Officer Chris Wilson of the San DiegoĂ‚Â PoliceĂ‚Â Department was shot & killed in October 2010.
He went to the assistance ofĂ‚Â probationĂ‚Â officers &Ă‚Â marshalsĂ‚Â after they entered a house to arrest a man. Another man was seen to run into a room. Officer Wilson began to search the house & was shot through a closed door by someone inside a back room. He died later at hospital.
The Daily Fail shows it’s epic inability to understand simple facts by trumpeting that fewer than 10% of police officers are available on the front line (which ever definition people choose for ‘front line’)
It appears that the fail’s definition is to work out how many officers a force has, then divide that by the number of officers on duty at a particular time. This seems to miss the fact that in order to have one officer on front line duties there must be 3 or 4 others who are not on duty to cover a full 24 hour period. So while 10% are available for taking 999 calls at any one time, then another 10% will be at home waiting to come on duty later in the day, another 10% will be asleep having worked the night shift & another 10% will be enjoying their day off, since, currently & until the government gets its way, police officers are entitled to have a day off work every now & again.
As the Fail doesn’t seem to know that one officer doesn’t work 24 hours a day, they also don’t know that different forces work different shift patterns & some forces have 5 shifts to cover the 24 hour period. They also have to train, go to court, get abstracted on other duties because there aren’t enough officers to cover everything we need to cover & some of them get injured at work or go sick with other health issues.
Now I’m not saying there sholdn;t be more officers on the street, there should, but when has the daily Fail ever let facts get in the way of another opportunity to bash the police?
More police merger news today as forces struggle to save cash in the 20% finance cuts debacle.
Three forces are to share an Assistance Chief Constable in what could become a more widespread Ă‚Â strategy.
Hertfordshire’s Assistance Chief, Steve Devine, is to head a department which will be responsible for a number of departmental ‘mergers’. Hertfordshire currently already share their dog, firearms & major crimes unit with Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire is joining ship. The joint chief will be responsible for implementing moreĂ‚Â changesĂ‚Â withĂ‚Â scientificĂ‚Â services & professional standards. (hopefully, it means some of the rubber heel squad will be kicked back out onto the streets to investigate real crimes rather than those which make up a lot of their current fare – ‘diversity’ issues etc, etc).
The BBC news report does not mention whether any of the three forces will now sack any of their senior management team, nor how much cash the forces hope to save with the initiative.
An unnamed burglar came met some poetic justice this week after burgling a house in Halifax.
He broke into a house during the early hours. Police were called but did not reach the scene before the hapless man made his escape on foot. He ran from the scene & jumped over a wall at St Thomas’ Church in Boothtown, West Yorkshire.
Sadly, he managed to land on the site of an old well where he broke through the surface & fell 9 metres to the bottom of the well. He was rescued by firefighters after calling 999 on his mobile phone. Police were waiting for him as he was brought to the surface & after being arrested, the man was taken to hospital.
It must be a great time to be an MP; you get to change the rules so that loads of people will lose their jobs & loads of others will lose thousands of pounds cash a year & then get lots of extra cash yourself. It must be one of the few jobs right now where people will be better off after everything the government has done.
They’ve just changed the rules again.
In the week where one of the token sacrificial lamb Ă‚Â MPs lost his appeal against hi sentence for fiddling his expenses, the Parliamentary watchdog has revealed that MPs will be able to claim an extra five grand a year to run their offices. They’ll get an extra two & a half grand for each child’s ‘accommodation supplement’ for every child between 5 & 18, previously the cut-off point was aged 5. More MPs will be allowed to claim for a second home following changes to the previous changes designed to cut down on expense-fiddling. In all Ă‚Â this small select bunch will be creaming off an additionalĂ‚ÂŁ4million a year.
Meanwhile millions of us will Ă‚Â be losing Ă‚Â child tax credits, my wages go down next week (for the first time in a projected raft of future decreases), real term wages will decrease as inflation reaches 4% & wages get frozen for at least two years. Petrol continues to rise. We’ve all got to tighten our belts.
Apart from the news that the Airwave radio solution that the tax payer has paid millions for & continues to pay on a per second of use basis ramping up big profits for a private company, the most interesting comment to come out of the into the Cumbria Derek Bird slaughter of last year, was by the comment by one of the chiefs from West Mercia Police who said this week that the Ambulance & Police service front line officers should put themselves in the firing line.
Someone who will never have to do so himself said: “If I was commanding the incident, the overarching aim would be to protect the public from harm. We would expect emergency service staff to put themselves at risk to carry out this strategy.Ă‚Â The public have a right to expect the emergency services to put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public … we cannot go on with this confusion as to response.”
A bit rich from someone who’s biggest risk comes from a potential paper cut to the finger whilst Ă‚Â sat on his big fat overpaid arse at some police HQ.
I’m not one to offer any sympathy to most senior police officers but a sad day none the less for the friends & family of Assistant Chief Constable David Ainsworth who has been found hanged at his home address after what appears to be a suicide.
