“Bobby Tax”

Today whilst watching Prime Minister’s Questions, a nonsense process in which we see our so called “leaders” squabble like school children, bully opposition MP’s and lie out of their rear ends, I was shocked to here Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh ask the Prime Minister about something she branded “Bobby Tax”.

This tax she stated would see all future applicant to the Police first have to pay £1000 before they even filled in an application form! Surely not!? Had I heard that correctly? They want potential new recruits to pay £1000 for the “pleasure” of simply applying to join the Police? I had to dig further.

I started by tweeting the College of Policing and asking if they could confirm that it was true. They replied that they could not confirm it and sent me this link.

As you can see from that small paragraph there appears to be some sort of certificated course which applicants need to complete and that it can be completed at the future applicant’s convenience and that some MAY be able to get help to fund it. At the bottom is another link.

Upon clicking this link it takes you to a CoP website page which explains what this new course is.

“The Certificate in Knowledge of Policing” is described as a means to achieving the Diploma in Policing and is a requirement for all future applicants the minimum national professional qualification.

Consisting of 300hrs of study students are taught a range of subjects including;-

  • Using police powers in a fair and just way
  • Social and community issues and neighbourhood policing
  • Responding to incidents and providing initial support to victims and witnesses
  • Searching premises and searching individuals within a policing context
  • Participating in planned policing operations
  • Interviewing witnesses and suspects
  • Victim support
  • The criminal justice system
  • Legislation, policy and guidelines
So far so good I guess. It gives potential candidates an insight and understanding into some of the key roles performed by Police Officers and is designed to give them a helping hand to hit the ground running if succesfully selected.
However, here is why it is being dubbed a “Bobby Tax” and why the whole idea is ludicrous and would be considered insanity had it not been developed by a Tory Government.
The cost of this course, which must be completed PRIOR to applying and does not gaurentee you a succesful application and which would be pretty useless for any other profession outside of the Police, costs a whopping £750-£1000!!
All future Police Officers recruited into the Police Service of England & Wales must first be financially well off enough to have a spare £1000 to pay for a course which once completed could be the most expensive waste of time ever should their application to the Police fail.
This draconian new rule feels like we have travelled back in time to the 1800’s where the rich ruled and poor were lorded over… Not surprising really when you consider everything else the Selfservative Party have done in the last 3 years.
What this means is that only those wealthy enough to potentially waste £1000 will apply. The Police has always been and always should be a mixture of people from all walks of life, a cross section of the society they serve. People who can bring their own expertise and knowledge to the job. People who can associate and understand REAL people and REAL problems. People with common sense, street knowledge, confidence and morals. In Toryland however, it seems all that is required to succesfully Police the streets is a pocket full of cash.
This new system will discriminate against the vast majority of people who tend to apply and had this always been the rules I know for a fact that I and the vast majority of my colleagues would never have been able to apply for the Police and as such  Police numbers would be a fraction of what they are now.
The only saving grace is that it will be up to each force to decide whether to require this new certificate prior to applying. The Met have implimented it already but I hope most other forces see it for the farce that it is.
In justifying the rule, Prime Minister David Cameron and the CoP state that it is an attempt to bring Policing in line with other professions such as Lawyers and Doctors!! The role of a Police Officer could not be further from either of these professions! I am sure that Police Officers wouldn’t mind if Government wanted to bring their pay in line with these professions but how can anybody with a knowledge of Policing even begin to compare it? Perhaps Theresa May and David Cameron should enroll on a “Certificate in Knowledge of Policing” course?
If you think this Victorian-esq, Selfservative rule is as rediculous as I do then why not sign this e-petition started by Siobhain McDonagh MP?

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