Some senior officers come up with some cracking schemes to get them noticed by the Chief (and thus grease the rungs of the slippery promotion ladder even further).
We had one who realised that the more coppers there were in the establishment, the less of them there were actually on the street. This is a well-known phenomenon in police circles where giving extra resources decreases the ends results and is known as Newtons 4th Law of Police management Cock-ups.
Apparently, complaints from members of the public saying that they never saw a police officer were increasing.
Our boss’s brainwave to solve the problem, and a quick path to tea & medals on the chief constable’s croquet lawn, was to get all the police cars in the division recalled up to the garage where the mechanics were instructed to wire up the lights so that a static blue light on the roof bar was switched on whenever the headlights were activated.
This meant that during the hours of darkness we were lit up like christmas trees. The good thing was that more people saw us, you couldn’t help seeing us with a blue light displayed everywhere we went! The thing was that the only people who benefitted were the scrotes & criminals who now had a head starts as they could tell a police car was coming from at least 1/2 a mile away.
When the new policy filtered through to ground level, quite a few PCs stuck reports in basically saying it was a bloody stupid idea & arrest rates would tumble as naughty people would see us coming for miles and just run off before we’d even reached the scene. These reports were ignored due to the fact that they actually came from people who knew what they were talking about rather than a numpty in an office who did 18 months of police work and the rest of their careers getting promoted and sucking up to whichever management gimmick was next in vogue. The superintendent, being an arse (as most of them are)ignored our pleas.
He ignored them right up until the moment the chief wanted to know why the arrest figures on the division were pointing the wrong way on his graph at Police Towers. Shortly after this epiphany moment all the cars were recalled to the police garage to have their wiring looms altered back.
This has nothing to do with policing, or society in general but I just feel like having a rant.
Is it me or is Windows Vista the biggest pile of shite in software history?
I’ve been using it for months. I have all the latest drivers for all my computer components & it still crashes to the ‘blue screen of death’. I’ve seen more crashes in the last few months than I did in a few years of using XP.
I still can’t get some of my peripherals to work. My scanner, joystick & PDA refuse to talk talk to the PC, some of my software which worked flawlessly with XP just causes Vista to fall over with it’s legs in the air kicking & screaming. I;ve seen more crashes from Vista than a drunk joyrider with no eyes.
If Vista was a kettle or a car I’d be entitled to a repair under warranty or a refund so why do I have to fork out £100 or so with absolutely no recompense if it doesn’t actually work?
No wonder Microsoft is the richest company in the world. Tossers.
So I’ve been off the streets for a little while now, I guess it’s time for a mid-term report.
Firstly, do I miss my old job, that of a front-line officer?
On the whole I have to say "no, I don’t".
For a start, the wettest I’ve got is jogging across the car park to the Control Room at the start f a shift. It sure beats the hell out of standing in the middle of the road in the pouring rain. The kind of rain which literally soaks you to the skin. The kind of rain you know you’ve been in when you get back to the nick & have to wring your underpants out.
I’ve not filled out a single meaningless form since I’ve been here. Come to that I’ve not filled out a single meaningful form either (yes, I know there aren’t may of them!)
I don’t get emails from people in offices asking me why I haven’t done something or telling me to fill in yet another meaningless form. Well, apart from the occasional numpty who still doesn’t know I’m not on shift anymore, then at least I can have the pleasure in returning it saying ‘not in my remit’.
I’ve not been assaulted, even Gail hasn’t tried to hit me yet.
Do I miss anything? Well the truth of the matter is I don’t actually miss much at all. About the only thing I miss is driving my patrol car. I really enjoyed that. It probably won’t go down well in some quarters but driving to a blues & twos job & honing the art of driving fast but safe can be bloody exciting. I miss some of the camararderie, you do build up a close knit team. I also find working with so many women, er, different. In the last 25 plus years I’ve only ever worked on teams which were a minimum of 70 per cent male, now I’m in the minority. I don’t dislike, I just find it different.
