Sunday, 21 March 2010

Time for a name change?

Most people, including one of the Darlington Labour Party bloggers, think PACT in Darlington stands for Police and Communities Together, which, since PACT meetings are all about local residents meeting the police and agreeing priorities in their local ward or neighbourhood, would seem to be logical.

In fact, however, it stands for Partners and Communities Together (not Partnerships either, Nick!). This is, as one would expect from a Council which embraces local government jargon speak to a degree which borders on the obsessive, typically obscure. How many ordinary citizens know what "Partners" in this context means anyway?

So, always keen to be at the forefront of new ideas and proposals, I suggest that PACT from now on should stand for Police and Communities Together: logical, understandable and sensible. Ah, so that's why it won't change.


Darlington Councillor said...

Now I am confused....

When I used the "Partnerships and Communities Together" label, I remember checking it out on the web - not very well, it would seem, as this phrase is used by other Police Forces to describe the same set of arrangemnents - in South Wales and Avon and Somerset, for example.

A quick glance at Durham Police's own website today, however, suggests that they are sticking with "Police and Communities Together" - meetings across the County are described this way, including in Lingfield, where presumably Ian got the phrase from. Have a look here

The Town Hall website, however, consistently calls it Partners and Communities Together.

I'm sure an awful lot of policy-wonkery has gone into the thinking behind what the 'P' stands for - for most residents, however, I would agree 'Police' is the best descriptor, and so makes most sense.

A consensus!

Anonymous said...

Alan Macnab writes....

I have always used Police and Communities Together. It makes sense.

To add a bit of light relief after a hard few days, when the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority was setting up they decided that their acronym would be the first three letters of the first word, the first two letters of the second word and the first letters of the last two words, but had to change it pretty quickly to QCA because their original acronym appeared to be rude.

Mark Burton said...

PACT - over at the Councils website it's referred to as a 'Partners and Communities Together'. Whilst over on the Durham Constabulary site it's a 'Partnership and Community Together meetings'.


But I agree, and have myself always referred to them as being 'Police and Communities Together'. As it is the Police and the Community talking Together.

james said...

People who've heard of PACT meetings understand what the purpose is, so the exact name doesn't matter. I mean, if someone turns up from another agency to discuss a policing issue - no-one's going to stop them from speaking.

Can I bring this online meeting of Darlington Pedants' Society to a close? ;-)

Mike Barker said...

Thank you James! By the way, can I congratulate you on the correct use of the apostrophe and other punctuation marks in your comment?

Those of us who are fully paid up members of the Apostrophe Appreciation Society now have a moving example of DBC's wit and wisdom. The sides of the road sweeping vehicles now carry a poster which says:

"Think litters fine. Well fine you."

Give me strength!