Archive for June, 2008

June 30th, 2008

We ain’t having that!

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

Dr Iain Fielden must win the 200weeks Doh! Award for Hindsight this month after appealing against a speeding conviction when his wife was fined £60 & given 3 points for doing 36mph in a 30 limit.

Dr Fielden, who is apparently a university physicist, tried to use his knowledge to beat the conviction by hiring ‘experts’ (for £5,000) to challenge Gatso evidence. He lost the appeal & must now pay out £15,000 costs.

£20,060 down & in a great example of understatement he is quoted as saying, "In hindsight, we wouldn’t do this again."

June 29th, 2008

They must be Mad

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

Has a man described as "a grave risk to women" been wrongly released from an experimental treatment programme for sexual offenders to prove that the scheme is working? 

This is what people may be asking when they learn that Lee Porritt, 33, who said of himself "…I still have fantasies about raping women. I had them in Broadmoor and they’ve not been addressed."

Porritt was jailed in 2000 for battering & raping a student in a car park. He was later sectioned & moved to a top security hospital. Two weeks ago he was freed after a mental health tribunal ruled he was well enough to be released into society.

There are two sides to every story, & I only have the Sun’s version to go on (OK, dodgy ground, I appreciate), but the decision to free him seems rather odd given the report made by the psychiatrist in charge of the case at Broadmoor.

Dr Celia Taylor’s report stated, "Mr Porritt fulfils diagnostic criteria for substance dependence, for antisocial, borderline & avoidant personality disorders and for sexual sadism. These disorders are severe and long-standing and have changed Mr Porritt’s capacity to form and maintain relationships, to cope with difficult emotions, to develop a stable sense of identity & to live up to responsibilities. More importantly they have led to him presenting a grave risk to women." She concludes, "It is my recommendation this detention should continue in light of this disorder." The report is signed off by another psychiatrist who agreed with the recommendations.

I conclude that the panel considering Porritt’s release do not have English as their first language; clearly hey have submitted the text of the report to an online translator in China which has come back with "This man has been cured of all his disorders & no longer represents a risk to females. He should be released forthwith."

It surely can’t be within the realms of likelihood that by releasing a man from a scheme which costs up to £250,000 per patient per year the authorities could show that their investment in treatment was working, no matter how dangerous the risk?

 STOP PRESS 

Having written the above it appears that police have detained him & sent him back to Broadmoor. Hurrah!

June 28th, 2008

Hurrah

Posted in The Job - General by 200

It’s so wonderful that I thought it deserved a little post all of it’s own.

Bedfordshire Police have finally got their website back online, three cheers all round. It’s only been a couple of weeks since a teenage hacker replaced everything will Arab text and 1980s-style computer graphics. I bet there have been lots of meetings which mentioned words like ‘resilience’ in the last fortnight.

Is there a sweepstake on how long it will take to hack the site again?

June 28th, 2008

Those Missing Data Scapegoats in Full

Posted in The Job - Satire by 200

It was announced today, following a lengthy investigation, that the real culprits for all the missing & lost government data have finally been identified.

A report released by the Home Office concludes that there was no fault with any staff from HM Customs & Revenue & that all other departments & individuals have been exonerated.

Harvey Bolox, spokesperson for the Ministry of Wool Pulling, said, "I can announce that following a long, lengthy and thorough enquiry ,there have been no systemic failures in security protocols by any government department. Nobody has done anything wrong."

The investigation into several cases of missing CDs, data records, military secrets, Al Qaeda intelligence & government laptops coincided with the release of hitherto classified information on UFO sightings throughout the last 50 years.

Norman Beardy-Bloke, chairperson of Unidentified Flying Objects – Twickenham Investigation Team, said, "We have been banging on about the release of this information for bloody ages & now it looks as if we have been right all along. All those nights laying in fields & staring at the skies have not been in vain. It’s only with pressure from groups such as UFO-TIT that evidence of visitors from other planets has finally entered the public consciousness."

