October 31st, 2007
I’ve decided if ever I need to ring the police when I retire, I’m going to end whatever it is I’m reporting with, "Oh, and he called me racist names."
You get a higher response when you mention the ‘R’ word. Anything with a hint of racism takes a higher priority over most other things. You have to give it a higher grading when you take a call & create a job on the system. As the controller you have to make sure it’s assigned within a squillionth of a nano-second otherwise some jobsworth in the Diversity Office will be on the Bat Phone to the Ops Room inspector asking why nobody has been sent to the racist job yet.
So when I retire, everything I report will be a racist incident.
Surely nobody is so manipulative as to do such an immoral thing?
One of my officers went to a typical racist incident this week. An Asian taxi driver with a customer who had failed to pay £2 of the fare & had disappeared into a nearby house.
The officer turned up and took details, knocked on the door and persuaded the perp’ to pay the outstanding balance to the taxi driver. As the job had come in as a racist incident the officer naturally had to record the intricacies on a special form, one for racist incidents.
Officer: "And what racist language did they use?"
Driver: "Well to be honest they didn’t use any racist language but my controller told me to say they called me a paki because you get a better response."
Who would have thought someone could possibly abuse the system to get a better response from the police than anyone else, you wouldn’t believe it, would you?
October 30th, 2007
Old Jeremy Clarkson is usually good for a laugh. I caught his column in the Sun this last week. Honest, it was lying around the control room & I needed a moment’s diversion.
Anyway, there was a small piece in his column about an Asian petrol station attendant who refused to serve a soldier in uniform unless he came back in civvies. Witnesses reported that the attendant was anti-war (the captain in the 16 Air Brigade had served in Afghanistan). Clarkson said something along the lines of ‘quite right, we should all be free to choose who we do and who we don’t serve in our establishments’. He went on to add that he himself would be choosing not to take his custom the the particular petrol station in question which he regularly passed on his way to the Top Gear studios. He helpfully provided the details of the garage should others also choose not to frequent the same garage in future.
The member of staff concerned has not been sacked by BP. I wonder what would have happened had the member of staff been a white Christian who had refused to serve a woman in a burka until she had gone home and changed?
Just in case you choose not to visit there also it’s the Wisley South Connect on the A3 near Guildford in Surrey.
October 29th, 2007
A teenager who tried to stab PC Dameon Shaw six times walked free from Maidstone Crown Court this week having been convicted of attempted wounding.
Polie were called when James Santrey, aged 19, got drunk & had a domestic with his father. Santrey took two knives to his bedroom threatening to "deal" with the police of they entered.
A police team forced entry to the bedroom & during the ensuing melee Santrey ended up on top of the officer. He was then seen to try to stab the officer six times. Fortunately the officer was wearing his stab proof vest at the time.
Recorder Charles George QC gifted a suspended 12 months youth custody sentence after saying "You have a decent heart. You have got a girlfriend now, so good luck to you." This comes at a time when one knife crime occurs every few minutes in the UK & the government has been banging on for the last two years about how those involved in carrying or using knives will be dealt with most robustly.
If you fancy getting away with trying to murder a police officer, can I suggest you turn up at court in a suit, smile demurely, and bring a female saying how much you have gotten your life sorted since your little ‘fopar’.
October 28th, 2007
Night shifts can be a hit & miss affair; either deadly boring or very busy/exciting/dangerous.
At my last nick I used to work single crewed a lot of the time. That was single crewed as in the only officer on the shift covering 4 small towns and a couple of dozen villages. The nearest backup was 12 minutes away & that was an blues & twos if a unit happened to be on the side of their town nearest to me.
When you’re struggling with an unhappy chappy, 12 minutes is a bloody long time. Even professional boxers only go at it for 3 minutes without a break. You can’t say to chummy, "Timeout, take a seat while someone brings on the oranges & we’ll resume in 60 seconds". That’s when you really get to appreciate the sweet music of approaching sirens, help at last, providing they know where you are.
