The report helpfully begins with a full glossary stretching over three volumes. Policing is darn complicated after all: I had never met so many TLAs before I got involved with the job. And the girls in boys in blue seem to enjoy wiling away whole afternoons coming up with the name of the new 'operation'. I am still yet to discover what Operation Obfuscate is all about, despite asking lots of times.
But seeing the glossary in the HMIC report gave me a warm nostalgic feeling as I remembered those first heady days after the election when everything held such glistening promise... The outgoing chief constable had prepared a handy list of words and their definitions that I still keep in the back of my wallet. I know his parting email to me was a little challenging, but his glossary was just the ticket! So I thought, I would reproduce a few of his choice definitions below for others to use.
- ACPO: the people who think they are the real bosses (but are not)
- Home Secretary: the person who thinks she is the real boss (but is not)
- The APCC, Federation & Superintendents Association: the bodies who think they have influence (but don't)
- Custody Sergeants & HR Departments everywhere: the people who really have the power
- The force's drivers and taxi drivers we regularly use: the only people who really know what is happening
- Crime in run down areas: what we are supposedly trying to stop (says the Home Secretary)
- Anti social behaviour in nice leafy avenues: what we actually spend our time tackling
- Meetings: a good way to appear busy (meetings about meetings are even better)
- Partnership meetings: warm places to catch up on sleep
- The former Police Authority: the source of all of our problems that we now face and which can be blamed with impunity for at least the next ten years
- Home Office Targets: the various dart boards distributed around the constabulary with pictures of Home Office ministers on
- Democratic mandate: what you must claim to have at every opportunity - the more you talk about it the more real it will seem to become
- Collected diary - days one to ten
- Day 50
- Day 68
- Appointing the new Chief Constable
- PCCs must show people its worth voting (interview with the secret PCC)
- Fields of ponies: the Secret PCC does Income Generation!
- By the pricking of my thumbs, something radical this way comes!
- Too big for their pixie boots: the Secret PCC makes a speech to his Police & Crime Panel
- Witchcraft: the Secret PCC & managing awkward Chiefs
- Social media policy (Secret Diary of a PCC)
- The magic of Brasso (Secret diary of a PCC)
- The 'not giving a floating duck' problem (Secret Diary of a PCC)
- Secret PCC: A LibDem MP considers applying for Direct Entry
- Chief Constable Zero: the Secret PCC gets tough
- The Art of Listening to the Public (the Secret PCC explains all)
- Secret PCC: my life long quest for the smooth vinegar flavoured cucumber
Legal disclaimer: just in case you thought this series of secret PCC blogs is based upon a real person or persons: it isn't. It really isn't. Any similarity to a living PCC is entirely coincidental.