The literally thousands of records provide shocking details of ‘close encounters’ with extra-terrestrials in the UK throughout modern history.

One report stamped "Top Secret – to be read on public buses only" dated 2008, quotes an un-named civil servant, "…There we were in the office shredding parliamentary expense claim forms when all of a sudden the lights dimmed & all the computers stopped working. We were then bathed in a bright, aetherial ray of light from up on high & everything went calm & quiet. When I woke up some 2 hours later all my top secret CDs were missing & someone had implanted a microscopic electronic chip in my arse."

In another report to the Ministry of Defence UFO Investigations Branch one Lt-Colonel Harry Knobber writes "Sirs, on the evening in question I was travelling by public transport to a top secret meeting when, out of the left-hand window of our carriage I saw 12 orangey-glowing orbs circling our train. My fellow travelling companions & I, as one, had a compelling urge to build scale models of Ben Nevis with  our British Rail sausages & mash & when I looked around my anti-terror portfolio had vanished."

A Home Office spokeswoman said that the fact that the UFO documents have been released into the public domain at the same time that people were calling for scapegoats for the missing data debacle(s) was "purely coincidental".

June 27th, 2008

Just Relax

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

Nothing to do with policing, government cock-ups or videos today. I feel like a day off.

I went to a sporting event this week. It was a last minute thing, I hadn’t planned to go but someone I know got a couple of tickets from his boss & invited me along. There was quite a queue of traffic getting in to the event, even though it was a weekday. What didn’t happen was people didn’t drive up the outside & force their way in, they didn’t sound their horns when the person in front took a nano-second longer than necessary to catch up with the car ahead.

Everyone queued up at the gate, handed in their tickets & made their way inside to see a handful of exceedingly rich sportsmen do their stuff. There were people of all ages & groups, all with a common interest. Many had cameras, some had flags, some had deckchairs & picnic hampers & others had no interest whatsoever in the events, they just read a book or listened to an iPod.

I didn’t hear any shouting, wearing, rudeness or bickering. I didn’t see anyone getting on anyone else’s wick. There were stalls selling beer & other alcoholic beverages yet I didn’t see a single punch thrown, I never almost slipped in a pool of vomit & I didn’t see anyone pissing up the front of someone else’s door.

When the day came to a close, everyone made their way back to the car park, I overheard conversations of all natures, some related to what we’d been watching, others not.  We got back to the car, joined the queue to leave & after a while, hit the motorway home.

It wasn’t until the next day when I was getting ready for work that I realised that hadn’t seen a single police officer the day before, either inside the event or out, nor had I thought about work.

Sometimes you wish all days were like that.

June 26th, 2008

Just another Quickie

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Have you ever been disappointed with the reaction you get when you switch on the blues & twos and nobody takes the blindest bit of notice? People for ever not getting out of your way with the pathetic excuse that they never saw the blue lights, the headlights flashing, the wild gesticulating from you & your observer or heard the 4 different types of sound your current wailers use?

Ever fancied turning your police car into one of those game things you find in the arcades at the seaside with all those onderful electronically generated bells & whistles?

I’ve got just the thing for you, check this out.

BLUtube is powered by PoliceOne.com

PS: Bedfordshire Police’s website is still offline… how long is it now?, I’ve lost count. (OK, it’s  16 days)

June 25th, 2008

Dumb & Dumber

Posted in The Job - General by 200

JamesMilsomIs this Britain’s dumbest criminal?

You just can’t get the message across to some people. James Milsom, 21, idiot of the parish of Mangotsfield in Gloucestershire must win this week’s top prize.

He won a special award back in February when he because the 100th person to be caught breaking into a police decoy car in Bristol.

Decoy cars are vehicles owned or rented by the police which are completely unmarked, the only difference between these cars & all the cars which members of the public leave unattended with valuables such as radios, laptops & sat-navs, is that the decoy cars have recording equipment & cameras which capture evidence of the people who break into them. They are left in crime hotspots in the hope of capturing thieves who prey on such targets, people like that prat in the photo.

