Soemthing tells me...

Chief Constable Simon Bailey instigated a Norfolk Constabulary review into why Cromer went into “lawless lockdown” after 100 travellers descended on the seaside town in August.

Nov 1, 2017

Chief Constable Simon Bailey instigated a Norfolk Constabulary review into why Cromer went into “lawless lockdown” after 100 travellers descended on the seaside town in August. Pubs, shops and restaurants closed following incidents that are reported to have included rape, theft, anti-social behaviour and assault. It is alleged that senior officers “misread the significance of events”. The failure to deploy extra officers has also been blamed on poor “information flow” (naughty information flow)… along with failings in leadership, poor intelligence sharing, failing to scan social media correctly and neglecting to utilise powers to deal with unauthorised traveller encampments. These organisational failings seem to have begun when Suffolk Constabulary told their Norfolk neighbours that a group of travellers had been involved in a disturbance in Lowestoft and were headed their way. This is the kind of message that normally generates panic, then action, but on this occasion seems to have stopped at panic as “the information and actions were not recorded on official systems”. The review also admitted, in a masterful piece of understatement, that a senior officer’s description of the disorder as a ‘low level disturbance’ was “ill-judged”. Chief Constable Simon Bailey has confessed: “We got this wrong and I feel terribly sorry that the people of Cromer feel let down by our response… we’ve truly come to understand the power of social media.” Laurie Scott, of Breakers’ Café in Cromer has applauded the chief constable’s “openness and honesty” in admitting mistakes, and thinks that “if a similar incident were to happen in Cromer tomorrow, I`m confident the police would be all over it like a rash”. If a similar incident happens in Cromer tomorrow, imitating a rash won’t save Norfolk Constabulary. Behind all of this lies the suspicion that the initial response was inadequate because response vehicles were being re-sprayed as rainbows, and their crews either had sticky lacquered fingernails or had fallen off their high heels. What appears certain is that their Humberside colleagues could have got there quicker in dodgem cars. Meanwhile, Avon and Somerset Constabulary, the force that received stick from every direction when officers painted their nails to raise awareness of the links between modern slavery and nail bars, has hit back at the criticism after three reports were made to the force as a direct result of the campaign, pointing the (not sure if painted) finger at nail bars and a car wash. This just shows why some forces prepare such ‘results’ in advance – proof of an initiative’s success – lined up like a John Noakes “one I made earlier” loaf of bread. While it is now gloating over the positive response to its publicity, much of which took place over social media, the force is also demonstrating why any publicity is not always good publicity. Its Operations Department’s retweet of a link to illegally streamed coverage of the Anthony Joshua world heavyweight championship boxing fight raised more than an eyebrow. Not only was the force promoting an illegal streaming service but, instead of advertising during the one minute breaks between rounds, the broadcasters streamed hardcore pornography. This reminds me of the time when Labour peer Lord Prescott complained about X-rated advertising on a Tory MP’s website only to be told that Google had served an ad based on his own search preferences. This type of action resulting from information flows does not always lead to a positive outcome. Yours, Stitch

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