The views expressed in this blog are mine, all mine and don't necessarily reflect those of the Police Service!
I hope that you wont be offended by anything I say, because no offence was intended.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Well knock me down with a feather duster.....

Shock horror, Government statistics turn out to be rubbish!

Isn't it about time we stopped waisting millions of pounds producing statistics, that are worthless? The powers that be, keep saying that the public has a misconception of the chances of becoming a victim of crime. Surely, the public's perception of crime, is the only genuine way to measure if we are doing our job properly. Bouncing out fake statistics, is not going to change their perception.

Proper old fashioned Policing, is the only genuine way!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Damned if we do........

Maybe I'm just getting more sensitive in my old age, but I'm a lit bit fed up of mis-reporting by the media. This headline, is a classic example. The Police were not 'chasing' anyone. They were responding to an incident of a man seen with a handgun. As it turned out, it was just another wild goose chase, where no one was found. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but what if it had proved to be real? The headlines would be slightly different.

Any death on the road is a tragedy. Any death involving a Police vehicle is awful. However, let us face facts here. My force has a fleet of about 100 resonse cars. Each of those cars, clocks up roughly 30,000 miles a year (75% of which is not response speeds). That equates to 3 million miles a year. I have been doing the job for 20 years and in that time, no one has died as a result of a crash involving the Police. That's 60 million miles with no fatalities.

Obviously, in other force areas, there have been fatalities. (Currently averaging 40 a year in England & Wales). There are 43 forces, most of which are bigger than mine. Lets say the average number of cars is 150 (It's probably much higher). So, that's 6450 response cars, which equates to 193,500,000 miles per annum. That equates to one death every 4,837,500 miles. When put into perspective, are the figures that bad?

The average death per year figure, measure deaths involving police. That could mean, drivers failing to stop for police, innocent people killed by driver's failing to stop, rubberneckers, dozy idiots ignoring 'Police Slow' signs, as well as deaths as a result of a police car collision.

So, what do you want? A police service that ambles along, at snails pace for fear of causing a collision, arriving too late to be of any use, or one that responds promptly, at the risk of the occasional crash?

In the ideal world, we would have both. However, back in the real world, I know which I would choose.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Thankyou Karen Matthews!

Out of all the sorry mess, that is the Shannon Matthews story, we have Karen Matthews to thank, for raising the lid off, the total sham, that is our welfare state.
For years, Public Service bloggers have been telling tales of the 'underclasses'. I think most middle class people, thought we were making it up. Well, at last, they now realise that the benefit claiming, immoral, self-centred pondlife, do exist.
I guarantee, that there thousands of kids like Shannon, up and down the country, who have similar feckless parents. I've probably met hundereds of them, just in my neck of the woods!
Let's hope that this case, will cause the government to look closely at the'benefits culture'. Stop paying people to breed like rabbitts, with no ability or desire to 'look after' themselves.

Norman Bettison got it right on Panorama. Don't look to blame anyone, other than Karen Matthews for the way she brought her kids up. It's about time she and those of similar ilk, took reponsibility for their own actions.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Stunning bit of kit!

So, all frontline officers are to be issued with a Taser. Well, maybe not Metpol officers, but at the moment, all us county mounties.
Amnesty International are appalled at the prospect. Their spokesperson, Mr Sprague said Amnesty was especially concerned about the welfare of vulnerable people who had "emotional" problems or were under the influence of drugs. No mention of the police and public that might be protected by their deployment, oh no.
I don't know about other forces, but in mine, the deployment of Taser has to be authorised by the Ops Room Inspector. To those not in the job, that means, an officer cannot take it out of their holster, without prior authorisation (except in spontaneous life or death incidents). Even if Taser deployment is authorised, any officer using it, has got to be able to justify it's use. No doubt, there'll be another 6 page form in triplicate to be completed.
At the moment, we often either have to put our own or the publics lives in jeopardy when a 'knife' incident occurs, as we are instructed to wait for Armed Response Officers to attend with Taser. That usually means a delay of 20-30 minutes. Is that acceptable?
I've seen the effect of it's deployment. 99% of people sh*t themselves, when they see those little red dots on their chest. If anyone is stupid enough to continue, then they deserve what they get.
I've no idea what the training will encompass. However, you can be rest assured that it will be thorough and effective.
I hope that Taser will not be used for your everyday angry drunk, but just used where offenders have weapons or are so dangerous, that they cannot be restrained by ordinary means. No doubt time will tell.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Reassurance

First of all apologies for the lack of posts over the last few months. Unfortunately, my personal life has been through a lot of turmoil and I had more important things to concentrate on. However, I'm back now!!!

The latest buzz word amongst ACPO ranks is reassurance. According to them, the public's fear of crime is far greater than the reality of crime and they therefore need reassuring that everything is wonderful and safe.

How do they go about doing this? Well, for starters, we have thousands of PCSO's patrolling the streets reassuring people. The public see them and therefore know they are safe, apparently. The only problem is, that every member of the public I've spoken to, does not feel re-assured when they see a group of yobs giving the PCSO's a verbal battering, only to see that the PCSO can't do anything about it.

The other way of reassuring the public is through crime figures. Now, most sensible people know the saying, lies, damned lies and statistics. So they are not fooled by crime statistics.

So what is the only other option. Getting more Police Officer's out of their offices and out onto the streets. Old fashioned I know, but a proven way of reassuring.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Just a thought....

I was wondering if anyone else noticed the correlation between the fact that recorded crime is at its lowest for years, yet the prison population is at a record high?

So Prison doesn't work eh?

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Knife Crime

So we are about to get another knee jerk reaction to the recent knife incidents in London.

No doubt it will involve some new laws. You know the type of thing, an offence to carry anything pointy, with so many exceptions, that it means nothing.

I'd love to say there was a simple answer to the problem, like mandatory prison sentences, for those found carrying. Unfortunately, I don't think prison alone, will work. This problem has been brewing for a number of years. This govt has brought up a generation of people who accept no responsibility for their actions. Just look at the telly adverts ("I was drilling a hole in a wall, using a rickety old ladder, which was the wrong type, when I fell off. My boss should have given me the right ladder." No, you should have secured your ladder properly, you burk!).

So we have people bringing up kids, that expect everyone else to teach them life skills. Whilst schools do an awful lot, it is still parents responsibility to 'bring their kids up'. Unfortunately, a lot of inner city kids are not getting this grooming. Instead, they are joining street gangs and follow their code of conduct. We only have to look at the Gang problem in the US to realise that this is a problem that cannot be fixed overnight.

In my honest opinion, the govt need to have a serious look at the welfare state. Stop encouraging the under classes to breed like rabbits. By all means, stop children being brought up in poverty, but if needs be, put them into decent care (not the current system, where the kids run riot in their care homes, because legislation prevents their carers from physical contact). Bring back some proper discipline and a sense of right or wrong, with proper consequences, not silly CPO's or ASBO's!

At the moment, the kids who are committing these offences, have no decent morals. Until we instill some, we are fighting a losing battle.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Car Tax



I know this is nothing to do with the Police, but it does make my blood boil. Gordon Brown wants to discourage people from using high polluting vehicles. So, from later on this year, the vast majority of us will have to pay more vehicle excise duty (car tax).

Now, I drive a 8 year old diesel estate car, which apparently, is a fairly 'high' polluter. The car is in quite good condition, but is not worth very much. I cannot afford to replace it, with a less polluting car, of a similar size and condition. If I could, I would have done so already.

This, policy sounds very good to environmentalists. Unfortunately, when you scratch away at the surface, you soon realise it is just another revenue generator. Let's face it. Many people are going to be in the same boat as me, and not be able to afford to change their cars. So, these cars are still going to be driven around, until they fall to pieces. Meanwhile, the driver's will still be paying more fuel duty to the government.

I can understand the sentiment behind the idea for getting us to stop driving high polluting cars. However, this should start with brand new cars, so you know what you've got to pay, up front. It hardly seems fair, to move the goalposts, once a car has been purchased.

All I can see this policy achieving, is more untaxed vehicles on the road, and you know who has to deal with them!

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Supervision

HMIC have announced that Sergeants are not doing their job properly! Too much time is being spent on auditing and checking and not enough time supervising.

Well hello, this is not exactly a startling discovery. Lets face it, Pc's are spending far too much time doing paperwork, so in the bureaucratic Police Service, it's inevitable that the Ps's are going to have to 'check' all that paperwork.
My poor skipper, has to not only check all files that are complete, but also has to regularly check my ongoing investigations and add 'helpful' comments in the log, to prove that he has done so.

