Mark Andrews: How to solve the ambulance crisis? Send staff on a wellness workshop

Been the victim of a burglary, robbery or theft lately? If so, you will be delighted to hear that the chances of the perpetrators being caught are somewhere between 3.7 and 6.6 per cent. In other words, your chances of winning big on the rank outsider at Newmarket are considerably better than those of seeing the low-lives who violated your home doing some serious slopping out.


              
An ambulance drives past a bus stop outside Waterloo station in London, close to where a man was killed after an attack in the early hours of the morning. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday January 3, 2015. Police were called to reports that a man had been attacked near London's Waterloo station at around 2.45am. Officers and London Ambulance Service found a man in his 40s with serious head injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene. See PA story POLICE Waterloo. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
An ambulance drives past a bus stop outside Waterloo station in London, close to where a man was killed after an attack in the early hours of the morning. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday January 3, 2015. Police were called to reports that a man had been attacked near London's Waterloo station at around 2.45am. Officers and London Ambulance Service found a man in his 40s with serious head injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene. See PA story POLICE Waterloo. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

And whatever the Police Federation says, this isn't purely down to a shortage of manpower.

Recent figures show there are just over 135,000 police officers in England and Wales, up slightly compared to 10 years ago, and 50 per cent higher than in the 1970s.

But, of course, back in the days of Z Cars and The Sweeney, Charlie Barlow and Frank Haskins wouldn't have sent three officers out to arrest an army veteran for sharing a mildly tasteless joke on Twitter, like Hampshire Police did with retired soldier Darren Brady.

You can't blame the officers on the ground, who are only doing what they are told. But the public is never going to have confidence in the police until chief constables realise their job is about catching burglars, thieves and robbers – and that internet etiquette really isn't important.

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Concerned its call-handling staff were stressed, overworked and leaving like rats from a sinking ship, London Ambulance Service realised drastic action was needed to improve the situation.

Did it recruit more call handlers to cope with the increased workload? Or drivers and ambulances to improve response times? Well, no. Instead it sent staff on a 'kindness workshop', run by a a private company which I don't suppose was doing this on the cheap.

Anyhow, the 'workshops' do not seem to have done much to reduce stress levels. Instead, staff have been complaining that time wasted listening to all this wellness guff has exacerbated pressures at the sharp end.

Which confirms my golden rule about 'workshops': if there are no hammers or chisels, they are always a waste of time and money.

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A group of pierced 'activists' calling themselves "Animal Rebellion" voiced their objections to the dairy industry by swiping milk from the shelves of Harrods' food hall, and pouring it over the floor.

Aside from the sheer distaste of wasting good foodstuffs when many people are struggling, whatever made these dopey Tarquins and Jemimas think it would harm the dairy industry?

Presumably Harrods' next action would have been to buy more milk to replace that wasted.

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