Archive for November, 2008

November 10th, 2008

When Prosecutors Fail

Posted in The Job - General by 200

The Crown Prosecution Service isn’t known as the Criminal Protection Service for nothing. Ask Karen Nicholson, a 53-year-old platform staff assistant with First Great Western Trains.

She had cause to feel completely let down by the judicial system – and CPS in particular – after intervening when a colleague was getting battered by serial thug, Robert Halkett.

Halkett was caught trying to evade his fare from Plymouth to London & attacked the train manager who caught him.

Mrs Nicholson ran onto the train to help the manager & was punched in the face twice by Halkett for her troubles, leaving her with 2 black eyes.

Halkett was arrested the following day when he was seen at the same railway station. He was interviewed & charged with two cases of ABH.

The CPS subsequently dropped the charges with the excuse that the victim’s injuries were not serious enough for a trial.

First Great Western, in a landmark case,  took out a private prosecution against Halkett & he was last week sentenced to four years; 39 months for assault & 9 months for theft.

Judge Paul Darlow commented that it was “only down to the rain company that proper charges were laid & the proper sentence passed…. while lawyers squabble the two people who were actually there are at the back of the court and have a real sense of grievance.”

What made the CPS decision even more crass was that Halkett had a string of convictions for attacks on rail staff.

I guess that’s what happens when you base a prosecution system in the hands of people who know the cost of everything, and the value of nothing.

November 9th, 2008

We Shall Remember Them

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

If there’s one thing the British can do really well, it’s put on a Remembrance Service. The service at the Albert Hall as featured on BBC 1 last night was a cracking example. I can measure how good it is by how many times I get the lump in the throat. Last night there were several.

I went to the Remembrance Day Service in my local town today. So did several hundred other people. I’m sure there were more this year than the last time I went.

The old soldier who read the oration was different this year; I guess the ex-para who did it for a while has died.

November 8th, 2008

Record Breakers

Posted in The Job - General by 200

When I was young I used to get second-hand copies of the Guinness Book of Records. I used  to think how cool it would be to end up in that mighty tome for having the largest collection of marbles or eating the biggest Swiss roll in the world.

As I grew I realised how young-boyish such dreams were. I had moved on. I now wanted to be in it for shagging the most women in a night, or a week, or a year. Then I got married & now qualify for entry for completely opposite reasons.

One family shortly to appear encapsulated in ink on the pages of the Guinness Book of Records is the Smith family of Luton.

I don’t know if their particular record already exists or is one of those ones made up especially for the new edition for mad people who get the record by dint of being the only person ever to have tried something.

Their record is having the most amount of sons in prison at the same time.

There’s 6 of them, aged 21 to 32. And they didn’t even all go to prison at the same time for the same bungled joint offence. No, they’ve all been doing their own thing & by some lucky quirk of fate have all ended up inside at the same time.

The 2 eldest, Graham & Alan are on remand to Bedford Jail for burglary. Darren is doing 4 1/2 years for burglary. His parents say he is in prison in Essex but they can’t remember which one.

Ian & Jason are in Woodhill, doing 4 1/2 years for burglary & youngest son Christopher is in Norwich Prison doing 3 years for theft and burglary.

Mrs & Mrs Smith have said that they’ve not done anything wrong in the way they brought up their family & blame it all on their son’s involvement in drugs. These days there is no need for anyone to accept any blame for anything as placing the blame ant anyone else’s door is now current standard practice in the UK.

I suspect they may not have quite grasped the concept of the role of a parent. They may not have done anything wrong but I don’t think there’s much evidence they did anything right.

November 7th, 2008

Grave Robbing Scum

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Around this time of year I take a little time to think of those who have given their lives in the service of our country. If I’m not working I’ll attend the local Remembrance Day parade. My children will attend with their various youth groups & one of them will wear their granddad’s WWII medals on their uniform.

I will, as I do every year, spend some time reading the names on our local war memorial.

Sadly, the people visiting Philips Park Cemetery in Manchester won’t be able to do the same since thieving scum have ripped off & stolen half the brass plaques from the war memorial.

The War Graves Commission reckon the thieves will get in the region of £200 at some bent & immoral scrap dealer but it will cost around £10,000 to replace each of the 5 plaques stolen.

