Archive for June, 2006

June 30th, 2006

Wasters

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

You know what really winds me up at work? People who are on the same team but do about 10% of the work of everyone else.

We have this officer on the shift who for some strange reason takes about 6 times as long as anyone else to do anything. This week they got sent to a missing person. Just a bog-standard, run-of-the-mill teenage misper. They aren’t really missing, they just can’t be arsed to obey parents’ rules and the parents think it’s the responsibility of the police to go find them and take them home, like 98% of all missing person reports.

So standard procedure is attend the address, search the address and then fill in a form, maybe do a couple of local enquiries and then back to the nick to put the misper on the ‘system’. Then wait for a call from home saying they’re back.

I heard the control room assign PC Lazy-arse to the job, then an hour later they called asking if the officer had arrived. Not yet arrived, will be on route shortly. An hour later, control room asks for an update, to be told that Lazy-arse is on route and will arrive shortly. An hour later, control room want an update. Apparently Lazy-arse is still taking details. An hour later control room are told that Lazy-arse is still at the house as it’s not a simple one. In the end the officer was at the house 3 hours, then back to the nick for updatng the computer system and then enquiries on the misper. That was a whole shift blown on a simple teenage misper.

Meanwhile, while that officer is taking 2 hours to get to the job and 3 hours to deal with it and 3 hours post-job enquiries, who is dealing with all the shite breaks, car crime, trivial assaults and complaints about being looked at in a funny way? Muggins and the rest of the shift.

It wouldn’t be so bad if it was  a one-off but that particular officer is like that all the time. I suspect there are lots of PC Lazy-arses.

Bloody wasters

June 26th, 2006

Bloody Football Fans

Posted in Not the Job by 200

I guess there are a few people around hoping the Portugese triumph against England next week in Germany.

Top of the list will be a certain section of senior police officers. They’ll be the ones taskled with the headache of sorting out all the England Football Disorder operations throughout the land during the course of England’s involvement in World Cup 2006.

Whenever England play in a major football tournament we have our rest days cancelled and our tours of duty extended in order to provide a mobile antidote to those who can’t resist a bit of violence & disorder whenever England play a match. We normally put out several Support Units; riot vans full of hairy-arsed coppers most of whom are pissed off because they can’t watch the match.

Advancing age & increasing decrepitness prevent me from belonging to such a unit these days, but back in the day we spent hour after fun-filled hour doing pretty much what my colleagues have been doing this week; driving from one alcohol-fuelled punch-up to the next and arresting drunken louts who use football as an excuse to progress their real hobbies.

On a related note, I wonder if the Environment Agency is at all concerned about the increasing number of St George’s flags which are now littering the highways & byeways of the country.

I counted over 70 on the journey home this week which have been left on hard shoulders and grass verges up and down the land.

I have a suggestion to deal with this, one which has several benefits; I’m presuming that the plastic arm of the car-based flags has been stress tested to a certain tolerance level such that it won’t break off the car until a certain speed is reached. All we need to know is what this speed is and then we can prosecute anyone who’s car has a broken off England flag for speeding. At a stroke we can do away with speed cameras and save a fortune in their upkeep.

We can then employ every convicted football lout on unpaid community service to rid this great nation of abandoned football flags.

I’d suggest they start with the motorways, at night, without reflective jackets.

 

June 26th, 2006

State of Police Blogs – Update

Posted in Blogging by 200

With reference to the post below just a quick update;

Cough the Lot appears to have been pulled and is currently showing as unavailable.

A new police blog has appeared this week at Life in the Law Abiding Midlands 

June 25th, 2006

Congratulations to me!

Posted in Blogging by 200

Not usually one to blow my own trumpet, I thought I’d use this as an excuse to do just that.

This is my 100th blog entry!

100 comments and professional standards haven’t closed me down, phew. 

This entry is totally pointless other than to announce my 100th post. I will refrain from announcing my 101st post, or my 102nd. I wonder whether 200weeks will still be around in another 100 posts.

