Archive for May, 2009

May 11th, 2009

Management Treats

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

Well, the swine flu pandemic doesn’t appear to have fulfilled its initial newsworthy sensationalist press reports, at least not yet.

Just in time for it to not spread like wildfire, the control room managers have got right on top of the situation; you can’t find desk space for antisceptic wipes, sprays & antibacterial cleaning materials.

There are posters & emails imploring evryone to clean everything as often as possible. It’s fantastic stuff, not because it kills all known germs but that it smells so good.

It’s taken me right back to the middle eighties when you couldn’t walk through a garage block or small copse without falling over a spaced-out, teenage glue-sniffer. Man that stuff is hot!

It goes straight up your nose, bypasses the sinuses, straight round the back of your brain where it tickles every synapse in the head before heading south for the frontal cranium where it ejaculates itself with the speed of light out of the eyeball sockets.

Night shifts in the control room are going to be so much fun from now on…

May 10th, 2009

Too many Kettlers

Posted in The Job - General by 200

The United Campaign Against Police Violence – no I’ve never heard of them either – is arranging a fantastic new protest in London on may 23rd.

Whether the demo will be as ‘mass’ as they wish is yet to be seen, but gthey are planning to picket New Scotland Yard to stop anyone getting in or out & thus recreate the world-famous Met Police ‘kettling’ tactics, presumably on a “well, how do you like it?” basis. Like the country needs one more yooman rights group.

UCAPV are a new outfit formed in April. Their raison d’etre appears to be;

  • to remember Ian Tomlinson
  • to stop deaths in police custody
  • to call for the right to demonstrate
  • to stop the erosion of civil liberties

I would like to take the opportunity to announce that I am here, today, announcing the formation of a new group ‘Support Our TSG’.

We wish to

  • remember David Adams, Christopher Dent, Gary Toms, Stephen Carroll, Laura Williams, James Drew, George Small & Diane Donald.
  • to stop police deaths at the hands of members of the public
  • to call for the right not to be assaulted, injured or killed on duty
  • to stop the erosion of good behaviour & respect

Our first protest will be at New Scotland Yard on May 23rd where we will kettle anyone who tries to kettle the police. The trouble is, who kettles the people who kettle the kettlers?

May 9th, 2009

Debt of Gratitude

Posted in The Job - General by 200

A memorial was unveiled yesterday by the Prime Minister to murdered PC Sharon Beshenivsky, who was shot & killed during a robbery at an estate agents in Bradford in November 2005.

The memorials are placed by the Police Memorial Trust, a charity set up by film director Michael Winner to honour fallen police officers.

Prime Minsiter Brown said, “We are all gathered here together because of the improtance of today, to celebrate the dedication, the service, the professionalism and, most important of all, the courage of a young police officer who gave her life serving the community, gave her life doing what police officers have to do every day. I believe the whole nation owes her a debt of gratitude.

Sharon Beshenivsky

May 8th, 2009

Highs & Lows

Posted in Videos by 200

I’ve posted several times on the way our trusty MPs are wont to stick their snouts in the trough, so I guess I’ve said most of what I have to say before. I’ll not say it again just now.

Now that they have been well & truly found out, isn’t it interesting to see them all clamouring to say how the system ‘doesn’t work’ and is in need of ‘reform’. Nobody willing to admit that they have taken full & immoral advantage, like, ‘just because we can have lots of free money, it means we have to’.

The most telling thing from the news today was that not a single commentator is expressing regret for their greed, but that they are demanding a police enquiry into who leaked all the dirty little secrets.

While on the subject of just about the least respected people in the country. Wasn’t it great to see Joanna Lumley making mincemeat of a government minister on national news yesterday? It must be quite surreal talking to one of the least respected people (MPs) about some of the most respected people (Gurkhas).