Now, in every walk of life, you get good and bad. A good skipper, will do the minimum of paperwork and get out on the street and supervise his/her troops. A bad skipper, will be tied to their desk and never see the light of day. Unfortunately, we seem to be promoting a lot more of the latter.

In my humble opinion, the Sergeants job, is probably the hardest in the whole service. They get sh1t from both ends and nowadays, have very little authority. I am aware of Sgt's trying to discipline Pc's, but getting no backing from those higher up the chain of command.

The fact of the matter is that there is no discipline anymore. When I joined in the 80's, there was two Sgt's and an Inspector on every shift. Nowadays, there is just one sergeant, (who is normally just acting up) and one inspector to cover the whole division. In reality, it means Pc's get no supervision. Most of the time we don't need any, however, there are always some who will take the pi55 out of the system.

I would love to go back to the old days of a disciplined service, but it isn't going to happen. Not unless, Chief Constables start to promote a lot more of the right sort of people!

Monday, 30 June 2008

Shortage

So, there is a shortage of handcuffs.

I can't see that myself. Well, if forces are struggling to kit out new recruits, they just need to re-distribute old stock. Let's face it, there must be thousands of pairs of handcuffs, languishing in lockers up and down the country, that belong to the 9-5 squad members. I suspect, most will need refurbishing, because they are probably jammed solid through lack of use.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Well Done Civitas...

Civitas (not sure who/what they are) say that the Police are targetting trivial crime.

At last, someone has seen the light. The only problem is, most people are going to think it is the officers on the ground, who are leading this charge. There might be some, but all I can say, is that the vast majority of us, would much rather be doing some 'proper' police work, instead of investigating trivial nonesense.

There are two sets of people to blame for this. Firstly, the modern generation, who will report all manner of trivial nonesense to the police. I have a cunning plan to put a stop to this. All citizens, should be entitled to 3 free call outs in any one year. After that, they should have to pay for the police/ambulance/fire/doctor/social services time. In the Police's case, if the person's call results in the conviction at court of an individual, then they will be entitled to a refund, otherwise £60 a call out and £30 for every half hour spent dealing/investigating. That would stop most of our regulars wasting our time!

The other set of people are the government and ACPO. Since this govt, introduced the ethical crime recording standards, in it's relentless quest for meaningless statistics, then the police are duty bound to record all the trivial nonsense that the first group report. The problem then arises, with ACPO. They too, love statistics, the most important of which, is the detection rate. They don't like having undetected crimes on their books. So, if you have to record trivial nonsense, then you will need to investigate and 'detect' it. Hence, why it appears that the bobby on the beat, is chasing easy detections.

I don't think we can do much about the first group, well, not in the short term anyway. However, we can do something about the second. Either, scrap 'ethical crime recording' and go back to allowing officers to decide if a crime has been committed; or, record the trivial nonsense, but in a different category to 'proper' crime, and don't waste time investigating and trying to detect it.

NEW LABOUR - Tough on crime figures, tough on the users of common sense!

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Mixed Messages

It seems that the Ministry of Justice and Commisioner of the MET, don't talk to each other.
Whilst the MOJ, are releasing convicted criminals, in order to free up some space, Sir Ian BLAIR is calling for tougher sentences!

The thing that makes me laugh, is that Blair thinks PCSO's will be able to prevent witness intimidation! How exactly? It's not their fault, but with no real powers, what's the difference between a PCSO and a Court Usher, trying to keep order in court?

It seems to me that this government is like a pissed up chav on a Saturday night. It's stumbling along, in several directions at once. It has no real idea where its going or how its going to get there, but it sure as hell, thinks it knows best!

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Spin

We've known for years about Government Spin Doctors, but it now seems that Police Leaders have caught the bug.
I know in my force, the attitude is "How does it look?" instead of "Is it any good?"
We have even been told by ACPO to go out and tell the public everything is great. The trouble is, most of us aren't politicians and couldn't care less about positive spin.
I was proud to be a Police Officer but I'm not so sure nowadays. No amount of spin is going to convince the public, that crime is down and they live in safe communities. I'm certainly not going to ignore the fact that we generally provide a poor service to the most deserved. I will continue to do my best and apologise for poor management.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

CPS

So, its finally been confirmed. The CPS are useless at looking after all your carefully prepared files.


Most of us have known that for some time. I've lost count of the number of times they have lost various forms and even the odd whole file. We are supposed to be going paper free soon. No doubt they'll crash a few computers, when that happens.


We have got to a stage now, where officers are attending court, just to make sure that the CPS Lawyer's ask for the right conditions/present the facts correctly.


I have even had a case thrown out at court, because the CPS Prosecutor 'forgot' to turn up!


I have often suspected that any solicitor whose any good, will be doing defence work, leaving the CPS the flotsam and jetsom.

I have met some good prosecutors in the past. Unfortunately, these people have all left and been replaced by useless to55ers.
Its about time someone sorted the CPS out. They will quickly criticise the Police if we fail to collect all the evidence, but what's the point if they go and loose it?






Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Industrial Rights



Jacqui Smith, you have been warned.......

None of us want to go on strike, but you are forcing us to take a stance. You can easily sort the problem out.

STOP TAKING THE PISS.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Promotion

I made a decision many years ago, that I was not interested in going for promotion. The reason being, I can't be bothered to jump through all the hoops, to climb the greasy pole. Its not that I'm not capable. Without blowing my own trumpet, I could do most middle mangaement jobs with my hands tied behind my back. Let's face it, they're not difficult roles!

In my force, there has been a culture of management by fear. Those who want to rise through the ranks, are soon informed that they have to tow the party line if they want promotion. An example of this, was an officer acting up to inspector. He went to BCU management meeting. One of the items on the agenda, was an idea from a lowly Pc, that a spare day in the 10 week shift pattern, could be used as a team building day, for the individual response teams. This idea was soon poo pooed by all present and they moved onto the next item on the agenda. This was the Senior Management's team building day at a local hotel. All those concerned said they were looking forward to it. Our acting Inspector then spoke up and asked the group if it was prudent to have a team building day for senior management but refuse one for the lower ranks. A few other sheep then nodded in agreement, but the superintendent over ruled them and the motion was passed. At the end of the meeting, our A/Insp was pulled to one side by the Superintendent and told in no uncertain terms to wind his neck in and never pour scorn over one of the Super's ideas again, or he would never get promoted.

Now, I am a man of principles and I am not prepared to sit on one of these meetings telling the emperor his clothes look fine. I therfore realise I would be wasting my time trying to get promoted. So when I hear Chief Constable's saying VMO's face a hard task getting promoted, I wonder if that's because they are more outspoken!
I don't think we need to change the promotion system for VMO's. We need to get rid of this culture of 'rank assumes knowledge'. We should be encouraging people to challenge stupid ideas, if we want innovative leaders.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

CCTV

For years now, the civil liberties lot have been worrying about the proliferation of CCTV cameras, throughout Britain. Recently, DCI Neville of the yard, has poured scorn over these fears.

I don't know much about criminology, but I do investigate crime. I think people need to understand the limitations of CCTV. It is only any use, if it is being monitored by operators and recorded in real time. Sticking a camera on the side of your building, with a 24 hour tape in it, is a total waste of money. If I had a £1 for every crime I investigate, where a civvy crime recorder has instructed me to check CCTV. I'm sorry, but seeing a shadowy figure in the distance is not going to assist me whatsoever, in identifying an offender.

You have got to ask, "Is it worth the officer's time to trawl through hours and hours of CCTV?" I'll be honest, in most cases it isn't. A lot of it depends on the camera system, but generally time- lapse cameras are a waste of space. A correctly positioned camera, not too panned out and with good lighting, should be worth looking at. Anything else, forget it.

So, Mrs Olympic medal winner. I can guarantee, even if the Met do look at the CCTV, they wont find anything of any use.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

That'll learn em....

Jacqui Smith has announced a new way to stop anti-social behaviour by crowds of yobs. Apparently, all you've got to do is film them!

Yeah right! As if that's going to stop them. All our lot do, when we point a camera in their direction, is pull their hoodies over their heads!

When is she going to 'announce' something that is actually going to help tackle ASB?

How about giving parents back the right to 'smack' their children for a start. I was doing a Section 18 search in a 17 year olds house today, when his father returned. He was a well built bloke, with his own building business. I was expecting the usual "stop picking on my Timmy, you lot are always hassling him" type of conversation. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised. He was at his wits end with his son. He told me that he wanted to give him a 'bloody good hiding', but was reluctant to do so, for fear of getting a criminal record.
Now some liberals out there will argue that corporal punishment is not the answer. They may be right in some cases, who knows? However, why take away a parents right to make informed decisions?

