Archive for January, 2006

January 28th, 2006

Police Officers ‘Ineffective’

Police Officers ‘Ineffective‘ *

Police officers have had no impact on levels of reported crime, Home Office researchers have found.

The uniformed patrols, which have wide ranging powers of arrest, thousands of fast cars, multimillion pounds worth of computers and more technology than you can shake a stick at, was launched nearly 200 years ago by the government to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.

The Home Office study found PCs had no “measurable impact” on recorded crime. And the department said they weren’t even a “reassuring presence” in the community because they are hardly ever seen in the community.

The Police Officers, introduced by former Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel, wear a uniform with a chequered trim to distinguish them from PCSOs. Many of the incidents dealt with by PCs were not categorised as crimes, such as telling people to stop calling each other names, calming people who have been sworn at and sorting out the lives of millions of people who can’t be arsed to sort out their own lives. They spend the majority of their time in offices doing paperwork or on spcialist squads, rarely patrolling the streets on foot (or even in cars).

A Home Office spokeswoman said the evaluation of the country’s 140,000 police officers was largely ambivalent.

* actually the original article was a BBC report about PCSOs which I think has certain paralells. You can read it at the BBC News Wesbite

January 27th, 2006

A Police Spokesman Said…

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

In a marvelous example of proving that senior police officers aren’t exempt from talking out of their rear ends, Britain’s “top cop“, Sir Ian Blair used his position to further shove the reputation of the nation’s police even further into the cess pool of modern society.

In the greatest example of a pot calling a kettle black since Nick Griffin accused Abu Hamza of racisim, Blair (not that idiot, the other one) has accused the ‘British press’ of institutional racisim for under reporting of black and Asian murders.

He may have had a point, but he had the crass insensitivity to illustrate his ire by saying that the level of national media coverage of the Holly Wells & Jessica Chapman abduction & murder was, er, surprising. The following day he had this to say on Radio 4, “I obviously have to unreservedly apologise to anyone connected to the Soham murders, especially the parents of Holly and Jessica for re-igniting this story. It was not intended to diminish the significance of this dreadful crime, which is exactly how I described it.”

Hmmm…. Ian Blair gets a squillion pounds a year to run the largest police force in the country and has oodles of bag carriers and advisors whose job it is to deal with public misrelations. Perhaps he ought to stick to sorting out the massive levels of violent crime on the streets of London & take advice before making national pronouncements which do no more than further reduce the level of confidence in the police.

January 22nd, 2006

Why Bother?

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

You know how difficult it is to get into Britain’s modern police force these days? It’s not unusual to wait 3 or more years from the time of applying to walking through the hallowed portals of some police training centre somewhere. We’ve all hard stories of 3 million potential recruits applying for 2.4 jobs.

With all that commitment, late’s face it, who would wait 3 years from being interviewed for any other job until being accepted (astronauts & male porn stars excepted), it always seems strange to me that within 2 years many police officers suddenly forget why they joined in the first place.

If it’s going to happen it’s usually a few minutes after two years in the job, you know, that moment when they can’t kick you out without a bloody good fight and hundreds of pages of well documented evidence. Suddenly, this particular group of officers find they don’t actually have to be keen any more. They can always find ‘urgent paperwork’ or important ‘pre-arranged’ meetings to avoid getting sent to crap jobs. They’re happy for their mates & colleagues to deal with all the shite yet strangely, are always free when an immediate ‘blue light’ job comes in (but don’t hang around long enough to pick up the paperwork).

A lot of them spend a great deal of time and effort trying to get away from front-line duties so they don’t have to actively avoid work, it becomes part of the ‘remit’ to keep clear of it quite legitimately.

With all the choice the recruiters have they must be turning away some utter out and out shite in order to recruit people of even this level of committment. You’d have thought they would have the nouse to actually recruit people who want to work.

January 17th, 2006

Pond Life

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Doubtless the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police will be sleep9ing easier in his bed knowing his staff are doing their utmost to keep the citizens of that fair county safe in their beds.

Despite their inability to find sufficient staff to deal with the burgeoning murders and other serious crimes – they’ve had to call on other forces to assist them investigate crimes – the Notts Professional Standards Dept. are doing their bit in the corporate fight against crime.

Whilst investigating an allegation of corruption at a Nottingham police station, the “rubber heel squad” put in a covert camera to catch the nefarious deeds within the police ranks, hoping to nail a particular officer and thus justifying their existence.

Imagine the delight round the coffee table in the professional standards office when they sat back to view the tapes only to discover they had captured no less than 4 officers talking about the hapless criminal scum of the city.

One officer, a detective constable was recorded referring to one particular piece of pond life as, er, “pond life”. This was during a private conversation between the four officers which included a constable, a sergeant & a detective sergeant. The pond life in question was not present, indeed, he was probably doing what the other pond life of Nottingham were doing i.e. relieving the worthy of the city of their worldly goods.