Not content with breaking into a decoy vehicle once, Milsom has just been sentenced to 14 weeks imprisonment for his third similar offence in 4 months. he either breaks into an awful lot of cars or has a homing beacon which attracts him to police decoys. To break into a police car once might seem like misfortune, to break into one three times is just really, really stoopid.

June 24th, 2008

Top Idea

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Top Gear 

Did you see Top Gear on Sunday? If not go & take a look, get it while you can on the BBC iPlayer (it’ll only be there for a week from Sunday 22nd June).

They had an item on police cars. The premise was that the police buy lots of very expensive cars which they don’t really want to damage when they’re trying to bring a pursuit to a close (hmm, not sure about that, to be fair, the drivers don’t have to pay the repair bills!). So how much better would it be to buy a cheap car which you can write off knocking a crim off the road & go & buy another.

They had £900 to buy a police car, £500 to jazz it up with police signs & blue lights & a series of tests including chasing the Stig round the track trying to bring him to a halt. You have to see it, it was hilarious. They even had a demonstration of a proper TPAC resolution with 4 big traffic Volvos & a police chopper & not  a piece of carnage in site. I loved Clarkson’s comment along the lines of "Did you know they actually have to take into account 13 separate health & safety points before chasing someone"

I vote Jeremy Clarkson for Chief Constable.

June 23rd, 2008

Dented Coppers’ Comeuppance

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Back in January I posted an entry called ‘Dented Coppers‘ about a group of officers who had joined a Facebook group "Yes, I have had a Polcol" & went on to boast about being involved in collisions with members of the public’s vehicles.

The Met Professional Services Department have concluded their investigation into the matter & a number of officers have been disciplined as a result of posting either comments or photographs, or both.

A report in the Times today says that 14 officers have received a written warning, 4 have had verbal warnings & 5 had ‘unofficial words in their ear’. 

Roger from Worthing disagrees, he says "Dismissed in disgrace and banned for driving for life should be their fate but they’re policeman, this is a fledgling police state, and they can do what they like. There is nothing funny, Richard James, about gung-ho kids having accidents because they can’t drive at speed."

Victor from Westcliffe has a cracking idea, "Perhaps the time has come to examine the mentality of the entire police force. Drivers should have personal car insurance and made to pay for damage they cause. Is there much difference between the police drivers, and those car cowboys who steal for joy rides."

While Tim from Upwell says "Interesting that they were disciplined for publishing the information, rather than for their dangerous driving. Says it all, really. It’s not "one rule for us, another for them": it’s thousands of zealously-enforced rules for us, and *no* rules for them."

I’d say, on balance that the result has been proportionate, but then I would, wouldn’t I? On the stupid scale some of the comments were pretty silly & posting on Facebook under your own name wasn’t the best idea they’ve ever had.

I look forward to the new Facebook group – "Yes, I’ve had a discipline entry on my record".

June 22nd, 2008

Fortune-telling

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I got a pension forecast through this week. It’s a piece of paper which tells me how much my pension will pay me per month & how much I will get if I commute part of it. The trouble is that it is completely bloody useless as it was prepared two months ago, before the regulations were changed so it shows about twenty grand less than I should be getting. I expect I’ll have to email someone & ask them to do it all again, this time correctly.

Mind you, it’s nice to see a figure written down. It reminds me of all the lovely stuff my wife wants to buy when I retire. Like a new kitchen, a new car (for her), a new bathroom, a trip somewhere in an aeroplane, decorating at least 5 rooms et-bloody-cetera. If there’s anything left for me to get a celebratory bubble-gum I’ll be surprised.

With any luck there will be a few quid to get something pierced. I’m starting to feel quite radical as I near retirement. All the things I couldn’t do for the last 30 years are starting to take on a whole new lure for me. I can’t decide what type of tattoo to have, nor where to have it, do I just go for a single pierced ear or both & what about other piercings? I might even grow a pony tail for that ultra sad, middle-aged crisis look.

