Archive for April, 2010

April 10th, 2010

Off the brake!

Posted in Videos by 200

“Off the brake,” was something that I heard hundreds of times a day during my police advanced driving course many years ago, thankfully, I heard it less & less as the five-week driving course progressed, but I;ve never forgotten it.

The only ever road traffic accident I ever had as a bobby was when I was stationary & someone crashed into me. I have no idea whether this was luck or judgement, probably a combination of both. I’d have had a completely RTC-free career if the person who crashed into me wasn’t drunk at the time.

The insurance bill for an average police fleet must be absolutely horrendous.

Here’s some footage of the like I never saw in my career, thankfully, I believe it was fairly innocuous & comes from Dallas, Texas.

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April 9th, 2010

All in a day’s…

Posted in The Job - General by 200

This job isn’t all about batoning innocent members of the public.

Two female officers were hailed as heroes last week for tackling and armed gang who were holding a family hostage in Bournemouth.

A silent 999 call was made from the house of a couple with a 2-year-old child after an eastern European gang entred their home in a vicious attempt to burgle them.

The unarmed officers entered the address & saw the householder tied up on the floor while members of the gang stood over him pointing a gun at him. WPC Katie Harvey told Bournemouth Crown Court last week how she shouted ‘Drop the gun,‘ & took hold of the attacker’s arm to make sure he couldn’t raise the gun at the victim. She held on to another attacker as he tried to flea the house. WPC Kelli Walker also helped arrest the two violent thugs.

The officers had no idea that the weapons turned out to be replicas when they decided to approach the offenders.

Edgaras Plosenk, 26, Aleksey Iskritsky, 26 & Robertus Beniulis, 34 were jailed 11, 9 & 9 years respectively.

The officers have been recognised for the Chief Constable’s bravery award.

April 8th, 2010

Way to go

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Back in November last year I reported on the story from the States in which a callous killer gunned down 4 cops as they prepared for duty in Lakewood, Washington.

Then I reported how that killer had been shot & killed by a Seattle cop who came across a stolen vehicle & found the killer hiding nearby.

This week the King County inquest jury found that Officer Benjamin Kelly acted lawully when he killed Maurice Clemmons.

Officer Kelly has been named as Officer for the Month by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Can anyone ever imagine something like that happening over here??

April 7th, 2010

And this is why I pay my tax

Posted in Not the Job by 200

My attention was drawn to another story of another sponging fuckwit this week when I read about Keith MacDonald.

His main claim to fame is having 7 children with 7 different women & another on the way with an eighth woman. He’s managed to achieve this stirling effort in the ‘let other people bring up my kids’ stakes at the ripe old age of 24.

He claims incapacity benefit for a bad back & chest but still manages to hold down a full time job (without the knowledge of the local free money department) working in a shop, so as well as his wages he gets £67.75 a week in free cash supplied by some people with presumably better morals than he has so far demonstrated. He is quoted as saying: “They won’t stop my benefits. They can’t touch me. I might as well make as much money as I can. This makes me some money for myself that the mums can’t get their hands on.”

Because he is on benefits he only pays the mothers of his kids £1.11 a week for child maintenance which comes straight out of his benefits. The Sun calculates that all the benefits paid to bring up his children until the age of 18 will amount to £1 million.

It makes me glad to pay 40% tax on my pension.

April 6th, 2010

FFS

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I occasionally report on stories I enter into my ‘for fuck’s sake’ category, here’s another.

Triple killer Kevan Thakrar is serving a life sentence for executing a father, son & their mate over a drugs debt in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire in 2007. He & his brother forced their victims to kneel at their home before pumping them with bullets from a Mac-10 machine gun. He is currently serving a minimum of 35 years at  HMP Frankland in Durham.

He is currently trying to sue the prison authorities for hurt feelings after he alleges two prison officers at HMP Whitemoor in Cambridgeshire were ‘less than professional’ at a meeting to assess his needs. The officers later gave him written apologies which he said contained spelling mistakes & were ‘meaningless’.

