Archive for February, 2010

February 8th, 2010

Back of the Net!

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Strange that I use a footballing term for someone so opposed to the professional football game, but I’m so made up by the latest news, I’ll let my  personal ethics slip for a while.

Or perhaps I can just say, “Result!”

Dizaei-Prison-Bars

February 7th, 2010

Escape Fail

Posted in Videos by 200

Just a little of light entertainment today as we have family round & not much time to sort out a written blog entry…

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February 6th, 2010

That age-old dilemma

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

One of the perennial questions that crops up when you’re applying to be a copper is what would you do if you had to nick a mate or a family member?

It’s one of those questions you think you know the answer to but hope it will never happen. I can’t imagine the sinking feeling going to a drunken knife-wielding shoplifter who’s kicking off only to arrive at Asda to find it’s your own gran.

Some years ago I was on patrol with a probationer. We were driving through the town minding our own business when we saw a car heading towards us, it swerved into our lane &n collided with the car ahead of us. It did no more than reverse off the victim’s front offside wing & continue its journey. It was around midnight so the instant thought was either the driver was drunk or the motor was nicked.

The circumstances were such that we could tell the victim was unlikely to be injured, so shouting for him to remain & that we or another patrol would be back soon, I swung the patrol car round & high-tailed it after the suspect vehicle.

It didn’t take long to catch him up & it was pretty apparent he was pissed. We followed him for a mile or so, blue lights & headlamps flashing to no avail until he pulled into a cul-de-sac – in which he happened to live.

Fearing a decamp, I jumped out of my patrol car & ran to the driver’s door wrenching it open. I had nothing to fear; the driver was so drunk he could barely stand.

I grabbed him by the shoulder to pull him out of the car when it suddenly hit me. I knew the driver & I knew him really well.

It was Dave, the lad I had grown up with, who lived next door. It was all the more surprising since we were many miles from our home town, unbeknown to either of us I had been posted there Dave had moved there.

Dave was born in the house when I was two or three & we grew up as next door neighbours. His parents were Aunty Margaret & Uncle Peter; all our close neighbours were known as aunty or uncle, none of this kids calling adults by their first names lark back then.

Dave & I played football, his dad took us fishing, my dad took us sailing. I moved away when I joined the police & Dave went off to do engineering like his dad.

So here we were in a dark cul-de-sac, me an officer of he law & him an attempted fugitive from it.

He looked up around the time I was double checking it was actually Dave. “Hello , 200, I think Ive been a bit naughty.” I think my reply went on the lines of “Dave, what the fuck are you doing?”

I called the probationer over & directed him to say the magic words & we put Dave in the patrol car &  carted him off to jail (well, the local nick).
Dave didn’t appear to hold any grudges & openly admitted it was his own sorry fault. It hadn’t been his first brush with the law he was lucky not to get a custodial.

His mum didn’t take it very well, which was really awkward for my folks. Aunty Margaret blanked them whenever she saw my folks, uncle Peter would only speak to them when Margaret wasnt present.

Whenever I go see the family, I get the same treatment, to this day & the event was in the early 90s. They’ve lived next to each other for nearly 50 years & no longer speak because of an incident that even dave moved on from, very sad.

I saw Dave last week when I visited my parents. He was coming out of his folks’ house with his kids as I was coming out of mine, with mine. We had a good old chat & caught up with what we were both doing. The funny thing is that we both live in the same town but have never bumped into each other.

His parents never came out.

February 5th, 2010

Never in the field…

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

Regular readers will know of my general disdain for MPs.

So, some good news today.

One question, why so few….?

February 4th, 2010

All in a day’s…

Posted in Videos by 200

Sometimes you just don’t know what you’re dealing with, nor how it will turn out.

In the following stop check in Michigan, USA, a 23-year-old man threatens an officer with a loaded .45 cal handgun before shooting himself in the head. (The shooting has been cut out of the following film, but the before & after remain)

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New report on the story: here

February 3rd, 2010

Facebook care, fact!

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Facebook has been on the news a bit recently. There was the guy who had escaped from prison somwhere & spent weeks on the run taunting police with his Facebook entries. Then the killer of Ben Kinsella, Jade Braithewaite, had his Facebook page removed after taunting his victim’s family from his prison cell.

This week, news of another criminal inside using Facebook to threaten his enemies.