I get to go home on time. Every day. No more text messages home to say I won’t be in for a while or asking the wife to cancel the arrangements for the evening because I’ve got 3 scrotes in the bin & the solicitor won’t be here for another 2 hours.
So, on the whole, I reckon I can hack this for another year or so until the 200 weeks is finally up.
Have you noticed how bank & credit card companies are always telling you to be careful with your ID? You have to make sure you shred all your old statements & bills, protect your PIN numbers by never writing them down, don’t allow others to use your cash cards & never give personal information to people you don’t know. All this to protect yourself from identiy fraud.
Am I the only one who thinks it’s rather ironic that when they ring you the first thing they do, after you’ve confirmed it’s you they want to talk to, is to ask you – "for security purposes" – to divulge your date of birth?
Like they’ve found some paperwork left outside a bank in a black bag (‘cos the bank can’t be arsed to keep your details safe) and the bit which has your date of birth has been smeared with the rain, oh give him a bell and pretend your Barclaycard and just ask him to confirm his date of birth then we’re all set to take out some mortgages, loans & credit cards using his details, fantastic).
I find a good way to deal with banks & credit card companies when they say "For security purposes can you confirm your date of birth?" is to just say "No". If they ask why, just explain that you are following their advice to protect your identity from fraud attempts by refusing to divulge personal information to strangers.
This usually stymies them as they have pre-prepared scripts which they usually just read out like automatons they’re not set up for user-interference. They have instructions not to divulge any information unless they can confirm your ID – like anyone living in your house is not going to know the top secret information about when you were born! The bank representative then has to end the call as they can’t even tell you what it’s about & you are free to get on with the decorating. Job’s a good ‘un.
I’ve just found out that my blog is rated R (for restricted), how cool is that?
The people over at JustSayHi.com have a tool which whizzes through your blog and comes up with your rating. So under-17s, if you are reading this blog please make sure you are accompanied by a parent or an adult guardian lest you be corrupted.
My rating is based on the fact that it contains the following words:
fuck x 5
hell x 3
polac x 2 and
shit x 1
My next post was going to be along the lines of "Fucking hell, I’ve just been involved in another polac and now I’m in the shit", but I’d better not post that, had I
In another example of how criminals get better treatment than the rest of us it transpires that the families of military personnel killed in Afghanistan & Iraq must pay for their own legal fees to hire a lawyer to represent them at the inquests.
34-year-old Matthew Bacon was killed by a roadside bomb in Basra in 2005. His father, Roger, wanted a lawyer to ask questions about his son’s death, on the family’s behalf, at the inquest but was told he would have to foot the bill himself.
The Ministry of Defence uses tax-payers’ money to pay for their lawyers at the same inquest.
This is rather a rather different situation if the dead person happens to be some low-life scum who dies whilst serving time in one of Her majesty’s prisons. Their families are entitled to free legal aid to cover their costs at inquests.
What does that say about the state of this great nation of ours?
I don’t recommend the following action for dealing with pains in the arse at work, but it often works.
I’ve been told that I’m one of the most ‘laid back’ controllers in the room. I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or a complaint. I suspect it’s both depending on why I’ve been called into the office. All I know is that it means I rarely get wound up, I don’t panic during serious incidents, I don’t take anything personally (even when it’s meant personally) and I don’t treat the jobs that I get sent to deal with as something sent specifically to wind me up.
I was working on a late shift this week. There were 2 or 3 people working overtime (there’s always 2 or 3 people working overtime because the management haven’t realised it costs more to pay enhanced rates to overtime workers every single day than it does to employ more people).
Anyway, one of the people working overtime was a PC from another shift. I don’t know him that well other than by reputation. I like to treat people as I find them, which, as the shift went on, was falling quite into line with the reputation that I’d heard. For some reason he seemed to think that minding my business was his role. To say he was interfering was an understatement. He was working another division but sat within talking distance and could see my computer screen. I guess because his division was quiter than mine he had more time to watch what I was doing.
