If you’re a supporter of all things anti-police, & there are, unbelievably, a few who visit the police blogs & forums from time to time, (although not here vey much judging by the lack of comments recently) you might be interested in a new website.
Shop a cop.com has been set up with you in mind; on this site you can view actual photos of such police atrocities as police cars parked on double yellow lines and, er, not much else.
Sadly, you can’t tell whether the drivers of said errant police vehicles are saving the lives of depressed young men whilst catching them as they dangle over neraby railway bridges or just collecting the police staton’s daily donut allowance. But why let that stop you basking in the rampant law-breaking & hypocrisy that is the British Police.
If you like shit guitar music blasting out of your speakers unannounced on your work PC while you surrepticiously cruise the internet whilst pretending to do stuff on spreadsheets you’ll doubly-love shopacop.com.
It seems the Soham murderer, Ian Huntley, has been taken to hospital from his cell at wakefield Prison having taken an overdose. I wonder if it was a reaction to facebook having removed his profile from their website when they were alerted he’d registered using the name Ian Nixon (his mother’s maiden-name).
Nothing trivial I hope.
(It doesn’t appear to have hit the news websites yet, so no link to the story)
What is it in human nature that makes us all nosey bastards?
You know when you’re out there dealing with something which usually involves someone’s misery and the world and his wife wants to stop and stare. It doesn’t matter what it is, we all want to know everyone else’s business. I guess it’s not unique to policing but it if it is it usually has other consequences.
You’re trying to maintain a cordon to protect a crime scene and every second passerby just needs to know what’s happened and why they can’t go down that road.
You’re shutting off a junction and every third motorists comes up to you and parks their motor in the most dangerous spot before asking if the road’s closed, or they’ll abandon their car in the middle of the roundabout and stroll over asking what’s happened and how long will they be invonvenienced.
If you ever get an accident, or should I say ‘collision’ on the motorway, pound to a penny there will be one on the opposite carriageway because some dumb-arse who can’t keep his eye on the traffic in front is trying to ogle what’s happened on the other side of the road before sending his Volvo shotting up the arse of the car in front, and it’s usually not just 1, how often does the RTC on the opposite carriageway involve several vehicles on an ostensibly clear & free-running section? (the answer, in case you’ve never actually seen anything like this is – lots).
I had a sergeant who had a rather unorthodox way of dealing with these morbid onlookers.
We had a fatality on a railway line, it was actually at the station. There was a pedestrian walkway over the station and people gathered to have a gander. We had, by then, collected up all the body parts from various parts of the station and placed them with the main torso section under a blanket on the railway line. I remember than at arm had flown up onto the platform and it appeared that the hand had grabbed hold of one of the timetable signs and was lying wrapped around the sign’s stand.
The sergeant, fed up with all the onlookers, leaned over the blanket-covered remains and shouted up to the gallery, "You want a look then?" and, like a conjurer removing a table cloth from underneath a complete dinner service, revealed the gory remains. "There you are, then" he shouted up.
What is it about someone who grows up wanting to be a police officer, passes all the hoops and jumps to get appointed, does their probation and after two years’ service applies to come off the street into the control room?
PC Andrews is one such officer. I don’t get him. Why would you do that? He hasn’t begun to learn his craft yet. His experience level is minimal, he hasn’t been trusted to do much stuff on his own for much more than a year, if that. He’s young, very young. I’m surprised his mother lets him do nights. I saw him on shift tonight (he works opposite shifts to me) and I swear he looked like he has to get up for a paper round in the morning.
I suppose the clue comes with his reputation. Apparently, he was bloody useless & a liability out on shift. Rather than tell the bloke he’s not suited to the job & maybe he should find a different source of income, they move him to the control room.
He’s no longer bloody useless & a liability on the street; he’s useless & a bloody liability in the control room. The management find it easier to put up with it & move them from one place to the next until the next shift get fed up with him, easier than jumping through the hoops they created themselves in order to sack him, for being bloody useless.
The world of law enforcement was rocked to its foundations this week with the announcement of the first reported case of brown-tongue disease.
"This could not have come at a worse time," said Acting Chief Constable J. R. Slicker in a hastily-prepared press conference at police HQ this evening. "The policing minister & Home Office are still reeling from the recent bout of foot-in-mouth disease and now this!"