In my opinion, a few more beatings, would sort out, a lot of our gobby little sh*ts!

Monday, 5 May 2008

Sudden Death

Have you noticed how many more sudden deaths we are attending nowadays? Every person that dies, has to have a death certificate. This can be done by a GP, if they are certain what the person died of. If not, then the coroner will hold an autopsy. The Police are called out, to act for the coroner, and remove the deceased to the mortuary.

Ever since Harold Shipman, I have been called to far more. It is quite common to get called out to people with a diagnosed terminal illness, who have gone home to die in dignity. Whilst I always try to be as respectful as possible, there is always some resentment that we do things 'our' way.

Now apparently, research has suggested that it would be hard to detect another Shipman.
What a load of old tosh. Even if, you can get a doctor to attend a sudden death, you can guarantee, it wont be the deceased's own GP. No, most of them have opted out of making out of hours home visits (most of the deaths I attend are outside office hours!), leaving the emergency services to pick up the slack. In the unlikely event you do get the GP, they are usually reluctant to sign a death certificate.

So, if you want to see if there is another Shipman out there, just look to see which GP is signing death certificates, 'out of hours'!

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Something to do with eggs and sucking....

So I've got to have PIP training, have I? What the f*ck is PIP?

Apparently, in 20 years, I've learnt nothing and I need to go on a course to learn how to investigate crime. Well, I've got news for you. I know how to investigate crime?



Ok, I might struggle with a murder, butI know how to investigate the dross and drivel that gets reported to the Police. I rarely get to investigate a 'decent' crime. They're all snatched off you by some squad or other, if there is a likelihood of an arrest on the end of it.
How hard is it to investigate Sharon's report of nasty text messages from Tracey? Or Jordan's scuffle with Tyler?

Apparently, I've got to write my victims statement, in a different way, with headed sections. I've seen a few of these, done by Student Officers and they're crap. They read like they were written by a 15 year old chav in a PE exam!

The reason for this?

It will make the CPS's job easier for them. They will be able to read straight from the statement at court.

Now, listen here Ken MacDonald. I have to spend a lot of time preparing my case files. The least you could do in return, is to instruct your prosecutor's to familiarise themselves with them, prior to any trial. God knows, you make my job harder by insisting that the most pedantic enquiries are completed, so why should I make your job any easier?

Friday, 25 April 2008

Who should we believe?

On a day when, recorded crime has apparently fallen, prison numbers have hit an all time high.
According to Home Office figures, our sanctioned detection rate, rose by 1.8%, but the overall crime rate fell by 7% in the year 2006/7.
So in reality, we've detected 5.2% less crimes this year!
I don't know where the truth lies, but these figures don't really add up. The justice Ministry is trying to persuade the courts to send fewer people to prison, yet the prison population goes up, despite the Police detecting fewer crimes. Me thinks, someone is telling porkies.
Mind you, the Government's latest idea to reduce prison overcrowding, has been exposed as a flop. The buggers don't even try to escape!

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Eye in the Sky

Apparently, the sky's near you, could soon be filled with small drones, zooming their cameras into your street.

I wonder if they'll be any more reliable than the current, expensive, leaf blowers. People take the mickey out of theTrain Companies, for lame excuses, but you should hear some of the Air Support Units, reasons for not attending.

"It's too cloudy"
"It's too dark"
"It's too windy"
"It's too far"
"The Pilot's out of hours"
"The helicopter's offline"
"There's too many people out there"

I can't see it working, myself. The chavs, will soon shoot it down!

Friday, 18 April 2008

Local Knowledge.

“Whiskey Golf three seven, can you attend an RTC on the A 999, between Upper Dingle and Broad Trump. A head-on and road blocked.”
“Err, sorry. What was the location again?”
“A 999 between Upper Dingle and Broad Trump.”
“I thought that was what you said. The A 999 doesn’t go through either Upper Dingle or Broad Trump. That road is the B1234.”
“Well, that’s what the caller said.”
“ The location doesn’t exist. Can you phone them back?
“Sorry, the number taken is now switched off.”

Somehow, after driving around in ever decreasing circles, we manage to find the Collision Scene. I apologised to one of the drivers about the delay. He smiled and said, “I did wonder what the operator was on about. I told her I was on the A666, between Upper Digby and Banfield Torp. She said she couldn’t validate the address on her computer.”
“Ah”, I replied. “You were speaking to someone who is 60 miles away and has never been anywhere near here.”
“I might as well have called India.”
“Apparently, it’s called progress! You get a much better service from a large centralised control room, rather than a small local control room. Something to do with best practice.”

We’ve had our ‘super control’ for a few years now. It works ok if the desperate caller knows their postcode. If they don’t, forget it. With absolutely no local knowledge, if the computer says no, then the call taker goes for ‘best match’. I’ve lost count of the number of wild goose chases I’ve been on recently. Let’s use common sense and bring back local people serving local people!

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Garnish

I am getting fed up with what I call "Gotta be seen to be doing something" policing. You know. Where it doesn't matter what the result is, as long as the Section Commander can say at the next Community safety Partnership meeting, that we have carried out x amount of patrols or executed so and so warrants.

How many times recently, have I had a rest day cancelled (with plenty of time, so they don't have to pay me any extra) for an action day of some sort. Doing a warrant, on the basis of some intelligence, that's weeks out of date. We know we wont find anything, but the boss has invited the press along, to show them what a wonderful job we are doing.


I know we have to provide some community reassurance, but lets not try to pull the wool over their eyes. Lets leave that to the politicians.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Speedy Resolution

Have you noticed how many more incidents, turn into armed sieges, nowadays?

I remember an incident, not long after I joined the job. We were on night shift and colleagues got sent to a domestic. When they arrived, a woman was stood in the road, tears streaming down her face. She had been out for the evening, with her husband. He had got very drunk and upon their arrival home, wanted to fight the world. As my colleagues appraoched the garden gate, he came to the front door and proceeded to throw all the kitchen knives at them. Luckily, they all missed hitting anyone. They called for backup and we were on scene pretty quickly, but by the time we arrived, the chap was almost out of knives to throw and resorted to spoons and forks. We all stood and watched as he ran out of ammo. He then went back indoors and slammed the door shut. By this time there were six of us, but no supervisors, as we hadn't asked for any. We decided that bloke needed to be nicked and it was too cold to stand around, so we rushed the door. We were soon in the house, but he barricaded himself in the sitting room. With a second surge, we soon smashed that door in and jumped on top of the chopper. Time from first call to cuffed and stuffed, 12 minutes. No 'Trained Negotiators' in their Gucci Kit needed or Superintendents called out bed. Just 6 coppers doing their job.
Now I realise, that it could have gone horribly wrong, but we all agreed that it was the best course of action.
I do wonder, if we don't dilly dally about too much nowadays. Sometimes, a quick aggressive response will achieve the right result, sometimes it might be inappropriate. But lets not dismiss the option altogether. Otherwise this might happen.
I've even been at an incident where the offender wanted to give himself up, but the chief inspector wouldn't let him, because the firearms unit weren't ready!

Monday, 14 April 2008

Mission Statements

Can you remember back before the turn of the century, when Police Cars, didn't have logos? Back then, everyone knew that 999 was the emergency number for the Police and if you wanted the non-emergency number, you looked it up in the phonebook. Strangely enough, everyone seemed to know, what the Police were there for. You know, fighting crime and stuff.

Apparently, 21st Century people are thick, because they need to see lots of mission statements and catchy slogans, to realise what the Police are here for.

"Working together to keep you safe" or "Fighting hard to keep crime down".

Can anyone tell me why we need a silly slogan? Its not as if the public can choose which force to investigate their problems, is it? Mrs Ponsonby isn't going to phone Ruralshire, just because they're "committed to citizen focus". Even if she did, they'd only fire her back to her local force.

Does having a motto help me do my job any better/differently? I don't think so. So lets stop pi55ing about with poxy mission statements. We're the Police. Our job is to prevent and detect crime and keep the peace. End of!

If you think I'm being harsh, read this.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Jollies

I was chatting to a man from Bali, the other day, whilst investigating a burglary. I couldn't help thinking that I knew nothing about Bali, or its culture. This, is very remiss of me and prevents me from doing my job correctly. The only way I can improve my knowledge, would be to visit Bali for a couple of weeks. I can't afford to go, but obviously, it is in the interest of the Police Service to send me out there, so I can get to know local customs. However, I don't want to go on my own, so I'll see if I can take 8 of my mates with me.

Oh bugger, I've just realised the flaw in my plan. There is no way, response can afford to loose 9 officers for two weeks. Oh well, it was a nice idea!