I once chased a car thief int an unfamiliar estate. I caught up with him at precisely the same time as I realised I hadn’t got a clue what the street was called, or what street it was off. Trying to explain where I had turned left, then right, then across the green, left & right & straight on past the phonebox while rolling around the ground with a 6’3 skinhead who doesn’t like the thought of free board & lodgings for the night, is not a pursuit I’d recommend. In these circumstances I have found just shouting for help until someone opens a window to tell me to be fucking keep the noise down, has worked & the disturbed resident has actually phoned the police.
I wouldn’t recommend that course of action on every estate though. There are some where the residents are more likely to come out & join in giving you a kicking.
October 27th, 2007
Is this male the biggest piece of scum-shite in the country?
You would be forgiven for thinking that pondlife Anthony Anderson, 27-years of Hartlepool had achieved such infamy after reading the following story.
Anderson has just been jailed for three years for a offence of outraging public decency after the incident in July this year. Christine Lakinski, a 50-year-old neighbour of Anderson’s who suffered several medical conditions as well as having learning difficulties, was returning home when she collapsed in the street just yards from her house.
Anderson, with a group of friends, came out and found the lady lying on the ground. He shouted at her and then threw a bucket of water over the women as she lay helpless. He then proceeded to urinate on her shouting "this is YouTube material" while his mates cheered and filmed him on a mobile phone. He then covered her in shaving foam. During the incident, which lasted 30 minutes, the female did not regain consciousness.
Anderson & his mates returned to their house and came out some 20 minutes later to see Miss Lakinski still lying in the same position in which they had left her, it was only then that one of the group called an ambulance before they walked off to enjoy a night on the town.
On the ambulance’s arrival it was found that Miss Lakinski had died (of pancreatic failure).
Anderson was gaoled for 3 years for his behaviour.
As a police officer you see some sick things but this has to be one of the sickest I’ve heard of. Not only did one scumbag carry out this act, but several others let him do it, even encouraging him by filming it on mobile phones, not one stepped in to stop him or offer the dying woman some assistance.
I have to say, sickened though I am, I’m not surprised. If people continue to fail to challenge antisocial behaviour it ends up with scum like this.
October 26th, 2007
I wonder if the graphic designer who made the following advert for Hampshire Police took into account the positioning of the buses’ exhaust. I bet it didn’t look like that in Photoshop.
October 25th, 2007
Random drug (and alcohol) testing has now been brought in for police officers.
Professional Standards departments now have the power to turn up at any police station & randomly test officers for drink & drugs. There is no requirement for drugs misuse to be suspected. The argument goes that police officers must be subject to the highest standards, particularly if they are in charge of dangerous things like guns or high-powered vehicles. They can be tested for 5 specific drugs as well as alcohol.
I don’t know the history of why drug testing has been brought in but I cannot think of a single case in almost 30 years of an officer known to me being arrested or disciplined for drugs misuse. I can think of quite a few who have abused alcohol, mind.
It seems to me that there are already sufficient means to deal with officers suspected of alcohol & drugs abuse without bringing in the need for random tests; the same means s applies to any other citizen suspected of breaking the drugs laws. It’s not as if we are being overrun by junkies in blue, is it?
On the current procedures I fully expect PSDs to pop round to my street to check my vehicle for bald tyres, randomly dip-sample my bank account to make sure I’m not taking bribes, and to pop over to see my wife whenever they see fit to make sure I’m not beating her up.
October 24th, 2007
In a shock decision which has rocked the county to the core of its foundations, Humpshire Constabulary’s chief constable Chlamydia Gruntwazzock resigned with immediate effect this week.
In a hastily-prepared press release Ms Gruntwazzock said, "Recent news of the disappointing results in the police league tables has come as a great surprise to everyone concerned in Humpshire Constabulary, most of all me. Clearly all blame must be laid at the door of those who run the organisation and as such I accept full responsibility for the current failures within my force, I mean service."
The recent annual inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary, Sir Ronnie Da-do-ron-ron placed all 43 English & Welsh forces in a hierarchical list based on key government performance indicators. Humpshire was placed 42nd.
