Archive for June, 2009

June 30th, 2009

Public Service Broadcasting

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

Nothing to do with police, crime, politics or any of the other things I usually blog about, but more a public service to my readers kind of thing.

The Telegraph & other sources are reporting a cock-up on the money-producing front which might see thousands of us with a little bit of a cash bonus.

The new 20p piece’s design changed a little while ago & in so doing the Royal Mint made a bit of a fopar.

The design change put a fragmented image of the Royal coat of arms on the tails side & a new portrait of the queen on the heads side. In order to accommodate the new design the date was moved from the heads side to the tails. The problem was that a batch of between 50,000 & 200,000 20p pieces were minted with the old front & the new back which missed off the date completely.

Numismatists (I had no idea either) said the last time the Royal Mint left a date off a coin was 1672.

These coins are set to become collectors’ pieces & a company is already offering £50 a pop. One site predicts the coins may be worth up to £250 each in ten years time. One site reports that in 1983 the Royal Mint issued a two-pence coin which said “New Pence” instead of “Two Pence” which now sell for up to £200 each.

I’m off to check the whisky bottle with all our loose change in it.

20pence

June 29th, 2009

Open Door Policy

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Ahmed Daq, aged 32, is a failed asylum seeker from Somalia. He has been held in detention since 2006 pending his removal back to Somalia. He had 18 convictions between 1998 & 2004 for offences including robbery, assault & burglary – quite the sort of person the UK normally welcomes with open arms (except if you’re a Ghurka in which case they have to take the government to court, etc etc)

That was up until last week when Deputy High Court judge John Howell released him from detention – on bail – because the Home Office are taking too long to remove him from the UK. The judge said ‘There is plainly the risk of him reoffending, but the type of offence he may commit is not in my judgment of the most grave kind, though serious they undoubtedly are.

The judge accepted that there was a risk that Daq would commit further offences if he was freed.

I don’t know who is worse in this case; the government for taking so long to kick an undesirable out of the country, or the judge for putting the rights of a violent offender above the rights of his next victim.

June 28th, 2009

That’ll be 11 grand, please

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

News of case this week of someone suing  someone else within the police service.

Darren Yates, a civilian recruitment manager with West Midlands Police, is said to have described a Muslim PC as looking like Osama Bin Laden and a “prat” in Islamic dress.

An industrial tribunal heard that the manager said the officer looked like a terrorist because of his beard.
PC Tariq Dost was awarded £11,000 at the tribunal when it agreed he had been subjected to racial and religious discrimination.

Two things strike me about this case;
Firstly – and anyone who has been reading this blog for any time will know what I think of the compensation culture – if someone made a remark about me which I didn’t like, I’m not sure I would be looking to the law to address the matter. I might  be seeking thousands of pounds if they’d injured me, but hurting my feelings?

But secondly, what the fuck was a recruitment manager doing making  such non-PC remarks to someone else at work? I’d have thought that of anyone, someone involved in any recruitment department let alone a police recruiting manager would be up-to-speed with current policies & expectations. Whether you agree with the policies or not surely you’ve got to be pretty stupid to say something like that in the current climate?

June 27th, 2009

There but for the grace…

Posted in Videos by 200

A police officer is killed in the USA every 57 hours.

The murder of Constable Darrell Lunsford of the Nacogdoches County Constable’s Office was captured on his dashboard cam in 1991.

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You can see Constable Lunsford’s memorial at the Officer Down Memorial Page website

June 26th, 2009

Doh!

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Andrew Brown could not be classed as a criminal mastermind, by any stretch of the imagination. He can be described as someone with a particularly low moral standard though.

His claim to fame in the annals of Britain’s Dumbest Criminals was to sneak into a church  in Scotland during a service & steal the collection money from the vestry while the congregation were singing hymns.

Police attended when the crime had been discovered (pretty amazing in itself that they managed to get there so soon after the report, maybe things are different in Scotland). All police had to do was follow a trail of dropped coins & ripped open gift envelopes from the church to a nearby park where Brown was sitting with the spoils of his crime.

He was jailed for four months for theft of £296, some of which had already been spent on drugs by the time police arrived.

