Archive for October, 2010

October 11th, 2010

Blank

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Have you ever needed to do something creative but were absolutely stuck & couldn’t move forward, the creative juices apparently dried up? The more you try to get something going the harder it seems.

I’ve just checked the comments from the last couple of blog entries, had a quick look around Google to see if anything catches my eye, checked out Planet Police to see what other police bloggers are talking about & tried to recall a story from my own personal history of policing.

Nothing.

It might have something to do with being on leave for a week & having left the dismal world of the police control room behind, that & the sense of impending doom on returning to work tomorrow. I know tonight is going to be soooo depressing knowing that a break from work is coming to a close. And I won’t have any more leave until next year.

Which reminds me, I must put in for some holiday. I’m not very well organised both at work & at home. I tend to put off until tomorrow what I can do today but annual leave is such a cut-throat business, I’ve probably missed out on all the good dates next year.

Anyway, enough meaningless rambling, I think I’ll go & take a walk over the town & listen to some iPod music.

October 10th, 2010

Gi’ us a job

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

You need the sound up for this one…

October 9th, 2010

Let me just check the rulebook

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I was relieved for the front-line officers involved in the case of Mark Saunders, who was shot dead by police officers after getting steaming drunk & shooting a lethal shotgun at neighbours’ houses & police officers.

The Coroner’s Court found that he had been lawfully killed by officers who feared he would shoot them. I’m sure there can’t be much worse than the aftermath of a shooting incident by officers we, as a society, entrust to protect us by being the final line in the sand over which people who would otherwise do deadly damage to us are prevented. Whilst every incident should be open to fair & public scrutiny, we have systems in this country – which others seem to have bypassed – which add unnecessary stress & worry over elongated periods of time.

It was interesting to see that the Coroner, Paul Knapman, said police could not see the wood for the trees because of reams of complex guidelines. He has recommended police managers review systems so that officers can use ‘common sense’ rather than a “slavish adherence” to documents & guidelines.

Mt Knapman has discovered what thousands of us (lower ranks) have known for years. It will be interesting to see if Theresa May does anything about it.

October 8th, 2010

Sound Advice

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Jesus

October 7th, 2010

Down, down, deeper & down

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

We 0ften say amongst ourselves at work that things can’t get any worse, but they always do.

The forthcoming staffing cuts will not see any relaxation of the stringent staff levels we currently have which means getting time off when you want it is usually a lottery with the chances weighed against you.

Management seem to make the rules up as they go along with regards to when & how they can change your shift or cancel your rest days. One day they say they can then they change their policy & then they change it back again. I got fed up with them cancelling my rest days when I was a copper, I thought as a civvy things would be better. I am really glad I retired when I see my shift police colleagues getting their rest days changed willy-nilly because people can’t staff the control room correctly.

Oh how I enjoy being told that a shift of early turns has changed by some unspecific osmosis into a shift of late turns; I just love working 8 lates in a row.

October 6th, 2010

A sad anniversary

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Twenty five years ago today one of the worst murders of a police officer in modern history occurred in the alleyways of the Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham.

PC Kieth Blakelock was cornered by a group of savage animals who proceeded to stab him to death. He was hacked to death & found to have dozens of stab wounds. A few years ago I visited the Met’s Black museum up at New Scotland Yard where PC Blakelock’s uniform tunic was on display. It may still be there as a reminder to generations of young police officers of the risks they take every time they put on the blue  suit.

The anniversary of the officer’s death is marked every year on the spot where he fell. Today there was a special ceremony which included members of the officer’s family who have yet, 25 years later, to see justice for Keith; whilst 3 people were convicted of his murder, they were cleared on appeal.

So far, nobody else has been charged with the crime though the investigation is still open & we learned today that so far this year 10 people have been arrested in connection with the crime.

My thoughts go out to Pc Blakelock & his family & to the team still trying to secure a conviction in the case.

October 5th, 2010

Scum of the week

Posted in The Job - General by 200

The latest inductee into the 200Weeks “Scum of the Week” Hall of Fame is Cambridge resident Danielle Wilks, a 34-year-old mother of two.

She appeared at Cambridge Crown Court last week after an incident at a branch of Sainsbury’s on the city last April.

Mary Holland was shopping when she told one of Wilks’ children to behave. Wilks was so offended by Ms Holland’s actions that she headbutted  & punched her in the face. The victim was hospitalised with a broken wrist & cuts to the face. She is 86-years-old.

Amazingly, Wilks was spared jail when the victim told the court that whilst Wilks should be punished, she didn’t want to see her jailed.

