9 Sep 2007

Johno Hills (Ex Sussex Detective)

Johno Hills (Ex Police Officer): As a police officer of four years with Thames Valley and latterly Sussex Police, Ex DC Johno Hills understood early on in his training that the level of crime depended on the opportunity for it to actually occur in the first place before it could succeed. In short prevention is better than cure!

Some have suggested that Mr Hills may have some personal axe to grind with his previous employer and, that is why he has ‘jumped on the band wagon’ of berating this government’s policing policies. Whatever his personal reasons, and there may be some, the fact remains, the vast majority of his ‘observations’ and ‘concerns are correct. This has to be classed as extremely astute, for one so young in service. In that short length of time in ‘the job’, he found himself chasing quick and easy detections in order to get a ‘tick in the box’ and, convince his supervisors to consider him as a ‘performing officer’.

Now most of us would agree there has to be some form of benchmark as to an individuals performance however, that benchmark should only ever be an indicator or first line of evidence for a manager to ‘effectively’ motivate or reprimand their staff, in other words, actually manage them, a skill that for one reason or another is often sadly lacking today.

Mr Hills ultimately paid the price for challenging the establishment and his employers in February 2007 however, by raising his head above the parapet, he found himself ‘at odds with the responsibilities of a serving police officer’ and this led to his subsequent resignation and later suspension. Mr Hills states “the loss of my job and career is inconsequential when considering how much there is to gain”.

After spending an hour or two reading his blog articles and comments from readers it was apparent, his thoughts and concerns about Britain’s police service are justifiable and supported with reasoned arguments. The quotations from Sir Robert Peel which I found in his pages (and have used myself before) are as relevant to policing in the 21st Century as they were when they were originally written in the 1800's:

  • "The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions."

  • "The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it."

  • "Whether the police are effective is not measured on the number of arrests, but on the lack of crime."

Whether or not Mr Hills is receiving financial remuneration, as a direct result of his outpourings, is immaterial now he has left ‘the job’. What should be of more concern to us all is; why an apparently well motivated police officer should feel such a strong need to take the actions he did? I for one wish him every success in his future!

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