Archive for May, 2009

May 31st, 2009


Posted in Other Stuff by 200

There are some days you just don’t need work. Today was just such a day, in fact I don’t think I thought of work all day until I came to do my usual daily post just now.

I spent the day standing in the sun watching a load of cars I could never possibly afford to drive around a bit of tarmac in seemingly endless circles. It was loud, it was hot, I have aching shoulders from wearing a rucksack all day, my feet are crying out for iced water, but it was bloody fantastic.

Then, when I got home, I luxuriated in the bliss of a cool shower (I’m not brave enough to do cold showers) before spending the evening with my lovely family in our favourite restaurant. For the first time in ages we had a bottle of wine & the kids got to order whatever they wanted, including extras (read fries). And I ended the meal with the biggest glass of ice cream, chocolate sauce & cream I’ve had in a pretty long time.

My wife turned to me as we waited for the main course & said “Isn’t it great to go out for a meal & not have to worry what it’s costing”, and she was right.

Sometimes life is really great.

May 30th, 2009

Just fill this in, leave it on my desk

There was a time when people you worked with knew what you were like. They knew whether you were good at your job or not, what your strengths & your weaknesses were. They knew how you worked, & if they were your supervisor, they knew how well you worked.

This went by the board some time ago; they introduced what they now call PDRs, or Performance Development Reviews. This replaced the need for supervisors to write about you, with an evidence-based approach in which you had to show them that you had the required skills for the role. You had to do all the work all of a sudden, then present it to the supervisor. Appraisals were done away with. Now nobody knows who does what unless it’s written down by the person doing it. Nothing is personal any more, it’s all done by proforma.

Theres more but that’s just a basic summary to get me to the point I want to make in todays blog entry.

I got asked to fill in a form this week. The management have finally cottoned on to the fact that there is a high level of stress in the control room. The fact that they have caused most of it by the way they staff the place has probably slipped seemelessly by their glass walled offices.

So I got asked to fill in a form which is designed to measure how much stress I’m under. This, of course, will not measure my stress level in any meaningful way. I am limited to answering the exact questions they ask. “Do your colleagues value your contributions?” Agree Strongly/ Agree/ Neither Agree nor Disagree/ Disagree/ Strongly Disagree.

There are, of course, many such anodyne, airey-fairey, non-specific examples of questions. Nowhere do I see questions like “How often do you have to work on your own under high pressure situations?” “Can you get the leave you are entitled to, when you want it?” “How often do you have to work for 7 or 8 hours at a stretch without a break?”

They will gather in the forms & some bean counter will analyse the to determine how much stress I am under. They will see that I am not under much stress at all. Nobody will come and ask me what I think about stress in the control room. None of the bosses will come & sit with me for a busy late turn to see first-hand the stresses placed on me.

They will look over their forms & know the cost of everything & the value of nothing.

May 29th, 2009


Posted in Videos by 200

I seem to have written a lot of words in the past few blogs, so by way of a rest, have a couple of vids…**

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**When I said “couple of vids” originally it was two but one of them autostarts which is a complete pain, so I’ve removed it.

May 28th, 2009


Posted in The Job - General by 200

Just in the cause of balance I thought I’d let some of the victims of my post yesterday have their chance to get their own back.

Having a little gripe at officers who speak too quickly when you have to type what they say into the job computer, made me think about what gripes they have of us controllers.

I won’t prejudice any responses with my own opinions after all, I was a street cop for 28 years or so working full shifts on the front line, so I have some experience of controllers.

I will open it up a little because I know a lot of my readers aren’t serving police officers, so it can include gripes about people who task you in your jobs. What winds you up about what they do, or what makes your job more difficult?

So, over to you…

May 27th, 2009

Today I have been mostly…

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

…doing PNC checks.

To the unitiated, PNC checks are checks we run on the Police National Computer. These usually take two forms, a check on a person where we try to find out if a person is known to police or has a criminal record & may be wanted, or checks on vehicles where we try to find out who owns it & if it might be stolen. i.e. a good way to get your quotas up without actually having to detect anything or find a baddie.