June 25th, 2009

There ought to be a law against it…

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

…going in to work for a shift on one of the hottest days of the year.

The government’s answer to everything is to legislate, so how come there aren’t any really useful laws, ones that prevent you from toiling while everyone else is out there sunning themselves & sipping ice cool drinks whilst dressed in shorts & skimpy tops? (Don’t have a mental picture of me in a skimpy top, by the way, lest I end up being sued for your resultant illness).

The control room is like working in some underground nuclear bunker. Once you’re in there with your head down & your microphone switched on a glacier of monumental propertions could wend it’s way past the control room windows being chased by the fires of hell & you’d be none the wiser. The only clue you have to what the weather is doing outside might be whatever you can see on CCTV, if it happens to be live on one of the screens.

When I returned to work they all asked me if I was going to do reduced hours. I decided against it on the grounds of wanting to get a good burst of bank balance injections.

On days like we’re having at the moment, I’m seriously beginning to doubt my judgement.

June 24th, 2009

Fair Do’s

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I was going to mention this last week before all the furore over the Times & their wonderful bit of investigative journalism on Nightjack, so it’s a few days late.

Police got called to a kebab house where someone complained of being raqcially abused by some drunk thug. Two officers attended & asked to speak with the male outside. Once in the street, the thug started shouting & swearing, his wife made a gesture at him which resulted in the officers trying to restrain the male from assaulting his own wife. The male PC was punched in the face, the female PC tried to intervene & was also punched in the face resulting in 4 stitches down the front of her face which has left a permanent scar.

This is what happens up & down the land every weekend. Sometimes the officers come off ininjured, sometimes they come off much worse, but they are assaulted every day, and have been for years.

The above case happened in May in Bristol. PC Gemma Mags had a month off work, recovering from her injuries. The defendant was convicted of both assaults at Bristol magistrates Court on June 16th. He received an 18-week prison sentence, 80 hours community service & has to pay the officer £500 compensation.

I don’t suppose things have changed too much, the last two people to be have to pay me compensation never paid. I got the first £5 instalment from one & bugger all from the other. Despite making enquiries with the courts over the next 3 years not a penny more appeared.

The 18-week jail sentence was suspended, so it’s a paper-only conviction & completely meaningless.

So that leaves the community service. If he completes the full 80 hours, I’m a banana.

Proof, if proof were needed that the courts of the land really do protect the people who are charged with dealing with all of society’s drunken thugs.

June 23rd, 2009

Good idea at the time

Posted in Videos by 200

I don’t know, you spend hours slaving over a hot keyboard striving to produce the best police satire on the blogosphere & nobody takes a blind bit of notice, so, not so much work in todays blog entry…

Todays peice of advice: if you are chased by police & end up in a ditch, don’t point a gun at the pursuing officers or you might end up not very well.

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June 22nd, 2009

That Times Story in full

Posted in The Job - Satire by 200

The world of TV entertainment & motor racing was rocked to its foundations this week with the news that a crack team of Times investigative journalists had blown the lid in one if the most closely guarded secrets of all time.

Trevor Shite, deputy-under-sub-night editor for the Murdoch Thunderer said “We’ve been working this case night & day for 18 months. Next to the question of who married Jesus, this is the biggest mystery our readers have been emailing us about.”

Rumours have been bubbling in journalistic circles that a big story was about to break & with the publication of today’s edition of the Murdoch Bugle, all was revealed.

Shite said “After many minutes of hard work we can now reveal the identity of Top Gear’s ‘Stig’.”

The Stig, Top Gear’s tamed racing driver, has long been the subject of speculation as to his identity since he first donned the famous white romper suit & helmet. The Stig has been sensationally revealed to be Mrs Gladys Blenkinsop, a 69-year-old pensioner from Newcastle-under-Lyme.

The Murdoch Chronicle’s lead investigative journalist with the ‘ruining people’s well-being’ portfolio explained, “People have the right to know the identity of anyone whose manner of driving brings them into the public consciousness. We will always work tirelessly to bring our readers the best journalism the country has to offer. Mrs Blenkinsop has been quite willing to live under the mask of anonymity while she zooms round private racetracks at all hours, but what if she was not in fact one of the most famous racing personalities on the planet? What if she was something low & scummy, like a journo? Where would we be then?”

