November 13th, 2009

Police are Rude & Sarcastic – Official

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

It seems that police officers are rude, sarcastic & overbearing. According to stats from Greater Manchester, over a fifth of all complaints about police are about rudeness. GMP officers & staff are being sent on courses to improve the way they talk to members of the public, and being told to stop being sarcastic, rude & overbearing. It seems the worst offenders are call takers, drug teams & riot squads.

200 officers are undergoing retraining. A superintendent from the force’s rubber heel squad said: “It is not about officers shouting and swearing at the public, it is more than that. It is about deportment; how that officer stands at a person’s door, for example.”

I’m sure the riot squad & drugs teams will now know exactly how to stand & to say please when they are battering down the door of some drug dealer at 5 in the morning. I feel completely left out now as my 30 years’ service didn’t see any complaints about incivility & I’m sure I told a good few people their fortunes over the years.

Apparently the course has had some success with complaints about invicility reducing. It must be one hell of a course which can deter people from being short with members of the public after a 10 hour shift in a busy call centre with few breaks, a target culture to end the call so that the next can be answered within 10 seconds, speaking to some of the most highly stressed or objectionable people in the country.

I expect the drop in complaints is because everyone attending the course has a shift or two less a year to try being rude to someone because they’re on a course.

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32 comments

  1. Von Spreuth. says:

    I come from another angel on this.

    My opinion is that the public have become less tolerant of what constitutes “rude, sarcastic & overbearing.”

    You only have to look at things like the report in the last week about the council worker who was “put in fear” bacause someone told him he was “fucking fed up with….”, or look at web foriums and blogs, whereby you get accud of “being angry at me” just because you put your point a little convincingly.

    The police have not changed. The public have become wimpish wet nellys, screaming for “nanny” every time someone speaks to them, or in their general area, in CAPITAL LETTERS.

    A year or two back my Ex R.S.M at a reunion said it well;

    “Half the bastards we get to train have never heard a raised voice in their life, let alone been DISCIPLINED. Tell them off for forgetting items of kit, like trousers, (his joke…or?), and they run off the parade square in tears wanting to complain to Mummy. If the Talibs only knew all they had to do was shout “NAUGHTY BOY GO HOME NOW OR I WILL TELL YOUR MUMMY ON YOU!” and they could win hands down in DAYS.

    What have they put in the water over there on the French Island since I left?

    November 13th, 2009 at 15:41

  2. copper bottom says:

    you have a point…

    When I started Police training we had to march everywhere, wear ties in the bar, had drill (an ex RSM with a LOUD voice), were shouted at if we did dumb stuff, had to be out of the female blocks after 9pm and obey 2300hrs curfew …

    In the army- it was VERY much worse…

    now- Police training- NO shouting, no drill, no marching… nothing of the above…

    gone to hell in a handbasket.

    I remember (sounds of a lamp swinging) coming in 15-mins early to do tea for the shift… in order… Insp, then sarges, then area car drivers, then pandas, then us…

    on sunday- we sprogs (naval term used to describe student officers) cooked breakfast and washed the pandas…

    but we did go home early…

    now- just try to ask a student officer to make tea… lol

    November 13th, 2009 at 16:11

  3. Fee says:

    It starts in the home, and continues in the schools. I’ve heard teachers using every word in the dictionary rather than say “that’s wrong” to a kid. If someone does something wrong, tell them. If they do it again, tell them more firmly. The third time (as we live in a benign democracy and shooting isn’t an option) you yell. It’s worked on my kids. They know that when I yell, they better take cover, and they know that they better not do it again (or not get caught next time!).

    So, if any police officers out there catch either of them up to no good, feel free to yell. They’re unlikely to even tell me (more scared of me than the law) and if they do, I will deal with them accordingly.

    November 13th, 2009 at 16:39

  4. Von Spreuth. says:

    XX copper bottom says:

    When I started Police training we had to march everywhere, wear ties in the bar, had drill (an ex RSM with a LOUD voice), were shouted at if we did dumb stuff, had to be out of the female blocks after 9pm and obey 2300hrs curfew … XX

    I was at Bruche 1979. I can not remember any rules on ties. But the rest….

    I presume Tullyallen, and Brandhatch, sorry, Bramshill, were the same.

    November 13th, 2009 at 17:09

  5. Tony F says:

    Same here. When we joined up, we were well and truly disciplined. The problem is that too many people expect ‘respec’ when they do not (and may never ever) deserve it. But are told constantly by the meeja that they have rights. They watch tripe, on the goggle box, that twists their world view so far out of skew they really don’t know how to behave themselves.