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Drunks

Is it just me, or do people get more drunk on 'nights out', than they used to? I appreciate, I'm no spring chicken anymore, but in my youth, I liked a drink as much as the next person. I liked the social side of 'going out' and enjoyed my beer. As a consequence, every now and then, I would get quite drunk. Nowadays, people seem to go out, with the soul intention of getting drunk, as quickly as possible. As a consequence, they often come to our attention.
The trouble is, what do you do with a vomit/urine soaked teenager, dead to the world. As sure as eggs is eggs, a custody sergeant wont want them in his/her cells. A&E, don't want them clogging up their beds and you try finding a sensible family member to look after them, late at night.
I remember this article in 2004. Did it ever get off the ground? I've heard no more about it. I know the Scandanavians have used Drunk Tanks, for a number of years. They are staffed by a mixture of medical staff and civilian detention officers. All intoxicated people, including those arrested for criminal offences, are initially taken to the drunk tank. If they were just taken there for their own safety, they are released when sober. If they are there for a criminal matter, they are transferred to Police Custody, when sober. A brilliant idea, no doubt thought up by a lowly street cop!
So come on you politicians, why not implement these in every large town and city. It would free up NHS staff and Police, to do their proper jobs and not baby sitting duties. And you never know, it might even put one or two people off getting sh*tfaced, next time!

Monday, 7 April 2008

Family Life

Mr Justice Coleridge thinks the breakdown of family life, is the root of all todays problems. I can't imagine for one minute, where he gets that idea from!
What a tangled web of deceipt, this is turning out to be. Insp Gadget amongst others, has already mentioned most of our suspicions, about this case. Call it a coppers nose, or just synical minds, but right from the outset, most Police Officers, recognised that something was not quite right, in this case. I have not commented before, for fear of being accused of slander. I think it is safe to make a comment now.
In my opinion, this is a classic example of what Justice Coleridge is on about. Here, we have a woman, with children by several different men, who is now shacked up with a boy 10 years younger than her. Neither of them work, relying instead on state benefits. They live in an estate, where a large proportion, have similar 'family' values.
My guess, is that the poor girl has been used by the family for a bit of self-gratification. Right from the begining, her mother sought the public limelight. She needed to be centre of attention. She has seen how other kidnap victims, have been given a new 'life', after their release. I suspect, the whole family were looking to 'sell' their story to the media, for vast sums of money. God knows, what plans they had for Shannon.
Its about time this governement, stopped rewarding people for having no morals. Whilst, every one of us can point to failed relationships, in our pasts, only the underclass, can look to profit from them. Its a common issue of young girls getting deliberately pregnant, in order to get a council flat/house. Whilst I do not want to prevent genuine people from obtaining assistance, I do feel that the state needs to clamp down, on those with the morals of sewer rats! Otherwise, their offspring stand no chance of leading a decent life.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Naughty, naughty


Call the National Guard, someone's parked in a disabled parking space.
Don't get me wrong. I think that the Police should set an example to others and not break laws willy nilly.
However, have you visited a supermarket recently? I think we must have a nation of cripples, considering the number of disabled parking bays we have nowadays. Whilst I do think that any wheelchair bound person, should be able to have a wide space close to the front doors, I do wonder how many of the blue badge holders fall into that category? I suspect a lot of them are claiming the disability allowance, for some rare skeletal disease. They're bone idle!
The numbers of people claiming disability allowance have risen dramatically over the last few years. You can't tell me, that all these people are genuinely disabled. I suspect a large number are lazy, workshy layabouts, who only need to park closer to the front door of the shops, because it's quicker to the scratchcard counter!
So whilst the Police Van probably shouldn't have parked in the disabled space, is there really a need for so many of them?

Friday, 4 April 2008

Yet another silly idea...

I see Jacqui Smith and her cronies have come up with another harebrained idea. "Let's ban paedophiles from internet chatrooms." That's a bit like saying, lets ban car thieves from driving, or shoplifters from entering shops. A total waste of time, coz the offenders take no notice.
How exactly do they plan to enforce these bans? It's not exactly difficult to obtain an e-mail account nowadays.
This is another bit of Nu Labour spin. Yes it will be an offence for registered sex offenders to enter chatrooms, but, one that there is no way of preventing. When the lowlife are finally caught, for a far worse offence, this may be an additional charge to add to the file.
In the meantime, it's got bugger all to do with protecting children!

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Got any spare change mister?

Apparently, officers in 5 Police Forces are likely to be made redundant.

What do you think? I'll put next months salary on the fact they wont! It's just scaremongering amongst senior officers/journalists.
However, it does make me wonder where all the money goes. If these forces are as good at wasting money as mine is, it's probably all gone on refurbishing headquarters! In the past couple of years, stations have either closed or only have safer neighbourhood teams based in them. On my response team, we now cover an area, that was previously covered by 3 stations. Did we get any extra staff ? Did we fu*k!
I live in a decent sized village, with its own Police Station, which now lies empty. If I actually need to call a Police Officer, they now have to come from 15 miles away! A fact which doesn't fill my wife with confidence, when I'm on nights!
Guess what? Yes you got it. The Police Precept in my council tax bill, went up this year.

I think ACPO have got to realise that the public are fed up with having to pay more, for a poorer service. People need to feel reassured and you wont do that by quoting statistics. They want to know, that when they call for help, someone will be there quickly. Its hard to believe that, if they are coming from miles away!
So stop whinging to the press, because you risk alienating the Police from the public even more. Instead, start taking some common sense decisions. Stop trying to re-invent the wheel and in doing so, wasting public money. Then maybe, once we are doing what the public want, we can ask for more money in the future.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Don't travel unless it's necessary.....

I see Corporal Jones is now the official Police Spokesman on the weather. Today we had the usual half inch of slush and the media are broadcasting the bi-monthly winter message of condescending bollox. A police spokesperson said "We advise motorists not to travel, unless their journey is essential."
Excuse me, but what the hell does that actually mean? Surely, everyone that goes out in their car, thinks they can justify their journey. If the weather is really bad, then the message should be, "Don't go out. If you do, you do so at your own risk and we wont come to rescue you". If one or two stupid sightseers get lost along the way, then its just natures way of clearing out the bottom of the gene pool!
But let's face it, when are conditions, so bad that it really is advisable to stay indoors? Not very often. I watched some of the Channel 5 programme 'Ice Truckers'. Now, when the cops in Canada's Arctic region, say it's not safe to go out, then you know it's not safe. With temps often plummeting to -40 degrees and howling gales, that's just dangerous! A bit of wet snow at 3 degrees, isn't.
So come on, lets stop issuing stupid advice, every cold snap and save it for when we really have got some seriously bad weather (about once every twenty years)!




In the mean time, "DON'T PANIC" !

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Saturday, 15 March 2008

A Matter Of Trust

I think one legacy of Tony Blair’s and Gordon Brown’s governments, has got to be the way the nanny state tries to legislate, to remove all risk. This interference has found its way into the Police. Nowadays, we have a policy for virtually every possibility and woe betides anyone who doesn’t follow it. The trouble with all these policies, is that ‘ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL’.
In the past, an organisation would rely on its experienced staff, to spontaneously decide the appropriate course of action, for any given set of circumstances. It was called ‘EXPERIENCE’! Yes, occasionally, mistakes were made. But that is a fact of life. No one is perfect and neither is any policy.
There is a huge difference between risk management and risk avoidance. Life is all about managing risk. For instance, everyone takes a risk when asking their partner ‘out’ for their first date. Will they tell me to get lost or will they say yes? It’s a risk you have to take, because you can never be certain of the answer. However, you manage that risk by finding out a little about the person, prior to asking. You add up the odds of a achieving a positive answer and if they are favourable, you ask the question. Those who have experience of being rejected before, can spot the signs of a potential negative answer, better than those with no experience.
As someone who has been in the Police for two decades, I consider myself to be reasonably experienced. There are not too many sets of circumstances, that I have not encountered before. I am in no way perfect, but if I don’t know the answer, I usually know where to find it. Unfortunately, my experience counts for nothing nowadays. Virtually every action I take, is governed by some policy or other. I am no longer allowed to think for myself and decide the best course of action for the situation. I have to follow policy.
Well, as I said, one size does not fit all. More often than not, the well meaning risk aversion policy, is counter-productive for the parties involved. Unfortunately, people will continue to be murdered by their partners, despite ‘domestic violence policies. Children will continue to have play ground fights, despite ‘anti-bullying’ policies.
So, come on ACPO. Trust your staff to do the job they have been trained to do. Let them make their own informed decisions. Let them use their experience. You never know, it might actually lead to a happy workforce and you know what that leads to. Better productivity. Obviously, if they continue to make the same ‘wrong’ decisions, then deal with them appropriately, but give them a chance.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Depression