Fending off the ensuing public backlash, Algernon Dickwinkle, one of the Murdoch Advertiser’s leading hacks said “The identity of the Stig is clearly a matter of public interest. We have literally two requests for us to reveal this information &  we are quite happy to do so. This is journalism in action, at its finest.”

Critics of the Times have accused it of running out of news. In it’s defence  Dickwankle said, “Clearly the Times missed a trick on declining the offer to purchase a set of documents from a Whitehall source on the basis of nobody giving a fuck about what MPs spend their hard earned cash on. So we made up for missing the biggest story of the year so far by publishing the biggest non-story of the year, it kind of works.”

Murdoch journos studied the identity of the Stig by typing relevant keywords into Google. When they drew a blank, the merely followed the Stig home on the number 27 bus.

When contacted, Mrs Blenkinsop, on  the doorstep of her Midlands home, said “I really don’t know what all the fuss is about. I have to go now dear as I’ve just put some scones in the oven & then I have a new turbocharger to fit.”

Batting off criticism that the Murdoch Post was merely trying to scoop the bottom of the journalistic barrel after missing out on stories where people actually did give a fuck, Shite said “That’s nothing, in the next part of the series we reveal that Father Christmas doesn’t exist, the Prime Minister is really some bloke called Gordon Brown and the Bogeyman  is a second hand vacuum cleaner salesman called Norman.”

June 21st, 2009

Trash

Posted in The Job - General by 200

The 200weeks Scum of the Week award goes to James Connors, 18, James Thomas Connors, 20 & Jerry Cassidy, 29 all from Middlesex.

These low-lifes were responsible for more than 70 distraction burglaries where they tricked their way into elderly  folks’ houses & stole money & valuables amounting to some £70,000.

This week they appeared at Winchester Crown Court where they were each sentenced to 10 years imprisonment .

Their M.O. Was to pretend to be police officers or from the water or gas boards, gain access to an elderly person’s home & once inside they would steal what they could find.

One such victim was 88-year-old Kathleen Renham. The men posed as police officers & once inside her home they ransacked her bedroom before stealing £600 from her purse. She died a few months after. Her daughter said “How can they do it to people like that who are elderly? I think it had a serious  effect on her health . It wasn’t  the bubbly mum that we knew anymore, but she could have gone on had she not been stressed by this.”

Another victim was 91 year old Alathea Tyler who had £700 stolen.

The gang were eventually nicked in a stolen car in Scotland.

The distraction burglary is most common among Irish travellers & many offences involve unnecessary violence against frail old people who have been seriously injured at the hands of some pretty appalling scumbags who target some of the weakest & most vulnerable members of society, people who could do nothing to protect themselves.

One victim suffered a heart attack after being lo ked in her own room & 5 died shortly after becoming victims of the gang.

Once inside their victims’ houses, they often threatened them with a wooden truncheon into handing over cash & valuables.

During one burglary they took a pensioner’s £20,000 life savings & on another they took as little as £5.
The detective in charge of the case suspects them of maybe three times the amount of offences they have been charged with. He described them as violent & threatening who “displayed no  sense of shame for what they did, & remained callous & unapologetic throughout.”

June 20th, 2009

Guilty as Charged

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I’ve never done jury service. Up until recently there would have been no chance of me ever doing so, not while I was a police officer anyway. Police officers were on a list of occupations not eligible for jury service, the thinking went along the lines that a cop couldn’t be expected to remain impartial & come to a verdict based on the evidence.

I have to confess, had I been called I may well have thought exactly that; I like to think that there is a pretty high chance that the person put before the court was the one who did it.

The rules changed. I’m guessing because so many people get themselves out of jury service that they have been struggling to get 12 good men & true (& women).

A murderer recently tried to get off on the basis that he did not get a fair trial because there was a serving police officer on the jury.

