Archive for March, 2008

March 11th, 2008

“Can Do!”

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

I was listening to the radio this week & Colonel Bob Stewart was on air discussing the current favourite of the red tops, the government’s betrayal of the armed forces by not providing the right kit. He said something which I thought was quite apt to the current betrayel of the government & senior officers of the police.

He said the problem with the armed forces was that they have a ‘can do’ attitude. Rather than being honest & upfront about their capabilities, when asked to do something, the Army always say, "sure, can do". They then go to war with the wrong kit, the wrong about of troops, the wrong policies because nobody has the balls to say "wait a minute, you can’t expect us t do that with this."

We do that all the time in the police. The government want to bring in a new law for us to enforce we say "sure, can do". They chiefs take away officers from the street but still expect us to deal with everything without making mistakes and making sure all targets are fulfilled we say, "sure, can do".

They take staff away from our shift and then give us even more work to do on top of the stuff we were doing before we say, "sure, can do".

Because we keep saying "can do" the decision makers see that whatever they do gets done so they can lop a few more staff off the list, take a bit more cash off the budget, accept a few more special operations or target fullfillment. All because nobody has the balls to stand up and say, "No, bollocks, we ain’t doing that until it’s resourced & managed properly."

Everyone suffers, the staff & the public.

March 10th, 2008

Tossers

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

I seem to spend more of my time at work getting pissed off with everything (as I’m sure recent posts testify). I say pissed off with ‘everything‘ that’s not strictly true, it’s being pissed off with the people who (can’t) run the control room.

I’m fed up to the back teeth working late turns single-crewed, when I haven’t got time to fart, can’t update all the logs which need updating because there is too much radio traffic and everyone wants me to do everything for them, now. And fed up having to ask someone else to cover my channel whilst dealing with their own so I can go & have a leak. The last time I needed permission to have a piss was in junior school.

I’m fed up having every bloody annual leave application refused because it takes the shift ‘under-strength’. I’ve had so many refused leave applications they’re gonna have to retire me 3 months early to fit it all in. I’ve been in this job over 28 years and never before been refused permission to have a holiday in the summer with my family because some fuckwit can’t staff a department which has been staffed pretty well for 28 years to my knowledge & probably an awful lot longer.

And when I get home from work after yet another day when I’ve walked out of the control room with my head spinning and had another rest day canceled due to lack of ability to plan ahead, it really pisses me off when the bloke over the road, who has a garage & a drive & could take two cars off the road, chooses to park his bloody car in the space outside my house so I have to go down the road to park.

Sometimes it feels like I’m just surrounded by tossers.

March 9th, 2008

ITV Nightwatch

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

Nightwatch

ITV 1

Tuesday 11th March 2008

00.30am – 01.30am

Steve Scott presents a show that goes on patrol and on the hunt with police forces across the UK in the never-ending battle against criminals and law breakers. Nightwatch gets closer than ever before to the hard side of life on the front line with Britain’s law enforcers.

Tonight, Bedfordshire Police deal with a group of youths who kick an empty Diet Coke can down Dunstable High Street. A special police unit in Warwickshire spend time sitting in the back of a transit van playing cards whilst waiting for a disqualified driver…who never turns up. In Cumbria Wildlife Liaison officers catch a local man sitting in a bush. The Suffolk Police helicopter is grounded when a warning light fails to go out during the annual inspection of the police observer’s boot allowance claims.

Nightwatch – making Open University Physics programmes look like Rambo 4.

March 8th, 2008

Safe Speed

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Welcome to you if you’re visiting me from a link on the Safe Speed Forums. There have been a few over the last few days, according to my logs.

Safe Speed has been working for safer roads in the UK for several years. I’ve visited it from time to time because we share a kind of ethos in that neither of us believe the government’s approach to road safety in the last 10 years has been effective, there being far too much importance placed on prosecuting drivers for excess speed with systems which abregate responsibility for driver training & education to a little lens in a grey box & a few printed forms.

I’ve never been a believer in the slogan "Speed Kills". It’s too simplistic, yet another example of the government summing up an entire policy with a simple catchy sound bite.

The forums over at Safe Speed provide hours on entertainment. There’s lots of informed & erudite discussion on road safety & related matters. Unfortunately, there are lots of stories which basically amount to "Help me get of a speeding ticket please".

One of the best I read was a guy who wanted to get off his speeding charge because he was followed by an unmarked police vehicle & "due to matters going on with his family" (I think someone had been beaten up or was a mafia hitman or something), he thought the best idea was to speed away from the police vehicle (at speeds of 135-140mph!). There are plenty of people on the site who can give you the best advise to get off a speeding charge. I’m not a betting man, but I’d not stake much on this particular guy getting off.