In the last couple of years we have had added functionality to vehicle checks. Now if we run your number plate, we can find out if it’s taxed, MOT’d & insured.

This has meant that the call for PNC checks has soared. Not only do officers do checks on vehicle sthey want to stop for whatever reason, they can also do them on any vehicle just to see if there might be a good reason to stop them in he first place, like a big fishing trip but without having to wamr up the maggots in your mouth.

The majority of vehicles officers do PNC checks never get stopped, because they come back as not stolen, fully insured, Taxed & MOT’d, so unless you’ve done something wrong, suspicious or just stupid, there’s not a great deal of point stopping you.

This is good for the officer because it doesn’t waste their time, it’s good for the driver because it doesn’t waste their time, but it’s bad for the congtrollers because it just means there is much more time to do lots more speculative PNC checks.

Not that I mind doing PNC checks. I get paid quite a lot to sit on my arse doing PNC checks (among other stuff), so I really don’t mind what I do for my cash as long as I feel it’s of some use to someone & not just done in order to assist a bean-counter somewhere (as is so much of our work).

If you are an officer who does PNC checks, I’ll let you into a secret or two & it will make our transaction so much simpler.

When you give the information for the check, you need to bear in mind that Iwhilst technology has advanced, we do not yet have a process of transferring information from your mouth to my computer via mind-meld & I still have to type it into the computer. I have to do this in a specific order & if you give the info in the wrong order I have to skip over the data entry field & fill in the other stuff and then go back to it, this takes extra time & isn’t good for my autistic tendencies as it makes my brain go all funny.

I can only type slower than my brain can process the info & much slower than you can say it. If you rattle off the very short list of info you need to provide, I will still be wondering what road name you gave by the time you’ve given the index number. If you give it in the correct order & with nano-seconds of rest between each part I might stand a fighting chance of filling in the bloody entry screen correctly first time.

If I say ‘You’re radio broke, can you give me the location/index/warrant number again” this means one of two things. Either your radio broke & I couldn’t pick up the information, or more likely, you spoke too fast or gave the info in the wrong order & the information has fallen out of one side of my brain in order to make room for the next bit you’ve given before I’ve had a chance to commit it to the computer. It just panders to my ego & sense of well-being to make out that it was an act of God that I didn’t get all the info rather than saying it went in one ear & out the other or ‘slow the fuck down’, thus absolving us both of blame. It also gives me time to turn to my partner to ask “what did he say?”

If you help me with these checks, we can get them done without the need for repetition which means you can do even more!

Happy days.

May 26th, 2009


Posted in The Job - General by 200

Now that I’m in the control room as a civvie, people often ask me why I came back full time rather than picking & choosing my hours. In fact, they ask me why I came back at all, to be fair, & the only reason I can give them is that the money is good, especially when you add it to a police pension; those university fees don’t pay themselves.

I know quite a few in a similar boat to me who have come back on a part-time basis. The trouble is that if you do that, the part-time they want you to do is usually late shifts; anywhere between midday & 3am.

This just happens to be the shift I hate the most. It’s not because it is busy, I can handle being busy, it’s just that there is so much shite to deal with. This usually includes ringing back pissed-off customers telling them we’ve not had anyone free for the last 3 days & can we try again tomorrow, and juggling all the jobs we don;t have people to send to trying to find reasons why one is more important than the other & constantly rearranging lists in order of importance. People sometimes think we should see them in order of when they asked us to send someone. Unfortunately, we have to work on a rota based upon what is more serious or what has a higher priority in our targets. Although we are open 24 hurs a day & have branches everywhere, that’s where our similarity with Tesco ends; we don’t serve people based on their position in the queue. This pisses people off, especially on lates when most things happen & when most people are available to be seen.