Just in case you missed it…

Sadly, another Gurkha died fighting for the UK this week in Afghanistan. Corporal Kumar Purja Pun, father of two, was blown up. He was among four UK soldiers to die on the same day. Doubtless, someone at the Home Office is, as we speak, writing a letter to his family declining any future attempt to stay in the UK.

May 7th, 2009

Thanks for your support

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Health & Safety plays a big part in all modenr life, not just the police. The latest bit of H&E advice only applies to female officers.

In particular it applies to items of female underwear to be work on duty. Lady officers are being advised not to wear underwired bras incase the wire is driven into the skin by the force of a bullet. On first reading that you might think that when being struck by a bullet, whether your bra wire sticks into your chest would be something of a somewhat lesser consideration than the several grams of lead penetrating said area at 300 metres per second.

Writing in this month’s ‘Police‘ magazine, Julia Roper-Smith, the Sergeants’ National Police Women’s representative of the Police Federation said, “There is no such thing as a bullet proof bra. Body armour has to be close fitting and you should wear a bra that does not contain metal objects. You should not wear underwired bras as the metal can be driven into the skin causing more damage.”

The Home Office has also offered guidance for protection of the wobbly bits, “The Home Office Scientific Development Branch have always advised officers that body armour should be close fitting to the body and hard objects such as metal buttons, press studs, badges and the like should never be placed beneath body armour.

“If this advice is followed there should be no need for female officers to wear specially padded protection at the bust area as the trauma protection provided by body armour certified to HOSDB standards is sufficient to prevent serious injury – although the wearing of padded bras will not adversely affect the safety of the wearer providing they contain no metallic/plastic wiring.”

“The problem only arises if an officer is shot; there should be little or no problems with any additional injury caused as a result of a knife attack as the risk of trauma injury is much greater will ballistic attack than knife attack.”

So now you know.

May 6th, 2009

Quality Control

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Nothing to do with policing & politics, except that I bet the guys at Pentax have a similar quality control department to ours.

May 5th, 2009

On your own doorstep

Posted in Blogging, The Job - General by 200

News today that the government are getting squillions of pounds from speeding motorists; the Telegraph works out it is something like £250,000 every single day through speeding fines, £88million a year.

One person who will be somewhat embarassed at being caught speeding is one Tom Riall. He was caught racing to a business meeting in his 2.7 litre Volvo. He was stopped by police doing 102 on an A-road with speed limits varying from 50 to 70mph.

He faces a ban when he appears before Suffolk magistrates this week. He is quoted as saying “I understand the consequences of excessive speeding & want to make a full apology to the court”.

He should be aware of the consequences; Riall is the chief executive of Serco, the company responsible for providing, installing & maintaining 5,000 of the country’s 8,000 speed cameras.

May 4th, 2009

Jobs for the girls

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I’ve long been a critic of diversity training. Not that it’s not useful to be aware of people’s needs, it’s more that the training is such utter shite; condescending, schoolboy level, waste of time-time type training so that someone in an office somewhere can tick a box saying their officers have fulfilled some government dictat.

I was reading today about some training in Dyfed Powys. They apparently engage the services of a transsexual  who trains officers how to deal with transgender-phobic violence. Formely known as Mark, Michelle – who hasn’t undergone any surgery to change sexes – is currently paid expences to teach the courses as part of the force’s diversity training.

The irony of it is that the area in which she runs the courses hasn’t had a single transgender hate crime. A spokesperson for the force said, “She does a brilliant job. While there is no recorded hate crime in the area, that isn’t to say it doesn’t exist.”

I guess we can be rest assured that if there ever is a recorded allegation of a transgender hate crime, Dyfed Powys will be really well placed to investigate it.

I just wonder how many courses are run to show officers how to investigate burglaries.

May 3rd, 2009

Hurrah for Europe

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I see the government are now set to abide by the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights that it was illegal for the government to hold the DNA profiles of people who were either found innocent of a charge at court or who were never taken to court.