Wilks received 6 months suspended for 18. She was ordered to pay the victim £750 compensation.

The judge told her: “You are an extremely lucky woman because of the extraordinary approach to this whole matter that has been taken by Mary Holland; one of Christian forgiveness and an interest in your future.”

October 4th, 2010

Fairness for all, hurrah!

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

Looks like me & Mrs Weeks are gonna lose our child benefits as I’m just over the £44,000 level & classed as a high earner, apparently.

It’s the new system to introduce ‘fairness’ into the benefits system. Apparently it’s going to stop lower earners subsidising my kids’ benefit but seems to forget that as a higher earner & higher rate tax payer (I’m currently paying 40% on my pension despite the fact that only a small proportion on my pension takes me over £44,00 – yes I am waiting to get a letter  when they finally get round to adjusting things), I’m probably just subsidising my own child benfit

The cut will be for anyone earning over £44,000 but does not apply to families with a combined income over £44,000 so a couple earning £83,000 will get child benefits & a couple, like myself whose wife does not work because we felt the best future for our children was to have a mother at home looking after them for 18 years, will lose nearly £2,000 a year.

So a family earning £44,000 ‘doesn’t need’ the extra income of child benfits but a family earning £83,000 does.

And that’s fair?

How fucking difficult can it be to create a system which actually is fair?

October 3rd, 2010

Gallardo porn

Posted in Videos by 200

I’ve mentioned this little baby a few times on the blog, here’s some footage of it…

BLUtube is powered by PoliceOne.com

I’m not sure if this is the one that was written off a while ago.

October 2nd, 2010

The wrong target

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

It seems another ex-police officer committed suicide this week.

Pete Boatman served his time & was instrumental in personal protection training for many years. He trained thousands of officers in how to protect themselves with little more than a baton. He became so involved in this training that he visited many forces training trainers.

When he ended his career he continued his quest for officer safety by starting a company which was instrumental in bringing Taser to the UK. His company, Pro-tect, was the only company licenced to import & supply Tasers. His company offered Northumbria Police a new Taser system which wasn’t yet licenced for use in the UK. It was a system which basically combined a hand-held Taser with a shotgun meaning officers could deploy the Taser from a safer distance from the target. Officers deployed it split-seconds after Raoul Moat blew his head off.

The government withdrew Pro-tect’s licence last week, for supplying the unlicenced Taser. This appears to have had a devastating effect on Pete Boatman who was found dead in his home.

On the Northampton Chronicle web page someone said: “Another victim of the vile Raoul Moat. The man declared war on the police and would probably have cared little for anybody caught in the crossfire. He went on the run for a week and in that time officers and members of the public were in great danger from him. Tools were supplied to prevent further death or injury in breach of policy. However, these weapons (non lethal weapons) were supplied in good faith and with good intention. By a man who devoted his life to ensuring that officers were trained and equipped to be able to be able to properly serve the community. Rest in peace Pete, you will not be forgotten.”

Another commented: “I think the Conservative party should hang its head in shame over this tragedy. If Moat had have been safely arrested then Pro-Tech Systems would have been applauded in the Commons by Theresa May and her colleagues. I am sure Mr Boatman’s motive for supplying the Tasers was to try to prevent an unnecessary death. My sympathy goes out to his family.”

There was no comment on whether the chief constable of Northumbria or the senior officers in charge of the investigation had been sacked for allowing the use of the Taser

October 1st, 2010

Trouble at ‘mill

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

So new Home Secretary, Theresa May, has announced a root & branch review of police pay & conditions. She says: “By bringing modern management practices to the police, this review will help ensure chief constables can deliver the front-line services people want, while providing the value for money that is so vital in the tough economic times we face.”

This is, of course, complete bollocks. It is about one thing & one thing only, saving money. As much as possible.

There’s talk of doing away with bonus payments, reducing overtime payments, cutting pay for the minimal amount of employees – front line staff – who have to spend Christmas Day, often for several years running, away from their families. Reducing payments when their days off are cancelled at short notice. Most of these changes will only affect front line officers, the ones who are the most deserving of any benefits which pertain to the service; I can’t recall the last time someone in the logistics office was forced to stay at work an extra 4 hours with no notice, or was told they’d have to forgo the £92 theatre tickets they booked a year ago because their day off next week was cancelled (& no you can’t claim back for financial loss due to the 9-5ers’ inability to staff the emergency services adequately).

We’ll see what happens with this review & it will be interesting to note how many of the people I spoke of just yesterday are affected by any changes. I have an inkling it will be the likes of those of us who have to work 24-hour shifts that lose out, again.

Still, at least we’ll have the right to strike, eh?