Alf Heywood, 88, an old soldier with the Lancashire Fusiliers, many of whom are remembered on the plaques, said “It’s a disgrace. If these vandals experienced what we did out on the battlefields, they would not be getting into all this trouble and they would have more respect for what these plaques represent.

Sadly, Alf, no words will make any difference since people who are prepared to rob graves for their own greed have no concept of decency.

It’s not the first time I’ve blogged about this particularly scummy crime, see my earlier posts Absolute Scum & How low can you go?.

November 6th, 2008

Management Claptrap

Posted in The Job - General by 200

In a breath-taking demonstration of hypocrisy, the chief constable of Essex has spoken out against what he called “management claptrap”.

At a press conference this week, Roger Baker was asked whether he thought the police had lost their focus on the citizen. He said: “Yes. Over a period of time… we have probably introduced too much management claptrap.”

Unfortunately, his perceptive incisiveness then deserted him completely when he went on to be the first chief to sign a brand new piece of management claptrap.

The new document, subject of the aforementioned press conference attended by the Home Secretary, Jacqui Spliff, is a ‘charter’ – yawn – which is supposed to spell out what the public can expect of the police. Called “Police Pledges” it sets out the standards of service the public can expect.

Now in fairness, I haven’t seen the document in question much less actually read it but my previous experience with other such initiatives suggests that I can state with some confidence that it will be riddled from cover to cover with exactly the same kind of management claptrap that the double-speaking chief complains of.

I have no doubts that it will be full of airy-fairy empty promises involving ‘citizen focus’, partners & claims to ” do this & do that & the world will be a wonderful place once again”. It will be jam-packed full of the police stating the bleeding obvious like guarantees that we’ll prevent & detect crime & basically do our job.

What it won’t do is do anything to catch the bloke who just robbed your grandmother, prevent a single knifing or enable me to send you an officer any earlier than a week next Tuesday.

November 5th, 2008

Cunning, Stealth &….Death

Posted in The Job - General by 200

As 5 members of the 1st Battalion, Royal Gurkha Rifles were presented with a Military Cross this week (for service in Afghanistan), Chief Supt Kevin Harley, of the Met, has come up with a cracking plan.

He wants the Met to take advantage of the recent change in policy which will allow more Gurkhas to settle in the UK after careers in the military in service of the UK.

Apparently, senior commanders think that the Nepalese soldiers would make ideal police officers & that their “discipline, strength & fearlessness would prove crucial to combating the burgeoning threat of knife & street crime.”

How fantastic would that be?

I reckon we could get rid of knife crime after sending a few Gurkhas out in plain clothes; anyone pulling a knife on them would be dealt with according to the fine traditions of the Gurkha Regiment.

We could slash the pond-life gene pool in a matter of months.

Sadly, I fear that health & safety regulations would ensure that the ex-Gurkha police officers would never be allowed to set foot outside the police station.

November 4th, 2008

Another Scale Balancer

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I spend a lot of time on this blog highlighting the vast hordes of pond-life & scum who blight our live son this sceptered isle. I guess being a police officer does tend to give you a jaundiced view of humanity.

It’s therefore refreshing to bring another story to redress the balance.

William Grove is an 84-year-old pensioner from Richmond in Surrey.

Last week he was out in the town when he happened upon two of the afore-mentioned scum who were breaking through a jeweller’s window in the middle of a busy street. They had attacked the window with sledge hammers but only succeeded in smashing a small hole in the middle of the reinforced glass.

While one of the crooks had his arm through the window trying to pinch stuff that every one else is expected to pay for, Mr Grove went up to him, grabbed him & pulled off his balaclava. The crooks managed to bravely run off with a massive haul of one stolen watch.

Fifty people are reported to have witnessed the incident, the only one prepared to do anything being an 84-year-old ex RAF pensioner.

Mr Grove lost his wife in 2006 to Alzheimer’s & on being presented with a gift hamper by a national daily he refused to accept the gift asking that it instead be donated to an Alzheimer’s charity.

They really don’t make them like that any more.

November 3rd, 2008

Egg, Bac, Sos, Tom, Mush, Pea, Chip*

Posted in The Job - General by 200

It must be the season for Muslims to sue the Met. Another one is having a go only this one, for a change, isn’t police officer.

Hasanali Khoja is a senior catering manager in the Met & until recently worked at Hendon Police College. Although he doesn’t often do any cooking he had an informal agreement that he wouldn’t touch sausages & bacon. He’s now been moved to a similar post at the Met’s Empress State Building in Earls Court.