These three stories this week are either a tragic coincidence, or a sign of the stresses we are facing nowadays. I have had various bouts of depression in my life, but fortunately have not suffered like those 3 must have.
Whilst these deaths may be linked to domestic circumstances, there is no doubt in my mind, that the pressure of working in the modern day Police Service, takes its toll on ones sanity. Perhaps more needs to be done, for the individuals and their colleagues, to recognise the danger signs, before things become desperate. Obviously there is no easy answer.
My thoughts are with the families of Michael Todd, Neil Munro and Richard Fuller. R.I.P.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Court Results

This story doesn't surprise me in the slightest. I very rarely get to hear about the result of any of the cases I have dealt with. It's often quite embarrassing, when you bump into an i/p a few months down the line and they ask you what you think about the result. You then have to admit that you don't know what it was.
In my area, the best way to find out, is to read the court section of the local paper!
If we send someone up to the magistrates for a remand or breach of bail, we have to wait 2-3 days to find out the result. Quite often the offenders are out breaching their newly imposed bail conditions, but we don't know what the conditions are! I've had an i/p screaming at me to arrest an offender for breach of bail, but we have no record of the conditions and had to let him go!
I'm not really interested in silly statistics, but I think keeping a record of convictions, is quite important.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Another Stupid Idea

It seems that the liberal elite are coming up with some more of their stupid ideas.
When will these idiots get real? I'm sorry, but there is no such thing as a 'poor' addict. Certainly, when it comes to drugs, the users are all criminals. There may be one or two people out there, who were injected against there will, a number of times, to become addicts, but I can't imagine there are many. The rest, all chose to take drugs. Once they are addicted, they have three choices. Either give up, find a legal way of financing their addiction, or turn to crime. The vast majority of drug addicts choose the latter. From my experiences, a lot of our local addicts, were recidivists, before they became addicted to drugs.
This new policy, once again, takes no account of the victims. Well, I'm sorry, but that is just not good enough. Lord Phillips, have you ever visited an elderly victim of a handbag snatch? I very much doubt it. What you deem to be a crime, that the poor perpetrator can't be expected to avoid committing, can have a devastating effect on its victim. These victims need protecting from criminals with no morals, not to be made to feel sorry for them.
What sort of message do you think this sends out to addicts? Carry on as you are, because we feel sorry for you!
Stop meddling.
I'd bet the Liberal Elite would change their minds, if they were forced to live next door to a crack house!

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Loyalty Scheme

I think some of the local chavs think the Police have a loyalty scheme, judging by the number of calls they make to us! Well, I'm sorry, but we wont be offering any air miles or coupons, even if you do make a dozen calls in as many days!
On the contrary, I think we should operate something similar to the breakdown companies, no-call discounts. We could say that everyone is entitled to 3 free 999 calls a year. After that, they have to start paying for investigations. That would put a stop to some of the childish nonesense, that gets reported to us, day in, day out.
"Yes sir, we will send an officer out to you. That will be £50 call out fee, £30 for the first half an hour, then £20 for every half an hour spent investigating the matter, after that! If you keep every appointment, including appearing at court as a witness, you will be entitled to a 75% discount."
I think that's fair. Hopefully, it would cut out the crap, leaving us more time to investigate proper crime!
If not then we could always resort to this

Friday, 7 March 2008

Waste of Money

Apologies for the lack of posts this week, had computer problems!

Reading this article, has made me realise, what a gravy train the criminal justice system is. That man has no chance of proving his innocence, but keeps trying it on, with costly appeals, to find legal loopholes. The question is, who is responsible for starting these appeals? I suspect it is partly the prisoner and partly his legal team, who are on to a nice little earner, either way.

However, the state has still got to defend these appeals. Even if costs are awarded against the prisoner, the state are still going to be out of pocket.

Whilst we have to be careful not to send innocent people to prison, so we should also be careful not to let guilty people free, on some red tape loophole.

I suspect this decision, is just another example of modern society. It's not really a decision, just a case of sitting on the fence and getting someone else to make a decision.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

So the ACPO crime chief is concerned that the British Crime Survey, is not accurate. Well Whoopey Doo! Who cares?

I think he is just trying to get himself, another job. Chief in charge of re-counting, the incalculable!

What does it matter, what figures they use? Someone, will always be able to prove they are innaccurate.

When will our leaders, stop worrying about statistics? They will show, whatever you want them to show!
If you don't like the number of crimes, get Tom Cruise in to detect them all, before they are even committed!

Friday, 29 February 2008

Victims

In the world of Policing, a victim has many acronyms, such as I/P, aggrieved, loser, to name but a few.
These people are always the victim of some particular crime. However, in recent times, the numbers of people, who are becoming victims through their own stupidity, are increasing, if my experiences are anything to go by.

Back in my regular pub/club drinking days, I soon spotted potential trouble and did my best to avoid it. Nowadays, it seems common for some people to aggravate others, then seem surprised when they get a beating. Hello! What did you think would happen?
I had a bloke complaining of assault to me, after he had told the drunk and upset boyfriend of a girl he fancied, that the boyfriend didn't deserve the girl. When he tried it on with her, the bloke punched him in the face.
Now, I realise that's an assault, but I think I'd rather not get a shooing, than have one with 'right' on my side!
The same goes for victims who don't secure their property or victims of internet scams. I know these are all crimes and in the ideal world, there would be no criminals out there preying on their victims. Unfortunately, we live in the real world. These things have, do and will happen again.

I think we should have two sets of crime statistics. Those where the person became a victim, through no fault of their own and the other, for the rest of the numpties!

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Are you a Racist

Oh dear. That's me fuc*ed then!

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Oh bugger...

This story is a sign of the times.

In years gone by, I have been guilty of playing a similar game. I didn't get caught (I didn't venture too far). There was a story floating around years ago, that a few Met Officers were stranded at Calais, when the weather turned bad (before the Channel Tunnel).
Back then, undoubtedly, they would have been disciplined. But it wouldn't need the IPCC to do it. I don't know the circumstances of this, but I guess that the force in question self referred the matter to the IPCC, rather than dealing with it themselves. Why? Is the result any different? I doubt it. Just another copout by the top brass.

Next time you do it boys and girls, use a plain car and make sure you have breakdown cover!

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

I know I shouldn't, but.....

I remember when I joined this job, someone saying, “be prepared for the unexpected”.

It was just gone 1am on a cool Autum night, when we had a call to attend a domestic burglary. “Bastards”, I thought. It’s bad enough being burgled during the day, but at night time, it can be traumatic, to even the strongest person.
We arrived at the scene within minutes. It was a semi-detached bungalow. We had a quick check around the garden but nothing untoward. I knocked on the door. It was answered by an elderly man.
“Hello. It’s the Police Ethel” he said, whilst looking over his shoulder towards the living room.
“Well, let them in then” said a female voice.
“Hello” I said, “We’ve come about the burglary”.
“Eh”.
“Did you phone us about a burglary?” I asked.
“Yes, that’s right”.

We were shown into the living room, where an elderly lady was sat, knitting away, with a cat curled up by her feet. It had the ‘normal’ smells of an old person’s house! Nothing appeared disturbed.

“What’s been taken?” I asked.
“Clothes” replied the old man.
That’s unusual, I thought. “Where from?”
The man shuffled into the hallway and pointed to the loft hatch.
“How did they get in there?” I asked.
“I’ll show you” he replied and shuffled outside into the rear garden.

It was pitch dark outside. The old man pointed to the roof and said “There”. I shone my torch but the roof was as it should be.
“Where” I said.
“There. Between the gaps in the tiles” he said. I stifled a giggle.

We went back inside. I pretended to write something in my pocket book, desperately avoiding eye contact with my colleague.
“I know who did it” said the old man. “It was Danny Jarvis”. This was a name of a local thief.
“Oh yes” I said, “What makes you think it was him?”
“I’m psychic” he replied.

That was it. I could control myself no longer. I began to giggle. I made my excuses and went outside. I started to laugh uncontrollably, with tears streaming down my face. Not very professional, I know but I couldn’t help myself.

Fair play, to my colleague. He managed to get sufficient details from the couple, for us to make a report to Social Services.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Court Bail

Apparently, things have got so bad in the ministry of justice, that there is little chance of being remanded in custody, even on a murder charge!

I have lost count recently, how many of our Prolific Priority Offenders have been granted bail by the courts. If these people can get bail, then there is no hope.

Some might argue, that these people should be granted freedom, but have restrictions placed upon their lives. Uhm, let me think about that for a minute. No.