Peter Armstrong was jailed for life in January 2008 after stabbing his drinking partner. His barrister told the Court of Appeal that the trial may have been prejudiced because of the officer’s presence on the jury. The lawyer said that because the officer served in the same force he may have felt under pressure to convict.

Lord Justice Moore-Birch said that the mere fact that one of the jurors was a serving police officer was “not sufficient in itself to raise the risk of bias” & doubt over the juror’s impartiality were “little more than speculation“.

There must be some other factor to raise that risk, this was not a case in which police evidence was hotly contested,” he said.

June 19th, 2009

Green Shoots

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

As they say round these parts ‘cor blimey, lord love-a-duck, would you Adam & Eve it, wonders will never cease!’

It seems there may be some light at the end of the tunnel.

Early days, I know, so it will be interesting to see how far this goes. I have a sneaky suspicion that it probably won’t go far enough.

June 18th, 2009

You’re a Star

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

Nothing to do with policing although the incident was reported to the Belgian Police who advised it was a civil matter.

I was struck by the story of 18-year-old Kimberley Vlaminck whp paid a Romanian tattoo artist the equivalent of £55 to tattoo 3 stars onto the side of her face. She ended up with not 3 but 56. She is suing the artist saying she only asked for 3 stars. The story was on the BBC TV News this week.

It is somewhat difficult to understand how you wouldn’t notice someone tattooing 56 stars on your face when you only asked for 3 but she says she ‘fell asleep’ during the procedure. Now I’m no expert but when I had my tattoo the last thing I would have been capable of doing was falling asleep.

The tattoo artist says she was happy with the result, even checking it in a mirror as he continued & alleges that it was only when her father saw the result that she decided to say it wasn’t her fault.

The prize of the whole story, for me, is the quote from a psychologist. I’m not sure what school of psychology he went to but I’m fairly sure that psychologists must have some understanding of what the effects might be on someone when they make a statement about them. I was somewhat perplexed at his quote when he says “The trauma this girl must be feeling is indescribable.  She feels like a circus freak – and no wonder, because she looks like one.” Classic.

June 17th, 2009

More on Nightjack

Posted in Blogging by 200

My vistor count doubled yesterday as a result of the info about Nightjack being outed by the Times. (sadly, everyone is searching for Nightjack rather than 200weeks)

I was no. 2 on Google for “Nightjack” due to a previous article, now I’m relegated down to 8 or something as it seems the blogosphere is alight with murmerings on the High Court decision not to protect the anonymity of police bloggers (or is that all bloggers, I don’t know)

If you’re interested, you can see the court judgement at the British and Irish Legal Information Institute.

There’s not too much so far on the police blogs but everyone else is discussing it. Dan Collins, publisher of the books by PC Copperfield, Inspector Gadget & PC Bloggs has an interesting article. While Hopi, Iain Dale,  Chicken Yoghurt, are all concerned. I’d also recommend reading Random Acts of Reality’s piece.

Nightjack himself today publishes an article on the Time Online explaining the story of his blog which ends in a humble apology to his employers for the damage, if such damage was done, to the reputation of his employer.

Ironically, Sean O’Neill, writing in the Crime Central section of the Times, says he has mixed feelings over the exposure of Nightjack by on of his own colleagues. Obsolete, points out the hypocrisy of the Times in their decision to hound & expose Nightjack.

Police bloggers don’t set out to damage the reputation of their constabulary, they do it to tell the stories the public should know which, if they used more ‘acceptable’ means would get them disciplined under the cloak of bringing the service into disrepute. The real people bringing the service into disrepute are those who lie or cloak the truth for the simple reason of making out things are better than they are.

In my own little protest I shan’t be purchasing the Sunday Times any more.

(if there are any Times journalists reading this, please note, I am no longer a police officer)

Addendum:

The Guardian appears critical of the Times’ decision to out Nightjack

See a video on the thoughts on the BBC website of the director of the Orwell Prize which Nightjack recently won.

Google News is showing about 140 news stories on Nightjack’s outing & 14 stories on the death of PC Philip Pratt  this week

June 16th, 2009

From all angles

Posted in Blogging by 200

Worrying Times for bloggers everywhere, especially police bloggers.