    November 13th, 2009 at 17:24

  6. R/T says:

    I was at Ashford PTC in ’84 and it was new to me and a bit of an eye opener. Mind you, the ex-army etc boys there thought it a walk in the park compared to their basic.

    November 13th, 2009 at 19:48

  7. the_leander says:

    I remember many a time whilst working in a call centre how this attitude worked.

    The customer demands something they’re not only not entitled to, but would be illegal to give (I demand you give me xyz’s new address etc) and if you say no, no matter how you say it or how much you explain why, that is rude.

    The number of times I finished a call wondering to myself what parts of the country is teaching that refusing to break the law or endanger your own job for people you’ll never meet is “rudeness” doesn’t bare thinking about.

    Shortly before I left it had gotten to the stage where whenever I heard myself being accused of such, the retort would be “and where I come from, it’s considered rude to demand me risk a £5k fine”.

    Strangely, even though we had to attend weekly performance meetings and it actually got picked up by the supervisors, nothing was ever said about it beyond “good, that was quick and it stopped the cycle”.

    I wonder if what I was witnessing was the “entitlement culture” I keep hearing about?

    November 13th, 2009 at 22:07

  8. Cogidubnus says:

    I work in the bus industry, and probably somewhere between a quarter and a third of all the complaints we receive about drivers contain the phrase “I didn’t like his attitude”…this immediately sets the alarm bells ringing, because in the majority of these cases (including, over the last 34 years, quite a few actually witnessed by me when travelling as a passenger) this actually means “he/she told me something I didn’t want to hear and now want to argue about”…

    November 13th, 2009 at 22:19

  9. copper bottom says:

    I suppose the only real answer to the headline ‘ police officers are rude, sarcastic & overbearing’ is…

    bollocks stick it up your arse…

    November 13th, 2009 at 22:25

  10. Ben says:

    To be fair to all, I won’t insult 200 by pretending he doesn’t know exactly what is meant here.

    We may be in the days of “CallMeTony” but when a constable has stopped you against your will (read arrest in all but name) and is asking you questions, when you believe that he has no good reason for having done so (though he may believe so), the exact position of you, relative to him, becomes All Important.

    That’s when your *exact* *intonation* when saying “*sir*” becomes all-important.

    Do you want this person on your side or not??

    Because, if you stand three feet away, and say, “Excuse me sir , but you seemed to me to be going rather quickly just then. I know the road is quite wide and has two lanes, but are you aware that this is a 30 MPH zone?” — why, then you will get a very civil response. “I am very sorry officer, I have just come from over there where it is a single-carriageway and a 50 MPH zone. Of course I should have seen the signs — It is entirely my fault”.

    Whereas, if you stand eighteen inches away, (already committing section 5 public order yourself ((thank god for Crown immunity)) and say “Excuse me sir (sneer), but you seemed to me to be going rather quickly just then(sneer). I know the road is quite wide and has two lanes (sneer), but are you aware (sneer) that this is a 30 MPH zone?”

    Then you will get a much less friendly reception. Maybe about some comment about having nothgin better to do, about lawyers, and rudeness and the possibiltiy of a compliant. That’s if it’s a civilised chap.

    I can’t remember whether it was Gadget or NightJack (The Silenced One) who said it, but Officers who favour “in-your-face-formal” tend to get more incidents of “assault police”!!! Would’ja’credit’it!!!

    Funny that —

    – given that everyone over the age of 8 knows that the strongest emotion of them all is humiliation… People kill for it.

    Whereas: Nice costs nothing.

    — Better — it pays.

    Just a thought, & All the best from — would’ya’belive’it!– a supporter.

    November 14th, 2009 at 00:30

  11. Ben says:

    –OR–
    I cud lern to spel.

    November 14th, 2009 at 00:38

  12. 200 says:

    I never call anyone ‘sir’ or ‘madam’. I hate being called ‘sir’ (I also hate being called ‘mate’ by anyone who doesn’t know me. I either used their name or didn’t give them a title at all.

    November 14th, 2009 at 03:30

  13. R/T says:

    Ben – or you could stay within the speed limit and never have to speak to the nasty Policeman at all!

    200 – you’re up late (or early!)

    And don’t talk to me about “mate”. I’m not your fuc#ing mate! And what happened to the heavy bollocking or stick ‘em on but not both?

    November 14th, 2009 at 08:47

  14. Ben says:

    Not sure what you are saying there R/T. Do you think a speeding ticket is a licence to abuse the driver?

