Archive for February, 2009

February 28th, 2009

Recognition

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

So what did your force give you as a marker of your thirty years’ service?

I know of lots of people who have retired after a life of service to a particular company & get presented with some kind of memento by the company, be it a gold watch, a clock or a framed certificate.

This doesn’t appear to happen in the police service. I have no idea whether it happens in any of the other public services.

I’m not talking about a personal gift you might get from the team of colleagues you have personally worked with, who may chip in to buy some kind of leaving present. I’m talking about something given by the company as a little recognition for several decades of loyal service.

You get fuck-all in my force. Well, that’s not strictly true, you do get a pathetic little note which says you gave 30 years of your life with exemplary service, but quite frankly I’d be embarassed to show it to anyone, you wouldn’t know it was a certificate of service, it looks more like something that came out of the chief constable’s paper recycling bin.

So what happens in other forces, my regular retirees will know… so spill the beans!

February 27th, 2009

The Final Inspection

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Something a little different today. There’s no particular reason I reproduce this poem at this time other than I like it & there isn’t a bad time to think about those who have gone before us.

Not written by me (if you know who the author was, please let me know).

The Final Inspection

The policeman stood and faced his God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining.
Just as brightly as his brass.

“Step foreword now, policeman.
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My church have you been true?”

The policeman squared his shoulders and said,
“No, Lord, I guess I aint,
Because those of us who carry badges
can’t always be a saint.

I’ve had to work most Sundays,
and at times my talk was rough,
and sometimes I’ve been violent,
Because the streets are awfully tough.

But I never took a penny,
That wasn’t mine to keep.
Though I worked a lot of overtime
when the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Thought at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I’ve wept unmanly tears.

I know I don’t deserve a place
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around
except to calm their fear.

If you’ve a place for me here, Lord,
It needn’t be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
but if you don’t…I’ll understand.

There was silence all around the throne
Where the saints had often trod.
As the policeman waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

“Step foreword now, policeman,
You’ve borne your burdens well
Come walk a beat on Heaven’s streets,
You’ve done your time in hell.”

February 26th, 2009

Oh Say, Do You see?

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Elizabeth Truss – there’s an name to conjure with – is deputy director of Reform, a think-tank. They’ve been looking at policing recently and have done lots of thinking in their tank, wherever that is. According to their website Reform is “An independent, non-party think tank whose mission is to set out a better way to deliver public services and economic prosperity“.

They’ve come to the conclusion that the country doesn’t have enough police forces. Apparently 43 is too many by half. They want us to split up into at least 95 forces. Their rationale is that smaller police forces deal better with local crime & problems, anbd we’re not doing well enough currently.

Those with an interest in history will know that prior to the 1960s we had loads & loads of police forces. Many towns had their own constabulary, these were all done away with in the mid 60s and by 1974 we had all amalgamated down to 43 county/regional forces.

A few years ago the government wanted to go another step and amalgamate us all down to 17 forces. Unsurprisingly, Reform think this is bad, most of us thought it was bad too. The government dropped the plans once they’d spent millions investigating it and realising it was a bloody stupid idea.

I can’t help seeing the similarity between what Reform are suggesting & law enforcement in the United States. Major national crime-fighting organisations to battle terrorism & major crime, not dissimilar to the Secret Service, FBI, DEA etc. Local police services to serve local populations, there are over 30,000 departments in America. The only thing missing from Reform’s recommendations (I’ve only read the synopsis on a couple of news websites, not the actual report) is a national or regional traffic department, such as, for instance, the Highway Patrol (or would that be the Highways Agency Traffic Officers?)

This recommendation would be a boon to people who collect police badges, double the number to collect at a single stroke.

I’d add a couple of things to Reform’s recommendations; all citizens to swear allegiance to the Union Jack, to come off the diets & talk very loudly in restaurants. Our transformation to the 51st state would be almost complete.

February 25th, 2009

Children & Animals

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

Actually, there’s no children in this item but the title still kind of fits.