The problem is, they are given bail conditions, usually not to go to certain places and to live at a certain address and remain indoors at night. The first problem, we usually encounter, is that the nasty policemen have a habit of knocking on their door's after midnight to check they are in. Despite requests to the contrary, the magistrates often fail to put a duty to answer the door, upon the suspect. Hence, there is no way of knowing if the little darling is in or out, if he doesn't want to answer his door!
Eventually, they are usually caught breaching one or all of their bail conditions and are arrested and taken back to court. Now, any sensible person would think, if they were given a chance to stay free, but chose to break the rules, then they should no longer have the chance. Yes? Er, no. The little darlings are told off for breaking the rules of the game, but given a third chance and released again with the same conditions. When they are caught the very same day breaking those conditions, that gives the court a real problem. We can't keep releasing this person, only to have him back in front of us within hours. He obviously can't abide by his conditions, so we only have one alternative. Yes, that's right, send him to prison. Well, er, not quite. You see there's no space. No, we think it best if we remove his bail conditions, because he'll only break them again, and you'll end up arresting him and bringing him back here. The best solution in the long run. Save the court time, save the Police time and help unclog the prisons!

If only it was a joke!

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Interviews

I'll be honest, I'm not the greatest interviewer in the world. That's mainly because I only ever get to interview muppets who have committed petty crimes, that are not going to result in Crown Court Trials. I can't be bothered to use the 'peace' model. Why waste time going around the houses. A simple "did you do it?", will normally get the desired cough!
The only advantage of interviewing some of these pondlife, is that you can usually guarantee they will say something hilarious.
A couple of examples:
1)
" I need to ask you some questions about an allegation of theft".
"I aint saying nuffing til I spoke to my lawyer."
"O.K. Who is your solicitor?"
"No Comment."
" I understand you do not want to say anything, but can you tell me your solicitors name, so I can call him for you?"
"No Comment"
"No you don't understand, this is not an interview. Just tell me which solicitor you want to speak to."
"No Comment."
"Are you refusing to tell me?"
"No Comment."

It carried on like this for a while, before I got bored. I had to get the Inspector to penetrate his thick skull. He didn't have a brief and went for the duty!

2)
I was interviewing another member of MENSA one day. He was answering every question with"No Comment". I continued to ask him questions covering all the salient points, when he got bored and came out with a classic line.
"Can I just say, I will be pleading guilty, even though I'm going no comment!"
"Why are you going No Comment, then?"
"It saves time!"

If the court ever listened to the tape, they could hear me struggle to maintain my composure!

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Discretion

My mind drifted back to my days in Police Training School, the other day. I remember struggling to learn all my powers. I mentioned it to the instructor. He gave me a sound piece of advice. He said, "Just remember, that the greatest power you have, is the power of discretion." He also said, that arrest should be a last resort, because you are taking someone's liberty away from them.

Oh, how times have changed. Discretion is banned word nowadays. I am not allowed to use my discretion anymore. I'll give you an example.

Your at home with your wife/husband one evening, when you have a loud argument. Nothing serious or violent, just the way your two personalities deal with disagreements. Unfortunately, a plate gets accidentally broken during the shouting. However, a neighbour can hear the shouting and smashing and phones the Police, to complain about the noise. The call taker asks the neighbour what the problem is and he tells the call taker that you two are shouting and making too much noise and he heard the sound of smashing. The call taker asks who is in the house and the neighbour says that it is a man and a woman. The call taker then creates a log, with the immortal description of 'Domestic Disturbance'. Police will be directed to attend.

Now, in the good old days, I would have attended and spoken to you and your partner. If I was satisfied that it was nothing more than an argument, I would have given words of advice and left it at that.

Nowadays, as soon as the 'D' word has been used, then all discretion goes out of the window. You see, every Police Force in the land, has a positive action policy when it comes to dealing with domestics. What that means, is, the attending officer has got to justify why they have not arrested anyone. Yes, that's right, justification for not arresting! So, I would turn up at your house, with the intention of arresting someone. You and your partner will tell me that nothing has gone on. I will see the smashed crockery on the floor. I then decide that a breach of the peace has occurred and I arrest one of you (normally the man). I will also have to ask you some very personal questions, in order to complete a risk assessment. I will then visit the neighbour to find out more from them.
You or partner will then be taken to the Police Station and put in the cells. I will research your history to see if there is sufficient evidence to put you before a court for a bind over to keep the peace. If there is (which in this case there isn't) you will be kept in custody to attend the next available court. Alternatively, you will be released from custody once we are satisfied a breach of the peace is no longer likely to occurr.
You will return home, very resentful and having no respect for the Police. I will have completed a mountain of paperwork, for fu*k all and the domestic violence statistics will have risen again.

Will I have prevented a potential domestic murder? I doubt it. Will I have made you or your partner think twice before answering the door to the Police again. Most likely.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

I want to play with it!


Have you ever noticed how some officers get very excited about the Police vehicles they drive?

I have known some, to arrive for work half an hour early, just so they can get the keys to their favourite car. Some will even hide the keys or take them home, so no one else can drive their motor!


How pathetic. Are they that pedantic about their 'own' computer or printer? I doubt it. Come on people, its a piece of kit. Certainly not worth fighting over!

Monday, 18 February 2008

I do a lot of work for Charidee

So the family of a sword wielding psycopath, want Police Officers prosecuted.

Well, excuse me, what the f**k did they expect? A man smashes up his house, drives the wrong way up a dual carriageway, crashes, then advances towards Police carrying three swords. The Police tried baton rounds to stop him but they didn't work. He would have been told numerous times in no uncertain terms, to put the swords down. He didn't but continued threatening the officers. They were forced to shoot him with live ammo. Now the family want the officers to face charges.

I am sorry for their loss, but what did they want the Police to do? Massage him into submission, with their tickling sticks!

Those officers deserve a commendation, not the threat of prosecution. If the bloke kept coming at them after two baton rounds, then they had to stop him with as many live rounds as was necessary, which in this case turned out to be six.

God forbid they had failed to stop him and he went on to attack an innocent member of the public.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

This week, I'll be mostly.....

There seems to be a new policy or crackdown announced at least once a week, nowadays.

Today, the con artist from the home office, has announced that she wants the Police to crack down on violent crime. No doubt, this will inolve lots of media interviews by Police Chiefs, followed by a couple of weekends, where overtime is used, to crew a PSU van, before it has been deemed a huge success and quietly forgotten about.

Last week, it was cracking down on underage drinkers, which consisted of getting a few neighbourhood beat officers to work evenings for a change. Filled the cupboards up with booze for the summer BBQ, though!

Next week it will be a crackdown on smoking without a licence.

Leave us alone you devious old cow. All you do, by having these silly campaigns, is grab a few headlines, then move on to the next one. It changes nothing in the long term.

I for one, shall not alter the way I do my job, one iota, no matter what Jacq the Rip Off, says!

Friday, 15 February 2008

Blame

Does anyone ever take responsibility for their own actions anymore? It seems that this bloke doesn't.

Now, I can feel some sympathy with any addict, that it must be very difficult to break their addiction. However, anyone who succesfully remains addiction free, will have done so by taking responsibility for their own welfare. Yes they will need help, but they will get nowhere without addressing their own failings.

So, the only person who could have stopped this man gambling, was himself.

I wonder if he would be suing the bookmaker for allowing him to gamble, if he had won? I doubt it very much.

Whilst, I do not really like anything about the gambling industry, I do hope that this man fails. That is the only way he will ever take responsibility for his own actions, and then beat his addiction.

I bet he doesn't though!!

P.S. Can I have the £1.50 back, that I wasted on last week's Euro Lottery?

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Time to go

I bet there will be some serious arse licking in Strathclyde soon, as the supernintendos jockey for position.

No doubt Super in charge of paperclips will argue that he is more important than Super in charge of colouring pens. I think Super in charge of re-naming departments can relax, as there is no chance of his job being scrapped.

As for more officers out on the streets, is that in 'real' or 'actual' terms. I doubt anyone will notice the difference!

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Scum

This story and this story are despicable. It is cases like these, where I struggle to control my fists. What I would love to do to the offenders in these and similar cases, I daren't publish!

However, suffice it to say, that I think they are the scum of the earth.


Bring back


Friday, 8 February 2008

Laws to suit...

It seems that British law is not suitable for everyone in the community. This is despite the fact that our Laws have evolved over many centuries and can be found as the basis of most legal systems around the world. Dr Williams thinks that those who's beliefs differ from the norm, can elect to be dealt with under their own law.

I have therefore drawn up a list of other groups, who may wish to revert to their own laws.