Presumably he will be handing over any monies that the twisted legal system might give him to the 3 prison officers he attacked last month with a broken vinegar bottle, one of whom feared he was going to die after suffering a 12″ wound & a severed artery.

The Minsitry of Justice has said it is ‘looking into the case’.

April 5th, 2010

There goes another one

Posted in The Job - General by 200

So another government drugs adviser quit last week. This time Eric Carlin resigned his position at the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs over the government’s knee-jerk reaction to ban legal high mephodrone. Hr becomes the seventh member to  leave the organisation since Professor David Nutt was sacked last October for disagreeing with the government’s propaganda on the dangers of ecstasy & cannabis.

To lose one advisor might be considered careless, to lose seven might just show how out of touch the government are with the actual experts in the field.

Mr Carlin has claimed that the government only banned mephodrone to look tough on drugs in the run-up to the election. He says that the Council’s decision to support the ban was rushed & “unduly based on media & political pressure“.

I have long criticised prohibition as a solution to anything & have advocated the legalisation of drugs. I agree with Mr Carlin’s assessment when he says : “We need to fundamentally re-frame this, and deal with it as a public health issue, not primarily as a criminal justice issue. There are more young people using illegal drugs now than ever did before, more young people drinking than ever did before. What we fundamentally need to do is get to the root causes of why is it that our 14, 15-year-olds are getting off their faces?”

Just days prior to Carlin’s resignation Dr Polly Taylor quit the ACMD for similar reasons. Recent other resignations include Dr Les King – part-time advisor to the Department of Health, senior chemist on ACMD, Marion Walker – clinical director of Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s substance misuse service, Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s representative on ACMD, >Dr John Marsden – psychologist, Dr Ian Ragan – pharmaceutical consultant, & Dr Simon Campbell – synthetic organic chemist who received a CBE for services to science.

Mr Carlin’s resignation letter can be found on the BBC website.

April 4th, 2010

Ten Officers hurt while hundreds watch

Posted in The Job - Comment, Videos by 200

Ten police officers were injured  this week when trouble flared at the opening of a clothing sale in London. An ‘unexpected’ 2,000 turned up for the sale after the company ‘American Apparel’ announced the sale on Facebook. Scuffles broke out & police arrested 3 people during which ten officers were hurt.

Typically, everyone stood around filming it all for YouTube. I wonder whether people would behave like an arse if every one of those who picked up & held a camera in the air, instead, put some verbal pressure on the arses to grow up, or stepped in & made it clear that fucking the day up for everyone else isn’t acceptable.

Check out the vids & see what  a monster the likes of Facebook & YouTube have created, there are at least 10 different videos of just a couple of minutes footage by the queues in a small section of Brick Lane.

April 3rd, 2010

Bank Holidays

Bank holidays are great; double time which is the only overtime I get preferring not to spend any more time in the control room than is necessary.

I like to think that it’s only fair that you get paid double so must work half as hard.

They always used to say that if you wanted to commit a crime, do it on a bank holiday, especially Christmas Day; we always went down to half strength on a bank holiday so the force were not paying out the extra cash over a normal day because half the frontline staff were kept at home.

As a young & single officer I used to volunteer to work the bank holidays so the folks with families could spend the day with their kids. I kind of assumed that when it got round to the time I had kids I’d get the ‘what goes around comes around’ effect & people would volunteer so that I could spend time with my kids.

More fool me, I moved to a much smaller shift where it was deemed we all needed to work all the time so rarely got a bank holiday off unless it fell on a rest day.