Animals can be the bane of a police officers’ life. When ever you get a job involving animals it’s bound to be grief. They’re usually getting run over, not a problem when they’re dead but a big one when they’re not. Depending on the size, you have to decide whether it is quicker & kinder to administer a coup-de-grace, call out a local gamekeeper to put it out of its misery, or a vet. Quite often you can’t get a vet to the scene, even if they agree to treat the animal if you can get it to a vet surgery.

If they’re not getting run over, they’re escaping from somewhere with the potential to get run  over. We used to have a farm which had wild boar. If they escaped it was a big deal, there were even people with guns looking for them. I’m no wildlife expert but they said if you were confronted by one it would cause some horrific injuries, steal your credit cards & run away with your wife.

Bulls are good for a laugh. They usually end up with massive road closures & lots of police waving their arms in a timid, ‘please go to one of my colleagues’ kind of way.

Escaped animals are often the source for lots of potential embarassment. There’s nothing funnier than watching a highly disciplined, unformed service, running across the road waving their arms like maniacs, trying to catch a dog or a swan, or anything that doesn’t want to be caught.

I’ve done it more times than I care to mention. We did get on the local radio news once when a pack of rabid horses ransacked a cul-de-sac full of parked cars.

I don’t think I’ve ever had to wrangle a giant rabbit though.

February 24th, 2009

Non Story of the Year

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

It seems the Sun is up in arms because we’ve been failing the public again. This time we’ve been playing poker while little old men get burgled.

Sixty nine year old Graham Hall, went to the Thames Valley Police HQ to report that a games room annexe at one of his properties had been broken into. He had been to his local police station at Kidlington, but found it was closed so walked a short distance to the police HQ.

He was met there by a security guard who thought he had arrived for a poker evening taking place within the social club at the HQ. When he explained what he was there for, the security guard told him he couldn’t report a crime there & should ring the central number to report it.

Woopy-fucking-do. If I go to Tesco’s Head Office, I doubt they would sell me a pound of sprouts & copy of the Scum. If Mr Tesco & his cronies happened to be inside, in their own free time, having an office party, clearly I could write some headlines saying that Tesco wouldn’t sell me a carrot because they were too busy having a piss-up.

It must be a really poor news day for the Scum to make up a non-story, but hey, it’s to do with the police so it’s fair game.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Mr Hall should be able to report a crime – at his local police station. Now if the Sun wanted to do a story on how the police station closes at 5pm, then fair enough. But there is no reason why someone should treat the administrative headquarters of TV Police as a functioning police station – it’s not, get over it, you can’t report crimes there.

The spin put on the story is that all the officers were inside playing poker, when they should have been taking reports of thefts of billiard cues. Listen you Sun tossers, it’s a police social club which runs functions for its staff – police & civilian – to attend in their own time, off duty, not when they are at work you dumbskulls!

I expect the paper would have been blank had they reported on the facts.

February 23rd, 2009

Women Drivers

The only RTCs I ever had while driving police vehicles involved women drivers. Not that I had that many -  three in thirty years isn’t too bad. For some reason, all of them were drunk at the time.

I got rear-ended by a woman while I was sat at a junction waiting to turn right. She could not even stand when I opened her door, she’d had so much booze & drugs. She didn’t even have the good grace to give me whiplash, though my observer suffered it. I don’t know to this day how much actual pain he was in afterwards nor for how long. He got paid out some time later.

Unfortunately, none of mine were caught on CCTV. Here’s a few that were…

February 22nd, 2009

COPS (in Salem)

Posted in The Job - Satire by 200

I’m currently sitting in a hotel in the north of the country spending some of my commutation before the kids go back to school. Hurray for inset days at the end of school hols!

Just a quickie today since there is a pub not 100yards from where I currently sit with a couple of pints & a 3 course meal with my name on it.

Another class episode of Cops!

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(With a bit of luck this has appeared on the blog OK as it’s my first post from another little gadget courtesy of 30 year’s of pension payments, and a mobile phone connection.)