The Times have won a case at the High court against police blogger Nightjack who tried to prevent the paper revealing his identity. The High Court rejected the bloggers assertion that his anonymity should be preserved in the public interest.

Mr Justice Eady refused his injunction against the Times ruling that blogging was “essentially a public rather than a private activity”. The judge said that the officer was keen to preserve his anonymity because he knew he would be subject to internal discipline & had talked about cases which could, in theory, be traced and that he had criticised senior officer, police procedures & government ministers.

The judge went on to say that the public were entitled to know the identity of a police officer who opined in such a public way so they could make their minds up as to the veracity of the information given in the blog. Clearly, this includes the right of the world to see his picture as the Time have published the officer’s photo.

Nightjack has received a written warning from his force & his blog has now been completely removed.

It seems to me that the press are happy to publish stories from police bloggers & other anonymous sources in order to assist in extra profits for their shareholders but quite happy to stab them in the back when it suits them.

I wonder how many will be willing to reveal the sources of other information they get on a daily basis. Surely the public are entitled to know the source of any story published by the press so they can come to their own conclusions about what importance to place on a scoop or why such information was being published?

The press being a bunch of two-faced hypocrites? Surely not!

more info here, here & here

footnote:

Mr Justice Eady has spent much of his lawyering trying to protect the privacy of his clients. He has been quoted as saying that his own privacy is ‘sacrosanct’ & has done much recently to protect the privacy of celebrities against the press. In 2008 the Telegraph said of him “He guards his personal life with such jealousy that his Who’s Who entry contains no details of any hobbies or interests, and few of his neighbours appear to have any idea who he is.” He has made many rulings against national newspapers preferring to protect the privacy of the individual. Which is all rather ironic considering he spent time, as a barrister, in the 1990s representing newspapers accused of hurting the feelings of celebrities.

The juxtaposition between representing those seeking to publicise ‘private’ information and ruling against those same people was expalined by the fact that in the former cases he was acting as a paid advocate (i.e. it was his job) whereas now he is excercising his personal beliefs & the Human Rights Act (Right to privacy), which doesn’t exist if you are a police officer criticising practices & policies which the average person on the Clapham Omnibus would agree should be released to the wider world. (or have I got this all wrong?)

June 15th, 2009

Priorities

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Headline footage today of officers in Nottingham trying to to detain someone who they have tasered. I saw this as one of the main stories on the BBC 6 O’clock News this evening & then watched the footage further into the news programme.

This is a man who caused so much trouble that bouncers at a nightclub had to call police. On arrival the ‘victim’ assaulted a police officer to such an extent that they were GBH’d and put in hospital. Other officers deemed it necessary to taser the man & one was seen punching him.

Clearly, what they should have been doing was allowing the male his civil right to GBH any other officer too. Strangely, the footage of the male’s violence pre-arrest either wasn’t recorded or hasn’t been released. Funny how we rarely see footage of violent thugs GBH’ing police officers but see the resulting ‘police brutality’.

I saw this on a day when the death of a police officer serving his community in Kent appears to have gone by with just a sideline on the BBC News website. 26-year-old PC Philip Pratt was struck by a vehicle & killed while trying to put a diversion on at the scene of an earlier RTC.

June 14th, 2009

Saving for your old age

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I’m quite glad I got out when I did, especially when reading a report in last week’s Police Review.

Entitled “Expensive Police Pensions Unsustainable” it outlines a report from a Richard Lambert, director general of the Confederation of British Industry to the Police Foundation think tank.

Basically, it says that the police pension arrangements are too expensive & should be reformed.

The current arrangements under which I retired are that an officer, on completion of 30 years, is entitled to a pension of 2/3 final salary with the option of exchanging a proportion of that amount for a lump sum (commutation).

The scheme was changed a few years ago and since April 2006 officers joining the force are entitled to a 1/2 final salary pension but must serve 35 years instead of 30, and the final sum is limited to four times the annual pension, though they do pay 9.5% of their income into the scheme instead of what I paid which was 11%.

Mr Lambert notes that such a scheme – the newer one presumably – would be unsustainable in the private sector.