He is suing the Met for religious discrimination after being told he could be expected to handle pork & bacon. Apparently an ‘informal agreement’ has been reached but Mr Khoja says he is taking the Met to an employment tribunal to get the matter ‘formalised’. I wonder if formalising it involves a cash payment at all.

Is it me or is just common sense that if you don’t want to do a particular thing, then don’t go & get a job which involves a good chance of having to do that particular thing. Wasn’t there a Muslim who refused to move alcohol around a Tesco warehouse despite taking a job as a supermarket warehouseman?

Things are getting ridiculous round here.

* the title of this piece comes from the days when we had a police canteen & used to go in on earlies to order a full English breakfast. This practice has been consigned to history as nowhere has a police canteen any more, and anyway, it will probably be illegal soon to order one.

November 2nd, 2008

Squeezing that last drop

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

More good news for motorists that the government are planning on extending the scheme to charge us to use the motorways.

Technology trials are due to start which would allow drivers who pay a fee to drive past all the rest of us stuck in stationary traffic. Apparently, the government are considering the plans on stretches of motorway that are due to be widened as well as hard shoulders.

We could see these lanes operating on the M25, the M42 near Birmingham & the M27 & M3 near Southampton. Prices will depend on the length of the journey but some trips could cost as much as £5. Trials are due to start next year.

In order for the government to give my money away to the banks & the Cromptons (see yesterday’s post) they need to raise more cash, what easier way than squeezing even more money out of the (legal) motorist? So that’s road tax, petrol duty, congestion charges, parking fees & speeding ticket revenue, we can now look forward to being charged to use roads that might actually allow us to make a journey in a reasonable time.

November 1st, 2008

Cream Cakes for All

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

For the last 18 years or so I’ve been part of a single-wage family. I have had a mortgage all this time & when times have been a bit hard, as they often can be for a single wage family with a large mortgage, I have had to take out loans to get by. I still have a loan now, one of many in my adult life.

Although we have two cars neither or what you’d call modern or up-to-date. We don’t go abroad for holidays. Our children, when they finally leave the education system will be net contributors to the economy of this great nation.

As Christmas approaches, thoughts turn to present for the kids. Mrs Weeks & I will probably do our usual & limit our mutual presents to £10 or £20, this way we can spend a bit more on the kids. The most expensive presents they’ve ever had have been bikes or hand-held computer consoles & the like, maybe £150 maximum.

In order to provide this for my family I have to work long, unsociable hours. I have been put in hospital several times & been assaulted many more times. I have restrictions on my private life that others would call rights abuse. I might moan about it but I carry on.

Tracey & Harry Crompton of Hull have somewhat different circumstances. They have 10 children. This week they were boasting that they had already spent £3000 on Xmas pressies & were fully intending to spend more.

Our earnings are not dissimilar. I get around £33,000 a year. The Hulls get £32,656. The difference is that my £33,000 is drastically reduced by paying tax, national insurance, Council tax & pension contributions. I take home a significant proportion less than my £33,000. The Comptons take home most of their £32,000, all except for the proportion which pays their rent & council tax, because all that money comes in the form of benefits payments.

Harry has been out of work for 15 years, Tracey has never worked in her life.

If Mrs Weeks needs a new pair of shoes she usually just goes without & gets the kids shoes, or she waits for a few months until she has enough cash for a pair.

Fortunately for her, Tracey Crompton is in a much more beneficial position, she says, “If the kids need something I go and get it. I rarely go without things either. If I need something, like a pair of shoes, then I’ll get it.” Tracey is very lucky, she adds, “We don’t have money worries. We don’t go without things and I think that’s because we are self-sufficient, we grow our own food I don’t see why others should have money worries.” I doubt I;d have money worries if I sat on my arse all day & took thirty two grand of other people’s money either, Tracey.

Good for Mrs Crompton, it;s always good to see someone happy with their lot.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining that we’ve got no money & haven’t had any spare to do some of the things that other families take for granted, like newish cars or foreign holidays, or bank accounts which aren’t overdrawn; I get paid more than a lot of people.

Mrs Weeks & I made a decision when we were planning to have our family that she would give up work (she earned more than me at the time) to nurture our children. We gave up all the extras because we believed it was the right thing to do.

It sometimes pisses me off that others can get get away with doing fuck all & still get cream with all the extras.