I don’t mind early turns, though I prefer them when  we did straight 8 hour shifts years ago. We would start at 6am and be home by 2.15 leaving a reasonable amount of the day left to do something with. Now we finish at 4 or 5pm when the day has gone. Early shifts can be quiet but generally they can tick along nicely & if you get a few decent jobs time can pass quite quickly.

I’ve never minded night shifts, despite seeing research over the years about how much working night shifts can knock off the end of your life, I quite enjoy them. You can get some really good jobs at night, & some equally good arrests. Nothing much beats nicking burglars or car thieves (they’re actually often both the same thing).

Nights can be deadly though. I’ve never yet fallen asleep at work (well, not in the control room though a patrol car might have been a different thing) but I know several colleagues who have fallen hostage to Somnus during a boring shift. My last set of nights I came really close. It was soooo slow. We didn’t have a single pursuit all night, we didn’t have a single RTC on the fast roads network (dual carriageway/motorway). Even the semi-constant PNC checks ground to a halt as, apparently, there was nobody on the roads, at least nobody worth stopping.

Sometimes I think my three favourite shifts are annual leave, rest days & sick, in that order.

May 25th, 2009

It wasnae me that dunnit

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I’ve never been one to lie my way out of a situation, (well not one which could get me sacked or gaoled); it’s usually far simpler to apologise & take what comes on the chin. So if I cock up at work, I’ll just say sorry & try not to do it again.

The job is littered with people who complicate matters by trying to lie their way out of it. Usually, you have to be pretty damned good at lying because the consequences of getting caught out can be pretty serious. Just ask Ch Supt Adrian Harper & Supt Johnny Johncox of Surrey Police, who have just been suspended amid allegations of dishonesty in the avoidance of Speeding Tickets. I’ve never been caught speeding but if I was, I wouldn’t ask the wife to pretend she was driving just so I could avoid a fine & some embarassment. (not that that’s what those officers are accused of, you understand, I have no idea what they are being investigated for).

Christine Malcolm received a speeding notice in Lancashire for an offence on June 15th 2008. She thought she had a the perfect excuse as her number plates had been reported stolen days before the notice was received. The police provided a photograph & Mrs Malcolm sent back more photos outlining differences between the car in the speed camera pic & hers, which she said she could prove was outside her house at the time of the offence. She even got her local paper to run the story. The paper reported ‘Despite the fact she has informed Lancashire police about the situation, they have refused to believe her and keep demanding payment. She said: “I just feel so frustrated – I am the victim here and they won’t believe me. I am a law-abiding citizen and I am telling them the truth but they won’t listen.”‘ Go & check out the story, any right-minded person would agree her & her husband are the innocent victims of of some scummy car thief.

Except they’re not.

Her husband reported the number plates stolen a short time after triggering the speed cameras & both him & his wife received suspended prison sentences for attempting to pervert the course of justice this week at Preston Crown Court.

It must have seemed such a good idea at the time. I don’t know what they had to lose other than a small fine & 3 points for just fessing up & saying sorry. Now they’ve got suspended sentences, 200 hours community service & nearly a grand’s worth of fines.

Speed Camera Couple

Some people are just too stupid to lie.

May 24th, 2009

Motorists on the edge

Posted in The Job - General by 200

One of my gripes over the years about members of the public has been about their inability to appreciate the needs of others, particularly when in their car.

Anyone who has ever stood on a  road closure or answered a phone during a serious RTC will know that their ire knows no bounds when it comes to being held up because someone has been so inconsiderate as to die further up the road.

People don’t give a flying fuck that the reason we’ve shut the road is in order to find out why someone has been killed so we can give the family some kind of answer to the question ‘why?’; they are late for something & it’s the police stopping them. I have zero sympathy for people who complain when the traffic has come to a stand still. Never had when I was standing there on the road turning them back, never will.

But, I had a sneaky moment of empathy with someone in China who got fed up with a suicidal male threatening to jump off a bridge recently. Traffic had been held for five hours while the authorities tried to persuade Chen Fuchao to  come away from the parapet.

