister Sarah Ridley, 33, of Scotswood, said:
“It makes me sick. Hayley is killed and they get an award for it. ‘The news comes at a time when it’s her birthday. Part of me thinks they have done this on purpose.”
In my view, the Deputy Chief should have been round to the house in sackcloth on bended knee, apologising in person for such a crass move. Instead, she said:
“Following the tragic death of Hayley, police officers and staff were involved in minimising inappropriate, speculative or inaccurate reporting, working with  the family to try to limit the impact of constant harassment of the family by  the media, and reassuring the local community”
How have we arrived at a place where a basic service recovery job with the media, after a fatal POLAC, where one of our officers has effectively killed a young girl for no reason, becomes something we need to be rewarded for, while the family grieve alone? This story says everything about how today’s senior police officers see themselves, what they regard as success (i.e. in how they dealt with the media story) and more importantly, what they really think about “Citizen Focus“.
Can you imagine Stockport Council, nominating themselves for an award for how they handled the media over the death of 11-year-old Sam Linton at Offerton High School? It’s unthinkable. Why then, do we do it? Apart from an almost pathological desire to squeeze any kind of praise from even the most appalling mess up, I really cannot fathom the answer.
While they keep behaving like that, I will keep writing this, even if it means It all goes horribly wrong for me one day. And in the meantime, for all those members of the public reading, as a police officer, I am personally very sorry for what happened to Hayley, and for the crass actions taken afterwards.
(Hangs head in shame and walks away……………)"

If anyone is to be carted off to HQ, suspended and then sacked on a 'trumped-up Orwellian charge' it should surely be the Deputy Chief Constable and all those associated with this 'sick' management decision. And the Police wonder why they receive a 'bad press'? Sheesh!

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