Non-job of the week

Guardian non-jobs 2009 29.7.09 The Guardian’s list of jobs this week has almost 500 positions in government that need to be filled.  More importantly, you're required to pay for them.  On the right you can see the chart detailing the jobs and salary bands you’ve generously ‘contributed’ to.


There were plenty of contenders for this week’s non-job.  The non-job of the week is a PR officer at the Northamptonshire Police Authority, using the slogan “keep us in the headlines while we keep everyone safe”:


 “Press Officer
Scale SO1 £25,851.00 - £28,308.00 pa
37 Hours


Our mission is simple but very challenging: to minimise crime and the fear of disorder across the county. You will make sure everyone knows about our strategies and achievements, as you build close relationships with media stakeholders, prepare interesting news releases and generate some visionary publicity campaigns.


Closely supporting the Corporate Communications Department, you will find yourself organising and attending press conferences and media briefings resulting from major crimes and operational incidents. At the same time, you will contribute to the Force newsletter, our community newspaper and a range of other publications, whilst providing emergency newsroom cover and ensuring the smooth running of the press office.


Naturally, you should be a first-rate PR or media professional with excellent copywriting skills, sound influencing abilities and a very team-spirited approach. Strongly interested in our vital work, you will ideally bring some exposure to the public sector, and you will certainly be very flexible and creative in your approach, with a high standard of computer literacy and real diversity and equality awareness.”


If crime statistics are down and people feel safe – job done.  It’s bad enough that central government try and spin everything so that the world always looks rosy and shiny, but to have the frontline services do it is worrying. 


If crime is down people will know because they will see and hear less of it.  They don’t need their police authority to squander money on spin doctors telling people about the work the police does.  A clear police presence does that, letting taxpayers know their money is being spent on the front line.


The sooner we have elected police chiefs, the better.  That way the public can have their say over policing strategies and to decide whether they feel safer in their communities at the ballot box.  They can also judge whether their money should be spent on spin or on more police on the streets.

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