Lai Jiansheng, aged 66, was so fed up he walked up to Mr Fuchao, shook his hand, and pushed him off the bridge.

Fortunately, the would be suicidee landed on an air cushion which had been set up below the bridge & is currently recovering in hospital. Mr Jiansheng was arrested. I can’t help thinking there were many silent cheers from the queues of motorists.

May 23rd, 2009

All in a Day’s Work

Posted in Videos by 200

This is what being a police officer is all about…

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May 22nd, 2009

Big Brother, not quite so big

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

The older I get the more into grumpy old man mode I slide. I have a strong sense of law & order & a moral obligation to assist the forces of the law in any way I can. But, I also have a determination that this should not be at the expense of my liberties.

That’s why I have always disagreed with the retention of the DNA of innocent people. It’s why I started out many years ago thinking that if you had nothing to hide, carrying an ID card could only assist society, but now I feel there is no need for me to possess such a thing. It’s why I don’t want the details of everyone I ring or email held on a national database, etc etc.

So I was pleased today to see a result in the Appeal Court which has ruled the Metropolitan Police must destroy surveillance photographs of someone who has not committed nor been suspected of any offences.

Andrew Wood is an arms trade activist who was photographed at the offices of an arms fair company. He has never been arrested. Police added his photos to a criminal intelligence database & refused to destroy them saying they could prove valuable should Mr Wood go on to commit any offences at some unspecified future date.

Law Lords decided 2 to 1 that his rights had been breached & ordered the destruction of the photos. They have left time for the Met to appeal before destroying the photos, so we will have to see what happens next.

As far as I’m concerned it is simply not good enough to say ‘if you’ve got nothing to hide’ what have you got to worry about’. I believe the onus should be on the authorities to show a very good reason why they should have me on any kind of database, particularly if I’m doing nothing illegal.

May 21st, 2009

Down, down, deeper & down

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Metropolitan Commander Ali Dizaei, who was suspended months ago over various allegations, has been charged with misconduct in public office & attempting to pervert the course of justice.

I’ve never been a fan of this man, in fact I’d go as far as to suggest the man is a bloody disgrace to the uniform, not least for his lead of the Black Police Association & their shenanigans in their anti-police stance where they have advised black people not to join the police (happy to themselves be employed & not resign but not happy for others to join, which seems somewhat ironic).

I reported back in September last year on the incident which lead to the charges this week. Dizaei was off duty when he became involved in an off duty incident at a restaurant in which he alleges he was assaulted by another male whom he subsequently arrested. To quote from my original blog entry “The CPS has said that after examination of CCTV footage & ‘other evidence’ it has found ” ‘a number of significant factual conflicts” & dismissed any criminal case against the man.

The CPS said yesterday that after an IPCC investigation they were satisfied that there is enough evidence to support charges. The maximum sentence is life imprisonment.

May 20th, 2009

PoliceOne Bloggers

Posted in Blogging by 200

Just a little bit of blogging news today.

I’m pleased to be listed at as one of their recommended blogs. I’ve been listed on there for a couple of weeks, so welcome if you are visiting as a result of a link at PoliceOne. This is a USA Police portal whose content I regularly use via their BluTube Police Video site. I’ve added links to them.

I just loved this cartoon in today’s Telegraph, which just sums up the double standards exhibited in parliament yesterday.

May 19th, 2009

More Dregs

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Robert Malasi, aged 20, is currently serving 30 years for stabbing a clergyman’s daughter to death two weeks after shooting to death a woman at a christening party, ergo, pond life.

He recently broke a prison officer’s cheekbone at Moorland Prison in Doncaster, by repeatedly punching the officer in the face for telling him off.

A source at the prison said that Malasi claimed the officer had disrespected him.

I can’t help thinking that this particlar piece of shite should be taken from his cell to a room somewhere in the prison with a dozen officers of the cell intervention team for a demonstration in just how much he is disprespected.


