The Merits of Targets

The amount spent on PR has risen by 13 per cent over the last two years, while many forces are struggling with tight budgets.

Critics said the money spent on "carefully laundered PR" should be spent on policing.

Since the Home Office began assessing the performance of forces by measuring it against the fear of crime, police bosses have increased their expenditure on marketing.

What an excellent idea, eh? Performance is measured by people\’s subjective feelings, so more money is spent on swaying those feelings.

And there are *still* people out there who claim that incentives don\’t matter.

4 comments on “The Merits of Targets

  1. Given that there is a massive disconnect between crime rates and the fear of crime (59% of people nationwide think crime is flat/falling in their neighbourhood, based on real-life experience; only 35% think it is flat or falling nationwide, based on media paranoia), this is a good use of government money. And the police seem as good an organisation as any to do the administration.

  2. “this is a good use of government money.”
    Whose money? I think you will find it is our money.

    “And the police seem as good an organisation as any to do the administration.”

    Not really as they are not a disinterested party.

  3. “Whose money? I think you will find it is our money”

    Well, obviously. But it’d be our money whether it was spent on more rozzers or on making people less paranoid.

    “Not really as they are not a disinterested party.”

    Sorry, I have literally no idea what you mean here. The fact that the police are, err, the police means that people are more likely to listen to them when they say “chill out about crime” than, say, the Central Dispelling Silly Myths About Crime Office.

  4. “Well, obviously. But it’d be our money whether it was spent on more rozzers or on making people less paranoid.”

    So we are agreed then; it is our money and not the government’s which is one of the points I was making.

    “Sorry, I have literally no idea what you mean here. The fact that the police are, err, the police means that people are more likely to listen to them when they say “chill out about crime” than, say, the Central Dispelling Silly Myths About Crime Office.”

    Of course, because self appraisals are always the most accurate sort of appraisals! People never have a motive to big up their acheivments at work. Come off it.

    More importantly (but not related to any of the points you have made), our money should not be being used on PR exercises to make public servants look good.

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