The guy who ran it, Paul Smith, died in December from a  heart attack. I’d heard him on the radio a few times, funny how you build up a picture which turns out to be nothing like the real person. I imagine others have taken over the running of the website now.

It might be time to give it a bit of a redesign; it’s always had the look of one of those sites run by well-meaning individuals which could look so much more professional.

March 7th, 2008

Sweet F.A.

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

Funny how so soon after my post on disgraceful footballers another football story emerges as if to provide back-up. 

Here it’s not just footballers but the very organisation which runs the sport, the F.A.

Ashley Sestanovich was a member of Grays Athletic who play in the Blue Square Premier League. He’s not currently able to play as he is being detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure whilst serving 8 years for conspiracy to rob.

Sestanovich tipped off two illegal immigrants that 11 grand would be at a roofing company. The cash wasn’t there & a 42-year-old father of a newborn was shot, he died 7 months later.

Where does the F.A. come in? They kindly agreed with the player’s appeal against Grays Athletic’s refusal to pay him after his arrest. The club has been fined £500 & told to pay Sestanovich £14,000 within 2 weeks or the club will be banned from the league.

Club chairman, Mick Woodward, said the club would not be paying the money to someone who attended 3 training sessions & played 20 minutes of a pre-season friendly due to being involved in a ‘heinous crime’. He offered to pay the £14,000 "wages" to the victim’s family but the F.A. are enforcing their decision.

If this is not yet another reason to switch support from football to another sport, I don’t know what is.

The F.A.? a bloody disgrace.

March 6th, 2008

Big Brother

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

This week the ever-advancing osmosis of the Big Brother (as in Orwell’s 1984, not the Channel 4 shite) marches on in the UK.

We are already known throughout the world as the surveillance society with more CCTV cameras than any other country in the world (per head of population). The government has realised the opposition to ID cards so is introducing them gradually hoping it will be accepted more readily. We’ve had calls for a national DNA database and this week sees Met Chief Ian Blair calling for a European DNA database.

My attitude might surprise a lot of people, especially fellow police officers, but I am against a national DNA database. That is, I’m all for criminals being on such a database, after-all, there are certain rights which I believe you forfit once you decide to commit crime. But I disagree strongly that innocent people & those who have never even been arrested or suspected of a crime should be forced to give up such a fundamental right as to who has access to this information.

I don’t have time to expand on that now, but will go into more detail when I have a free couple of hours.

DNA Databases, ID cards, CCTV, remote prosecution via static cameras, these are all attempts to cover up the fact that all of the problems they might be able to solve have been left to fester by governments who prefer quick fixes to long term problem-solving.

March 5th, 2008

On me ‘ead, son

Posted in Not the Job by 200

Footballers. Living proof, if any were required, that simply having huge amounts of money doesn’t make it any more likely that you’ve got more than one functioning brain cell.

Take Everton star, Tim Cahill, who scored against Portsmouth at the weekend. His goal-line celebration  consisted of a tribute to his brother who happens to be serving a six-year sentence for partially blinding a man in an unprovoked attack during which he kicked Christopher Stapley twice in the head after taking a run-up at him.

Cahill pretended to be in handcuffs after scoring the goal on Sunday in honour of his jailed brother.

With the youth of today going to hell in a handcart & a generation lost to avarice, selfishness & the me, me, me ethic, is this really the type of person we want to hold up as a role model?

Come to that, are footballers in general the kind of people we want our innocent impressionable youngsters looking up to? They are the most dishonest of all sportsmen playing a game which is almost based on cheating in order to win. They fall over at the drop of a hat, writhing in agony until the decision goes their way whereupon they rise faster than Lazarus on speed.

Bunch of overpaid, cheating, prima donnas, the lot of ’em.

March 4th, 2008

Shooting the wrong targets

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

I see the government have decided that the root cause of evil amongst the teenage chav culture is cheap booze. Apparently teenagers only hang about on street corners, shout & swear at everyone, rip people’s fencing down, stab each other and kill people who get in their way because the poor little dears are drinking alcohol.

The solution is obviously to make it very expensive, that way they won’t be able to afford it and will realise that rather than getting steamed down the local skate park, life is far more enjoyable if you join the Army Cadets & take up creative writing courses at evening classes.

It’s so typical for the government (and lots of chief constables – Fahy & Craik to name but two) to go towards a solution which not only never works but also penalises the millions of responsible people who have to pay for the goverment’s inability to put funds towards workable solutions.

If I want to have a quiet glass of imported German beer after a particularly stressful late shift, it’s going to cost me more. Fantastic.