May 18th, 2009


Posted in Blogging by 200

I had a moment of serendipity yesterday (I had to look that up!).

I went on my usual Sunday walk to get a newspaper. I left it a bit late & my local branch of Tesco didn’t have the Sunday Times, which is my weapon of choice at the weekend. So I checked the Sunday  Telegraph  slot & that too was devoid of copies. I’m not really into the red tops, unless a copy happens to be lying around at work, so I picked up a copy of the Sunday Observer. I can’t recall ever buying this to be honest, certainly in the last 20 years, but needs must & all that.

I took it to work, read the thing through during my break & started on the supplements. I got to the review & was pleasantly surprised to see an item on Nightjack’s blog, specifically about his winning of the Orwell Prize, which I mention on my post of April 29th.

At the bottom of the article was a list of 5 blogs that Nightjack recommends & 200 Weeks was one of them. I quote “200 Weeks started blogging when he had 200 weeks left in his police career. Since then he has blogged every single day. He has now retired and come back as a civilian communications officer. It’s the sort of blog that is good for a smile after a rough day.”

It was one of those warm glow feelings, the problem was that I couldn’t show anyone as nobody at work knows I blog (at least if they do they’ve never mentioned it & I’ve never heard any of them talking about police blogs.)

I’d not have seen this normally, had I not got out of bed late & had Tescos had a bigger supply of Sunday Times or Telegraphs. Is that what is meant by serendipity?

If you’re still reading DC Night, thanks!

You can see the relevant article at the Observer/Guardian website.

May 17th, 2009

Now they want to rob the dead

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Just as MPs are feathering their own nests, news that they are attempting to snatch away what sparse feathers there are in some others’; they’re trying to put a stop to money designed for officers & families of officers killed or injure don the way to work.

I mentioned in a previous entry that officers who are involved in RTCs whilst travelling to or from duty are considered as being on duty. This is about pension regulations which see officers killed or injured on duty entitled to enhanced benefits in the form of a lump sum and/or pension. partners of officers killed on duty receive a opension for life, unless they remarry.

Since 2000, 93 officers have been killed in traffic accidents, 50 of them were travelling to or from work.

The Home Office is considering removing the police injury benefits for officers killed or injured on the way to work. They have made 51 proposals to reform police injury payments one of which is to “discontinue the provision under which an officer qualifies for an award where the injury was sustained while travelling to or from work”. The matter is currently out to consultation with ACPO expected to give their view very soon.

Presumably, the more cash the government can claw back from dead or disabled police officers, the more they can spend boosting their private property portfolios.

May 16th, 2009

One of those days

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I had another of those days at work this week. You might recognise them, where you walk out at the end of the day wondering whether you’re arsehole is bored, drilled or countersunk; or with your head spinning which only a good blatt up the dual carriageway with the window down & the bass turned up will touch.

It was all going so swimmingly until Debbie went sick. She did look kind a greenish when she disappeared at speed from the seat next to me. I was sure I could see the telltale signs of small pieces of breakfast forcing it’s way through the five-fingered-spread of a projectile vomit display on route to the ladies.

The gods of chaos must have been watching because it was precisely five minutes later that hell was unleashed.

Someone had a head on which necessitated lots of police resources, meanwhile on the other side of town an old man’s foot slipped off the brake or on the accelerator, I’m not sure which, but the result was him perched on top of the bonnet of a parked car. Being elderly, this also necessitated lots of resources which means lots more work from us inside the control room; elderly people have a habit of dying of injuries most younger people shake off after a few days off work.

Debbie would have been doing much of the work while I sat back, put on my pilot’s voice & directed resources, answered queries & generally smoothed the way for the incident to make its way to a conclusion on the command & control system. She was half way up the dual carriageway heading straight to bed somewhere north of headquarters.

As usual, nobody in the control room noticed the extra stress & strains I was now under, despite there being several supervisors whose role is to help & support but usually just is pointing out my administrative mistakes all day long.

