June 27th, 2011

What a bunch of wankers

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

As law and order continues its inexorable slide down the pan, the Met are doing their bit to undermine the role and position of the police by issuing new guidelines to its 32,000 officers.

They have issued a handy, wallet-sized memo card telling it’s officers to ignore foul-mouthed abuse directed at police. They say the the courts no longer accept that police officers can be caused harassment, alarm or distress by people who, for instance verbally abuse them with foul language. This is a chestnut which crops up every decade or so and in the 30 years that I was policing was always regarded as a non-starter. If you came up to me on the street, called me a fucking wanker & declined the words of advice I’d give you in your shell-like, you could find yourself with a one-way ticket to the cells. Strangely, despite using the same laws that the Met are saying no longer apply, I was never sued for wrongful arrest or my had my prisoner denied the hospitality of the local custody suite.

Only this week my officers have been arresting people on the streets of the country for public order offences in similar circumstances to those the Met are saying are no longer valid.

The job of the police is really hard enough without having the bosses abandoning its officers. The only protection offered to police is the power of arrest, a baton so unwieldy most officers will never ever use one in anger & some pepper. Handcuffs are provided to assist in protection once someone has been detained.

Coincidentally, on the same  handy advice card issued by the Met is a section telling officers they can no longer handcuff anyone for the safety of the arresting officer alone. What? I’d have thought that the best reason for handcuffing someone was for the safety of the officer, never mind what other reasons there might be, (like not wanting them to escape).

The Met’s card gives examples of the words that members of the public are now allowed to use in anger against police officers. For the record, these appear to be fuck, cunt, bollocks and wanker. Though, in a moment of supreme irony, the card spells out with asterisks, presumably in case anyone is offended, alarmed or distressed about being told they must now put up with being called a fucking cunt-faced bollock wanker.

Why is that every other country in the world gives its officers the powers and equipment to do their job as safely and effectively as possible, but in the UK we seem to be hung up on the rights and sensibilities of yobs and criminals?

You can skip to the end and leave a comment. Pinging is currently not allowed. RSS 2.0


  1. boy on a bike says:

    The idiots that issued those guidelines need to be hung by their bollocks in the town square. As a MOP, I like a bit of peace and quiet and law and order on my streets. I don’t want them over run with yobs running around swearing and carrying on like pork chops. I want the police to say, “There is a line in the sand as far as decent public behaviour goes – step over it, and you’re off to the cells”.

    June 28th, 2011 at 05:21

  2. Jobmet says:

    Weeks, just to clarify the cards don’t say you cannot handcuff just for officer safety. It means don’t put in your notes “handcuffed for officer safety” with no other info. They want people to write decent notes showing what were the concerns for officer safety that made you decide to use then ie he was a big lump who said he would kick my arse up and down the street so if during a struggle the suspect breaks a bone in his wrist you have some actual evidence to fall back on of they sue a few years later. The other bit obviously gets ignored and people still come in as you would expect. The bit about writing more makes sense seeing as solicitors actively encourage suspects to make complaints and any use of force is heavily scrutinised.

    June 28th, 2011 at 07:39

  3. Ben says:

    It’s still disorderly conduct liable to cause a breach of the peace as the other JP points out.

    June 28th, 2011 at 08:12

  4. Simon says:

    The numbnutted fucking cunt-faced bollock wanker who thought this up in the Met is indeed a fucking cunt-faced bollock wanker.

    June 28th, 2011 at 08:27

  5. Andy W says:

    What he said

    June 28th, 2011 at 08:31

  6. 200 says:


    ah, well in that case it isn’t clear to all Met officers as the info came to me from a Met sgt. (I then Googled the info for more detail)

    June 28th, 2011 at 11:13

  7. Gary says:

    I always found that with NG pleas in the Mag court when it came to reiterating the defendants foul language it always went down well if I caught the eye of a magistrate and repeated them with as much venom as I could get away with. Never let me down once.

    June 28th, 2011 at 14:06

  8. Tony F says:

    I think all Magistrates, Judges etc should spend one day a month working on the beat, just to see what really happens.

    June 28th, 2011 at 15:51

  9. shazbot says:

    Many years ago i presented a breach of bail at an old fashioned local court having nicked well known scrote the previous night.

    Prosecutor; ‘Officer did the defendant make any reply after caution?’
    Shazbot; ‘yes your worships (pause and swallow, before with dramatic slow enunciation) I hope your mothers dead ‘cos i’m going to dig her up and shag her’
    Without a pause chair of the mags’ You are remanded!’