PC Arse seemed to delight in going through the logs on my division & reciting the content to me before I’d had the chance to deal with it. He also checked out the incoming logs, the ones the call-takers were creating before sending to me, and he’d helpfully notify me that I was about to get a burglary sent over, or another text message threats, or maybe someone in the street with a BB gun, again. This is somewhat frustrating because I prefer to deal with incidents as they are sent rather than before all the information is added to the log by the call-taker, and anyway, being busy I have enough work looking at my current jibs without researching ones about to be sent to me.
To cut a longer story short a couple of hours of his constantly butting in & advising m how to run my channel started to wear off my ‘laid back’ approach and I entered the twighlight zone.
You know the place, it’s where time suddenly slows down, everyone goes quiet and is free from other task for the sole purpose of listening to your next remark just at the point when you say. "Will you fuck off & let me do my job". The control room is usually a buzz of activity with a constant hum of voices. It was completely quiet.
For the next 3 days people kept coming up to me congratulating me & saying that PC Arse deserved that. Even people who weren’t in the room at the time spoke to me about it.
As I say, it’s not the way to sort workplace problems out. telling someone to fuck off isn’t big & it isn’t clever….but it’s bloody satisfying!
So England are out of Euro 2008, Great news for the peace of the nation!
Whenever England are playing in the World Cup or Euro competitions the level of disorder increases such that we have to put out public order units across the force. Every match day we have transit loads of bobbies at strategic points just waiting to react to the ensuing disorder whether England win or lose. It appears that lots and lots of so-called ‘football fans’ like nothing better than beating up anyone they can find.
I fail to see why the peace-loving inhabitants of our towns should have to put up with hordes of drunken, prehistoric louts marauding through the streets smashing wing mirrors off cars & punching anyone they can find, all in the name of ‘the beautiful game’.
I can imagine I’m not the only one celebrating England’s pitiful performance on the football field.
The Daily Mail reports this week of the demise of one of our standard police acronyms (if that’s the right word).
POLAC – pronounced with a ‘pol’ as in ‘Polly’ (girl’s name) has been used for many a long year as a shortened version of ‘Police Accident’ used to describe a road traffic collision/accident involving a police vehicle.
Gloucestershire Constabulary have decided it’s no longer acceptable to use this term. A Gloucestershire Constabulary source told the paper, "We are aware the term ‘polac’, when heard verbally, can be interpreted as a racial slur against people of Polish origin".
In a shock statement today, the Home Secretary announced that sensitive data stored on two CDs had gone missing from the Home Office.
An ashen-faced Jackie Pointless said that the data discs had disappeared whilst being transferred from the Tick-boxer’s Office at Whitehall to another Tick-boxer’s office down the road, turn left & 3 doors down from the kebab shop.
Ms Pointless said, "Due to an unfortunate balls-up two data discs containing the records of literally tens of crime detections have been misplaced whilst in transit between two Home Office departments.
"Under proper government protocols the data is normally taken in double-locked security storage cases strapped to the wrists of a team of 14 crack SAS killer-troops who are placed within the double strong-room inside the most secure security vehicle in the world. This vehicle is always accompanied by a full team of highly-trained security personnel, 56 police outriders, a battalion of the Ghurka Regiment, the Met Police helicopter & the Dagenham Girl Pipers. The Red Arrows provide top cover on the 254 metre journey."
Stumbling over her words at the Despatch Box the Home Secretary added, "Despite the best protocols put in place, I might add, by this government, it transpires that an office junior from the cleaning department decided to bypass the secure transport option by putting th discs in a paper aeroplane & launching them out of the Box-ticker’s window when the wind was blowing in the general directon of the kebab shop.
"To date, the aeroplane has not arrived but we are hopeful it has merely been delayed in a freak mistral."