The story was broken this week by journalists at the Daily Bollocks. Night editor Jonathan Liar-Liar-Pants-on-Fire said, "We have suspected for some time that there have been underlying symptoms of brown-tongue within senior echeclons of the police service. This usually manifests itself in a slavish acceptance of everything the government says with no no heed to the potential damage caused to the public & policing in this country together with a rapid need to change everything which worked to something which costs less and doesn’t."
Chief government vet, Ms Janice Hamster, urged the public to be vigilant. "Any sightings of unusual behaviour which includes such things as frantic scrabbling up promotion ladders, turning backs towards lower ranks & uncontrolled frothing & drooling from the mouth at a mention of the Queens Police Medal should be immediately reported to the authorities. We cannot underestimate the potential for damage should brown-tongue get a firm grip."
She added, "Brown-tongue can be highly contageous and is usually passed on by personal contact between senior officers and on down the ranks, although we have recently noted that even email contact is sufficient to spread the virus. Sadly, once infected, victims of brown-tongue stand an 83% chance of developing further complications such as ‘promotion’ & a 97% chance of disappearing up their own arse."
An ashen-faced Ms Hamster concluded, "The government is doing everything in its power to stamp out brown-tongue. Sadly, we may have lost the battle among senior officers & politicians but we find encouragement in the fact that the lower down the rank structure the virus spreads the lower the infection rate."
This story appeared as grist to the mill to everyone with an anti-PCSO bent. It appeared around the police forums and the blogs and was usually entitled "PCSOs Watch Boy Drown", the nuts & bolts of the story was that a 10-year-old boy drowned after trying to help his younger sister who got into difficulties in a ‘pond’. Two fishermen jumped in and rescued the girl but the boy drowned ‘while the PCSOs stood on the bank watching and doing nothing’.
Someone on Police999.com said "I find this quite shocking personally, if I saw a child in difficulty in water I would find it difficult to do nothing, whatever my training.." someone else said "Personally if that was me i would not be able to live with myself if I had watched a 10 year old boy drown."
Over at PoliceSpecials.com the debate was a little less forthright with many of the first posts asking what really happened and warning against jumping to conclusions although the thread was entitled "Blunkett’s bobbies stood by as boy, 10, drowned trying to save his sister." Comments such as this appeared, "I‘d like to say this was unbelievable, but its not. This is what you get when undertrained, ill-informed people are put in positions of public responsibility."
Response Plod really went to town; "You don’t just stand there and watch a child drown because you didn’t have the correct training! That’s absolute bollocks!" and "What the hell everyone helping must have thought whilst these two cowards stood on the bank is beyond me?! I’m sorry to say it, but in my opinion they are just that, "Cowards!" to hide behind the excuse "We’ve not been trained" not to go in the water is inexcusable!" He/she then went on to call for the scrapping of PCSOs using this event as another reason why PCSOs are shite.
The press comment pages and forums are littered with similar comments and suggestions.
As it turned out the truth was a little different from what everyone was spouting. The inquest into the drowning heard that the lad was playing with his younger sister by the ‘pond’ which turned out to be a somewhat larger & more dangerous filled-in quarry pit. The girl got into difficulty and the lad tried to help her. Two fishermen jumped in and got the girl but the lad disappeared under the surface and the fishermen couldn’t locate him. The emergency services were then alerted as a result of which two PCSOs arrived some while later. At this time the lad had been under the surface for between 10 and 30 minutes and, according to the coroner’ was "probably" dead by then. One of the PCSOs then cycled up to await the emrgency services to direct them in as there had been confusion over the exact location of the tragedy, the other stayed at the pit. A Sgt arrived and entered the water, some time later the body was recovered.
This appears to be something far from "Two PCSOs watch boy drown", but why let the truth get in the way of another chance to kick the system?
What amazes me is that of the headlines had been "Two Police Officers watch boy drown" I guarantee the forums would be full of comments along the lines of, "well, we don’t know the full story", "let’s not jump to conclusions" and other similar warnings. What wouldn’t have happened is someone posting about "police cowards".
Strangely it appears OK do do just that when it’s about PCSOs. And they say the job of a police officer is to find the truth?
I often wonder who reads this blog (if anyone!) and how they find the site. It amazes me the amount of people who tap something totally unrelated into a search engine and end up here, most of them must be so disappointed.