1) Pikey Law: Though shalt nick anything thou wants, but thou shalt not take thy mothers name in vain.

2) Polish Law: Thou shalt drink til thou canst stand, needing thy chariot to drive home. Thou shall claim that it be alright to do so, in thy motherland.

3) Bosnian Law: Thou shall fight to the death using swords and cleavers, anyone from thine own country of birth, thou dost not like.

4) Nigerian Law: Thou shalt write to others, promising great riches, but needing investment to bring to fruition.

5)Yardy Law: Thou shalt do whatever thy likes, in recompense for no respect.

Obviously, I'm only joking, so please don't start accusing me of racism.
I have to say, that I think Dr Williams has a theoretical point. However, the reality is quite unworkable. How can you have members of a society, chosing to ignore that society's laws and expect to be treated differently. It would result in a free for all! There are many laws in the land that I don't necessarily like. However, I can understand the need for them, for the greater good of society, so I therefore abide by them.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Utter Drivel part one...

I am getting increasingly frustrated with the utter nonsense, that gets reported to us nowadays. I think we have developed a generation of immature, pathetic individuals, who want someone else, to sort out all of life's little problems, for them. Now, I expect the underclass to call about rubbish, but not intelligent upper middle class people!

I had a complaint to investigate about abusive messages. When I phoned the informant I was staggered. Apparently, the callers 14 year old daughter goes to a private school. She has recently fallen out with her best friend. Both girls have 'My Space' pages on the internet and the other girl had apparently called the informants daughter an "evil bitch" and "Slag", on her site.

Is that it? Am I hearing right? What a fu*king load of old bollox. I'm sorry. But isn't that what teenage girls do? They fall out with each other over silly things, then in no time at all, are best friends again.

The trouble was, our wonderful civilian crime desk, had recorded it as malicious communications and I would have to conduct an investigation into it!

Fortunately, using my experienced old head, I managed to cuff the job, without putting pen to paper. I did however, have to type up the investigation on the computer to show that it was investigated thoroughly. What a complete waste of time.

When will today's generation learn to sort their own lives out, insteading of expecting someone else to do it for them?

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Stating the Bleeding Obvious...

I wish I was a retired Chief Constable. I could earn a few quid touring the country, chatting to my mates, then produce a report, which any copper in the land could have written.

Everyone knows there's too much bureaucracy in the Police Service. The big question needs to be, "What are we going to do about it?"

Over the years, many departments, that feed off bureaucracy, have sprung up. (Best Value, Performance Monitoring, Corporate Development, to name but a few!) Are we going to disband these departments? I very much doubt it! There are too many empire builders within the Police Service, for change to happen overnight. Just look at the Police Almanac for any force and see how many officers of Inspector and above, there are at each HQ. What do all these people do? Obviously there is the Chief Super in charge of counting paperclips and Chief Inspector for colouring in pie charts. But what about the rest of them? No doubt, each and everyone of them, will seek to justify their role, but come on, who are they trying to kid?

If this governemet seriously want to reduce bureaucracy for the bobby on the beat, then they need to start at the top. Until, these bean counters are made redundant, nothing is going to change very much. The Tories are no better, because they want to bring in performance related pay. What do they think that will achieve? More bureaucracy and people who know how to play the system.

The only thing that will change as a result of this report, is the colour or name, of the forms!

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Emperors New Clothes

I was watching a TV programme last night, about the war in Afghanistan. Part of it showed a Major briefing his troops. This bloke, finished his briefing with, "If we get into a contact with the enemy, we're going to put them in a headlock and kick their arse!" Immediately, this raised a chuckle from his troops, and you could see instantly, the respect they had for their boss.

Compare that with a briefing in the modern day Police Service. " Good morning, non gender specific people. Today, we are implementing Operation Safer Neighbourhood. You will be required to engage with our stakeholder partners, to deliver a programme of crime awareness workshops, to the community. It is requisite that you adopt the strategic ambition in your approach. Do not be diverted from delivering the citizen focus message,. Engage those members of the community that are vulnerable or from a special population group. If you do encounter recidivists, then you are empowered to be tactically aware and offer a zero tolerance approach to their activities."

What the fu*k is all that about? Just a load of nonesense and management speak. The attitude seems to be, if we use big words, we'll look more intelligent. Actually, no you wont. The intelligent thing to do, is gauge your audience. If you use big words and management bollox to your workers, the vast majority will switch off and think your a to55er.

Isn't it about time that some of our 'leaders' were brave enough to use their own personality, rather then follow the crowd. The chances are, you will gain far more respect from the staff who produce your results and where might that lead...?

Go on be brave, tell the emperor he has no clothes on!

Monday, 4 February 2008

Underclass Quiz

1) Tyler, your 9 year old son, has just returned home from school, with a cut lip. He tells you that Jordan, his 10 year old friend, elbowed him in the face, whilst they were mucking about in class. Do you,
(a) Put an ice pack on it and tell him to be more careful next time, or
(b) Charge round to Jordan’s house, have a fight with his mum, then phone the Police to say that your son has been beaten up at School, complain that they aint doing nuffing about it, so you want Jordan done.



2) Your car has been vandalised overnight and you report the matter to the Police. Eventually, an officer arrives to take a statement from you. Do you:-

(a) Send the kids out of the room, make the officer a nice cup of tea and apologise for causing him more paperwork; or
(b) Get your 3 year old to answer the door in his nappy, then say, “Sorry about the mess, we’re decorating”, whilst chucking last night’s dirty dinner plates behind the sofa. Then, whilst the officer is trying to write, continue to watch Trisha and take no notice of the kid, who is now wiping his sticky fingers all over the officer’s uniform.






3) You are watching a film on your surround sound, when a neighbour knocks on the door, asking you to turn it down a bit, because he’s on an early shift the next day. Do you:-

(a) Apologise profusely, and turn the surround sound down, remembering to make sure the neighbour is out, the next time you crank it up; or
(b) Do you tell him to “F**K OFF”, then slam the door in his face and turn the volume up a bit. Then, when he knocks again, rush outside, punch him in the face and run back indoors, before he can retaliate.



4) Your fridge finally packs up and is not economical to repair. Do you,
(a) Take it the local recycling centre and pay the environmental disposal charge, or,
(b) Leave it in the garden until its leaking and gone rusty. Then, load it onto your mate’s flatbed, then after dark, dump it at the nearest beauty spot,.



5) You buy a cheap runaround advertised in the local paper. Do you:-
(a) Make sure it is roadworthy and fully taxed and insured, before you take it anywhere near a road; or
(b) Assume that because you occasionally wash cars for your sister’s, best friend’s, aunties, cousin, that you must be covered on his trader’s policy. As far as the tax is concerned, you have “sent off for it”!



6) You over did it at Christmas and piled a few pounds on. Do you:-
(a) Try to lose some weight, but in the meantime disguise your excess weight with sensible clothing; or
(b) Drink Slim Fast for a day, then continue to parade around town in your ski pants and cut off top, thereby flaunting your fat arse and stretch marks, to all and sundry.





7) It’s your partner’s birthday and you decide to treat her/him. Do you:-
(a) Book a table at a nice restaurant and have a romantic evening stroll under the moonlit sky; or
(b) Take them to Chicago Rock for a burger, but make sure you get there in time for happy hour. After you’ve got bladdered, you see someone look at your partner and decide to ‘teach them a lesson’ by re-arranging their face with your fists and boots. Then, have a fight with the pigs and bouncers, and spend the night in the cells, leaving your partner to find their own way home.







8) Your local council has entered your town into the ‘Best Kept Town’ competition. Do you:-
(a) Do your bit by planting a few more flowers in your front garden and generally keep the place looking tidy; or
(b) Keep letting your pitbull crap in the kiddies play park. Then next time you’re out on the piss in town with your mates, pull all the flowers out of their beds, kick the bins over and snap all the hanging baskets from their mountings, before smashing all your empty WKD bottles on the pavement.




9) You are currently out of work. Do you:-
(a) Write to all the local employers asking for a job and in the meantime do a little voluntary work, to keep you active; or
(b) Stay in bed until midday, then slope down the DHSS for your benefits, before blowing half of it in the bookies and the other half on fags and booze. Then, when you’ve run out of money, claim that your Giro has been stolen, in a pathetic attempt to get more.





10) Your sat at home when there is a knock at the door. A scruffy looking bloke says that he has got a HD 42” Plasma TV in his van, that’s yours for £50. Do you:-
(a) Say ‘no thanks’ and shut the door, before phoning the police to inform them of the dodgy bloke; or
(b) Go outside, buy the telly off him for cash. Then, after he has legged it, discover that it doesn’t have anything in it except cement, and have the audacity to phone the Police to complain about being conned.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Fraud

All the recent hoohah about MP's employing family members, has made me think.

