Archive for October, 2008

October 11th, 2008

Tough on…something

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Recent reports from the Home Office indicated that they were going to get tougher on offenders caught in possession of knives.

This year has seen record amounts of fatal stabbings particularly of teenagers in London.

Investigations have revealed precious little evidence of any offenders being sentenced to the maximum prison term.

An article in the October issue of ‘Police Life‘ reveals what this tougher action will consist of.

Anyone who is convicted of a knife-related offence who is unemployed & sentenced to the maximum 300 hours of community service (or ‘community payback’ as it’s now being called) will complete their sentence in intensive blocks of up to 5 days a week.

The Home Office believes that this will represent a significant loss of liberty & free time & there will be “continued tough consequences” for not turning up. It doesn’t say what those tough consequences are but I’m not sure I’ve seen any evidence of toughness so far.

Justice minister David Hogan (who he?, Ed) said: “Offenders sentenced to pay for their crimes within the community can already expect to work hard & lose much of their free time. By introducing an intensive five days a week payback (that word again) for many knife crime offenders we are further toughening these punishments.”

He went on to say that initially this will only affect “the small number of knife crime offenders who are given the largest community payback sentences instead of custody.”

The tough on knife crime stance doesn’t really sound so tough, does it?

October 10th, 2008

Up the Workers

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

The Police Regulations forbid police officers from taking an active part in politics & also prevent us from taking any form of industrial action.

Why is it then that the Met Black Police Association can do something so political as to take active action in seeking to prevent black & ethnic minorities from joining the police?

They announced recently that it would boycott recruitment drives among ethnic minorities, saying it would use an advertising campaign to “actively discourage” black and Asian people from joining the force because they were treated unfairly.

Sounds like political & industrial action to me.

October 9th, 2008

Sack the lot of ’em

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

(…Judges that is)

I don’t agree that everyone who commits a crime should be sent to prison, at least not in the current format. There are, however plenty of people who deserve prison & more of it.

Luke McCormick is just one such specimen. If you’re a football fan, you’ll know who McCormick is, if you’re not a football fan, you won’t be surprised at yet another disgraceful example from a sport which has such a high amount of disgraces for such a small group of people.

McCormick spent the night quaffing wine & champagne at a wedding reception lasting some 12 hours. He went to bed at around 2am in his hotel room but got up two hours later & decided to drive home to confront his fiance over rumours she was cheating.

He was over twice the legal drink-drive limit when his car ploughed into the back of a Toyota containing the Peak family. Husband Phil has been left in a wheelchair, his two sons Arron, 10 & Ben, 8, were killed.

Evidence presented at the trial this week showed McCormick had driven at speeds in excess of 100mph narrowly avoiding leaving the road or colliding with other motorists before he hit the Peaks’ car as they travelled home from a day trip to Silverstone.

The maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving is 14 years. McCormick was convicted of this offence which involved killing two children. The sentence he received was just 7 years. With the usual guidelines for serving sentences he will be eligible for release in just 3 1/2 years.

If the maximum sentence is 14 years & this guy gets half of that (and will serve just a quarter) & he’s killed two children while drunk at the wheel,  one has to ask what the hell do you have to do to get the maximum sentence?

It’s cases like this which make a complete & utter mockery of the sentencing system in this country. If it wasn’t so sad it would be laughable.

Mind you, the judge in the case, Paul Glenn, has ‘previous’. In 2007 he jailed trucker Robert Murray for just 4 1/2 years over a crash which killed two children when he failed to see a car whilst putting his mobile on charge. He crashed into a Renault Clio killing 13-year old Rebecca Casterton & her friend 12-year-old Lauren Brooks.

How long do we have to put up with behaviour like this from our judges, it’s a bloody disgrace. Can there be anyone in the country who really agrees with this kind of sentence?

October 8th, 2008

Ghost Staff

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I’ve been banging on for ages that where I work we are not classed as individuals with individual needs, indeed, we’re not thought of as having needs at all; we are merely there to serve.

There is not better example than the following;

We’ve been crying out for extra staff for months. The shifts we have are unbalanced in that while every shift has the same amount of work & same positions ate radio/computer terminals, some shifts have several more, or less staff.

The answer by the department of people who ‘do things’ is to transfer someone from one with more staff to one with less. We got a girl, support staff, from another shift transferred onto ours this week. Hooray, maybe the chances of getting leave might increase by a minuscule amount, the chances of working single-crewed all week might drop.

The problem is the shift loosing the staff member doesn’t want to give anyone up, they get told to ‘find a volunteer’ so who do they transfer onto our shift? Yep, the one who has been on sick leave for 3 months who has no prosepct of turning up for work on our shift for the next three months either.