    November 14th, 2009 at 11:32

  15. copper bottom says:

    Ben- mixing propellents under high pressure into a venturi and then directing the resulting jet IS rocket science…

    taking your foot off the go-pedal isnt…

    the problem here ‘Ben’ is the wrong people need to go on the ‘be nice’ course…

    when I have the ‘front’ to stop you for doing 50 in a 30 – the last thing I want to hear as a person is ‘attitude’ or you going off in my face …

    I want to hear ‘I am sorry officer… i was wrong. I will not do it again…’

    I HAVENT done anything ! the DRIVER is at fault here… not me!

    the problem we have here is people that have grown up (I use the term loosely) without the word ‘NO’ being said to them too often or not at all…

    so when a Police officer says ‘you cant do that…’ there are the adult version of ‘tears at bedtime’…

    Ben – grow up… take your meds like a good little boy…

    crown immunity !!! lol

    we go to prison for lawbeaking …

    November 14th, 2009 at 12:52

  16. pc hawkeye says:

    Personally I used to set my stall out dependant on the road, time, traffic conditions etc and draw a line where I would ‘advise’, ticket or report for summons, dependant on the speed displayed on the radar machine. Despite what ACPO said about prosecuting @ 3mph + 2,I would not ticket below 12 mph above the limit. I think I was being fair. You’d get stopped and advised for the reason why you’d been stopped but not ‘stuck on’ However this was not always the case. The attitude of the offender was a guide to how you got on with me, the ”Haven’t you got some thing better to” brigade were on the slippery slope to a fine and points. The offence was proved that was confirmed by my opinion and the machine what happened after that was entirely in the hands of the driver and his/her ability to take advice. Some people talked themselves into losing their licences.

    November 14th, 2009 at 12:54

  17. R/T says:

    Hawkeye – spot on! I used to say something like “Can you tell me why you went through that red light please?” or “Can you tell me why you were doing 45 (+) in that 30mph limit please?”. MOPs reading this may be amazed to know that 99% of those who said “I’m sorry, officer” were sent on their way with a stern bollocking and 99% of those who said “I don’t think I was” or “It was amber” were sent on their way with a £60 fixer and 3 points. I don’t see anything wrong with that either.

    November 14th, 2009 at 13:55

  18. PC A HUNN says:

    It’s true that we are now a nation of soft shites… Have an argument with a neighbour, call the police. My ex sends me a nasty text message, call the police. Someone puts a rude remark on my facebook page, call the police. Then when you get told to grow up and grow some, what do you do?. Complain about the nasty policeman who is rude, uncivil and uncaring.

    I got bollocked the other day for suggesting that rather than cutting front line services in order to save money (as suggested by our SMT) we should boot some of the civies who spend all day colouring in pie charts and sending pointless emails. Since when has voicing a common sense opinion been shocking and rude?.

    I’ve observed on my time on this planet that the world is nasty and uncaring and we are very lucky to live in a country where the vast majority of us have enough to eat, good sanitation and access to free medical care. Unfortunatly this is lost on most of society who believe that the world owes them and nobody has the right to tell them NO, tell them the truth or point out their own failings.

    Every time there is a power cut we recieve 100′s of calls from people panicing as there is no electricity. Imagine what would happen if there was a real national crisis like no oil, gas or electricity for a few weeks?. The whole of the country would be in bedlam as most people would not have the whit or the nouce to put on a few extra layers, get the candles out, cook on the BBQ in the back garden and go to bed early.

    November 14th, 2009 at 14:13

  19. Ben says:

    I am really not sure why R/T thinks I have ever been stopped for speeding or anything else. I have not and I never said I had. All the officers I have ever had to deal with have been very nice people, doing a difficult job with courtesy.

    R/T said: “Ben – grow up… take your meds like a good little boy…”

    The question put by 200 was “why on earth do some people complain that an officer was arrogant and unneccessarily rude?” I was just trying to paint a word-picture to illustrate the point.

    But I think R/T has done a much, much better job.

    November 14th, 2009 at 14:49

  20. copper bottom says:

    it was me- not R/T…

    I guess we are not as educated either…

    For the record Ben in 20-years of Policing I have given out 3-Fixed pens (true-I have been in a CID role for over half of that time…).

    I would, for the most part, issue advise or arrest. The thing I cannot abide is people that have broken the law right in front of me then arguing that they haven’t and that speeding is a ‘minor’ crime that Police should not be bothered about.

    Whilst on the subject- I have been driving (cars and bikes) since I was 17- in those 29-years I have received NO driving convictions for ANY offences.

    Why? err… because I can read a road sign.

    I just think its the hight of bad manners to commit an offence – then moan about the officers ‘attitude’ when caught.

    In my experience- the people with the ‘attitude’ are those stopped- and dont have the good grace to admit it and take the bollocking or the ticket.

    Ben is a fine example of same.