Local county council spokesperson on law & order, Lesley Beane said, "It is correct to say that the county council is disappointed with Sir Ronnie’s assessment of the force’s performance results. Whilst I cannot argue with the acualite, our perception is that there is a lot of great work going on within the meeting rooms and senior officers’ messes at Humpshire headquarters."
Humpshire recorded only 1 mark out of 100 for arresting billy the burglar at the back of the kebab shop last Wednesday week, yet recorded 120 out of a hundred for sending 4,562 members of staff on a completely pointless 3-week course on how to smile at friends we haven’t yet met.
A spokesman for Sir Ronnie Ram-a-lang-a-ding-dong said, "Clearly the only way to measure the success of the police is to come up with meaningless lists of ticky boxes which senior managers can employ cohorts of statisticians to tick. If enough boxes aren’t ticked despite the massive investment in tick-box staff then those responsible cannot fail to undertake a consideration of their position, isn’t it."
Police Authority Chairman Vincent Kodogo said, "We will not accept failure or second-best for the people of Humpshire, some of whom actually pay tax. I am gratified the chief believes the only honourable action is to resign. We are further pleased that all 26 chief superintendents & 83 superintendents have also tendered their resignation."
Asked whether he had offered his own resignation Mr Kodogo replied, "Heavens, no! It’s the chief what makes all the decisions, we merely sign all the cheques & tell him what decisions to make based on what the government want next."
Police Federation rep, John Bunce, said, "Obviously this story is complete bollocks I don’t know where you got it from. Anyone who knows anything about police & policing in the UK knows that whilst a PC will be stuck on & risk losing their job for saying something inappropriate or making a mistake when dealing with an incident, everyone knows that nobody ever takes responsibility for fucking up the whole force."
Chlamydia Gruntwazzock was a QPM.
October 23rd, 2007
When we change shifts in the Control Room we have to have a handover from one shift to the next. This is so we can tell the next controller how many people reporting being harassed by text message we haven’t got round to dealing with yet (lots), and what officers are currently either in custody or doing reports (most), so the next controller has some idea what’s going on in the area.
This can take from 30 seconds to 5 minutes or more depending on how complicated the jobs are.
I try to get into work 10-15 minutes early so there is plenty of time for a decent handover & it lets the current controller get away a little earlier. Some people come in up to 25 minutes early.
If only everyone was so thoughtful. I’ve been relieved by PC Andrews this week. He really annoys me because he comes in at about a minute to the hour which means I’m the last one of my shift left in the room & he doesn’t get a proper handover ‘cos I ain’t doing it in my own time.
The worst thing is that you never get to get your own back on him by relieving him late; due to the way the shifts work his shift always takes sover from us and we never take over from them.
I walked out at 10pm this week when he still hadn’t shown only to see him standing in the kitchen sorting out his cup of tea before coming in to relieve me. Most people do it the other way round. Tosser.
October 22nd, 2007
Hmmm, not the best weekend for British sports. We could have walked away with two world championships but alas, we have neither.
I managed to be able to watch both the Rugby World Cup and the Formula 1 finale.
The Rugby was always going to be a tough goal against South Africa, what with their recent triumphs over England so it wasn’t entirely surprising when they lost. But Lewis Hamilton? Bloody hell, Lewis, what were you doing on the first lap against Alonso? And as for almost breaking down a few laps later and losing about 14 places. The only explanation I can come up with is that Alonso pissed in Hamilton’s tank when nobody was looking.
I was reminded of the 2003 Rugby World Cup when we did actually win. I was covering in the Control Room for someone who was on holiday. We didn’t have a TV but some bright spark rang round the CCTV operators until we found one with a camera opposite an electrical store. We then watched the match (with no sound, obviously) whilst zoomed in the front doors of a branch of Dixons. Every time someone went in or out the shop it spoiled the view.
Oh happy days.
October 21st, 2007
How much better would it be if we had junctions like the clip below instead of traffic lights?