I can’t wait!

June 21st, 2008

Some updates

Posted in Blogging by 200

Just some blogging stuff today.

It seems my story about the guy who bought a Taser for his wife was picked up on by ‘reddit’, I don’t know anything about this site but it seems to be a list of links to interesting articles. It doubled my hit rate on the day of that post taking it to over 600 visitors in one day, which I think is probably the highest I’ve ever had; I normally vary between 250 & 400 visitors a day. How bloody ironic is that my most popular entry wasn’t written by me!?! Anyway, welcome to anyone visiting me from reddit, it would be great of a few of you chose to call back some time!

I’ve removed a few links from the blogroll. I really only want to link to live sites & several appear to have stopped or at least not posted in several months. So I’ve removed:

I’d be happy to add them back if they start working again. And on that note, if you want to trade blog links with me, please let me know & I’ll be glad to add you.

June 20th, 2008

Ah well…

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

What an arse-about-face country this place has turned into.

News this week that the Ministry of Justice (i.e. the tax-payer) is giving £164,000 a year to ‘Circles UK’, a charity set up to help paedophiles reintegrate into society. We will fott half the annual cost o run the nationwide network of volunteers whose stated aim is to "manage those who have been convicted of sexual offences in a just and humane manner", much unlike the manner in which they treated their victims.

Meanwhile, ‘Phoenix Survivors‘ has closed down due to lack of funding despite being promised by the Home Secretary, Jacqui Spliff.

Phoenix Survivors was a charity which helps child victims of paedophiles. The organisation was run by two women one of whom is Sara Payne, mother of Sarah Payne who was abducted & murdered. They said in one case they have been forced to cease funding counselling for a five-year-old victim of paedophile Craig Sweeney as funds have dried up & the family cannot afford the £6,000 cost.

They have set up an online petition calling for paedophile victims to be included in anti-discrimination laws. You can find it at at www.tpcauk.com/RARE.html

While it’s a shame that some child victims of sexual abuse will no longer have access to charitable assistance, it’s comforting to know that the people who destroyed their lives are being looked after.

June 19th, 2008

Life, University & Everything

Posted in Not the Job by 200

My eldest is currently in the hunt for a suitable university in which she can run up a huge debt & fritter away my commutation.To that end, we’re in the midst of trips up & down the length & breadth of the land.

This week we decided to use the train. With petrol at around £1 a molecule we thought it might be cheaper to let the train take the strain. When I got to the ticket office I told the girl with a face like someone had filled it full of sour lemons & kicked it that I only wanted to sit in the train, not buy it but she just looked at me. If my kid ends up wanting to go to this university she can bloody well stay there for three years ‘cos there’s no way I’m funding a train fare every time she wants her washing done.

The whole train thing is a bit alien to me these days. The last time I went on one it was driven by a chap with soot on his face & I paid in groats.

For a start we couldn’t find anywhere to sit; all the seats which weren’t taken were piled up with discarded top secret Al Qaeda files. By the time we made our way through the first 2 carriages we’d been approached by 4 people offering to sell us stolen government laptops, disguised as bottles of water. Mind you, by the end of the journey I’d have paid laptop prices for a bottle of water.

For the money you pay on a train you’d have thought you could at least expect to sit down. It was nearly 2 hours before we got a seat. There wasn’t a single pregnant female available to offer me hers, outrageous.

The university looked quite nice. You could tell where the priorities lay though; the student union (or bar) was the size of Leichtenstein. I’m not too sure about the accommodation though. I don’t know about you but when I go to sleep at night I generally prefer my feet & head to be in the same room.

Overall, I think we were reasonably impressed with the place which would have been even better if it wasn’t for all the students.

