I've stolen this from a Police Blog (http://inspectorgadget.wordpress.com) site to give you an idea of the mess Policing is in, (although nu-labour think it's great)!
Late evening in peacefull, sleepy Ruraltown.
A drunken 17 year old Irish traveller, Darren O’Brien, throws a brick through a shop window in the High Street. Darren has numerous previous convictions for similar offences. The whole event is witnessed by several commuters and recorded on the excellent town CCTV system. He then sits down on the pavement outside the shop and waits for the police to come and arrest him.
He won’t run away because he knows nothing is going to come of it in Court.
When a patrol arrives, the first thing he does is admit the whole thing with a grin on his face, saying that he did it because “Kylie works there innit” she being his ‘partner’. He is arrested on suspicion of Criminal Damage, taken to Ruraltown police station, booked in to the custody area and interviewed about the offence the next morning, when sober.
We won’t go into the details of his being sick on the pavement and fighting the police officers and shouting foul abuse at anyone passing during his arrest.
This crime took about the same amount of time to commit as you have just taken to read about it.
A relatively simple job you might think. Oh no. Not in the crazy world of British policing.
Here is a list of the paperwork required from the patrol who were unlucky enough to arrive at the scene and arrest Darren.
A full handwritten Pocket Notebook entry detailing the incident, the grounds for his arrest and anything he said about the incident.
A typed arrest statement with exactly the same information, only in more detail.
A typed form requesting the release of CCTV tapes.
A handwritten custody ’search and booking-in’ form.
A property sheet in custody, listing the contents of his pockets.
A typed Persistent Offender form, containing the same information as the arrest statement, but in a format which prevents ‘cut and paste’.
A typed Young Offender form, containing the same information as above, but in yet another format.
A typed or verbal ‘update’ for the computer log held by the Control Room, containing guess what? the same information as all of the above.
A typed Crime Report, with the same information as in the notebook, arrest statement and young offender form, but with the details in different fields which cannot be cut and pasted.
At least two MG forms for the case file, summarising all of the above.
Witness statements from at least two of the commuters who saw the whole thing.
A witness statement from the shop saying that Darren didn’t have permission to smash their window.
An ‘intelligence report’ saying that Darren has smashed a window in the High Street, with some other details we can’t discuss here.
A typed Domestic Violence form (because Kylie was mentioned by Darren as a reason for the offence) with all of the same information again, and a complete risk assessment for Kylie, even though she wasn’t there at the time.
The paperwork for fingerprinting and DNA will run into at least four pages. The Custody Record will be at least ten pages, though not completed by the patrol.
If the brick and any glass from the window was seized as evidence, there will be the forms and statements for that.
A typed ‘update’ on the ‘Night-time Economy Incident’ diary sheets. “Night-time Economy” is the hideous New Labour, Orwellian term for the chaos caused by the new licensing laws.
A three page Community Impact Assessment briefing form for the Inspector (because Darren is a traveller). I can then fill out a six page, larger version.
A handwritten two page form for the Licensing Officer about where he might have purchased the alcohol, again with all the details of the offence.
You may think that this is insane for such a simple job. You would be correct. This isn’t the Guildford pub bombings. Darren has admitted it already because he doesn’t really care about the consequences because he knows there aren’t any.
Can you imagine what happens when there are two offenders, or if it’s slightly more complicated than the incident described? If drugs are found in his pockets (which they usually are) Darren gets arrested for that too, and the whole process nearly doubles in size.
Half of the forms are for the CPS and the remainder are ‘data mining’ forms to satisfy various national or local initiatives (Youth Offending, Alcohol Related Violence, Domestic Violence etc etc).
If any of those forms have a single mistake, they will be sent back to the officers themselves to re-do, even if it’s a date or postcode which could be corrected by the admin clerkwho discoverd it.
You couldn’t make it up.