October 20th, 2007
CCTV has a habit of revealing the sad, the stupid & the downright wierd.
Take Gregory. He was on CCTV recently, star of his own show, his 15 minutes of fame, his very own Truman Show.
Gregory drives into the mutli-storey car park in the town centre. It’s about 11.30pm on a Saturday night. The top of the multi-storey provides a great vantage point over the usual Saturday night revellers.
Gregory parks his little Peugeot on the top floor, right next to the parapet. Best to keep the car close by, just in case.
He steps out & looks furtively around just checking he’s alone. He moves close to the wall & looks out onto the town below.
He watches girls go by.
He starts to rub himself as 3 females make their way past the car park. He rubs himself through the dress he is wearing. He stops, jerks his head around, he’s heard something but he’s not sure what it is. He ducks back into his conveniently parked car close by. When he realises nobody is around he gets back out of the car & continues watching girls go by. Watching & rubbing. Furtive, exciting & dangerous.
It’s not so exciting when the panda-car pulls onto the top floor.
Gregory has some explaining to do. I wonder if his wife knows.
It’s amazing what some teachers get up to in their spare time.
October 19th, 2007
Mention the ‘R’ word and bosses really don’t know what to do. There is so much fear of being accused of institutional racisim (whatever that is) that whenever the subject rears its ugly head in a work environment bosses run around shouting wibble not knowing how to approach it nor deal with it correctly.
Invariably, those in management positions will err on the side of caution and totally over-react to it.
Gareth Langmead a 40-year-old Catholic carpark boss at Manchester Airport found a picture of Jesus in a drawer whilst he was spring cleaning. Rather than throw it out he put it on the wall at his workplace.
A Muslim colleague complained that putting up a picture of Jesus was deliberately provocative.
Instead of telling the complainee to ‘get a fucking life’, bosses at the airport did the only thing open to them and escorted Langmead off the premises and suspended him for three days while they ‘investigated’ the complaint. Presumably, telling the Muslim they were free to put up a similar picture or asking Langmead to remove it & seek everyone else’s permission if he wanted to display anything in future weren’t in the manual of how to deal with ‘racist’ incidents.
They’ll be suspending Christians for wearing crosses at work next.
Some Geezer in a poster
October 18th, 2007
The CPS, gotta love ‘em; they do make some wonderful decisions.
Like the one to prosecute PC Lee Armstrong of West Yorkshire Police for allegedly assaulting a prisoner.
In December 2005 the officer was sent to an incident in a shop in Keighley, West Yorkshire, where a man with a knife was threatening a female.
The officer arrested the male while onlookers shouted abuse at the policeman.
All was well & good, or so the officer thought, until 4 months later when he was contacted out of the blue & interviewed under caution. He was charged with assaulting the knifeman during the arrest & subsequently elected trial by jury where he pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The judge, Jonathan Durham Hall, told the prosecutor that "there was never any prospect at all of this gallant young officer being convicted," He added, "the prosecution of yet another man doing his duty, for reasons that are best described as politically correct, is a disgrace." He awarded costs against the prosecution meaning they will fork out around 16 grand to the defence.
The judge also praised the officer for his bravery in arresting the knifeman. He said, "I cannot imagine what you have felt being pursued & harassed in this prosecution over the last few months & I am very sorry."
So that’s another £16,000 of tax payers’ money for the officer’s defence fees plus all the thousands and thousands it took to investigate the matter and bring it to crown court. Will anyone from the CPS or West Yorkshire’s Professional Standards department carry the can? Of course not, they never do.
October 17th, 2007
It seems the government have bowed under public pressure to increase the maximum amount of financial compensation available to troops injured in combat. Pressure from the campaign for paratrooper Ben Parkinson, who had his legs blown off (among other injuries) in Afghanistan has upped his compensation from £152,000 to £285,000.
The MOD has said it is "Committed to ensuring that our injured personnel are given the compensation they deserve", which sounds like a great soundbite which is somewhat short in delivery; criminal injuries compensation is topped at £500,000 & industrial injury compensation appears limiteless.