We’ve got 4 more to check out. These appear to have been chosen by my child, not for their educational excellence but for how far away they are from my house. It’s such a serious situation that I’m even considering doing some overtime to cover the train/petrol costs.

Actually, that last bit is a complete lie, it’s not that bad!

June 18th, 2008

The Grauniads

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

Guardian AngelsI was saddened to learn this week that the UK Chapter of the Guardian Angels is on the brink of disolution (if you can disolve a ‘chapter’). 

You remember the Guardian Angels? Set up by one Curtis Sliwa in New York 30 years ago, a citizen volunteer group assisting to keep the streets safe. They came to the UK in 1989, a bit like the Specials only with hipper clothes; they wear a red bomber jacket & beret.

Chief UK Angel, Andreas Schoyen, says that the UK branch which, at one time, had several hundred members, currently has just two. He puts the decline of the Angels down to the fact that the UK is now so dangerous. "It’s hard to get people to volunteer because they see a stream of beatings, knifings & murders. They know they’ll be putting their lives at risk & that’s a big ask." (I thought only sports reporters said things were a ‘big ask’)

He describes the streets of Britain as being worse than 1980s New York. "I’ve seen a  dramatic change here in the last few years. The streets have become a very dangerous place & we’ve so few members we can’t patrol at the moment."

I remember the fanfare when they came over here, pretty much the same shock & horror which greeted the advent of PCSOs except without the vigilantiism. To be honest, I had no idea the concept was still alive; I’ve not heard anything about them for about 9 1/2 years, and was quite surprised that they still, just about, exist.

No worry, though because they’ve launched a recruitment drive. Hopefully this will coincide with the time my 200 weeks is finally up, I could do with a new challenge.

If you want to join me, check them out at www.guardianangels.org, say 200weeks sent you!

June 17th, 2008

Make mine 50 gallons

All this talk & hype about the fuel dispute & petrol tanker strike reminds me of the last time it happened, was that in 2000?

I had many happy hours standing on a variety of forecourts preventing punch-ups between impatient motorists trying to get their hands on the last few drips of petrol so they could take their kids 1/4 of a mile to school. The amount of time I saw people filling up with three quid’s worth, just so they could keep their tank topped up.

There’s nothing so guaranteed to cause a bit of road rage than queueing up for an hour & a half to get onto the petrol forecourt only to get some smart arse jump the queue & screech in to the pump ahead of you. We had to close roads the queues were so bad.

If you were lucky , you got the shift in the public order van on a permanent circuit of all the petrol stations. If you were unlucky, you got to stand on the forecourt of the local Esso speaking to pissed off members of the public & hearing why their need for petrol was greater than any one else’s & could they just jump the queue.

There was one advantage though. Each petrol station was tasked by some decree or other to keep a proportion of its stock for emergency service personnel. This meant we could drive straight to the front of the queue, speak to the officer on guard duty, flash the Constabulary Express card & get directed to a free pump kept just for our use.

It was amazing how many people suddenly considered themselves to be part of the emergency services, plumbers, cleaners, bricklayers, third keyholder on the list for the local art gallery in case they got called out for an alarm activation, second cousin twice removed of a dog owner whose pet might require an emergency walk, local purveyor of hot food in the town square – those donuts don’t cook themselves (OK, we did let her have some one, after all we’ve got to eat, right?).

Personally, I can’t wait for the next strike to kick in; a) I’ll still get petrol & b) I know someone who’s just bought a new Porsche & I just know they will be willing to lend it to me for the odd journey to work – on a  quid pro quo basis…

June 16th, 2008

Turn up the Radio, Sarge

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I generally like to think of myself as someone with an ethos of placing an importance of ‘doing the right thing’. It’s something I’ve relied on at work as well as at home & something I try to pass on to my children. I think there is a time when the ‘letter of the law’ doesn’t need strict adherence if the ‘spirit of the law’ is followed.

It was with interest then, that I read about the recent case of Chief Constable, Steve Finnigan whose Lancashire Police face High Court action over allegations of copyright infringement.