Of course, while these RTCs are going on, there is still the other stuff, domestics, assaults, PNC checks for officers who clearly don’t listen to how busy you are & just want yet another speculative check on an ANPR hit which has outdated & pathetic-level intelligence on it & won’t even result in them bothering to stop it.

Why didn’t you ask for help?, is what happens when you complain about being single-crewed & in blue-arsed fly mode at the irregular team meetings. Good question, I wish I had. But the trouble is that there are times when you reach a critical mass, where there is just so much you have to do that you literally don’t have time to think about asking for help, let alone have enough time to actually find someone to ask. You’re on a fast moving conveyor & sometimes it’s more practical just to stay on it.

You wonder why a supervisor sitting not 3 yards from where you are seems to be in some kind of protected bubble with no idea how busy you appear to be on the radio despite the fact that you’re not actually whispering into the microphone. Miss a checkbox off the result screen when closing a log or using the wrong Home Office closing code & the log comes back to you at the speed of light. Need a little hand because you’re on your own – again – & in the control room, no-one can hear you scream.

Instead of ignoring the phone, which I should have been doing, my naturally helpful nature insists, stupidly, that I answer whilst trying to update logs, do PNC checks, call garages & talk on the radio. It’s another agency wondering why I haven’t done something which they are quiet capable of doing themselves. I resist the tempation to tell them to fuck off & politely explain I’m rather busy before making my excuses & then putting the phone down. When you’re stressed other people’s inadequecies just wind you up even more, although you know it’s something over which you have no control.

An hour & a half has gone past & nodody has come to replace Debbie, who is by now curled round the foot of her own toilet at home. Come to think of it, nobody has actually come to explain that she’s actually gone sick & could I cope for a while until they can get someone to help, I used to call it common courtesy but I expect my supervisors just call it (not) supervising.

Time goes by, pretty quickly, when you’re wrung ragged, & two hours later Sian sits down next to me. “You’re a bit busy they said” I don’t even have time to answer. Sian logs onto the systems, opens a few logs & 5 minutes later I hear the familar phrase, “Sorry I’m late”, from PC Bollocks, who is always late. I hadn’t realised everyone else on my shift had gone home.

May 15th, 2009

Email Jacqui

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

There seems to be a campaign for everything these days, so, being a little bored,  I had a look around to see if there were any worth joining. I came up with the Email Jacqui Day.

This is in protest at government plans for a massive database logging every email, internet site visited, social networking group activity, phone calls & just about every other bit of personal stuff the government feels it needs a record of. As the government are going to make ISPs store every email we send, someone has hit on the bright idea of just letting the Home Office have a copy early.

To that end, the campaign suggests that you cc: the Home office in on every email you send on June 15th, you could possibly cc: them in on every email you receive too. I get hundreds of spam emails a day, they are welcome to record them all.

I think it’s just a shame that the action is just for one day though, I favour letting them have everything. Depending on which arm of the campaign you read, it suggest emailing Jacqui Spliff personally, while elsewhere they recommend just using an official Home Office email address.

If you wish to partake, or just wish to see what it’s all about, you can find more information – and relevant email addresses – at the following websites:

And lastly, you can have a gander at Jacqui’s own website where you won’t find her asking you to forward everything to her.

May 14th, 2009

Chickens & Roosting

Posted in The Job - General by 200

So MPs are falling over each other to pay immorally gained expenses back (before someone sacks them). Isn’t it funny how moral you can becaome when you get found out.

It’s currently being discussed on Question Time. Those who saw the programme might share with me the uneasy thoughts triggered by David Dimbleby’s comment to Margaret Beckett “You’ve been fingered a bit by the Telegraph”. Not nice.

We find out today that one MP has been claiming £16,000 for a mortgage which he wasn’t actually paying, because it had been paid off some time before the claim.