Here are a few search queries in a 24 hour period this week:
Criticisms of PCSOs – There are probably lots depending on who you speak to, visit any police forum for a random selection
beresford solicitor – Why would anyone be looking for a scummy solicitor?
police999.com – Police Information portal with forums, lots of criticims of PCSOs there.
police constables blog david copperfield – the original, sorry to disappoint you now that you’re here instead of there.
the sharp end police – people actually want to look for that Home Office propaganda mag?
johnno hills – ex-cop now running a campaign for proper policing
custody sergeant – a good one is your friend, a bad one is a wanker.
advertising on police websites – you can do it here for a few free samples (provided it’s porn or donuts you’re selling)
Nina Hobson – how do you spell that sound you make in your throat just before you spit?
other jobs related to bing a policeman – I don’t know any policemen called Bing, much less whether he has any related occupations.
download ansaphone messages – record it yourself you lazy bastard
miners recovering solicitors fees – miners don’t recover solicitors fees, the solicitors have spent them on a new Aston Martin
is it possible to get a job with police cautions? – If Police Cautions is the name of a company & they are currently recruiting I’d guess, yes.
police epaulettes number what mean borough code – English not your first language eh? Try the Met Police website.
free bloggs – someone after my own heart, no I wouldn’t pay money for this blog either.
christmas leave luton to belfast – how the bloody hell did you think coming to a police blog would solve that problem?
These are all genuine search queries from my logs taken from one day this week.
You work with a wide variety of people in the control room. We usually work in teams and within the team we work in pairs, usually a ‘controller’ who does the talking on the radio and a ‘not controller’ who does all the updating of incident logs, makes & takes telephone calls and other stuff. the mood of your partner can really effect what sort of day you have, often more so than the amount and type of work you actually do that day.
I worked with Gail this week. I can’t work her out really. She’s on another shift but often covers our shift. She’s in her late 30s or maybe just reached 40. I’m told she’s been divorced three times & one of the marriages didn’t last 5 months. Some people describe her as neurotic, others as highly-strung, but I’m not really sure what ‘highly-strung’ means. She’s looking for something in life & hasn’t found it yet, I’m not sure she knows what it is she’s looking for but I’m told a few PCs have tried to help her find it in the last couple of years, one or two of them are married, apparently.
She cries a lot.
There’s a fair amount of crying goes on within our control room. I’m a six-foot plus hairy-arsed copper so I don’t really understand this crying business but I know that, so far, it’s exclusively a female thing, officers and civilians.
It can be really busy and extremely stressful at times. I don’t think many officers appreciate it, they tend to say things like, well you should see the stress when someone’s trying to bash a bottle over your head & stuff like that. They forget I’ve been there & done that. Sometimes I wish they could come inside and try my job for an evening, just to even it out a bit. OK, it’s a different type of stress but it’s still stress.
Gail cried today, several times. She said something about not being able to cope as it was so busy, tempers between her & the guys on the street were a little frayed, as they can be from time to time. Some people forget we’re actually in the same job.
The answer was to take Gail off the channel for a while, get her a cup of tea, give her a break, which is great. That doesn’t work for long & the next time she cries she’s sent home.
So it’s too busy & stressful for two people to run the channel without someone having a nervous breakdown, but not too busy to remove one of the team of two and let the one left – me, carry on for the rest of the shift on their own, doing the work of both operators.
You work with some people & you spend the day having a laugh & getting the job done, you walk out with your head spinning but you know you provided a decent service to the guys & gals on the street. You work with others & by the end of the shift you just want to slash your wrists.
The Independant Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) have released a report claiming some police officers take unnecessary risks during police pursuits.
There’s a serious debate to be had about when or whether police should pursue a fleeing vehicle but that’s for another day. Meanwhile, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take the piss out of the Police Minister, or should that be clown, Tony McNumpty. (Mind you, I probably wouldn’t have to wait long for another chance)
Apparently, and this is a genuine quote, he has welcomed the ACPO review of police pursuit policy but said that "the key issue is that the majority of police chases were caused by suspects refusing to stop when requested."!
I can exclusively reveal some other recent government research;
Studies show that the majority of shoplifting offences were caused by people failing to pay for their goods.
The majority of drunken behaviour is caused by people consuming alcohol and,
The majority of government-spouted bollocks is caused by ministers failing to keep their mouths shut.
And the results of my studies cost the government precisely fuck-all.
Police Minister Tony McNumpty talking out of his arse whilst indicating the precise size of his brain to other MPs.
You can always rely on the good old Met Police apparatchniks to spend the hard-earned cash of the tax-payers of the Metropolis (those that actually pay it) wisely.
In March of this year they spent 4,000 of our English Pounds gift-wrapping it to a 16-year-old teenager in the form of compensation.