It seems the Performing Rights Society, in their quest to get companies & organisations to cough up performing rights fees has apparently been fed up with the countries police allowing the workers to listen to music. A licence is required whenever music is played over systems which allow more than one person to listen to it as this constitutes a public performance. The PRS has approached all the land’s police forces asking for them to purchase a licence to enable them to do this so they can play music over the phones when people are waiting to be connected, or in the offices or down the police gym.

Eleven forces have refused to pay up so the PRS is threatening to take them to court. This seems somewhat at odds with the recent arrests of a certain group of hardened criminals who have been sharing music over at torrent-sharing site OiNK.

One rule for us and another for them? Surely not!

Bedfordshire Police Website Update: er, no change (day 6)

June 15th, 2008

And we want them?

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

I found this story, laughed, and pinched it…

Pocket Tazer Stun Gun, a great gift for the wife. A guy who purchased his lovely wife a pocket Tazer for their anniversary submitted this:

Last weekend I saw something at Larry’s Pistol & Pawn Shop that sparked my interest. The occasion was our 15th anniversary and I was looking for a little something extra for my wife Julie. What I came across was a 100,000-volt, pocket/purse-sized Tazer. The effects of the Tazer were supposed to be short lived, with no long-term adverse affect on your assailant, allowing her adequate time to retreat to safety….??

WAY TOO COOL! Long story short, I bought the device and brought it home.I loaded two AAA batteries in the darn thing and pushed the button. Nothing! I was disappointed. I learned, however, that if I pushed the button AND pressed it against a metal surface at the same time; I’d get the blue arc of electricity darting back and forth between the prongs. AWESOME!!!

Unfortunately, I have yet to explain to Julie what that burn spot is on the face of her microwave. Okay, so I was home alone with this new toy, thinking to myself that it couldn’t be all that bad with only two triple-A batteries, right?

There I sat in my recliner, my cat Gracie looking on intently trusting little soul) while I was reading the directions and thinking that I really needed to try this thing out on a flesh & blood moving
target. I must admit I thought about zapping Gracie (for a fraction of a second) and thought better of it. She is such a sweet cat. But, if I was going to give this thing to my wife to protect herself against a mugger, I did want some assurance that it would work as advertised. Am I wrong?

So, there I sat in a pair of shorts and a tank top with my reading glasses perched delicately on the bridge of my nose, directions in one hand, and Tazer in another.

The directions said that a one-second burst would shock and disorient your assailant; a two-second burst was supposed to cause muscle spasms and a major loss of bodily control; a three-second burst would purportedly make your assailant flop on the ground like a fish out of water. Any burst longer than three seconds would be wasting the batteries. All the while I’m looking at this little device measuring about 5′ long, less than 3/4 inch in circumference; pretty cute really and (loaded with two itsy, bitsy triple-A batteries) thinking to myself, ‘no possible way!’ What happened next is almost beyond description, but I’ll do my best…?

I’m sitting there alone, Gracie looking on with her head cocked to one side as to say, ‘don’t do it dipsh!t,’ reasoning that a one second burst from such a tiny little ol’ thing couldn’t hurt all that bad. I decided to give myself a one second burst just for heck of it. I touched the prongs to my naked thigh, pushed the button, and . . . HOLY MOTHER OF GOD . . . WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION . . . WHAT THE HELL!!!

I’m pretty sure The Hulk ran in through the side door, picked me up in the recliner, then body slammed me on the carpet, over and over and over again. I vaguely recall waking up on my side in the fetal position, with tears in my eyes, body soaking wet, both nipples on fire, testicles nowhere to be found, with my left arm tucked under my body in the oddest position, and tingling in my legs?

The cat was making meowing sounds I had never heard before, clinging to a picture frame hanging above the fireplace, obviously in an attempt to avoid getting slammed by my body flopping all over the living room. 