Another couple of Tory MPs who are married to each other have hit on a brilliant money-grabbing scam. Remember, as an MP they can claim costs related to a second home. This couple have a home in a constituency & another in London, so in theory, they can claim on their second home. But they can’t both claim for the same second home, so the clear answer is for the husband MP to say their London home is their second home & claim on that while the wife says the constituency home is their second home & gets to make a full claim on that. Double claim, within the rules, everyone’s a winner,  (except the taxpayer and anyone with any decent moral code). The husband has resigned from his position as a Tory aid (but not as an MP)

In my day claiming cash to fund something which you’re not actually funding & lying about the reasons why you should be given cash (which is your main home & which is a second home) are criminal offences. It’s called fraud. People get their benefits stopped every day if they get found out they’re cheating & many of them find themselves up before the beak.

In the last few days we heard loud calls from within the walls of Westminster for the police to investigate the person who leaked this information to the Telegraph. I’ve not heard many calls for the police to investigate any fraudulent expense claims.

May 13th, 2009

High Noon

Posted in The Job - General, Videos by 200

I must have missed this on the news, probably burried underneath all the shock that some MPs are paying back their ill-gotten gains.

Police shot & killed a man in Durham yesterday. Keith Richards, a 47-year-old father of two was shooting a crossbow from his house at random targets. Armed police arrived. A neighbour is reported to have said, “They warned him plenty of times. They kept telling him to put the weapon down and come out.”

It’s not entirely clear what happened but at some stage an officer opened fire & killed Richards. Henry Porter, of the Guardian knows though, at least he talsk as if he knows all the circumstances since he posted on his blog “Should the police ever shoot to kill?”

He then talks about several cases where people have been shot by the police for the simple act of threatening or trying to kill people with a deadly weapon.

Methinks Mr Porter has been spending too much time watching Hollywood movies. His recommended course of action when someone is about to try & kill someone else, is to shoot them in the shoulder, thus disarming them with the resulting happy conclusion that neither offender or potential target dies. He completely misses the point that by the time an officer takes the decision to pull the trigger it has reached the point where he believes that himself or another person is in imminent threat of being killed. The officer’s only task then is to remove that threat.

I’m not sure how much skill Mr Porter has with a firearm, I don’t have much experience  myself although I have shot a variety of police issue weapons both in the UK & Europe in the non-threatening situation of a target range. The biggest & therefore easiest target is the body mass. You might have one shot. Is he really suggesting that the best tactic for everyone is taking the chance of being able to shoot someone in the arm? You need to make sure the target has no chance whatsoever of harming someone else. You shoot to stop, simple as. The facts that the body mass contains most of the vital organs is both a risk & a blessing.

I can just see it. Police shoot someone in the shoulder who is just about to kill someone, he still manages to fire his gun after being winged. Who’s gonna get the blame then? It sure as hell won’t be Henry Porter.

Perhaps we should just make all people who get drunk & decide the shoot at random people, stop, sit down in the middle of the road & wait until we can get a team of snipers on the case.

All police shootings should be like this.

May 12th, 2009

You’ve lost that loving feeling

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

Over the last couple of months I seem to get asked one question again & again, “What’s it like being a civvy now?”

I actually find this quite difficult to answer. It is different & yet it is exactly the same.

I’m doing exactly the same job I was doing before, the only difference is that I do it while wearing different clothes. The job is exactly the same. I sit in the same places, use the same equipment & work with the same people.

Yet there is something indefinably different & I’m not really sure what it is. And it’s not the fact that I get a lot more money now.

It’s like some dark cloak has been lifted from my shoulders & something feels lighter. It may be something to do with responsibility perhaps. I think, to an extent, there is a feeling that you carry some of the weight of the world upon your shoulders as a police officer. There is a feeling that your life is dedicated to righting some of the wrongs, a sense of social responsibility that entails some kind of mental burden.

My moral code hasn’t changed but I think to an extent that I’ve now left that behind; it’s somebody else’s task now, I’ve kind of left the baton behind for others to pick up.

Or maybe I’m just trying to look too deep.