Bank holidays usually mean lots of people at home, forced to spend time with each other, to interact in family ways, this often means an increased opportunity for stress & the resulting domestics. Kids are off school, readily available for anti-social behaviour, many people have the day after off so are able to go out & get pissed up. So, from the years when the job decided it needed to save the cash, we went to the years where we didn’t have to force half the shift to have the day off. This seemed to work well. People realised that there wasn’t a great drop in calls even with a full shift we weren’t driving around twiddling our thumbs, OK, Christmas Day might have been the exception where we did do fire brigade policing & sat inside the nick waiting for calls, but generally there were enough staff to cover the calls.

Neighbourhood policing is back on the government’s & public’s agenda. The new Policing Pledge lauds the importance of anti social behaviour & how seriously the police are taking it now that people are killing themselves when its not addressed.

But.

Chiefs are told to save £500millon over 4 years. Bank holidays cost. Giving the neighbourhood teams the day off can save significant amounts of wages leaving the frontline troops to pickup the neighbourhood policing tab. So now we have no neighbourhood teams on, no PCSOs, no police officers, nobody, nada.

Neighbourhood policing & anti social behaviour – it’s at the top of our priorities, except on bank holidays when  it costs more.

April 2nd, 2010

Slope that playing field

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Like politicians, journalists are often accused of talking out of their arses. A prime example of someone expelling his thought processes through his anus & onto the pages of the Guardian’s website is one George Monbiot.

In his blog on the newspaper’s website this week he says the aquittal of Sgt Delroy Smellie in the infamous G20 baton strike case was ‘ridiculous’. His drivel is entitled “Police officers must face trial by jury” & goes on to tell how he is left “gawping in disbelief” at the outcome of the trial. He openly admits that his only knowledge of the evidence is  the YouTube footage, but somehow demands the right to to try & convict the police officer without any access to the evidence presented.

Monbiot says: “The courts and prosecutors are renowned for their lenient treatment of police officers. The need for a jury trial in these cases is even more pressing than in others.” So, if I get that right,  the same rights afforded to everyone else should not be afforded to police officers. And, in a crass misunderstanding of the legal system, he suggests by inference that the ‘solution’ to police officers ‘getting off’ is to put them before the Crown Court.

Anyone who has been in the law enforcement/judicial field for longer than the time it takes to check out YouTube would realise what a ridiculous proposition this actually is. The plain fact of the matter is that MORE people ‘get off’ at crown court than they do at Magistrates. That’s why the pettiest of criminals in the most pathetic of cases opt for trial by jury when given the chance; because there’s more chance of them getting off.

In 2006 the highest conviction rate for crown court was 71% for summary offences, with indictable motoring offences only 53% were convicted, 55% of drug offenders were convicted & only 22% of criminal damage charges were upheld.

By contrast the conviction rates at Magistrates in 2006 were summary offences, 98% drug offences 97%,  damage 93%,  motoring offences 97%, overall the conviction rate was 97% across all offences.

Granted many of those figures will be for people who pleaded guilty, but given that in many cases the defendant will have the option to be tried at magistrates or elect for a crown court trial, there is a reason that many elect for trial by jury; because there is more liklihood of them getting off.

Of course, I might be talking out of my arse. I have no idea whether police officers specifically have more chance of getting off at crown court as I’ve not had time to try & find out, neither am I paid to get my facts right.

April 1st, 2010

Gi’s a job

Posted in The Job - General by 200

The only thing I like more than the news that a premiership footballer has ballsed something up is when a senior police officer does the same. Long-time readers will know that amount of senior police officers I have any time for can be counted on the fingers of a half eaten Kit Kat.

So it was with a warm glow that I read in the paper this week about the travaills of Graham Maxwell, chiec constable of North Yorkshire Police & his deputy chief, Adam Briggs, who are both being investigated over claims they helped their relatives jump the queue of 200,000 applicants to their force.

It’s being alleged that they arranged for two close relatives to bypass the first stage of recruitment by jumping a phone interview to go straight to the paper application. If this is true it’s staggering to think that the highest achievers in British policing can be so arrogant as to think they deserve the right to help others buck the system.