February 25th, 2008

Nobody Listens

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

I really believe some officers don’t have a bloody clue what goes on in the control room. They have no idea of the work that goes on in the background. I’m sure they think if we are not transmitting on the radio then we’re sitting round on our big fat arses all day reading the Sun & playing penguin games on the internet. 

This is especially true when you are having a particularly busy shift & are on your own.

For instance, they’ll call up for a  PNC check (a check on the Police National Computer for vehicle/keeper details or a check to see if someone is wanted or known to police). This can take from a minute to  4 or 5 depending on how complicated the result is.

Someone else will call for a check, so you tell them you’re just doing one & can they stand by. Then a job comes in which you have to read, understand, research the history of & then give it out to another unit. Then the first unit calls up asking if you’ve got the result of their PNC check & you have to stop what you’re doing to answer them to tell them that you would have had the result by now but you keep having to stop to answer the radio to tell people you’re in the middle of a PNC check.

Then someone else calls to ask for the result of the telephone enquiry they asked you to do before the first unit wanted their PNC check & you wonder if anyone is actually listening to the same radio channel you’ve been talking on constantly for the last 5 minutes , before being interrupted by the one you’ve just assigned to that job because they’ve forgotten the street number of the address they’re going to (and sometimes the street name) despite the fact that you gave it out clearly when you assigned them at the start of the transmission & again at the end & they’ve got an officer to drive & one who can write the bloody address down but never does, so you remind them of the address just before the second unit wanting the PNC check calls to ask if you’re ready for their check & you tell them that you’ve only just completed the first check & wonder if they’re listening to the same radio channel & can’t they work out that it’s unlikely that you’re going to be ready for their check yet, and the unit going to the immediate assignment now realises they don’t actually know where the street is & can they have some directions please, so you have to stop what you’re doing on the PNC check front & switch the computer over to the mapping software to give the officers directions because you’ve never worked that town either & have no idea where is where, and while you’re doing this someone else is updating another older job on the computer which flashes across a message which you have to pick up because it might be important but it;s not, it’s just Mrs Miggins ringing again asking when an officer will be round to speak to Kayley because Jody called her a fat bitch again, so you dismiss that job and start your second PNC check, at last, but an immediate job comes in so you have to abandon that, pick up the job on the computer, read it, find a unit to go, so you search on the computer to see who might be free but nobody is so you have to shout across to another radio channel to see if they have someone who can assist, so while they’re doing that you finish your PNC check but before you can give it out the unit is about to arrive at their job & want to know if there’s any descriptions despite being told when you gave them the job that there were no descriptions, and you’ve cancelled the second PNC check by inadvertently pressing the wrong button on the keyboard while swapping between the four different computer applications you’ve used in the last 2 minutes, so you have to do it again but the phone rings because the sergeant wants an update on the job which nobody has arrived at yet but there is no update because updates come after the unit has arrived & come over the same radio system that the sergeant is listening to so if there had been an update he’d have heard it & you can’t ask for an update because the unit isn’t there yet to update you, so if there’d been no update on the radio the chances are that there isn’t an update, and this goes on just like this for the next 3 hours because it’s pretty busy & because the place is like the bloody Marie Celeste there’s nobody to help you and the supervisors are just interested in whether you’ve ticked all the boxes when you close a log. And you manage the second PNC check but the immediate job which is still unassigned flashes up because the other radio channel didn’t have anyone free either so you give out the result of the PNC check to the second unit & tell them to abandon their stop check because Craig & Sharon are still standing in the street shouting at each other for the second time that shift.

And then you get an email three weeks later from someone sitting on their fat arse reading the Sun & playing penguin games on the internet who wants to know why you failed to type a line of text on one of the 60 logs you’ve dealt with 3 weeks ago.


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  1. rosco says:

    Does your force ever offer observations in the Control room to front-line officers to see what it is like? That way they would be able to appreciate what is happening from seeing first-hand on a real night, rather than not having a clue and overloading the already overworked operators on duty.

    February 25th, 2008 at 19:22

  2. Sergeant Simon says:

    I’m kinda hoping you feel better after that!

    February 25th, 2008 at 19:46

  3. Officer Dibble says:

    I hope Craig and Sharon managed during all this.

    Good rant!

    February 26th, 2008 at 00:58

  4. Control Room Op says:

    Officers are welcomed in our Control Room. The problem is they can only pop up for a few hours in the early hours when it is quiet as they are so short on response they can’t be spared for abstractions.

    On the other side we would love to go out with the response teams and see it from their side but we are also too short-staffed to spare anyone!!

    February 26th, 2008 at 08:37

  5. 200 says:


    nobody’s interested in sitting in the Control Room to see what happens & even if they were I doubt anyone would let them, they can’t get any sanctioned detections sitting on their arse watching someone else work.

    I suppose there was a cathartic moment during that post.

    February 26th, 2008 at 20:19

  6. Marc says:

    200 weeks,
    I laughed out loud when I read this post.
    You have got everything spot-on right, from having to constantly repeat the address because the patrol you are sending can’t be arsed to write it down to the constant swapping between systems in order to fulfill all the demands made upon you.
    I printed it off and passed it around my control-room shift this morning. Everyone found something in it that they have experienced themselves. A brilliant post. Keep it up!!

    March 1st, 2008 at 19:37

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