February 21st, 2009

The children are the future

Posted in The Job - General by 200

When we had the snow, I went over the town centre for my usual afternoon walk. I happened upon a group of youths who were chucking snowballs at old women and men who couldn’t run after them. Funnily enough, although they were only yards from the entrance to one of the gyms above a shop, I noticed they didn’t chuck a single thing at any of the lads who were leaving after a workout on the weights.

There were a couple of girls & 4 lads, all of whom were dressed in tracksuits & baseball caps. They spoke with the effected ‘street’ accent which has nothing to do with the region in which they were brought up. It’s probably something to do with appearing mutually cool with each other but just makes them look & sound like a bunch of losing tossers. They could be summed up as chavs.

I have no time for those who say we owe it to youths like them to interact with them, to empathise with them. I lost my patience with that attitude many years ago when I realised that it’s very nice but actually doesn’t work; rather than solving the problem it merely makes it worse, in my humble opinion.

Quite frankly, I’d sooner gather the whole lot up & transport them to some island where a race of people who are bigger & harder than them get to make their lives hell & piss on their chips all day long.

I saw one of those lads today as I went to the corner shop to grab a Radio Times. I recognised him straight away, partly because he was wearing the same tracksuit but mainly because he has a distinguishing scar right across his face. He probably says he got it in a knife fight when really his hand slipped whilst wanking & his fake Argos diamond ring cut his cheek on the back stroke.

He passed me with one of his mates & they walked up the way I had come.

I got my RT & walked back towards my street, ahead I saw this particular oxygen thief who appeared to be looking through a neighbour’s fence. I thought he might be adding to the rather colourful collection of graffiti, but when I got closer – after the chav had moved on – I realised he had been pissing up against my neighbour’s fence. Broad daylight.

Is it me or is it really wrong to suddenly have an overwhelming desire to treat him like the animal he so well mimics by dragging him back by the scruff of the neck & rubbing his face in it on pain of having a broken arm? Perhaps I should just invite him to a focus group where we can discuss which holiday he’d like to be taken on in order to stop his anti-social meanderings.

February 20th, 2009

Central Purchasing

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Oh how I loved relying on the great equipment they used to give us.

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February 19th, 2009

It’s here!

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

The commutation, that I’ve waited 30 years for, is finally here.

It’s been a long wait, but bloody hell, does it feel good.

When Mrs Weeks & I started a family, we decided that it would be best for our children for Mrs Weeks to give up work & be at home with the kids as they developed & grew. This put us under some pretty intense financial strain, for a start, Mrs W was earning several thousand pounds a year more than I was. Part of the decision for her to give up & me to carry on was traditional, but part was financial, which may sound strange given that she was earning more, but we took into account the future benefits of the pension system together with the fact that she was in an industry which was starting to decline. As it turned out,  within five years of her finishing, several of the factories she worked with closed and the industry she was in has shrunk many times in the last 20 years; I think we made the right decision.

The downside of that decision has been cars which have been older than our children at various stages in the last 18 years, holidays in the UK, eating out was a real treat rather than a habit. The benefits are immeasurable in that we are raising children who will be a complete asset to society.

For the first time, this week, we have no debt, well, maybe once the cheques we’ve written have been cashed by the banks, building society’s, credit card companies, etc.

I feel like I’ve walked into a shower, covered in grime, & come out the other side totally clean, free, and facing a great future. Imagine, debt free, that’s something I’ve not considered for, ooh, about thirty years, or so.

February 18th, 2009

Hot Wheels

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

Well, I’ve put a deposit on new car, well, new to us, it’s not brand new. I decided not to buy new so have got dibs on a decent sized family car two years old.

I can collect it as soon as I have the commutation, which, hopefully, will be in the next couple of days, depending on how long the bank takes to clear it. (that’s if they don’t scarf it off to pay off some of those billions myself & my fellow tax-payers have kindly donated to them in the past few months.)