Note: If you ever feel compelled to ‘mug’ yourself with a Tazer, one note of caution: there is no such thing as a one second burst when you zap yourself!

You will not let go of that thing until it is dislodged from your hand by a violent thrashing about on the floor. A three second burst would be considered conservative?

A minute or so later (I can’t be sure, as time was a relative thing at that point), I collected my wits (what little I had left), sat up and surveyed the landscape. My bent reading glasses were on the mantel of the fireplace. The recliner was upside down and about 8 feet or so from where it originally was. My triceps, right thigh and both nipples were still twitching. My face felt like it had been shot up with Novocain, and my bottom lip weighed 88 lbs. I had no control over the drooling.

Apparently I crapped myself, but was too numb to know for sure and my sense of smell was gone. I saw a faint smoke cloud above my head which I believe came from my hair. I’m still looking for my nuts and I’m offering a significant reward for their safe return!!

P. S. My wife loved the gift, and now regularly threatens me with it!

 

June 14th, 2008

Consqequences, what consequences?

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Isn’t it great when you beat the national press to a scoop?

I see the BBC & the Daily Mail, among others, are reporting the theft of ACC Rob Beckley’s laptop as discussed in this blog yesterday. My prediction about the official line also appears to be correct; Avon & Somerset Constabulary’s website article on the event is entitled "Police computer systems are secure (Forcewide)" which goes on to say, "Avon and Somerset Police are confident that the force network is very secure and that security measures around its computer systems are safe and effective." No surprise there.

I wonder if allowing your job laptop to be stolen from a car would fall into the category of negligence or ‘bringing the force into disrepute’ (the catch-all offence they usually stick PCs on with). Oh the bloke’s an Assistant Chief Constable, of course it won’t be, don’t be ridiculous!

PS. Beds Police’s website  still down, must be bad.

June 13th, 2008

On the Bandwagon

Posted in The Job - General by 200

This week saw the story of the Top Secret Al Queda Security Report being left on a train by some top knob security chappie who is now on gardening leave.

There is intense rivalry between the civilian police security folk & the James Bond Spooks, not wanting to be outdone the Assistant Chief Constable of Avon & Somerset, Rob Beckley, has arranged for his 15 minutes of fame by having his job laptop stolen from his chauffered car whilst attending an event in London.1

Of course we have no idea what was on the laptop, presumably emails from the Home Office and lots of meaningless statistics, and there is no doubt that the official line will be that ‘at no stage was security compromised’. We do know that the laptop is used to access all the force’s computer networks & systems. Whilst chiefs probably haven’t got a clue how to use the force systems (they have staff officers for that), they can, in theory, log in to, for instance, the Command & Control system which gives access to the details of every job the force deals with, together with all the personal information contained therein on the community of Avon & Somerset & beyond.

Rumours are that the laptop wasn’t encrypted, it was probably accessed by typing in the Chief’s favourite football team or his wife’s date of birth into the password box (it’s what we all do).

The report in the Bristol News describes the theft as a ‘distraction’ theft while the laptop was in car & the chief’s driver was ‘watching’ it. This is a technical term and means that a thief sees something on display that is easily nickable, they walk up to the owner and point behind them saying ‘well, look at that!’ When the person/sap turns round to look, they pick up the property & run away.

Fiendish.

Oh, and Beds Police’s website is still down…

  1. My thanks to a correspondent for the heads-up on this story []
June 12th, 2008

Just a quickie

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

No time for a proper post today, off to night shift and been busy most of the day since I got out of bed. So on the theme of Memories, as per yesterday’s post here’s a video dedicated to the memory of police officers.

It’s an American vid & features K-9 cops & dogs quite heavily.


Oh, and Bedfordshire Police’s website problem must be worse than I thought, it’s still offline 3 days after being hacked. I expect they’re discovering their risk assessment on website security wasn’t quite up to scratch & wondering where they put the backup CD, they did have a backup… didn’t they?

and PS, 9 months now with a post every day!