Apparently, calling criminal scum “pond life”; in a private conversation between consenting adults is so serious a matter that all 4 officers are under investigation for using “inappropriate language”. They have been relieved of duties which might bring them into contact with said pond life & Nottingham has decreased its already manpower-strapped force of 4 otherwise serviceable police officers.

To heap further salt into festering wounds the officers’ cases will not be looked at until after the conclusion of the criminal matters originally being investigated with which the officers concerned had absolutely no involvement. It could be a year before these “suspects” have any kind of resolution of these police disciplinary matters.

I expect the good folk of Nottingham will feel much safer knowing where Notts Police priorities lie.

January 10th, 2006

Logistics Tossers

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Logistics Departments, what are they, then?

Good question, but a more pertinent one would be “Logistics Departments, what bloody use are they, then?”;

I don’t know much about them other than most of the staff within are 9-5ers and any police officers working within one get the same money as me. They do have nioce shiny arses from sitting in big office chairs all day telling everyone else when and where to work.

I know one thing logistics officers are not; capable of reading a bloody calendar.

In an ideal world, a logistics department would look into the future, assess the likely need for staffing levels on any particular day or for any forthcoming event and muster sufficient staff to cover.

You could forgive them if they didn’t provide enough police officers at the onset of a spontaneous natural disaster such as an earthquake, flood or even a fire at an oil depot, but Christmas???

Christmas, hang on a minute, doesn’t that happen just about every year, sometime in winter, around December time? Well yes, but the way it sneakily catches out logistics departments every year you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a last minute addition to the policing staff levels headache that is the work of logistics departments.

That explains why rest days are cancelled 2 weeks prior to the big day, why suddenly someone realises there isn’t sufficient cover and why people’s duties get changed at the last minute just after they have sorted their festive child-care arrangements and bought tickets for pub lock-ins at New Year.

The good news is that our logistics department won’t be caught out next year; in the first week of January they have already cancelled all annual leave covering Christmas and New Year 2006.

I wonder if it will make the slightest difference…

January 4th, 2006

PC Marches On

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Only in this case PC means ‘Political Correctness’ not ‘Police Constable‘. It seems that the first is more important than the second these days.

According to an article on the BBC News website a certain Pc Zahid Malik, from Nottinghamshire Police has complained to one of the Police Magazines which nobody reads that their use of the term ‘Black Museum’ is racist. It follows hot on the heels of another PC (Police Constable this time) being told by a trainer not to use the phrase ‘Black Coffee’ on a training course. (it should be coffee without milk, apparently).

The Black Museum (yes I do refuse to call it the Museum without a defined colour) is situated within New Scotland Yard and depicts the history of crime in London and surrounding areas back to 1875. It’s been known as the Black Museum for many years, presumably due to the nature of the contents. Which include exhibits from many famous murders and misdeads. 

PC Malik says “I question the negative use of the word `black’ in these contexts.”

“I feel we all have an important responsibility to ensure that the language and terminology we use is in a sensitive and appropriate manner.  

“We live in times where language/images and motives can easily be misinterpreted and misunderstood.”

That’ll be easily misinterpreted by people who feel the only correct use of the word ‘black’ is in terms of racial groups.
 

This comes from Dictionary.com
black ( P ) Pronunciation Key (blk)
adj. black·er, black·est
Being of the color black, producing or reflecting comparatively little light and having no predominant hue.
Having little or no light: a black, moonless night.
often Black
Of or belonging to a racial group having brown to black skin, especially one of African origin: the Black population of South Africa.
Of or belonging to an American ethnic group descended from African peoples having dark skin; African-American.
Very dark in color: rich black soil; black, wavy hair.
Soiled, as from soot; dirty: feet black from playing outdoors.
Evil; wicked: the pirates’ black deeds.
Cheerless and depressing; gloomy: black thoughts.
Being or characterized by morbid or grimly satiric humor: a black comedy.
Marked by anger or sullenness: gave me a black look.
Attended with disaster; calamitous: a black day; the stock market crash on Black Friday.
Deserving of, indicating, or incurring censure or dishonor: “Man… has written one of his blackest records as a destroyer on the oceanic islands” (Rachel Carson).
Wearing clothing of the darkest visual hue: the black knight.
Served without milk or cream: black coffee.
Appearing to emanate from a source other than the actual point of origin. Used chiefly of intelligence operations: black propaganda; black radio transmissions.
Disclosed, for reasons of security, only to an extremely limited number of authorized persons; very highly classified: black programs in the Defense Department; the Pentagon’s black budget.
Chiefly British. Boycotted as part of a labor union action.

Given that there isn’t any racial group which is actually black, I really do wonder what right PC Malik thinks he has for exclusivity on the word ‘black’. It’s things like that which do more harm for racial harmony than good. Sadly, there is an army of like-minded people in the upper echelons of the police service who feel it is their duty to promote this kind of social engineering.

BBC News Link