That, of course, doesn’t matter to the department of ‘doing things’; their Exel spreadsheet is a little moe balanced now & that’s all that matters.

October 7th, 2008

What a waste

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I bumped into an old mate this week. I’d nipped out of the control room to grab a bite to eat & he was up getting his radio repaired.

I’ve known him since he joined the job about 5 years ago, worked with him for a while. He rapidly grew into one of those officers you really wanted on the team & felt comfortable working with. His keenness wasn’t diminished as he went though his probation as so often happens.

Once people get their area car course it’s uncanny how many, who were once keen as mustard, fall into a group who want to pick & chose what they go to & whinge about jobs they don’t like doing.

Not Rob, he remained keen. His driving courses just brought up more opportunity to go out there, nick bad people & help those who needed it.

A couple of months ago his hard work & keenness was rewarded & he was asked if he wanted to do a bit of acting. I’m not sure if he’s passed the sergeants exam or not, to be honest, I knew he was studying for it. Anyway, he’s now an acting sergeant on a team of 6 or 8 officers. I spoke to him right at the start & he seemed really pleased. Although he was a bit concerned about not being so ‘hands on’ as a supervisor but he had decided to get out there with the troops as often as he could.

He’s a completely changed man. If I hadn’t seen it I wouldn’t have believed it. He is completely demoralised. He has no interest in doing police work & seems to live for the time when he can go off duty & onto rest days.

The reason is simple. He no longer feels he is a policeman. His time is taken up with reviewing every-one’s performance, checking stats charts & answering hundreds of emails from the office-wallahs. He said, & no kidding, he can sort through 20 or 30 emails during the first part of the shift, go for  a piss & 10 more are sitting in his in-box by the time he gets back.

Any encouragement from the inspector or chief inspector is limited to encouraging him to chase up the officers on the team to get their sanctioned detection targets. He rarely gets out of the building, much less to a job. He is getting pressure from on high to send his officers to simple arrest warrant enquiries than to deal with people who have been beaten up or burgled.

I was quite shocked, to be honest, it’s not that I didn’t know any of this, it;s been going this way for a long time now, it’s that I didn’t realise what a thoroughly negative impact it could have on someone, who up until now, was one of the best officers I’ve worked with.

He wants to come off the acting sergeant programme & go to another shift, somewhere he can get back to doing what he likes best, helping people & locking up the baddies. I have a feeling they won’t let him, for some time & another wasted soul will end up number-crunching in some office in the bowels of the local nick.

October 6th, 2008

Balance Restored

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

Anthony Makin

For every scum-sucking low-life (see yesterday’s entry) I think it’s important to acknowledge that there is someone else who is a shining example.

Anthony Makin is just one such chap. Anthony is a Lance Bombardier in 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery. His vehicle was blown up while serving in Afghanistan 2 years ago. Driver Lance Bombardier James Dwyer, 22 was killed in the explosion while Anthony’s foot was blown off among other injuries. His leg was later amputated below the knee & he has since been fitted with a prosthetic leg.

Miraculously, Lance Bombardier Makin is back with his unit & now serving in Helmand Province back in Afghanistan. Further, his brother was so influenced by Makin’s experiences that he himself joined up with the same unit & is also serving in Afghanistan, alongside his older brother.

We often concentrate in the worst of society without giving space for the best, I guess that’s just the way of the world. So it’s nice to big someone up for a change.

Well done that man, I take my hat off to you!

October 5th, 2008

Pride of Britain

Posted in The Job - General by 200

It’s what keeps this country great.

A man from London, blind for 50 years (i.e. all his life) has had partial sight restored to one eye after a series of operations. The un-named male now as 1/16th of normal sight in one eye, he remains blind in the other.

That’s truly something to celebrate, both for him & his family & also for the medical profession who have brought about a truly life-changing difference to the chap.

He went out for a walk last week by the Royal Albert Docklands Light Railway in Beckton, London. He was approached by two thugs. They took his white stick off him & proceeded to batter him with it, punching & kicking him unconscious. They then took the cash & credit cards from his pocket in the sickening attack.

The only glimmer of good news to come out of the story is that the police have arrested 4 people, two of whom have been charged with robbery.

Let’s hope they get a decent sentence. I know a country in the middle east which still has useful sentences for scum like this. How many rocks can you take on hand-luggage these days?

October 4th, 2008

Changing Places

Posted in The Job - General by 200

There have been enough stories in the public eye recently about senior police officers & the problems they are having/causing. I think they’ve taken enough flack.

So here’s another one.

I can’t wait to see how this one pans out!

Two senior officers in Sussex Police have been arrested on suspicion of nicking bottles of wine from Marks & Sparks in Shoreham after being seen by store detectives.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “Two police officers have been suspended as a result of a criminal investigation. They were bailed on suspicion of theft relating to an allegation of shoplifting.”