I have a lot of paperwork, whenever I arrest someone. Perhaps I could explain to the bosses that I would be far more proactive, if I could get my wife to do all my paperwork? I could pay her about £25k, which obviuosly I would claim back.
As I explained in my previous post, the chances of any of my arrestees, ending up in court is very slim. Therefore, my wife wouldn't have to do much paperwork, just staple a few MG forms together and submit it for a detection. If there was the odd case that slipped through the net and ended up in court, I could do the paperwork myself! That way, we're both in the money and the job thinks it's getting more detections.

Oh, but that is deception I hear you say. Well, yes it is actually. I wonder exactly what work Derek Conway's sons did for him? I bet it wasn't anything too taxing. Research, into earning money for doing nothing, I would suggest! You'd think Mr Conway would know better.

It makes you wonder, who are the mugs here?

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Court Warnings

Nowadays, it's quite rare to get a witness summons to appear at court. Current CPS and ultimately government thinking, seems to be that court trials are too much hassle. The onus is definately on guilty pleas and offenders are rewarded for doing so. However, every now and then, there comes an incident that is so serious, that the offender must be brought to justice (I mean proper justice, not some fixed penalty ticket that he wont pay!)
Before we get to that stage, the Police must have prepared a water tight case. The evidence must have past the 'threshold' test, whatever that is! It must then be presented to a 'grown up', known as the gatekeeper. If the gatekeeper thinks the evidence is good enough, he allows the officer to speak to the 'very grown up' CPS Lawyer. The CPS person, will do their utmost to avoid taking the job to court, by sending the file back with a lot of silly questions, that if they had read the thing properly in the first place, they would have found the answer to themselves! Once you have made it simple and bleeding obvious and return the file to them, then some tough decisions will have to be made. Is it in the public interest to go to court? Well, usually yes it is. So the long process of arranging a trial begins.
Now, despite the fact that the Police have to hand the completed file to CPS asap, you can't expect them to read the thing thoroughly. Hence, every single person who is mentioned on the file, will be warned to attend court for the trial. In some cases this can be dozens of people. I can guarantee that the court date will be arranged, when I am on a rest day (with plenty of advanced warning, so that I can't claim overtime!)
As a Police officer, quite often, there is not a lot of evidence I can give. It is usually a case of, "Got sent to a shoplifter. Went to the store, security told me a bloke knicked a packet of biscuits. I then arrested him and took him back to the station. I interviewed him and he went no comment". Now, nothing very contentious there. However, I will still attend court and hang around for a bit, until the defence and CPS get their heads together and decided that they will accept my evidence as it is written and no need for cross examination.
Why couldn't that decision have been made weeks/months ago. I've no doubt there is a bit of brinkmanship going on, but this is ridiculous. I am a person. I have a private life. You don't see too many court cases in the evening and at weekends, do you? Fine, if I have to actually give evidence, then I don't mind. However, I can't remember the last time I did!

Friday, 1 February 2008

Are we worth the money?

All the recent shenanigans about Police Pay and this government’s back track on arbitration, have made me start to wonder. Is there something more sinister going on?

I remember going to a Police Training School for 14 solid weeks of law exams and physical beastings. By the time I left, I could quote most of the major Acts and Statutes that a Police Officer will use on a day to day basis. One of the hardest things to get your head around, was arrestable offences and offences with a power of arrest! We not only needed to know if something was an offence, but also if we were able to arrest a person for that offence or deal with it by way of report. Since the Serious and Organised Crime Act came into being, all we need to know now is, is something an offence.
But then, do we need to even know that? In years gone by, I would get sent to an incident and would have to use my knowledge of the law, to decide if an offence had been committed and if so, what offence. I would then have to submit the necessary crime report. Nowadays, some civvy, using a drop down menu on his/her computer screen, will have already decided what crime has occurred before I attend.
Then when I do attend, there will be a policy dictating, what I have to do. I don’t have to decide if I need to arrest anyone, because policy will tell me!
So, is this government, looking at de-skilling me, so that they don’t have to pay me so much. I do wonder sometimes!

The most annoying TV programme ever...

Have you noticed how television programmes are becoming more and more dumbed down recently? Is it just me, or are TV producers aiming their programmes at goldfish? Take ‘Homes Under the Hammer’ for instance.
It’s a bit sad, but being a shift worker, I sometimes watch daytime TV. The basic idea of this programme, is that film crews visit house auctions, get buyers to appear on TV, then film their houses. The buyer tells them what he/she intends to do, to improve the property, then the film crew return at a later date, to see how they have got on.
If only that was it. As someone who likes a bit of property developing (watching more than doing!), this show on the face of it sounds quite appealing.
So, what’s wrong with it? Well, for starters, the film crew return to the premises about 6 weeks after the place was originally filmed, and needless to say nothing has been finished. What’s the point of that? I’m watching your programme, because I wanted to see what they had done to improve the place, not so I can see a pile of rubble and a few sketch drawings! So, here’s a tip. How about arranging for the owners to phone you, when it is finished?

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the presenters then get some local Estate Agents to view the property and give it a valuation. What is the point of that, if it is only half finished? It’s a bit like me showing a pile of nuts, bolts and sheet metal to a race engineer and him saying to me “Well, if you build it like you should, it will be the fastest car ever known”. Sheer pointless fortune telling!

But worst of all and the most annoying part of this programme, is the new infatuation of programme makers to forecast and review. “Coming up on today’s show...”. Get on with it! “In a moment we’ll be going back to see how Fred Bloggs got on. He bought a 3 bed semi-detached house in Blackpool.” I know he did, I’ve just watched him doing it 5 minutes ago! “Coming up, we visit Stoke to see how Vera Smalltush got on with her 2 bed terraced house.” I know you will, because you told me that 5 minutes ago! What do you think I am, a f**king goldfish? I haven’t got alzheimers, you know!
Coming up. Listen mate, the only thing that will be coming up in a minute, will be last night’s dinner. Just get on with it. Your half hour programme, is only about 20 minutes long in reality, if you take away all the repetition!

Thursday, 31 January 2008

New Player

I wonder if anyone will read this?

I've decided, like many other British Cops, to write a blog. Most of my posts will be work related but some will be about other things that get me going!

I am not allowed to bring the Police Service into disrepute. Quite what that means, is anyones guess! I think most Chief Constables manage that feat, every day!

Anyway, what's all this nonsense about Stop and Search?

Trust the Politicians to jump on the bandwagon. We've been telling them for years that there is far too much bureacracy in the UK Police Service. However, Stop & Search, or more to the point, Stop & Account forms, are not the problem.

I have been a copper for nigh on 20 years. When I first started, we would spend 80% of our time out on the streets, patrolling. Back then, there were no Criminal Justice Units. We had to prepare all our own court files. The vast majority of the people I arrested, ended up in court.
Nowadays, I spend about 80% of my time in the station!
A normal day starts with logging on to a computer and checking one's e-mails. These are usually global nonsense, about Doreen from accounts' leaving party, or the opening times of a station the other side of the county! Once you've waded through these, you then have to check the crime recording system. This wonderful piece of kit, dictates my day. Every time someone phones up complaining about anything from a rude binman, to a street masacre, it gets recorded on this system. Once it's recorded, it can't be deleted. If it falls into the bracket of a criminal offence, then alarm bells start ringing. That's because this government and all their puppet Chief Constables, are infatuated with crime figures. They introduced 'ethical crime recording', which basically means, if someone thinks a crime has occurred, it must be recorded as such, until such time as it can be proved it wasn't a crime.
So, CC's are left in a quandry. Do you just record everything and only investigate the proper stuff, or do you record and investigate everything, in the hope that you will be able to disprove some of the crimes, therby lowering your crime levels?
My lot, seem to have gone for the second option. You should see some of the utter drivel that I end up investigating (more of these in future posts). A lot of these so-called crimes, can be resolved with a quick phone call, but when you pick up half a dozen every shift, this can be very time consuming.
Every time I do anything relating to one of these 'incidents', I then have to type out my investigation notes onto the computer. Obviously, having a lap top would make life a lot simpler. But, I am but a lowly constable and in no way merit such devices. Oh, no. Every time I want to update the system, I have to traipse back to the station and log on the the box tied to the wall!
Hence, why I am nearly always to be seen inside the nick.

So, Mr BROWN or Mr CAMERON, stop going on about one poxy form, as if that's going to make a blind bit of difference. Don't ask Chief Constables or the Police Fed, what to do about reducing bureacracy, because they wont have a clue. Ask the boys and girls on the ground