I don’t really want to say what I’ve got other than it’s a vehicle which I think may still have links to manufacturing in the UK, even if it’s not technically a British motor. Even Mrs Weeks enjoyed driving it so that’s a bonus. I’ve not been in the market for cars for many years so I have no real idea whether it was  bargain or not, but it was just under half the new price of two years ago, either way, I’m happy with it & am sure we’ll have many happy journeys in it.

We’re going to donate the old beast to the Fire Brigade. They want to cut the roof off or smash all the glas sin with their axes, or something. I can take it to their base & they will do what they will with it & then dispose of it. It saves me the grief of selling it (it’s really not worth more than a few hundred quid) and also of scrapping it, and what a rookie firefighter learns on it may save someone’s life one day. It’ll bring a tear to the old eye when it goes; it’s older than my children & they’re in double-figures.

February 17th, 2009

Guardsman

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

I love the way that society instills in it’s youth a sense of society & respect, or not…

This is one of those videos that you really want to know what happened next…

February 16th, 2009

The Death of a Dear Friend

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

Not my own work….

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
Knowing wen to come in out of the rain; Why the early bird gets the worm;
Life isn’t always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from
school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers;
I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I’m A Victim

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

February 15th, 2009

So that’s it, then

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I went to bed a police officer & woke up a  civilian. At least I think I did. I’m not sure how it actually works, to be fair.

If I started in the job at 9am on Monday the first of January, do I finish at midnight on the 31st December – the last employed day – 30 years later, or do I cease to be at 08.59 on the morning of the first of January 30 years later. What happens if I go & make an arrest at 5am on the 1st of Jan? Do I still have my powers or not?

It’s academic really because I didn’t need to go into the street & nick a chav smashing up a neighbour’s fence or beating up one of the residents or trying to nick their car.

Anyway, I went to bed a copper & few blinks of the eye & a naughty dream later I wasn’t. It wasn’t anything special, the earth didn’t move, I got no deep & meaningful message from on high. I just moved, metaphorically, from one world to another.

Done. This copper has ceased to be.

I don’t actually feel any different. I still feel like I did yesterday – it still feels like I’m just on leave. But I’m now a pensioner!

I wonder what the legacy will be. Maybe I’ll have to have a bit of a think about that, or maybe it’s for the people who know me to judge. Perhaps it’s just a bit deep & philosophical for now.

One part of my life is now over and a new part has just begun.

The cheque should be through any day soon.

February 14th, 2009

Hold your tongue

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

So there was a little fracas over Dutch MP, Geert Wilders, who wanted to come over to good old Blighty to show his film on how Islam & the Koran are linked to terrorism. He was invited by Lord Pearson who’d arranged a private viewing of the film within the House of Lords.

I’ve not seen the film, “Fitna“, although I understand it is freely available on the internet, so I have no real idea what it’s about or what message it gives. The official line is that his views promote racial disharmony. The Dutch fella is apparently being prosecuted back in Holland for inciting racial hatred, the catch-all offence for anyone who doesn’t slavishly follow the current ‘diversity’ agenda.

The government did what they do best; their answer to anything they don’t like is to ban it. They duly banned Mr Wilders, who turned up at Heathrow, waited around, and was put on a flight back from whence he came.

Had the government done what they’re actually very good at; letting anyone with a serious criminal past into the country, & let Mr Wilders in, nobody would have been any the wiser. But now he has been given national media attention & millions of people will have heard about him & what he stands for rather than just a few old Lords.

As I said, I don’t know what his message is & frankly, I don’t really care, but I think he probably should be able to say it. It’s almost like the government don’t trust us to make up our own mind & come to a decent decision ourselves, no, the nanny-state has to protect us from this ill lest we all go out & want to murder the nearest Muslim.

Strangely, Mr Wilders has visited the UK previously, not that long ago. He had no trouble getting into the country & his views & those in the film were known then, so I’m not sure what changed from his visit two weeks ago to this week.