Des Browne, Secretary of State for Defence said "Our armed forces are unique in making a vital contribution to the security of our nation & we have a responsibility to continue to look after them properly when they get injured."
So that’s alright then.
More on the story at the BBC News website
October 17th, 2007
PC Bloggs posted something this week about what happens when you make a 999 call. I’ve reproduced the salient points below and added a few comments (in red);
- You get through to the joint emergency services operator who will ask which service you want (ie police, fire, ambulance, coastguard, meals on wheels etc).
- They will put you through, but you will have to wait on the line while they relay your phone number across. You might think this would be electronically transmitted immediately. You might well think this.
- Also correct, although new technology this year will automatically fire across your telephone number without the operator having to tell us.
- You get through to a call-taker. THIS IS NOT A POLICE OFFICER. He or she will try to grasp why you have called and start recording it into a typed log. Once some basic details are typed in, if they deem your call an emergency, the call-taker can "ping" it across to the control room. By now it will be about one minute since you dialled.
- Wrong. It is very possible the person who answers your 999 call WILL be a police officer. It may well be me, if my luck is out that day. I hate taking 999 calls, sorry but it’s true. They like police officers taking calls; we tend to blank more callers and tell them we’re not interested in their complaint & they should speak to someone who gives a fuck. Whereas civilians will promise a response, tell you we’ll take statements, and promise all sorts of things we’ll end up not delivering.
- A controller reads the log. They CAN dispatch a police officer now, but in all probability there are some checks they need to do first, such as whether your number or address has called the police before and the outcome. They will do police national computer checks on any names you give them. All of this will take 3-5 minutes.
Depends. If it’s an immediate response we’ll have sent a unit straight away, we’ll then carry out our intelligence checks. If it’s a real emergency we’ll have sent someone before we fully know what the job is all about. That’s why police officers on route to jobs always ask for information we haven’t got yet, because the caller is still talking to the call-taker while an officer is already on route.
- Now they will "grade" your call. Which means decide whether police will go with blue lights on, without, or quite frankly whether we’ll bother at all.
- Wrong, at least where I work. The call has already been graded by the calltaker, quite often they get it right but we can correct the response level if the calltaker is talking out of their arse.
- If you get the top grading, they will search for a resource. This can take the form of an electronic search for units who have booked themselves "available". They can also use the in-car radio sets to track the nearest unit (if the driver’s turned it on and it’s working – unlikely). Usually, they will call up on the air asking for a unit to volunteer.
- In-car tracking? Which force does she work for? Tracking systems may have been in use in ambulances and my local taxi company for years but most police forces don’t have them.
- After a suitable pause to see if anyone else is going to volunteer, someone will. They then set off.
- Er, they will volunteer if it’s a job they can use their blue lights on, if it’s some crappy pain-in-the-arse ‘harassment’ text message job (i.e. most of them) they will suddenly remember they’re not available for assignments but are taking urgent statements or doing the urgent arrest enquiry they’ve been keeping for a few weeks for just such an occasion. Except PC Cross.
October 16th, 2007
I’m not usually a supporter of much the Sun says but it was pretty quiet this shift so I pulled a few papers out of the recycling bin we have at work to while away a particularly boring few hours & happened upon a photograph with a comment from Kelvin Mackenzie that I happen to agree with.
I’ve blogged recently about the appalling way the government treats servicemen blown up on foreign fields whilst fighting the government’s battles which is terrible in itself, but what I find worse is the way we, as a nation do the same.
The photo I saw (I couldn’t locate it on the Sun’s website) was of a parade of soldiers marching through Abingdon in Oxfordshire, having just returned from Afghanistan. There is a small group of passers-by in the background but the main part of the picture shows the town centre devoid of people. Nobody welcoming the 4th Logistics Support Regiment home after a tour in a war-torn land, nobody thanking them for putting their lives at risk for a nation which is somewhat far displaced from our own, nobody commiserating them over the deaths of their fallen comrades.
