Archive for July, 2010

July 12th, 2010

Open wide

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I’ve done some strange things in my time & had many a weird call. I’ve never had occasion to kill a wild animal, rip open its stomach & retrieve part of a man  so that the local hospital could sew it back to the loser.

This is what met cops in Florida recently after 18-year-old Timothy Delano was attacked by a 10-foot alligator which found itself swimming in a canal alongside the unlucky man. The alligator bit off Mr Delano’s hand & swallowed it.

Police were despatched & whilst the injured man was taken to hospital, officers killed the alligator & ‘harvested’ the hand from its stomach before transporting it to the hospital in the hope that surgeons could reattach it.

That’s the thing about this job, you just don’t know what your next job will be. (well, actually you do, it will be a domestic or a threats over Facebook).

July 11th, 2010

That’s the way to do it

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Another Raoul Moat-related post, if only because it saves time on such a lovely weekend so i can concentrate on more important matters like sipping Pimms on the lawns at Weeks Towers.

Clearly, what the police should have done to bring the matter to a conclusion, was this… (apologies to those who have seen this one before round these parts)

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July 10th, 2010

An Apology

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I posted a blog yesterday entitled ‘Stop Press – Arsehole Found’.

Some readers may have been under the misapprehension that I was referring to the  crazed, gun-wielding, murdering abuser, Raoul Moat, who sadly took his own life while police looked on failing to care to his many needs.

I would like to point out that nothing could be further from the truth, ad offer my sincere apologies to the afore mentioned spineless excuse for a man. The person to whom I was referring was not found in a  village in Northumbria but in fact within the pages of this very blog, one Melvin Gray, who posted the following:

Unconvincingly portrayed as a threat to the general public, a highly disturbed man died in the early hours of this morning in a pathetic spectacle for the Nation. Even as the stand off with armed police began, cries of ‘Raoul, Raoul’ were heard 150 miles from the scene. Young people, vocally identifying with a murderer’s sense of honour, created another permanent memory in a fools week for police.

“Raoul Moat was on the run after denouncing himself as a killer maniac. Yet he was no coward, as the manner in which he evaded capture testified. His perception of unbearable oppression from the Authorities, together with one dreadfully stark message from his Mother, ignited widespread sympathy. Even the most law abiding were wishing for some miracle to save him and now sadly reflect on Mr Moat’s legacy.”

What an arse!

July 9th, 2010

Stop Press – Arsehole found

Posted in The Job - General by 200

So Raoul Moat has been found & is currently engaged in a stand-off with police as he sits with a loaded shotgun to his head.

Let’s hope he pulls the trigger, if only to get that bloody Chief Constable off the box every five minutes. The we can start dealing with how the police were to blame for everything that has developed in this story over the last 7 days.

July 8th, 2010

Get someone else, for f*** sake

Posted in The Job - General by 200


Is it me, or does Chief Constable Sue Sim of Northumbria Police look like a bad copy of Gwendoline from Wallace & Gromit? I don’t usually make a point of picking on someone’s personal foibles but bloody hell, someone at the probably overstaffed public relations department at Northumbria give her some tuition on public speaking!

If Raoul Moat was sitting in my garage playing ludo I wouldn’t have a clue who to call or what to do because I’d have fallen asleep through the boredom of waiting for the next word to slide out of that bloody woman’s mouth.

We used to have a domestic violence officer who could send a class of hyperactive kids with ADHD to sleep faster than Derren Brown just by introducing himself but I reckon Ms Sim beats him into a cocked hat.

July 7th, 2010

Can someone answer that phone!?

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

999_callIt’s nice to see the new government doing away with all the statistic-collecting bullshit. Their promises of an end to the target-culture of the last few years has been music to a lot of  ears round where I work.

This has not reached the ears of those who run the police communications where we are still measured on an hourly or even minutely basis (that’s minute as in 60 seconds not minute as in very small). 999 must be answered within 3o seconds ideally within 10. In order to meet this target they must ensure there are sufficient staff available to answer the calls.

The communications function within the force are split into two; the people who take the calls & create the logs and the people who despatch officers & control the jobs.

There is a symbiotic relationship between the two. The busier the call-takers are, the busier the radio operators are since the more calls that are taken result in more jobs being created that have to be dealt with. Thus if no calls are coming in the call-takers are not so busy & thus the radio operators have less jobs to run.

When the call-handlers can’t cope with all the calls that come in – usually because the people who run the department are trying to cut back, cost-save & don’t employ enough people, the 999 stats plummet, the people who sit on their arses looking at figures don’t like it. They have meetings every morning to discuss the figures. If the targets aren’t met emails are sent.

Someone came up with an ingenius plan. Through some telephony software tweaks they can instantly increasy the amount of people available to answer calls by making the radio operators take the calls too. Except when you’re taking a 999 call, you can’t work the radio or do anything that is required of a radio operator, so they can only do this if the radio channel is double-crewed.

It’s like two armies facing each other, one is bigger than the other. The bigger army is attacking the right flank, the smaller army takes half the people off the left flank to bolster the right flank, but the left flank is still being attacked, it’s just that the general thinks the right flank is more important, except, if both flanks aren’t protected the whole bloody aremy will get shafted.

So this week I have been mainly single-crewed. When I get really busy, I need some help, this means asking one of the double crewed channels to lend me one of them for a while, expet the double crewed channels are using the second operator to take 999 calls, so I don’t actually get any help.

Remember when I said that when the 999 calls are busy this means the radio operators & front-line troops are busy too, one follows the other?