Wow!

I’m guessing it isn’t a simple case of a ‘mistake’ otherwise they’d have been refused charge, rather than bailed pending further enquiries.

Chief Inspector  Sharon Rowe is/was district commander for Worthing and, get this, Detective Chief Inspector Jim Torbet works in the for force’s Professional Standards Department investigating complaints against police officers!

Doubtless this will all have been a terrible mistake & we can look forward to the officers suing the arse off the local Constabulary.

October 3rd, 2008

Hello, is that the Stasi, I have some information…

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Just as I look forward to getting my full pension ex-PC Stuart Janaway has had his taken away. He was sacked this week by Greater Manchester Police following a disciplinary investigation into his association or otherwise of the British National Party.

Janaway was found to have worn a BNP badge whilst off duty at a football match at Old Trafford in 2006. Details of how this came to the attention of the rubber heel squad doesn’t appear to be reported but at some stage they received information that he might have items connected to the right-wing party at his home address & obtained a search warrant. A photograph of his wearing the badge at the match was found.

The former chief of GMP, a serial shagger who topped himself earlier this year, made an order in 2004 banning employees of GMP being members of the BNP, National Front & Combat 18. A GMP spokesman has admitted that there was no evidence found that Janaway was a member of the BNP & the BNP itself has said that he is not a member. Never-the-less he has been ‘required to resign’, for a discipline offence which he doesn’t appear to have committed.

There are several things which concern me. Firstly, what are the police doing getting search warrants to investigate disciplinary offences? I guess they would have had to prove to a magistrate that they had sufficient cause to search his house for property linking him to a criminal matter, what was this matter? nobody is saying.

Secondly, WTF has it got to do with GMP what their employees think? Surely they should be concerned with what their employees do? I have no wish to support the BNP or much of what they stand for but I support their right to believe what ever they want to believe; they are a legal political party.

I’m also worried that the ‘thought police’ are creating more problems than they are solving. There is little equality in the way discipline matters are investigated. If you send an ‘inappropriate email’ or tell a dodgy joke you can get the sack, but threaten to cause harm to an ex female partner or try to get away with a criminal offence by perverting the course of justice, you can keep your job & even get promoted.

PC Tariq Mahmood, in the same force as Stuart Janaway, fled the scene of an RTC in which 2 people were hurt, he then sprayed his car to cover up any evidence of the collision and tried to persuade his sister & girlfriend to say they had been driving at the time of the accident. He was fined one week’s wages.

Compare the two cases? Was there fair justice in either of them? I don’t think so.

October 2nd, 2008

There he was, gone

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

So the Met Chief, Sir Ian Blair, has resigned.

Apparently, his position has become untenable without the backing of a man whose sole reason for his rise to high office has been the fact that he is a posh & talentless buffoon.

I’ve really not made my mind up about this one. I often bang on about how senior officers never suffer consequences for failings for which they ultimately are responsible, yet I am annoyed that his resignation has come as a result of what seems to be just political interfering from someone I wouldn’t trust to wash my police car (if I had one).

I expect that several wannabees are currently retrieving their previously crafted CVs & well-evidenced PDRs which they wrote over the last two years for just such an occasion in readiness for the application process for the top policing job in the country.

Doubtless the Black Police Association will be out celebrating & announcing proof of their stance against Blair in his resignation. Hopefully, the list of applicants won’t include names like Dizaei & Ghaffur.

October 1st, 2008

Bring back the Stocks

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Am I the only one somewhat sad that both guys in this photo were nicked this week?

The guy on the right is flooring firm manager Simon Cramer, who discovered the guy on the left Mark Gilbert had fraudulently cashed on the the company’s cheques & made it out to himself.

When Gilbert arrived for work, Cramer & some other employees grabbed him, tied his arms behind his back & put him in the company van to drive him to the middle of an Essex town. They then marched him through the town centre with a home-made placard round his neck reading “Thief. I stole £845. Am on my way to police station.”

Cramer said he was merely effecting a citizen’s arrest but the police took a dimmer view & arrested him for false imprisonment.

OK, maybe they took things a little too far in the way they ‘arrested’ the alleged thief but there is something in me which says ‘serves him right’. I suspect that the humiliation & embarrassment of being paraded through the town centre with a big sign round his neck will have done more than the potential threat of a case at the local magistrates which would probably never get to court anyway either through being cautioned, or dropped by the CPS.

I suggest we do away with all the fixed penalty tickets for disorder, drunkenness & minor violence & instead parade people through town centres for a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon. I reckon it will have a much bigger effect than an £80 fine (a large percentage of which are never paid).