February 28th, 2006
The BBC, and some other media outlets, recently reported figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act about how many police officers have registered business interests. Apparently, they have the right to know what we do in our own private time away from work.
In their article “Officers moonlighting as models“, they revealed that 1.5% of Met officers were earning money ‘on the side’ doing things like hypnotherapy, bouncy castle hire, film extra work, massage, building, entertainment, photography, writing and floristry.
Time was that police officers were banned from earning any income ovber & above their police salary. Around 10 years ago (age & withering brain cells prevent me from remembering exactly) someone realised that it might actually be illegal for such stipulations on our private lives & officers were allowed to earn other money outside police work in their own time, provided certain sources were avoided. Security work, for instance was still banned, as is anything to do with licenced premises, although why a serving police officerw old want anything to do with guarding a building site or running a pub on their day off is beyond me.
By pure coincidence, I assume, at around the same time as the article broke, the Chief Constable of Cheshire, Peter Fahy, withdrew the right to a registered business interest from his officers. Doubtless the catwalks suddenly emptied, kids were chucked off bouncy castles throughout the land and the entire cast of extras on The Bill vanished overnight, as all officers in Cheshire were forced to cease their moonlighting ways.
One interesting knock-on from this is about a certain Police Recruitment Consultancy mentioned here called In2Blue have been forced to cancel their forthcoming courses, refund everyone who had paid, & shut their website down with a notice explaining the sudden lack of business. Although they do say it is a ‘temporary’ issue we have yet to see how things will develop in Cheshire, or whether the Federation or any interested legal parties start issuing writs against the chief for trampling over the human rights of his officers.
February 23rd, 2006
You can’t go anywhere in any nick in the area without bumping into large colourful posters imploring employees to report their colleagues to Professional Standards.
Corruption, racisim, sexism, bad language, walking on the cracks in the pavement, nothing is too minor for the rubber heelers. There’s popping in to the office, calling them on the phone, email, even an anonymous internal telephone number. Given the new and innivotive ways you can shop your mates you’d be forgiven for thinking that not enough people are being naughty and the Complaints & Discipline Dept need to increase their figures; after all, every other department these days has targets and quotas to fill why should Professional Standards be any different? Surely if they had enough to be getting on with they wouldn’t need to advertise?
A new website, not specifically aimed at the police, but advertised within the police service has been set up to allow more people to shop their colleagues. www.safecall.co.uk lets you report wrong-doing in the workplace without the need to provide your name (or any evidence).
Nice, in theory. I wonder how long it will be before Joe Scrote cottons on to this new site and starts bombarding it with malicious anonymous allegations against the last officer to give him a fixed penalty for pissing in the street.
February 17th, 2006
Some jobs really aren’t worth the bother of taking the details and creating a log.One such waste of time recently came from a call made by a woman without the skill, intelligence or inclination to sort out her own life, calling police to come and sort it out for her.
We got the call to a ‘domestic’. On arrival it transpired that the son had put £6 in the electricity meter. He then decided he wanted to go out for the evening and as he wasn’t going to be present while his £6 dole money ran the Sky TV system he wanted his mother to refund his cash.
Mother refused so the obvious and only natural course of action is to call the Old Bill and let them sort it out.
End result; domestic incident booklet, non-crime report on the system with time taken to pass details to the crime desk & another statistic to show the social fabric of this great nation is continuing its inexorable journey down the pan.
February 4th, 2006
I didn’t get this one, but I wish I had.
One morning this week I heard the following job come out over the air.
Ops Room: “Can you attend 32 Church Road, bit of a strange one this, but a lady is saying she’s woken up and found a snake in her bed which has bitten her, ambo is on route”
Patrol PC: “A what?”
Ops Room: “er….a snake”
You can just envisage the scene. When viewed from an aircraft over the town it must have been like one of those science programmes filmed through a microscope of sperm all swimming towards the egg; every police vehicle for miles around homing in on 32 Church Road. The street hadn’t seen as many police vehicles since the last reported sighting of a blond 23 year old streaker.
I didn’t make it but I did hear the result:
Patrol PC: “X-ray six six to control, over.”
Ops Room: “X-ray six six go ahead, over.”
Patrol PC: “Yeah, ambo and police now complete….not as first reported, er, woman woken up suddenly and mistook her catheter for a snake. All in order.”
Now that’s a job I’m glad I didn’t make!