I got less than half that amount in compensation for an injury sustained in a violent assault which resulted in a broken bone, several weeks off work and 3 operations under general anaesthetic over the next 4 years.
So what has to happen to you to merit such an award as 4 grand these days? Being hit over the head with a baton whilst minding your own business at a riot? Getting a broken leg whilst dodging a drunken power-crazed plod at the wheel of a wayward police riot van? Er, no.
Anop Singh got his free cash when police came across him and his mates chucking conkers at the law abiding public of Hackney. Master Singh declined to leave the area at the request of one of the Met’s finest who offered to put him in he nearest dustbin if he didn’t cease & desisit. Singh replied "Go on then" so the officer obliged, picked him up and placed him feet first into a nearby bin, from which Singh immediately jumped out. You may remember the footage on the BBC news at the time as one of Singh’s mates recorded it on his mobile. (anyone got a link to it, I couldn’t find it via Google).
Now obviously this event caused so much trauma & humiliation that the Met felt the best thing to do was to give the ‘victim’ four grand to ease his ‘suffering’.
Coompare this to the case of paratrooper Ben Parkinson who was engaged in something actually useful fighting for their country in Afghanistan. He was blown up by a landmine & suffered a total of 37 terrible injuries. He lost both legs & sustained serious damage to his spine, skull, pelvis, hands, spleen & ribcage. He has been described by military doctors as the most seriously injured soldier to actually survive.
He has been offered the sum total of £152,150 compensation which won’t even buy his mother a bungalow in which to care for him. He will require a specially adapted home and spcialist care for the rest of his life. It amazes me that with the billions spent on fighting a war the government can’t find a few million to care for people such as Ben it sends off to fight their battles.
Compare again to:
the RAF typist who claimed to have suffered repetative strain injury in her thumb which meant she could never work again and got £487,000.
The fraud convict who never held a job & got £248,000 after claiming he fell in the shower in prison which made his leg numb and caused impotency, he later went on to father a child.
A teacher awarded £330,000 for "trauma" after an intruder entered her classroom but caused her no physical harm
A prisoner who got £575,000 after trying to kill himself in a young offfender’s institution despite prison officers saving his life.
An undercover PC who received £175,000 when she claimed the radio earpiece she’d been using caused tinnitus.
The Hillsborough tragedy police officer who received £330,000 for post traumatic stress disorder (the family of one 14-year-old killed in the tragedy received £3,500 compensation)
The Scottish police officer who lost her job after being accused of a crime when her fingerprint was wrongly judged to have been left at a crime scene received £750,000
I could go on…and on….and on…
Compensation payouts? It’s what puts the Great in Great Britain.
The Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Sir Ronnie Flanagan, has recently spent some time inspecting the, er, Constabulary and has come up with the incredible conclusion that the police are bogged down by red tape & paperwork.
Apparently we are ‘over-recording’ and ‘under-delivering’ & that excess beaurocracy must be cut to free up police time.
No shit Sherlock!
I wonder how much it cost the country to come up with that stunning conclusion. I’m not sure why it took a whole department with the highest paid policeman in the land & several squillion pounds to tell him something I could have told him for the price of a cup of tea & a donut. We’ve been saying it for years. We were saying it long before PC David Copperfield started blogging. (Possibly before he was born judging by his pics in the press & on TV recently.
In other news this week, Italy, after a year-long investigation by the world’s top theologists the Vatican have, today, announced that the Pope is Catholic.
And in Canada, a multi-billion dollar study of the country’s wildlife has discovered that after a long day’s fishing & rooting through people’s dustbins, brown bears like nothing better than to wander off for a shit in the woods.
I’m reminded of the Two Ronnies Mastermind sketch; "Your specialist subject? Stating the bleeding obvious."
The identity of PC David Copperfield, he of the Policeman’s Blog & "Wasting Police Time" book has come out of the closet in grand style on last night’s Panorama edition on the BBC.
It turns out Stuart, as he is, resigned form the job in June and is taking up a post as a police officer in Canada. Good luck to him. He did a great job and had one of the most successful blogs on the internet. It was certainly talked about in many places, although it seems from his latest post that he’s moving on now. There aren’t many of us who can say we’ve been talked about in the Houses of Parliament! I was surprised that he only had 4 years in the job which means he must have been well disillusioned about half way through his probabtion. I thought it took at least 2 years to become thoroughly pissed off with this job. My only other surprise was, well how can I put this, so young and so little hair.