    Ahh the good old days…

    June 28th, 2011 at 16:39

  10. Civ_In_The_City says:

    I`m not sure what`s really wrong with “handcuffed for officer safety”. But I suspect it goes something like this…

    In the old days (pre this week if you`re in the MET) it was sufficient to point out that someone (anyone) you arrested might, AT ANY TIME, decide to kick-off REGARDLESS of how well behaved they may initially be. The degree to which they might kick off would depend on all manner of things. Maybe they`re already WANTED for something and ON THE RUN, maybe they are a foreign national here without a visa, maybe they`re DRUGGED up or DRUNK, or their girlfriend just left them. Maybe, like that nice Mr Moat and his friends they are just out to FIND AND KILL A POLICEMAN. They do this killing with A CONCEALED KNIFE, a bat, a golf club, a steel pipe, a brick, a punch in the face, a sawn-off shotgun or another random heavy object near at hand. They may also choose to stab the officer with something, a screwdriver, a craft knife, a piece of garden cane, a biro, a six inch nail. How about strangulation, with a belt or a length of rope or bare hands? So many choices, and of course, hands free in the back of the single crewed police car they could take their pick.

    If their hands are cuffed behind them they cannot do any of these things so easily, which puts the officer doing the arresting at an advantage. It could even SAVE HIS/HER life, or save the life of the next VICTIM of the person being arrested. But I digress.

    The new thinking is that this isn`t a good enough reason for cuffing. Nowadays everyone must have a personalised and tailored service from the police. They must receive equal and fair treatment. They must have an individually risk-assessed reason, with supporting evidence, before they are cuffed. They should be afforded all the same rights and entitlements as the arresting officer.In the same way as everyone has their own personalised version of the Human Rights Act that they can use when they don`t get their own way. Or they`re a bit miffed at something and want to do a really big sulk that everyone will notice. By NOT cuffing the potential murderer you have shown respect to him or her AS AN INDIVIDUAL and also made it a fair fight. You avoid the embarrassment of treating them with prejudice just because they are just part of a minority group (‘cop-killers’ is an offensive term, they prefer ‘officer retirement executives’). You have given them back their self-respect by responding to them as a human being, sensitively, humanely and with full consideration for their feelings.

    And remember, the phrase “I`m going to f*cking kill you and burn your f*cking house down you pig bastard.” is a cry for help, not a threat.


    June 28th, 2011 at 17:58

  11. Blueknight says:

    The infamous Nicholas Hoogstraten told a PC to F off and was arrested for the Town Police Clauses offence. On appeal the Judges decided that an Officer was a passenger if not a resident and he/she could be annoyed etc which proves the offence.
    1361 BOP is a bit more difficult because the behaviour has to tend to make some other person commit a BOP and if the only other person is a PC that is not so likely. Cue a number of horrified shoppers including an old lady in a green hat, (the public order version of traffic’s black dog)
    The Officers who have been given this latest instruction should use bad language day to day around the station and if anyone complains , -but you said…..

    June 28th, 2011 at 19:24

  12. Ex-Peeler says:

    I always prided myself in “Nudging” someone shouting abuse to add on something suitable ref. the Magistrate. In court, once asked to repeat the language, there was always a good result if you ended with “Sure, the RM is a fucking wanker, too”

    June 29th, 2011 at 09:35

  13. Ted says:

    So would the MET Chief Constable (or whatever he calls himself) object if any of his cops called him a fucking wanking cunt?

    June 30th, 2011 at 08:07

  14. Bill says:

    This was the Mets official response – pathetic !

    “Abusing police” media coverage 27.06.11
    There has been media coverage over the weekend and today focusing on the “Justify, Account and Record” (JAR) officers’ memo card, specifically claiming that it no longer an offence to swear at police.

    Clarifying the position DAC Mark Simmons said: “The Met believes that police officers should be free to go about their job without being abused. However courts have taken the view that officers should have higher levels of tolerance than members of the public in general. We don’t agree with this, but have to be pragmatic.

    “The JAR cards, which we have been issuing for about three years, do not change existing training and advice but are there to be a quick reference on the execution of powers and a reminder of the need for note taking that appropriately justifies any use of police powers.

    “I know that it is unpleasant and insulting when some members of the public behave in such an abusive and aggressive way. This isn’t behaviour any of us should be expected to condone, however the courts do not accept that simply swearing at a police officer is grounds for an arrest so we need to continue to ensure that we use our powers correctly and when we do so, present the best evidence to the courts.”

    July 3rd, 2011 at 11:52

Leave a comment