The head of the CBI’s pension policy said “It is absolutely correct that police officers & staff have access to a good pension scheme & the important thing is not to rush to judgement. But the pension scheme as it stands is not sustainable in the long term.

So, if you’re thinking about joining the job, I’d get in a bit sharpish before they decide to remove the pension scheme altogether.

June 13th, 2009

We will fight them…where?

Posted in Videos by 200

Tony Blair used to get criticised as being just another of America’s lap-dogs. Perhaps Gordon Brown has taken on the mantle & is equally far Obama’s backside as Blair was up Bush’s.

For goodness’ sake, Gordy!

June 12th, 2009

The New Boy

Despite recent posts about half the staff leaving the drowning ship that is the control room, there are one or two coming in.

We have one on our shift at the moment. He’s an ex traffic officer with abut 8 years service.  For some strange reason he thinks that coming into the conrol room will give him some assistance in the quest for promotion, well actually it’s probably not that strange to be fair. Working in the room does give you an insight into incident management & you get to learn the requirements at a vast arrange of jobs, like crime scene management, who to call when where & how.

Surprisingly (to me) they have asked me to train him. This means sitting with me for a few sets of shifts learning the ropes. It’s easier with police officers than with most civilians because a) they usually have a grasp of the law & procedure & b) they’re usually not self conscious about speaking on the radio.

It’s amazing how many people apply for a job as a communications operator but don’t possess good communication skills, you’d have thought that might be one of the requirements the recruiting staff would have sorted through the recruitment process. We had one ‘civvy’ who came into the room, was paired up with a police officer to train her & was into her second week of training before she revealed she didn’t like police officers & didn’t realise she’d actually have to work with them in the control room, but that’s another story, she didn’t last long.

There isn’t much problem guiding Adrian, most of the stuff is making sure he knows how to deal with the logs correctly, what buttons to press when, the talking on the radio & assigning units to jobs is standard fare really for police officers. We’ve all been there, done that.

In one of our conversations he did reveal how different the job was turning out as a controller. And I had exactly the same experiences as him when I came into the room.

As a police officer on the street you have a piece of plastic which contains wires & circuits. Someone inside speaks to you, they sometimes tell you what do to & sometimes they give you information you really need. How they do all that is of no consequence or interest to most officers. Like Adrian said, “I just asked for stuff & it was done”.

I guess it’s a little bit like the swan thing, it’s all smooth & calm on the surface as you pass information over the radio, but hidden from the officers’ eyes is the fact that under the water you are paddling like fuck to get all the info, type it up, enter it somewhere, make a phone call, speak to other staff & departments, all to answer a simple request which comes back seconds or minutes later, quite seemlessley (I spelt that about 4 different ways & still don’t know which version looks right).

I’ve said for ages that all front line police officers should spend at least one really busy shift in the control room, to give them a bit of an insight into the way we work & what goes on behind the scenes. Actually, come to thing of it, the people who run the bloody department could do worse than to come & sit with a busy controller for a while to see exactly what it’s like working in there.

Sometimes rookie cops come in & sit with us for a couple of hours, but that’s no good, they are still at the stage of the rabbit in the headlights so learn bugger all & appreicate nothing, by the time they’ve done their training & worked the street for a few weeks they’ve forgotten anything they heard or saw when they were in the room because it was all meaningless at the time.

I’d suggest any copper out there who’ve never seen the workings of the control room  ask to come in for a late turn. You won’t be allowed because your shift won’t spare you but at least you can stick the request down in your PDR under ‘willing to learn’ subject or whatever is this month’s must-have objective.

June 11th, 2009

Another busy week

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

There are some shifts when you walk out of the control room thinking “Thank God that set of shifts is over” knowing that you are now set for two days of recovery at home.

Today was just one such day. What a bloody week. It’s not that  things went mad on the streets, they just went mad in the control room. They do when you get calls coming in but can’t get anyone to do them. It’s a bit like a pressure cooker filling up & gradually letting off the steam until you just can’t get enough steam through the spout & think blows up.