If you didn’t see the 17th September edition of Panorama, you can watch it online until the next edition next Monday. You’ll find it on the BBC website.
Best wishes David/Stuart, thanks for the work you’ve done on behalf of us ordinary coppers, and thanks for being the inspiration behind me starting my blog!
Just carrying out a bit of blog maintenance & I notice a few new police blogs plus a few which have drifted off into blog-history.
There seem to have been some hacking going on at blogspot.com. Midlands PC’s blog seems to have been hacked & all posts deleted to be replaced with a long list of meaningless words & an advert for Amazon. Police Probationer’s blog appears to have been hacked and replaced with adverts.
According to the Sun, SAS ‘hero’ Andy Mcnab has had his laptop stolen from his car.
It seems some lowlife scum had it on his toes with Mcnab’s precious IT. Let’s hope it doesn’t contain the plot to his next book or the names and home addresses of all his old SAS pals.
As the Sun says, "The culprit will be sweating when he finds the man he targeted is a trained killer who served ten years in the crack SAS — motto Who Dares Wins." Hmmm, I bet there’s more chance of the police catching him than a man with the blacked-out face, that’ll be bugger-all then.
Mind you, five minutes with an ex SAS ‘hero’ would probably do more to put off the errant youth from a life of crime than any number of appearances in front of the local beak.
According to Andy’s own website, he "trained as a specialist in counter terrorism, prime target elimination, demolitions, weapons and tactics, covert surveillance and information gathering in hostile environments, and VIP protection, McNab worked on cooperative operations with police forces, prison services, anti-drug forces and western backed guerrilla movements as well as on conventional special operations. In Northern Ireland he spent two years working as an undercover operator with 14th Intelligence Group, going on to become an instructor.
McNab also worked as an instructor on the SAS selection and training team and instructed foreign special forces in counter terrorism, hostage rescue and survival training."
All that very expenive and intense training and he still leaves a laptop in an unattended vehicle. Doh!
When I was a ‘proper’ policeman if we wanted time off or annual leave we spoke to the shift sergeant. Provided you didn’t deplete the shift too much you were moe or less allowed holiday whenever you wanted it. I attended several college courses and arranged to have one of my DRDs (deferred rest days) on the Wednesday of every late turn so I could attend as many classes as possible.
If there was a problem getting leave or time off there was a certain amount of leeway to barter amongst colleagus & offer favours in return for swapped shifts.
This worked well for the last 30 years or more until some numpty came up with the brainwave of having a ogistics officer to sort out all duties and leave, Obviously such a role as slooking at a few annual leave applications & then ticking them off on a calendar grid required the resources of a fully-sworn police constable (who would be taken from the front-line). So step forward some useless street dodger with 3 years’ service. The upshot was that nobody could get any leave when they wanted it & there were never enough officers to cover the pre-planned events.
A similar situation existed in the Control Room; leave was sorted out by the shift supervisors & generally everyone got what leave they wanted. Someone, possibly the same person who introduced ‘logistics’ on division introduced it for the Control Room, only they didn’t have one officer doing it, they had a whole bloody department.
It could have been predicted that any incompetence from a single logistics officer would be multiplied by the amount of people in the new department.
Now nobody gets leave, ever, full stop. They constantly ring you at home asking you to either go in early or work your rest day because piss poor planning has meant there aren’t enough people working.
Despite the fact that we’ve had Christmas for about 2,000 years they still can’t work out how many officers they will actually need until a few weeks before Xmas sneaks up and jumps out at them. This means that all Christmas leave is blocked until a few weeks before Christmas meaning even if you are the one person on a shift of 50 granted Christmas leave you will be safe in the knowledge that it will be far too late to actually book anything worthwhile.
(A bit more leave and a recent death in the family have kept me from this blog for a little while, but hopefully, I’m back with a few more posts.)
Well, it’s a Happy Birthday to Me! Two years of blogging and still going.
I’ve not had a visit from the Rubber Heel Squad & the Thought Police up at HQ, I suppose I can be grateful for that.
Isn’t it a shame that we can’t share our thoughts & experiences within the Police Service for fear of being tracked down by a unit determined to stifle what should be our free speech. Such is the paranoia that, to date, I’ve not told a single person that I write this blog. Not a colleague, friend or family.
Maybe when the 200 weeks is finally up I will come out of the closet & really reveal some of the shite that goes on behind the closed doors of Police HQ. To do that currently with a lot of the stuff I’d like to talk about would probably reveal the force in queston so I only really talk in generic terms.