June 24th, 2006

The State of Police Blogs

Posted in Blogging by 200

I don’t know if this is a sign of a decreasing interest in police blogs or just a lack of interest by police bloggers but I’ve noticed during my usual rounds recently that quite a few seem to be falling by the wayside.

I have no idea whether it’s simply a case of the bloggers losing interest or not having sufficient time to keep them up to date – anyone who runs one knows how difficult it is sometimes to find time to make an entry – or if the threat of being caught really is putting people off.

The following blogs seem to be currently AWOL:

Lights, Sirens Action – no entry since 18/5/06

The Cynical Policeman – no entry since 22/4/06

Officer Blog – no entry since 18/5/06

Policing in Scotland – no entry since 8/4/06

Another Secret Policeman – no entry since 7/2/06

Blog of Blogs – no entry since 19/5/06

Cough the Lot – no entry since 16/5/06

World Weary Detective – finished 3/3/06

Another Day in the Office – no entry since 15/2/06

A Fair Cop – no entry since 30/4/06

Having said that, it’s nice to see one or two new bloggers on the scene. Two I haven’t noticed before are:

The Law is a Donkey and

You couldn’t make this up – a blog by a Police Inspector (would you believe!)

If you know of any others, let me know and I’ll link to them.

 

June 23rd, 2006

About Turn?

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Guess what, I got a letter from the Home Secretary this week. It was addressed to me and signed by him & everything, so I must be pretty important.

For everyone else, not quite so important, I’ll let you in on the contents….

Dear Colleague

POLICE FORCE RESTRUCTURING

I am writing to let you know that today I announced in parliament that I hope to lay an order before Parliament rises for the summer recess to provide for the (voluntary) merger of Cumbria and Lancashire police forces. This order would take effect on 1 April 2007.

I also announced that I do not intend to lay before Parliament and Orders for enforced mergers of police forces before the summer recess. Given the need for an adequate lead time between an Order being made and a new force coming into existence, including to allow for the creation of a shadow police authority and the appointment of new chief officers, a consequence if this decision is that no strategic forces, other than the one in Lancashire and Cumbria will come into existence on 1 April 2007.

In making my announcement I made it xclear that I remain committed to the creation of strategic police forces as the best way to improve protective services across the board while still providing dedicated neighbourhood policing.

But it has become apparent to me and to the Minister for Policing, Security and Community Safety, Tony McNulty, during the rounds of discussions with police forces, police authorities and local authorities that we have been having that concerns exist about a number of issues that arise from force amalgamations including cost, council tax and local accountability. These issues need to be properly resolved and that is what Tony and I are working towards.

It is clear also that further dialogue with the policing community would be beneficial and we are very happy to engage in such discussions. That is why we have concluded that it would be sensible to work to a less rigid timetable than had previously been anticipated.

A consequence of this is that the period for formal objections which would otherwise have expired on 2 July and 10 August will be extended. The replacement timetable will be an item for discussion. We want to ensure that epople are given a proper opportunity to comment and raise objections once all the outstanding issues of relevance are resolved and communicated and that will determine the deadline by which objections have to be lodged.

I wanted to place on record how grateful I am to all of those who are working hard to make strategic forces a reality and to reiterate that I remain committed to the creation of strategic forces.

We will, of course, continue to work with you and stay closely in touch with you as matters develop.

Kind regards

John Reid

Hmmm, sounds like an admission that Charles Clarke & his cohorts f***ed up then. Met with the almost complete objection to the merging of forces from every corner, it seems the Govt, are pulling back a little & offering a little more time for ‘reflection’. I’m looking forward to my next letter from good ol’ Johnny-boy.

June 22nd, 2006

Free Police Blogs!!

Posted in Blogging by 200

The more astute amongst visitors to this blog will have noticed the blog is hosted by Police999.com.

Police999.com hosts several blogs which are provided free-of-charge to Police999.com members. If any of you are interested in having a free blog, all you need to do is join up at Police999.com and contact one of the admin team. You’ll get a Police999.com subdomain together with your own email address. 