You don’t have to agree with the war to show support for the people, our friends, neighbours & families who have to do a bloody awful job at our government’s bidding. There is a ‘kin huge proportion of scum-sucking work-shy layabouts who aren’t fit to lick the boots of some of those lads in our armed forces. Let’s not ostracise our soldiers, sailors & airmen like we would a certain section of our society.
If you don’t have any troops returning from a war zone in your area, what about attending a Remembrance Service around November 11th. It’ll take about an hour of your life & is probably within walking distance.
October 15th, 2007
Another triumph for British Justice saw a hit & run driver who killed a seven-year-old boy released from a five month sentence early after serving just five weeks.
45-year-old Christopher Collins knocked down and killed Kyle McDermott as he rode his pedal cycle in September 2006. Collins drove off leaving the boy for dead and when caught a week later denied being the driver. He was jailed for five months and banned from driving for five years at Doncaster Crown Court in August after admitting perverting the course of justice, driving without due care and attention, failing to stop and failing to report an accident. But he was released five weeks later.
Three weeks after being released from prison Collins was arrested by police at the wheel of a car and has been sent back to prison to serve the rest of his sentence.
How much longer have right-minded people got to bang on about people getting proper sentences and being made to serve them before someone will actually take notice, surely there are some votes in doing something about this?
October 14th, 2007
Compensation payments seem to be making a regular appearance at 200weeks so here’s another to add to the collection.
Detective sergeant Gurpal Virdi sued the Met after he was accused of sending race hate emails to colleagues prior to 1998 when he was arrested and subsequently sacked. An employment tribunal found in his favour and he was awarded £240,000 in August 2000 and reinstated by the Met. £90,000 of that was for ‘loss of career’ & ‘injury to feelings’.
In 2005 he was turned down for promotion to inspector. The Met said his application wasn’t up to the required standard, Virdi said he was being victimised & discriminated against because of his previous ‘win’ over the force. He sued again and recently won his case of victimisation although the tribunal rejectied his claim for racial discrimination. He is due to get tens of thousands of pounds in further compensation.
DS Virdi was again turned down for promotion earlier this year and is suing the Met for a third time. Of course, we will never know whether he deserves promotion or not, he may be being victimised or he may be unsuitable for promotion – not everyone deserves it, in my experience, that doesn’t necessarily matter as they do promote some complete bloody plonkers.
So we have someone who is doing the same job he was before, has suffered no injury and been denied promotion, just like hundreds or maybe thousands of other people who haven’t been promoted? Lucky he never had his legs blown off and got brain damage a shis compo would been about half of what he’s had so far, with more to come.
Either the Met is incredibly stupid, or someone knows when they are onto a good thing. The trouble is, with the previously history of the job in general & the Met in particular, how the bloody hell are we able to tell?
Guardian Online story
October 14th, 2007
I’ve just realised I’ve made one post every day for a month. Phew!
I have to say it’s an awful lot of work. I’m spending my day wondering what the bloody hell I’m going to talk about. I’ve read more papers in the last few weeks than I have all year up ’til then. But I have to say I’ve enjoyed it.
Part of the reason I wanted to give it a go was to see if I could garner some extra involement from my readers in the form of comments. Most of my entries have comments you could count on the fingers of a half-eaten Kit-kat (or less) so the jury’s still out on that. I also wanted to see if it increased the amount of people visting.
Unfortunately, the stats plug-in I’ve been using for the last 18 months seems to slow the site down. I turned it off a couple of days ago and it appears that maybe the site is now loading more normally. I added a new stats plugin which is supposed to use far less load on the site so it will take me some time to see if readership is up.
Can I just take the opportunity to thank those of you who continue to read my blog (even if most of you are silent). If you’re a new reader, let me know and tell me how you found my blog.
I’m not promising to blog every day from now on, but I have a few ideas for the next few days so I’ll see how it goes.
Oh, and to WhichEndBites – yes you’re right it’s now much less than 200 weeks to go, quite a lot less. I don’t know when you get your resettlement courses but the lunches on ours are very good.