One of the problems I have with this whole issue, apart from the fact that free speech has long been assigned to history (and yes I do believe people should be able to say things we don’t want to hear) is the total hypocrisy of a government who won’t let someone in to the country because of what they think, but will allow someone into the country who has a conviction for murder, only to discover that whilst here they commit another. And it’s not even as if that is a rare event. There are thousands of foreign, evil, scumbag criminals in this country who the government appear to tacitly welcome with open arms. Convicted murder or rapist? no problem, want to come over to sell women & run a nice little earner of a sex-slave small business? Come on in. Don’t speak too highly of an ethnic minority? Sorry mate, we don’t want your kind here, fuck off.

February 13th, 2009

For the Tech Geeks

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

If you have any interest in all those little technological gizmos we men tend to collect, take a look at the following video. I loved this when I first saw it. It’s so true & I’m bloody sure I’ve already got some of these new gizmos.

(But don’t watch it if there are kids within viewing or earshot because it contains lots of naughty words!)


Sony Releases New Stupid Piece Of Shit That Doesn’t Fucking Work

February 12th, 2009

To NARPO or not to NARPO

Posted in The Job - General by 200

NARPO is the National Association of Retired Police Officers.

I have no idea what they do. I presume they have some kind of newlsetter or network to let each other know when each others die, but other than that I have no idea what their purpose is.

I’ve not been contacted by them yet. Perhaps I’ll have to wait until next week, presumably someone from  HR will let them know of my impending retirement?

I know there are a couple of regular visitors who are ex-job, are you NARPO members? If so, can you let me know whether it’s worth joining (if I actually get invited to join, of course).

As was pointed out by one of my posters recently, in America, when you retire from the force, you get an ID card which says you are a retired police officer (I’m not sure what you’d use it for, mind). In the UK you don;t get anything, except for a small certificate which you can put on the toilet wall, but the quality of it is pretty poor.

February 11th, 2009

Test Driving

Posted in Not the Job, The Job - General by 200

It’s difficult to appreaciate that I’ve finished work as a police officer. It really only feels like I’m on leave at the moment. Still, looking forward to a few more weeks, maybe it will set in a bit later.

I spent the day driving round to all the local car retailers. I’ve decided to get a new car. It will possibly be the first thing I do with my commutation. The current model has been with us a few years so it feels right to go out and get something better.

I did have a look at a couple of brand new models but not sure whther to get one or to settle for something a couple of years old. I’ve never had a new car before…. come to think of it, I probably won’t, but hey, it’s nice to go in & test drive something & for the salesman to swoon over you when they think you’re in the market for a new car.

One of the guys I spoke to just gave me the keys & told me to take it for a spin, no proof of ID, no licence check, not taking my name & address. I could have gottena  freeby there – I must have an honest face.

February 10th, 2009

COPS – Medieval style

Posted in The Job - General by 200

For those who have been asking, yes, I do intend to keep blogging, certainly for the immediate future.

But, as usual, from time to time I take the easy way out & post one of these…

Gotta love those American Cops!

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February 9th, 2009

No Interest

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I had a little leaving do, nothing major, just a few friends & colleagues out for the night. A few beers & a nice meal.

I don’t do alcohol very well these days. Gone are the times when I used to neck it down like there was no tomorrow. I leave that to the youngsters now. To my credit I didn’t get (too) drunk. I had a nice little gift from the team which I shall put on display in a cabinet at home – thanks very much!

I won’t see any of them again until I go back to work in a while. Most of them are quite a bit younger than me so I don’t really fit that well into their social scene; I don’t expect the phone to go very often, if at all.

I must have spent half the evening discussing how I was going to spend my commutation with all kinds of helpful suggestions on what I should start with. I don’t have too many plans, probably not a lot more than the standard new car, house improvements & maybe pay off all or some of the mortgage.

In a week or so’s time I’m going to have a little over a hundred grand paid into the bank account. So it’s really nice that the interest rate has just dropped to 1%. By the time I get my hands on it I’ll be paying the bloody bank to look after it.

I expect there are ex-coppers baulking at the thought of that figure; it’s significantly higher than what anyone who retired a little over year or more ago got, the result of about the only good thing Jacqui Spliff has done in her tenure as Home Secretary.

Thirty years of paying my pension and it’s about to pay off.