It’s a WordPress blog and therefore it doesn’t look like all the other boring design blogspot-type blogs, wich has got to be a bonus.

(* the owner of Police999, who is also a serving police officer, knows about this blog entry & has approved it

June 21st, 2006

As Good as a Rest

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Don’t you love annual leave?

Sometimes I think it’s a real shame when I think of my favourite shifts and my top three are annual leave, rest day and sick, in that order. (Though I’ve only had 2 days sick in the last 5 years).

Just had a period of annual leave to recharge the old batteries. It’s a great way to avoid dealing with shite for days on end. Trouble is you have to go back to it and the first day back after a period of leave can be so depressing.

That’s if you can get any bloody leave in the first place. They have stripped the shifts so bare now that you’ve got more chance of getting hit on the back of the head by a zeppelin. Round my way there are about 50 per cent less officers on the front-line shifts than there were 25 years ago. Maybe that’s something for a further blog entry.

Anyway, I’m now looking forward to my proper summer break, anyone seen a zeppelin?

June 9th, 2006

Anyone seen The Sharp End?

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Does anyone kow what’s happened to the Home Office-sponsored “The Sharp End” Mag? 

The normally unread pile of mags at the nick remains unread, but the cover hasn’t changed for the last 2 – 3 months and I’m getting fed up of looking at that skinhead bloke on the front.

The woefully inadequate website for the mag at www.sharpendmag.org.uk consists of a front page with a link to register for a free copy, some info about their privacy policy & bugger-all else and looks like it hasn’t been changed since the copyright notice of 2004 went up.

Is it still in operation?

The only reason I ask is I need an acceptable mag in which to conceal the porn we read on night shifts.

June 8th, 2006

Even More Blog Searches

Posted in Blogging by 200

These really crack me up.

 Welcome to the site if you’re one of the people looking for:

 I bet you’re all glad you clicked on that link now, eh?
 

  

June 8th, 2006

You’re Joking!

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

So the solicitors for Abdul Kahar & Abul Koyair, the 2 arrested by the Met in their recent anti-terror ‘raid’, have called for their clients’ release pronouncing their innocence. Well, no shit,  Sherlock.

In other news this week;

Scientists for the Royal Geographic Society announce that ships travelling from the UK to America will not fall off the edge because the world is round rather than flat.

Religious leaders in Rome confirm with the release of the latest Papal Bull that the Pope is, indeed, Catholic,

and, Wildlife experts filming David Attenborough’s latest World Wildlife project for the BBC release amazing footage in Canada of Brown Bears defecating in areas of land covered by many trees.

June 6th, 2006

Those were the Days

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I was 18 the first time I ever saw a dead body. I was 18, completely niaive and pretty innocent. I was a police officer.

I’d seen photographs of dead bodies before. At training school the sergeant trainers left gruesome pics in their drawers in the classroom. I think it was some kind of initiation knowing that we’d do what every schoolboy does, we’d go through the teacher’s drawers when they were out of the room. It was here I got my first sight of road crash victms, people who had been shot, stabbed, blown off their own heads with shotguns. I recall one in particular of a guy who had jumped out of a plane and whose parachute hadn’t opened. He was wearing a blue jumpsuit, there was a little moat around his body which was half a foot into the grass, the moat was full of blood and other stuff. I don’t recall the photos being used in any of our lessons, so they must have been there just for us to discover.

My first dead body was a male. It was night shift. In those days the calls came in to each individual police station, we didn’t have control rooms, just a PC with a radio, a microphone and a pad of pre-printed forms on which the details of the job and who called it in were recorded. No computers, no despatch software. We were in the office when we got the call; train driver reporting hitting someone on the track.

I was a probationer, I never spent much time with a tutor, we didn’t in those days, he was there really just for advice and assistance with paperwork. I jumped in with him and we went to a section of the track about a mile from the railway station.