    November 14th, 2009 at 15:54

  21. copper bottom says:

    lol HUNN…

    I got a similar bollocking when I suggested we get rid of the PCSOs and use the money to get another 60-coppers for our BCU.

    natural wastage -of course…

    November 14th, 2009 at 15:57

  22. Ben says:

    I beg your pardon R/T, my mistake.

    Copper Bottom, my only point was that, just perhaps, officers who get many complaints about rudeness get them because they are often rude. That is all.

    I wasn’t relating a real incidient but I commend you on your psychic powers to know exactly how I would behave in such a situation.

    Have a good evening, all.
    Ben.

    November 14th, 2009 at 18:08

  23. copper bottom says:

    i knew you were going to say that..

    November 14th, 2009 at 18:21

  24. copper bottom says:

    joking apart- there are a few officers that seem to get complaints- on a regular basis for this ‘offence’…

    however, the vast majority dont, even though they are faced by mops that – behave very badly.

    i am quite happy to have a camera with me on duty – i would love for magistrates to hear for themselves the shit we put up with from ‘nice and ordinary’ folk…

    November 14th, 2009 at 18:23

  25. bill says:

    Oh, come on.

    It’s all a game anyway. I’ve been stopped by an officer who addressed me as “Sir”, but the slight pause and inflection in his voice before utterance, indicated “c*nt’.

    Then, in an over-theatrical search of my glove box for the requested papers, I took the time to crawl up his arse by apologising for everything, short of the bombing of Hiroshima.

    He went back to his Panda on a high, I drove off with my bank balance intact.

    There are some arrogant bastards in the police, but the police are recruited from, and representative of society.

    Here, where I live (overseas), we have a much simpler system. We pass our driving permit to the officer who has stopped us and he hands it back, minus the Fiver that was sandwiched in the center pages.

    November 14th, 2009 at 21:11

  26. pc hawkeye says:

    It always amused me the amount of people who were , ‘very good friends of the Chief Constable’ or were ‘out drinking with your Chief Superintendant last night’ the Chief must have had a massive bill when it came to birthday and Christmas cards and the poor old Ch.Super must be bordering on the alcohlic.

    November 14th, 2009 at 22:51

  27. copper bottom says:

    mtg- database?

    lol…

    you mean Dr Grey’s database…

    needlessly rude?

    purile?

    up yours …

    November 15th, 2009 at 00:33

  28. Von Spreuth. says:

    XX pc hawkeye says:

    It always amused me the amount of people who were , ‘very good friends of the Chief Constable’ or were ‘out drinking with your Chief Superintendant last night’ XX

    An amusing one back in the 80s. I was out with a proby. We stopped a car swerving all over the place. “I am a good family friend of the chief Constable.

    Proby spouts up, “Oh? That really fucking funny sir, because I happen to be the C.Cs son, and I have never seen or heard of you in my bloody LIFE. Now blow into this”.

    (He actualy WAS the C.Cs son).

    November 15th, 2009 at 11:48

  29. MarkUK says:

    “It’s not my fault” should replace Dieu et mon Droit on coats of arms!

    If someone does something wrong, it’s never their fault. Either they didn’t mean to, didn’t realise or had a bad upbringing.

    The other day I was accused of intimidating someone with my body language. I’m not a Bobby, I’m a Safety Officer and the person I was talking to was head of a department where there’d been three serious incidents in three weeks.

    Frankly, if I’d shouted and cursed the manager it would not have been inappropriate. No, the manager was not directly involved in two of the incidents, but the buck stops on the manager’s desk. We were VERY lucky there were no injuries; in total, 45 people were at risk of being badly injured and we could have lost several thousand pounds worth of property.

    And my body language was intimidating!

    November 15th, 2009 at 22:51

  30. 200 says:

    We should have you on a few more criminal juries Dr M!

    November 16th, 2009 at 13:53

  31. copper bottom says:

    hear, hear!

    November 16th, 2009 at 21:18

  32. Jabadaw says:

    Copper Bottom stated “I am quite happy to have a camera with me on duty – i would love for magistrates to hear for themselves the shit we put up with from ‘nice and ordinary’ folk…”

    Same here, actually. Now, I’m not saying that from time to time I wouldn’t have been ‘caught out’ being rude. Because, sometimes I was. But by and large I have been courteous and have generally born in mind that tenet, ‘to speak to others as you would like to be spoken to yourself.’ Usually my rude ripostes were largely in response to the infantile and oft venomous attitude of the person I was dealing with. I’d happily carry a camera around. Mind you it might catch me out visiting some of the older folk on my area for a cup of tea and a reassuring chat.

    November 17th, 2009 at 23:43

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