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Respect Zones - A quiet news day

This period before the New Year is always quiet for news. The government appear to have gone for a bit more on the "Respect" Agenda.

So now we have "Respect Zones" this is on top of last year's "Respect Action Plan".

There is a complex issue relating to how the public sector operates. That is that the politicians are not really executive officers. The work is done by other people. Politicians establish the legislative framework and sometimes end up as ministers defending the decisions of civil servants.

That means that it is not really sensible to try to micromanage what goes on. That is why we end up with budgeting systems such as RAB. It also means, however, that we get nonsense such as today.

What would be better is a good analysis of the current system followed by a set of proposals for change. The analysis does not have to cover all aspects, but has to look at the systems of feedback. Cautions are a good example of an aspect of the system that does not work properly and actually undermines the system as whole.

For example ASBOs have a role, but are not a panacea. What I suggested for the Home Office is that they develop a flowchart of how people go in and out of the system. The problem is that our system concentrates on crimes and processes and does not look at the system from the perspective of the people involved. There has been no response on this as yet.

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