There were a few of us. We didn’t have Maglites in those days either, just yellow box torches which I think were called ‘Bardics’ . You could turn a knob and a red plastic cover would slide out over the bulb, turn it the other way and you turned the light green, there might have been an amber one too.

We searched the track. It was dark & eerie, I was nervous and yet excited. It didn’t take long. I can still remember the red lumberjack-type coat he was wearing. Apparently he’d laid down on the track and just waited for a train to hit him. I don’t know whether he bottled out at the last moment or if he was just lying in the wrong place because he wasn’t messy, he hadn’t been ripped in two as so often happens, his body hadn’t been churned under the wheels of many tons of steel turning him into disparate paste of pink mince; the train had taken the top of his head off. If you were at a certain angle you couldn’t even tell he’d been hit by a train.

When you got up close you could see exactly what had happened, you could see the skull smashed and ripped apart. So that’s what a brain looks like.

We did have plastic bags in those days. The sergeant thrust one into my hand “There you go son, see if you can find the rest of his head.” And off I went down the track picking up bits of scalp, fragments of skull and globules of brain.

In due course we loaded him into the ambo and followed it down to the mortuary. The attendant at the hospital assisted us moving him from the stretcher onto the trolley. The mortuary assistant was quite a lot shorter than me. As the trolley raised to the level of the top shelf for the freezer, he was on the opposite side and I lost sight of him. As the trolley reached it’s peak height I became aware of movement from the dead body. I looked up and saw the dead man’s arm going up and down such that the hand was making movements in a ‘self masturbatory way’ near to his groin as if he was jerking himself off.

A split second later, after something of a shock I realised the mortuary attendant, who I could no longer see as he was not tall enough to see over the trolley, was holding the dead guy’s arm and pushing it up and down. I was the last one to laugh, but laugh I did. That’s when I discovered that humour is a release valve from all the shit & derision you have to deal with in this job.

Most people don’t understand. Those who’ve been there do.

June 6th, 2006

Good News & Bad News

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

I guess if you’re a football fan then getting football duties can be a bonus, especially if you get the job inside the ground.

Imagine the delight at finding out your country is hosting the World Cup, something which must come around only once in an entire police career, if you are very, very lucky.

There must be a fair few German Polizei who are looking forward to next week. I can imagine the scene; sitting in the Polizeiwache awaiting the envelope which will explain your duties. The Polizeikommissar hands round the duties, you grasp the envelope, already hot and sticky in your sweating palm. Is it Frankfurt, Dortmund, Nuremberg…Berlin? Maybe even the final?

You tear open the envelope, it’s like revealing those O Level results only more important. You unfold the envelope, turn it round the right way, scan down the page to find out, for the duration of the world cup, you’re going to be stationed in….Luton Airport!

Yep, the German Police are today patrolling Luton Airport. No, I don’t know why either. I bet they’re thanking their lucky stars.

By the way, anyone know where you can get hold of  a Paraguay flag?

June 4th, 2006

More Blog Searches

Posted in Blogging by 200

I don’t know whether to feel sorry for the people who searched for something and ended up clicking on a link here or to gaze in amazement at some of the shite people are looking for on this old internet thingy.

Here’s the pick of the latest bunch of searches which led people to 200weeks:

I wonder if anyone who comes here looking for the above ever come back…. 

June 3rd, 2006

Mentioned in Despatches

Posted in Blogging by 200

No, not that Dispatches.

200weeks got a very miniscule mention in the June 2 issue of Police Review. They have a “Webwatch” section which recommends various websites, presumably of a police-type nature.

This week they examine police blogs. There is a write-up of three blogs – The Sleepy Policeman, Coppersblog & World Weary Detective with two or three paragraphs on each site. No disrespect to the World Weary Detective but it’s a shame they spent 3 paragraphs talking about a police blog which packed up in March and closed down rather than a more current one.

Yours truly’s mention was saved until last. The very last paragraph of the article reads:

Other blogs worth mentioning include yornicked.blogspot.com and 200weeks.police999.com.”