Colin Gunn, jailed on 2006 for a double killing, said on his Facebook page: “I will be home one day and can’t wait to look into certain peoples’ eyes and see the fear of me being here.

I’d have thought that convicted killers would have difficulty accessing the Internet from a prison cell, & a spokesman said serving prisoners do not have access to the Internet except for educational purposes when access is closely monitored by staff, access to social networking sites is prohibited.

A Facebook spokesman said that their rules ban users from harassment or intimidation.

Judging by the amount of work which comes our way on a daily basis, they don’t appear to be very good at policing their own site. It would not be an exaggeration to say that every division in our area gets several complaints about threats & harassment every single day. I guess we attend more Facebook related incidents each day than we do burglaries. If Facebook decided to shut up shop there would be so many police-hours freed up the government wouldn’t know how best to spin the perceived extra-officer news best.

February 2nd, 2010

Micro managers

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

No, I don’t mean small sergeants but those obsessed with getting involved in absolutely everything.

I’ve been working recently with a team I’m not famiar with. This always presents problems to controllers; you have absolutely no idea about the dynamics of the way the officers work, you don’t know any of the officers, which means you don’t know their personalities or capabilities.

I wasn’t filled with confidence when my colleague with whom I was sharing the division, said: “Do you know Sergeant Wombat? shes a knob.”
It’s always great when the focal point of the shift is a knob, it makes your job as a controller so much more difficult.

It wasn’t long before I got to see what my colleague meant. Sgt. Wombat is one of those supervisors who apparently has absolutely zero trust in her own team, to the extent that she feels the need to micro-manage absolutely everything.

She spends more time on the radio than all the other officers put together. This is usually finding out who is doing what asking for updates on every ongoing  job.

She clearly doesn’t feel comfortable leaving people to get on with the job or to let people consult her if when they think it necessary. She has to know the ins & outs of a cat’s arse on who is doing what, when, why & how.

So when we had a potentially serious RTC on the division this week, sticking her oar in every 2 minutes just pissed everyone off, including me.
Traffic officers are often some of the most experienced officers on the streets. They usually know their job pretty well too. You can rely on them to knuckle down do their job pretty thoroughly & professionally. They know what’s required & how to do it. A section acting sergeant with 10 minutes in the job & no road policing experience doesn’t. Sticking stripes on your arm doesn’t give you knowledge or experience.

Sgt Wombat’s supervisory style takes the form of calling up every 30 seconds making helpful suggestions about where the traffic units should be deployed, what they should do when they get there everything else up to including the best filler for their sandwiches.

Every time she speaks on the radio is time that neither I nor the traffic units can speak & quite frankly, what we have to say is more important than the inane suggestions &  questions she keeps asking. If knowledge is power, being devoid of knowledge is paralysingly. At least I think that’s what Sgt Wombat thinks. Her only saving grace is that at least she is out on the street, in her car, & making her way to it also. Not like the micro-managers who are even worse in that they just sit on their arse in an office barking orders & instructions & never offering to help when you’re short of units.

In the end I get fed up & I speak for all parties when I say “Can you just leave it to traffic to sort out”, in an exasperated attempt to get her to shut the fuck up.

This is met by a few seconds of silence then “Can you ring me on my mobile?” Like if I had time to ring you on your mobile I wouldnt be telling you to shut up so I can get out on the radio to deal with the incident that is currently running.

My colleague leans over & touches me on the arm, “I told you she was a knob.”

February 1st, 2010

Ethnic-centred crime does exist

Posted in The Job - General by 200

This won’t go down well with the likes of Elizabeth who will probably claim it as outrageous racist, if she’s still reading this blog.

One gang of travellers recently arrested by police were found to be responsible for half the caravan thefts in Britain.

Four members of the gang face jail terms having been convicted last week of conspiracy to steal.

The gang stole caravans & motorhomes from all over the country. Some were stolen off drives, others were taken from motorway service stations when families pulled in for a break on their way to or from holidays. Some were the owners’ only homes, leaving them without a place to live.

Nineteen police forces from Yorkshire to Somerset were involved in trying to catch the gang. They were finally caught when 120 officers raided a travellers site in Wiltshire. Stolen property worth £1 million was found including vehicles worth £700,000, £100,000 of jewellery £70,000 in cash.