When asked the significance of the data loss Sir Trevor Beardyman said, "The loss of this data & subsequent potential consequences to policing in this country cannot be over-estimated. For the last five years we have been making up easy detection targets so the police can hit them rather than getting the boys in blue to solve difficult crimes like burglary and that one where you point a knife at someone and filch their mobile phone thingy, whatever it’s called. These made-up detections cannot be replaced. This is five years’ work down the pan and the police must be spitting bullets."
The Prime Minister said, "Clearly the fault for this debacle lies fairly & squarely at the foot of Mrs Mopp of Rent-an-illegal-immigrant Cleaning Services who took it upon herself to circumvent our clear security protocols in order to save money when we decided not to pay anything at all towards these protocols. I have accepted the resignation of her boss Mr Ogwe Igbenukwe when he arrived at the gates of Whitehall this morning with his usual transit load of foreign chappies."
John Who-he? of the Liberal Democrats said "This is an absolute disgrace. Should this data fall into the wrong hands we would be found out for cooking the books on easy detections. Clearly the only way to recover these lost detections will be for the police to concentrate their activities on even easier offences such as stepping on the cracks in the pavement, playing out of doors after 8pm & singing in a public bar."
Jackie Pointless apologised for what she described as "an extremely serious failure on the part of someone else to protect sensitive data entrusted to it in breach of its own guidelines". She added, "Nobody will be able to access this data if it is found unless they know my password is the name of my favourite football team who lost against Arsenal this week, so that was a bummer."
You see & hear some really strange things & get to witness all kinds of strange behaviour thoughout your career as a police officer.
One such incident came to my attention after it was featured on the new Police999.com website. I can just imagine the scene in the interview room, how anyone present managed to keep a straight face I’ll never know, perhaps they didn’t.
Anyway, Robert Stewart, a 51-year-old batchelor from Scotland is pretty embarrassed I would imagine. He’ll be the one walking round Ayr town centre with a bag over his head, or hiding behind a broadsheet newspaper with the eye holes cut out. He’s just been convicted for an offence of "sexually aggravated breach of the peace". Sexually aggravated breach of the peace?? I know Scotland has some funny laws but this has to be one of them.
It comes to something if you can’t shag your own bicycle in your own room without getting nicked for a sexually aggravated breach of the peace. Poor old Robert was staying in a hostel in Ayr when the cleaners arrived. He failed to answer the door as he was engaged in other, rather important matters, so the cleaners let themselves in, only to be confronted with the sight of this chap, naked from the waste down with his little chap doing the unmentionables to a…bicycle!
The cleaners called the polis and the rest is history.
A solicitor from Essex has tried to take out a private prosecution against the parents of Madeleine McCann for child neglect.
A quote from the Telegraph website says, "Anthony Bennett, 60, faxed an application for a summons of Gerry and Kate McCann to Loughborough magistrates’ court in their home county of Leicestershire.
He was spurred to act by a "lack of action" by authorities in Leicestershire, and comments made by Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ spokesman, that their actions were typical of many British families on holiday."
I know I’ve blogged on this subject before but I really hope someone has the bottle to grasp the nettle and sort this one out. I have my doubts that this particular chap will succeed and I think he will be in for some not inconsiderable criticism but I have to agree with him. If Mr & Mrs McCann were Wayne & Waynetta Chav they’d have been done by now.
Whatever happened to those good old fashioned sergeants? Are there any left? You know the ones, they knew everything and if they didn’t know it they bullshitted so well you thought they knew it. They let you get on with your job without interfering, they knew how to manage people and get good results from them, when it had nothing to do with filling in PDRs or sending emails.
I used to have a great one back in th day. He was a Scot. He retired some time ago, someone said they saw him a couple of weeks ago. He must be in his hundreds ‘cos he looked like he was past retiring age when I knew him 25 or more years ago.
I remember one day as a fresh-faced young probationer I found someone in possssion of cannabis. This was in the days before it was mandatory to have the stuff, when most people you stop-searched didn’t have any and it was considered a nice little arrest.
