President's Column - Centralisation is the new black
My wife recently bought me a paisley tie. I sceptically, and timidly, wore it to work, expecting to be ridiculed for having confused my decades.
I was pleasantly relieved when the fashion aficionados in the office approved.
It just shows how fashions and trends change . . . a bit like policing philosophies.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were all swearing undying devotion to community policing and its overriding tenet, decentralisation.
Now, in the evangelical manner in which we approach these changes in philosophy, we are expected to become adherents to the new theology of recentralisation.
File management centres, crime reporting lines and finance and HR hubs are the new icons.
They may make perfect management sense, but I struggle to see how losing non-constabulary staff, in particular, from places such as Wairoa and Westport can possibly enhance the overall efficiency of those stations or ones in some much bigger towns and cities.
Sure, files will be produced more quickly, and correspondence-holding reduced.
But those other essential, but undefined, tasks performed by individuals who have either been packed off to the hubs or severed, still need doing.
I can’t help thinking that initiatives that worked well in districts that were given big injections of new staff may not translate quite so well to those that didn’t.
Anyway, centralisation is the fashion word of the era, along with paisley ties.
Another fashion change is that good crime stats are now being trumped by engagement survey results when it comes to deciding who the good commanders are, or aren’t.
I can’t help wondering what’s next… wish I’d held on to those bell-bottoms now!