Whilst it’s nice to see your website mentioned in print, I can’t help feeling it might be something of a poisoned chalice. I suspect the main readership of Police Review is senior officers and I reckon most senior police officers welcome police blogs like they welcome a dose of the clap. Doubtless the blogs mentioned in the article will be pushed further up the Professional Standards hit list.

I don’t read Police Review. I never have. I have glanced at copies I’ve found lying around in senior officers in trays over the years. The police station used to buy a copy and some secretary would staple a list of all the senior officers in the nick to the front of the cover, in order of seniority. Once the Chief Superintendent had read it, he signed his name then passed it down to the Superintendent, who read it, signed it, handed it down to the Chief Inspector who read it, signed it, etc, etc all the way down to the several inspectors.

You’d have thought on their wages they could have afforded their own copy.

June 1st, 2006

More Pissing in the Wind

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

[I don't believe this - I've just typed out this blog entry into Firefox and whilst rounding off my conclusion the browser decided to install an update and closed itself down wiping out my entire entry - BASTARD!

Well the media is still hot on the latest ‘topic du jour‘ – knife crime.

The latest batch of stabbings must be causing outbursts of “why now?” in the corridors of Parliament. The Home Secretary isn’t happy.

Since May 11th Special Constable Nisha Patel-Nasri has been stabbed to death outside her house in London, 15-year-old football protege Kiyan Prince was killed outside his school in London, Ahmed Hussain, aged 14, was badly injured after being stabbed in the stomach outside his Birmingham school. A day later Tom Grant, aged 19, was killed on a train in Cumbria & Barry Wilson was knifed to death on his doorstep in Bristol. lan Montgomery, aged 26, is fighting for his life after being stabbed in Nottingham.

So the Goverment is considering further measures to prevent this current trend in youths carrying & using knives. John Reid’s thinking of increasing the maximum penalty from two years’ prison to five and increasing the legal age for buying knives from 16 to 18. Well whoopy-do and no shit.

So here’s a little bit of advice to the Home Secretary from a lowly old copper who has been taking knives of kids for almost 30 years – “It won’t work“. And you got that free, no charge & gratis. It took about 5 seconds, didn’t involve a think tank researching it for a year or a whole department of policy & strategy makers with associated researchers.

The goverment will, no doubt, publish stats on the thousands of knives & other weapons handed in by the end of the amnesty and how much safer the streets of Britain are. They’re doing it already, at least the press are, I saw today figures for about 4 forces of the numbers so far which probably ran into a couple of thousand just for those 4 forces. Will it have reduced the liklihood of a weapon being used to stab someone, or threaten them? er..no.

Mr Reid, you and your mates have been paying so much attention to the Human Rights brigade that you’ve just about kneecapped us preventing us searching youths for knives. We more or less have to witness a blade entering a victim’s stomach before we have the power to search and even then we have to fill out the Magna Carta each time we search someone and get it signed in triplicate by the Queen. Further, there is no point in having a maximum prison sentence because nobody ever receives it. Any sentence they do receive they only serve fifty per-cent of it and of all the thousands of people convicted of possession of knives only 14 per cent receive a prison sentence. Not the greatest deterrent, I’m sure you’ll agree.

So here is Dr 200′s 3 easy tips for assisting in the prevention & detection of knife crime;

  1. Stop handcuffing the police with pointless sops to the politically correct which make it impossible for us to do a job which we are often actually quite good at
  2. Introduce a minimum sentence, forget about maximum sentences ‘cos you don’t use them. people should know that of they carry a knife they will go to prison (& not for 50 per cent of the minimum sentence)
  3. Do something about the reasons why people actually want to or feel it necessary to carry knives. I’ll admit this is more difficult but the successful treatment of crime has and always will rely on the prevention of it, not the detection of it after-the-fact and not on gimmicky publicity which confuses the issue with smoke & mirrors.

 And I won’t even charge you for that advice either.

Though a little bonus in the pay packet wouldn’t go amiss…or a free pen…or soemthing.