Of course the reason they set so much store on these ‘solutions’ is because it doesn’t actually cost anything. You force the alcohol industry to pay for the advertising to ‘drink sensibly’, force them to put up the price (which, by the way, increases the cash going from your pocket into the chancellor’s) and it’s cost the country precisely bugger-all. It sounds good, looks like you’re doing something and costs nothing, a win-win-win solution, back Whitehall for tea & medals all round.

You don’t have to pay for extra police officers to be able to be out in the community ‘discouraging’ youths from anti-social behaviour, you don’t have to pay for all the extra resources required by the judicial system to deal with all the people who sell alcohol illegally, & you don’t have to pay to deal with the little shits when they get pissed & blight everyone’s peace around them. And that’s not even thinking about all the anti-social behaviour which is not based on youngsters being too pissed to think sensibly.

The truth is that to actually tackle some of our current problems, you need to fund specific actions. Hot air & spin will do bugger all except make MPs & chief police officers look good on their promotion CVs.

March 3rd, 2008

Quiet Night on the Blogging Front

Posted in Blogging by 200

Hello to the people who are visiting as a result of hearing something or following a link on Facebook. I don’t understand these things except to say that someone appears to be passing round a link to my blog via a message system, or email or something. My logs tell me this, I have no idea how it works.

Are there any of you out there who can help me with setting up WordPress? I would like my links to go into categories, but at the moment they are just showing in one long list. I know it is something to do with changing something in the template but I don’t really know what to change. I know other police bloggers use WordPress & have their links showing in categories, how do I do this – help!?

March 2nd, 2008

Bad Boys

Posted in Not the Job by 200

If I’m not happy about something the most I usually do is bitch about it with Dave at work, it doesn’t do any good but it makes you feel better afterwards. I don’t work with Dave but sometimes we overlap; he’s on a different shift. Carol is also on another shift & when I overlap with her we usually spend most of the time bitching about this & that.

I see some people in London also like bitchin’ about stuff. They do it in a rather more ‘open’ way though. It does strike me as rather quaint that anyone with a poliitical point to make can wander off the streets of our capital, climb onto the roof of one of the most well-known buildings in the world & bitch about stuff.

I think this is how we should deal with rooftop protests….

 

 

March 1st, 2008

Earthquake Appeal

Posted in Not the Job by 200

A major earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale hit in the early hours of last night. Epicentre: Basildon, Essex. Victims were seen wandering around aimlessly muttering "fackin ‘ell" and "whattacant" The earthquake decimated the area causing approximately £30.00 worth of damage. Several priceless collections of mementoes from the Balearics, Spanish Costas and Romford market were damaged beyond repair. Three areas of historic burnt out cars were disturbed. Many locals were woken well before their giro arrived.

Essex FM News reported that hundreds of residents were confused and bewildered, still trying to come to terms with the fact that something interesting had happened in Basildon. One resident – Tracy Sharon Smith, a 15-year-old mother of 5 said "It was such a shock, my little Chardonnay Mercedes came runnin’ into my bedroom cryin’. My younges’ two, Ashley ‘n’ Brooklyn, slep’ froo it all. I was still shakin’ when I was watchin’ Kilroy the next mornin’." Apparently though, looting, muggings and car crime did carry on as normal. Rescue workers found one girl in the rubble smothered in claret [slang for blood]; "Where are you bleeding from?" they asked her. "Bleedin’ Romford," said the girl "woss that gotta do with it?"

The British Red Cross has so far managed to ship 4,000 crates of Pepsi max to the area to help the stricken locals. Rescue workers are still searching through the rubble and have found large quantities of personal belongings, which include benefit books, jewellery from Elizabeth Duke at Argos and Bone China from Poundland.

HOW CAN YOU HELP

This appeal is to raise money for food and clothing, parcels for those unfortunate to be caught up in this disaster. Clothing is most sought after, items most needed include: Fila or Burberry baseball caps, Kappa tracksuit tops (his and hers), shell suits (female), white sport socks, Rockport boots and any other items usually sold in Matalan. Food parcels may be harder to come by, but are needed all the same. Required foodstuffs include Microwave meals, tins of baked beans, ice cream and cans of Special Brew.

22p buys a biro for filling in the compensation forms,
2.00 Pounds buys chips, crisps and Tango drinks for a family of 9,
5.00 pounds will pay for a packet of B&H and a lighter to calm the nerves of those affected.

Please do not send tents for shelter,as the sight of posh housing is unfair on the population of neighbouring areas of Vange, Pitsea and Laindon.

PS: I stole this…..