In December 2008, I blogged about this decision. It’s one of my pet subjects; I have believed since its inception that it is a handy crime-detection tool, but not at the expense of our freedom to keep this information out of the hands of government bodies on the purely speculative (& slim) chance that I will, at some unspecified time in the future, commit a crime for which I can be detected through a DNA profile search.

The upshot is that the government are set to destroy the profile records of 800,000 innocent people.

Home Secretary, Jacqui Spliff, said “It is crucial that we do everything we can to keep the public safe from crime and bring offenders to justice. The DNA database plays a vital role in helping us do that. However, there has to be a balance between the need to protect the public and respecting their rights. Based on risks versus benefits, our view is that we can now destroy all samples.”

Let’s hope she remembers the ‘vital balance between the need to protect us & respecting our rights’ when it comes to other things, say, logging every phone call, email & website visit we all make.

May 2nd, 2009

Not left out

Posted in The Job - General, Videos by 200

It’s nice to see that the UK doesn’t have a monopoly on rioters. Apparently a good old May Day riot is the done thing in such places as Germany. Greece, France, Russia, Philippines, Japan & Hong Kong have been keen to get in on the act. Spain, Italy & Cuba are set to join in soon, too.

In yesterday’s traditional May Day riots Berlin police suffered 273 injuries, 14 of which were serious enough for officers not to be able to return to work for some time.

Tear gas & water canons were used on crowds in Istanbul as they joyfully celebrated the first day of May by chukcing bricks at police. In Berlin, rubbish bins were set about as our cheerful European brothers & sisters threw bottles & stones at police, passing trams & cars.

Clearly, thousands of UK rioters missed a trick & failed to join in with their European stakeholders & partners.

I’ve not been able to find out how many complaints have been made in all those countries, nor what has happened to them.

May 1st, 2009

Now wash your hands

Posted in The Job - General by 200

How apt that just as I blog about sickness at work, the country is set to be gripped by a pandemic of swine flu. If you thought the bout of foot & mouth a few years ago filled too many news reports, just wait until the flu takes a firm hold.

I predict that the control room will be the first place it strikes in our area. It will run through the room like a dose of salts. The management will have a right dilemma on their hands; they’ve been trying to play the guilt card for the last year sending out reports & emails to everyone with lofty pronouncements urging you to think of your colleagues & the extra stress they are put under when YOU go sick. There is, funnily enough, never any mention of the stress they are under already due to the dangerous levels of staff which they have overseen.

The official advice will be for anyone with the remotest symptom to stay at home for at least a week so as not to spread anything. This will leave the management up a certain smelly watery conduit without the means of extrication.

The staffing situation will probably be replicated on the streets too, unless police officers will be made exempt from the flu by some hastily drawn up government policy – they seem to make instant decisions almost daily, and then reverse them.

Whatever the levels, I guarantee that the general public will still expect the same level of service as when we are fully staffed (not that it’s anything to write home about, but hey).

The control room is an absolute haven for flu germs, we share each other’s diseases quite freely in there. We spend a whole shift using a keyboard which might have the germs from half a dozen people since we last used it. We speak into telephones covered in the germs of dozens of people & headsets are often shared.

When we go to the toilet, although the walls are plastered with posters pleading with us to wash our hands, with handy diagrams in case we don’t know how, half of us don’t. Those of us who do might as well not bother. I mean, you finish the deed & then turn on the tap depositing whatever is on your fingers onto the tap. You wash your hands & then turn off the tap collecting back whatever it was  you left there, and what everyone else has left there. You then dry your hands & collect, open the door & collect whatever the last 200 people who didn’t wash their hands has left on the door handle for you.

I look very strange when I leave the rest room, preferring to open it by pushing the door at the point where it meets the ceiling as most people can’t reach there & I figure there are less creepy bacteria up here than on the door handle.

I have a feeling I’m going to be spending a lot of time at home in bed, or sitting in the corner if the operations room n a white paper suit refusing to type anything on a computer or speak to anyone further away than 30 feet, and peeing into a bottle.