The people who run the communications in our force don’t appear to understand this fact. I think it’s because the work I do doesn’t have to appear in an Exel spreadsheet. So the calls are coming in, I’m rushed off my feet as a result, so they take away and chance of me getting any assistance, the service level to my officers & members of the public go down because of my inability to keep up with all the work I’m expected to do, in order to take more 999 calls & create even more jobs that I can;t cope with – genius.

Personally, I think they should change the targets. People don’t care whether their call is answered in 5 seconds or 60 seconds, what they want is a police officer on their doorstep within a reasonable time.  I think we should measure the amount of jobs where I have to call a member of the public (or’victim’) back to apologise that we haven’t got anyone free. Every hour I can send an officer is a minus point on the chart.

I hope their graphs can go that low.

July 6th, 2010

No Words

Posted in Videos by 200

Drive SafelyClick here for more blooper videos

July 5th, 2010

That’s Rubbish, that is

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I do sometimes wish we had a sense of proportion when trying to get people to do things we think as socially acceptable, such as not stealing putting their bins out on he right day.
If only the legislaters thought the same.

Some time ago it was felt appropriate to give shoplifters fixed penalty tickets for minor offences provided that they met the requirements, like not having done it too often or too recently. The fine is set at Ă‚ÂŁ80.

Given the amount of police legislative time saved on dealing with shoplifters the average likely outcome I guess an Ă‚ÂŁ80 fine is fair result.

Local councils, on the other hand, are dishing out fines of up to Ă‚ÂŁ110 for offences related to rubbish disposal, such as putting bins out on the wrong day, overfilling wheely-bins or putting recycling in the wrong boxes or bags.

Not all councils have the same approach. As a result of a Freedom of Information enquiry by the Telegraph, 40 of 358 councils said they had issued fines. (151 councils did not reply).
The TaxPayers Alliance said: It is excessively draconian to fine people for putting their bins out at the wrong time or making an occasional mistake when sorting recycling.

People pay a lot to their councils, and they do not deserve to be bossed around by petty officials in return. Some councils seem to have forgotten that they are there to serve the public, and that means being flexible and helpful, not oppressive and money-grabbing.

Im not specifically against people being fined for different things but it should be proportionate, advice, letter etc then action of the other routes fail. But if a fine is considered the suitable course of action then they need to be fair; the punishment should fit the crime.

Mind you, given that this country seems go have great difficulty understanding that very concept, I guess a proportionate response to sticking carrot scrapings in a blue bag rather than a green bag is a somewhat forlorn hope.

July 4th, 2010

News update – hands still tied

Posted in The Job - General by 200

PC David Rathband was sitting in his patrol car in Northumbria when he was shot by Raoul Thomas Moat, an ex-bouncer & recently released prisoner. Moat is wanted for shooting his girlfriend after finding out in prison she was seeing another man. He killed her new boyfriend believing him to be a police officer.

PC Rathband is described as critical but stable. If he had the chance to defend himself against a man with a gun it would have been with a 2 foot baton & a can of pepper.

If Moat had come across any other officers, the chances of any of them being able to defend themselves adequately would have been almost zero unless he had the misfortune to bump into one of a small handful of armed officers.

The current weapon of choice for the Northumbria Police is to not send officers towards Moat if he is sighted, until an armed response unit eventually gets there & to ask him to give himself up on national TV.

Lets hope the officer recovers & Moat gets safely taken out of play by Northumbria.

July 3rd, 2010

Can I take off my tie please, sir?

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Oh dear, West Midlands Police are in trouble with the BBC & the Tax Payers’ Alliance.

Today the BBC accuses them of ‘wasting money’ to change the colour of their shirts. I bet there are some finance directors wishing they’d listened to their officers many of whom will have been asking to do away with the traditional shirt & tie setup to go over to the far more practical black shirts which many not make you look like a smart businessman but are more comfortable, especially in the summer, and much more practical.

West Mids are attempting to catch up with many forces much smaller & less powerful, who changed their uniforms years ago when they realised that there were better ways to work. The trouble with West Mids is that they have chosen to make the change right when the country has been told that there will be mass sackings of police officers because some wankers, or is that bankers, spent all the country’s money.

The Tax Payers’ Alliance spokesperson, who seems to get into all the news stories these days though nobody is sure what exactly the Tax Payers’ Alliance does, apart from quote to the BBC & Daily Mirror, said that changing the colour of shirts will not solve any more crime.

So give your black shirts back, West Mids officers, you don’t deserve them. If you want to be comfortable at work, join a smaller force. (My mates in the Met have been crying out for a similar change in their force which has been knocked back time & time again because Met Commissioners want their officers to look smart & pass out with heat exhaustion.)

They’ve got no chance now.

July 2nd, 2010

I am not drunk

Posted in Videos by 200

You gotta admire someone who can call a person ‘sir’ while tasering him…

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July 1st, 2010

No Shit Sherlock

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Sio the Chief Inspector of Constabulary has discovered that the police are “buried under 6,497 pages of guidance on new legislation and risks to avoid” and that police officers in England & wales are “discouraged from making decisions”.

Well, no shit Sherlock.

We’ve been saying this publicly on police blogs for nearly 5 years & thinking it privately for a few more than that. Ever since the government decided it couldn’t trust police officers to make their own decisions despite being grown up, mainly.

Sir Denis O’Connor has called for a return to common sense in policing.

The government is falling over itself to undo some of the stuff done by Nu-Labour, it will be interesting to see how far it is prepared to go. one thing’s for sure, if it cuts 25% off the Home Office budget & police numbers fall, there is no way we can continue without a return to ‘common-sense’ policing. This should include the ability to tell people to fuck off, get a life  & sort their own pathetic little problems out , which take up such a huge chunk of police resources & consequently deny the real requirement for policing to those who actually need & deserve it.