I brought him to the cell block (we didn’t have "custody suites" in them days. I outlines the circumstances to said Sgt and proudly handed over a small cube of cannabis resin. "Follow me, laddy" was his response. He was talking to me not the prisoner. I duly followed him out of the office, through the radio room, down the corridor to the toilets, whereupon the evidence of my crime was promptly flushed down the loo. We walked back to the charge room where the Sgt told my man to pick up his stuff from the desk. The quizzical felon followed the Sgt out of the charge room down the corridor to the back door. The Sgt then opened the door and looking the chap straight in the eye said "No fuck off and don’t let me catch you in my charge room again."
On another occasion I stopped a car which was all over the road. A subsequent breath test revealed the driver to be potentially over the limit – it was the old plastic bag & yellow crystals job back then. I duly nicked the fellar on suspicion of drink driving and conveyed him to the nick (we always ‘convey’ we never ‘take’ someone).
Sergeant Scotsman was the custody sergeant. The driver hobbled into the room, this was partly due to the fact that he was drunk and partly due to the fact that he had a false leg. After outlining the circumstances to he Sgt he asked the detainee what was wrong with him. After a short explanation about losing his leg, I forget how. The Sgt led the man to the rear corridor, you can guess what’s coming. He held open the door and said "Now fuck off & don’t let me catch you in my cell block again".
He then turned to me and said "Now then young 200, we don’t arrest cripples in this town," and went back to his daily Mirror.
I don’t think he’d go down very well with the folk who count the detections these days.
I just noticed I’ve managed to post a blog every single day for TWO months!
And a big thank you to the people who have supported this blog over the last two months too! It’s great that most of my posts are being commented on now & gives me such a warm feeling inside. Mind you, it’s not easy, several times I’ve been siting her at 20 minutes to midnight having not posted that day and wondering what the f*** to post about – that’s usually when Mr Internet Video comes to the rescue, so if you see a video, you’ll know I took the easy way out!
Police Dog Soty will be on sick leave for a while in Kansas City, USA.
Police Officer David Magruder was trying to arrest a taxi-fare dodger when the man resisted. The officer released his German Shepherd, Police Dog Soty, from the nearby police vehicle by remote control. The dog, doing its duty then bit the offender, who bit the dog back, almost biting off its ear!
The man was finally detained when other officers arrived and tasered him, not before he could bite Officer Magruder also. The police dog subsequently had his ear sowed back on by a vet.
My surprise in this stroy isn’t that someone bit a police dog, but that the dog was released from the van by remote control, like they have such devices? How fantastic is that. You turn up at a job whch doesn’t immediately require the dog, it goes pear shaped but you can’t go back to the van to get the dog, you just pull out a little zapper, press the button which unleashes the dogs from hell, brilliant.
What is it about the people on mental Health Teams, specifically ‘approved social workers’?
One of the jobs of the team is to go out into the community to carry out mental health assessments. Understandibly, some people don’t like the thought of being banged up in an institution & therefore don’t go willingly. The mental health team has the power, under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act, to detain them for an assessment & take them to the local psychy ward.
Some people don’t want to be detained, so much so that they actually refuse to go! This usually stymies approved social workers who just don’t know what to do next. What they can do is use reasonable force to take someone who’s been sectioned to hospital. What they usually do is ring up on 999 & demand an immediate police attendance so they can hand over all responsibility for dealing with the person to the police.
We don’t like being at their beck & call and usually have better, more important things to do than cajoling an 80-year old ‘potentially violent’ (they’re all potentially violent for approved social workers) into a police car (because the social worker never booked an ambulance) & tying up a police resource for the rest of the shift, so we often tell approved social workers we’re not going to assist them. This doesn’t go down very well, with social workers, because they either have to take some action or leave. They usually leave because they don’t like taking any ‘action’ and they think by leaving it hands over responsibility to the police who they demand start looking for the sectioned patient and bring them to hospital.
All this has come about because the mental health team haven’t followed established protocols, go off and do it half-cocked and then scream & shout when they can’t cope and have to call the police.
Working with our ‘partners’, when they can be bothered to include us in the planning stages.