Getting Sniffy

by Quinn

Just what is the problem the TaxPayers’ Alliance has with West Midlands Police? A wee while ago I wrote about their criticism of the force’s disgraceful plan to equip their staff with shirts. I also said that “you can consider this my last post on the TPA”, so to get out of that statement on a technicality, kindly consider this to be a mere coda rather than a stand-alone piece in its own right. Because now the TPA has swung into action once more, highlighting another flagrant waste of public money.

WEST Midlands Police has been accused of wasting officers’ time – and taxpayers’ cash – by bizarrely setting up a Twitter page for a crime-fighting sniffer dog.

Their two-year-old Labrador Smithy, who has been dubbed an internet scent-sation, now regularly posts tweets on the social netwoking site.

Writing the occasional 140-character tweet? Outrageous! This sounds like a job for the joyless fuckers at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, who opine…

It difficult to see how putting a dog on Twitter is supposed to benefit the people of the West Midlands.

The tweets aren’t even casually informative, they’re just nonsense dreamt up by a member of staff.

This silly PR stunt is a just a diversion from real police work, and with cuts being made Smithy should probably keep his nose to the ground and concentrate on the job.

Just how diverting is this Twitter account? What real police work does the TPA fear was left undone when this magnum opus was being composed:

Training went well ! but that is not the end of my handlers day; we, will still get a walk later, the great benefits of being a Police dog.

Well, that’s got to be a couple of murders West Midlands Police could have solved right there, if they hadn’t been so diverted! What about this one:

Duty time 8am till 5pm today…..I’m staying at home, as Drake is working at a football match, my fellow canine will update you later !

So now we have two dogs tweeting! What next? Three? Here’s another:

Off today and tomorrow, chilling, lapping up my growing internet following…gonna get either a new ball or bone out of this, claws crossed.

Days off? DAYS OFF? Why do police dogs need days off? Yet more public sector waste! And what’s this?

A request re a missing person please RT http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/np/coventry/news/newsitem.asp?id=1040

What’s that all about? Just as the TPA said: dreamt up nonsense that is not even casually informative. But it gets worse still when you look at this story.

Smithy’s trainer PC Terry Arnett said: “It was just something he wanted to do.

“He felt he and his team weren’t getting the praise they deserved and the next thing I knew he was tweeting.

“We’ve had to have the keyboard adapted so he can type, but apart from that it’s his way of letting people know the important work he and his pals do.”

And how much did this adapted keyboard cost? And guess who’s paying?

You know, the more I read about the TaxPayers’ Alliance, the more I’m beginning to think they are double-agents on a deep-cover assignment designed to ridicule and discredit small-government ideologues.

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