What happens at the start of each shift is you take over & analyse the jobs you need to get done. Most of these will involve assigning a police officer or PCSO to deal with them. While they are doing that you get a steady stream of new jobs coming in. The ideal being that you deal with more jobs than come in and decrease the total amount of stuff left to do for the next shift (you hope they’ll do the same, so will the shift that follows them so that when you come in tomorrow, you have less jobs on the screen than you had today)

You get an instant downer when you find that there are 50% more jobs today than there were yesterday.

You check your resources, what cars you have, what neighbourhood officers & PCSOs then you look to see who can do what.

You get another downer when you find that 3 of the 6 patrol units you have have been written off for the first half of the shift to do arrest enquiries or missing person enquiries. A lot of controllers then start their shift wound up because half their staff are not available to them. Personally, I don’t let it bother me; I’ve long believed that I can onyl do what I can do & there is no point in worrying about things beyond my control. I don;t really care about the targets I’ve been set within the room, as long as I can provide a decent service to my officers & do what I can to get the public serviced decently then the fact that I can’t assign a job within 30 minutes doesn’t stress me.

Then the first 2 cars on route to their first jobs of the day go & stop a vehicle & arrest someone while the other goes off on an unannounced arrest enquiry & actually finds someone at home so they are both off the road.

The only car left has gone to a female whose ex-partner keeps sending text messages threatening to burn the house down, so they’re going to be taking statements & then trying arrest enquiries.

So the whole day jobs keep coming into the pressure cooker & not going out the steam vent. Then suddenly you have 100% more jobs than you had yesterday, and because they’re not assigned the system sends you a message every hour to remind you what you know that you’ve not assigned it, only if you have 30 jobs that’s a message every two minutes & it takes between 10 seconds & 45 seconds to deal with each message depending on whether you just dismiss it or write the reasons why you haven’t sent anyone on the log, so that could be between  5 mins & 22 minutes just dealing with meaningless computer messages EVERY hour & you might go up to 40 jobs which means even more time spent dealing with meaningless messages every hour.

But just because your units are all tied up doesn’t mean the radio is quiet because they have questions to ask & then there’s all the units which aren’t under your direct control but who still use your radio channel for all their pointless vehicle checks 95% of which never result in them stopping the vehicle they do a check on & 30% of which have gone past them & they can’t even see the vehicle by the time they do the bloody check, much less be in a position to stop it if it does come back as stolen or of other interest.

And then the sergeant is ringing up wanting to know when you’re going to assign the vulnerable misper who actually is just an unruly 15-year-old who doesn’t want to adhere to the house rules & fucks off  from the home or foster-carer) at the drop of a hat, & you have to explain in a ‘deeerrr’ moment that the reason you can’t assign it is because she told 2 units to do other misper enquiries & let another do an arrest enquiry despite having just written off 33% of the available staff & not 2 of the 3 left are in custody and have to accept that somehow that is now my problem to find someone to go & chase Leah Slapper round the town.

And you sit down at the start of the shift & are on the go from the moment you put your headset on until you stand up for your break  7 1/2 hours later, but who gives a fuck about your rights to reasonable breaks from your computer terminal.

And you come in the next day & there are 50% more jobs than there were yesterday and the sergeant wants to know about one of the jobs on page 3 of your list but because you’re spending 20 minutes an hour picking up & dealing with computer auto-messages & every time you try to read the 25 page log you get to page 7 & someone wants details of a job you’ve goven them or a vehicle check so you have to go into a different screen & come back to read that log again later by which time you’ve forgotten what job it was, much less what details it contained, and your partner is scarffed off from assisting you to answer 999 calls because quite a lot are coming in and they don’t employ enough people for busy periods so the radio operators, if they’re double crewed (which some aren’t) have to go down to 50% activity so one of them can speak to numpties reporting their mate has taken their dog & won’t return it or sent them a text message calling them a slag.

And when it eventually comes to the end of that set of shifts you realise that you’ve not had a decent job all week, haven’t been involved in a chase or an intruders on where you’ve directed resources to the escape rouet just in time to catch the baddies running away with their bags of swag, or any of the other jobs which actually make it all worthwhile.

I love my job sometimes.