Ainsworth was being investigated by his force over a string of complaints related to allegations of sexism in his force at Wiltshire & previous force in Kent. He was suspended from normal duties last year & moved to work at the Forensic Science Service in Birmingham while the allegations made by various female employees were investigated. The complaint being cited by most of the press reports alleges that on seeing a female employee with a fitted blouse he is said to have remarked ‘nice buttons’.
It is not known whether his investigation has anything to do with his suicide, that may be revealed as a result of the forthcoming inquest. However, I do know that being investigated by your force is not a pleasant experience whether you have done anything wrong or not, and is made so much the worse by the amount of time it takes to investigate. The man was accused of sexism & inappropriate behaviour. Had he been accused of rape or murder I have no doubt that, in most cases, the matter would have been fully investigated, all evidence obtained & the Ă‚Â file done for Ă‚Â court.
Officers on the street investigate matters far more serious than this on the same day & have the case prepared within a few days. How can an alleged breach of discipline take in excess of 6 months to deal with?
The Thin Blue Line blog has an interesting post about the new police pay & conditions proposals. The email us police bloggers when they have a new article of note, but seem to have out done themselves today; I’m not sure why but I’ve had more emails about their post than all the other spam I normally get put together.
Anyway, it seems to have worked ‘cos I’m posting a link to the article which you can go & read for yourself.
So the TUC are organising an outing to London next week.
Saturday 26th sees another protest against government cuts as the TUC predicts in excess of 100,000 people joining into show solidarity against the government cutbacks.
The chairman of the Police Federation has said that many police officers will be feeling a certain sympathy for those on the march, having been subject to stringent cuts also. He said:Ă‚Â “The great irony is that officers policing marches like the TUC are actually facing greater detriment than many of those protesting against the cuts.” Ă‚Â McKeever chairs the union which represents 140,000 rank-and-file police officers. “We’re not members of the TUC and have to be careful about having too close an association, though there will be a lot of sympathy towards those marching.”
In 2008 23,000 police officersĂ‚Â demonstratedĂ‚Â in London against the government’s refusal to backdate a pay rise under previously agreed arrangements.
It remains to be seen how many people attempt to hijack the march & cause trouble.
In a change from my ‘200 Weeks Scum of the Week Award’, I’d like to highlight a ‘Hero of the Week’, or rather two heroes of the week who spotted two armed men robbing a bookmakers in Surrey this week.
They chose to intervene & chased the robbers from the scene. The unnamed men managed to retrieve a revolver from the suspects. A DS from Surrey Police said:Ă‚Â “Two very brave men gave chase after the suspects and managed to retrieve vital evidence from them which is currently undergoing forensic analysis.Ă‚Â I would like to stress that I do not recommend members of the public tackle these type of criminals, as officers from Surrey Police are trained to a very high level in dealing with criminals safely.”
Hmm, I was trained to stay well away from armed robbers, preferably a few streets away & wait for the arrival of armed officers, if any were available. It’s not even as if we can stop people even when we are armed.
I mentionedĂ‚Â recentlyĂ‚Â that I have a general interest inĂ‚Â theĂ‚Â police forces of the world.
A month ago I posted about the fact that Britain was instrumental in arming Ă‚Â & training the police several middle eastern countries and hinted that the intentions of these often repressive countries in gaining input in democratic policing was probably a veneer, especially as the current troubles were bringing the attention of the world on the repressive & brutal tactics of our middle eastern police cousins.
The Telegraph reports that police officers shot two civlians in a ‘drive-by’ shooting. It doesn’t say whether they were injured or killed.
Over the years I have hosted cops from all over the world. Several Americans have stayed with us & I always have a keen interest in what’s going on with our brothers & sisters across the pond.
They’re having a bit of a bad week out there at the moment.
On Sunday the NYPD lost an officer when he was pushed over a railing while trying to arrest a domestic violence suspect. Officer Alain Schaberger was pushed over a balcony & fell head first onto a concrete stairwell. He landed on his head & broke his neck Ă‚Â dying at the scene. He was a 10-year veteran & will be laid to rest on Friday.
The day before Nassau County PD cop lost his life in a tragic shooting by a fellow police officer. Officers were called to an incident with a 21-year-old male who had several knives strapped to his body whilstĂ‚Â wieldingĂ‚Â other knives. Officers from several departments attended the scene & when the offender charged at officers, he was shot & killed by an officer. A few minutes later other officers arrived from theĂ‚Â Metropolitan Transportation Authority & NYPD Special Operations officers, including Geoffrey Breitkopf,Ă‚Â who were in plain clothes.
For reasons which aren’t clear one of the MTA officers fired a shot at Officer Breitkopf. He died a short while later. His funeral is also this Friday.
Meanwhile, also on 13th March, in Virginia, four officers were shot as they arrived at the scene of a robbery. Two of theĂ‚Â Buchanan County Sheriff Department officers were killed, the other two are in life-threatening or serious conditions. The offender, who shot the officers from long range, was found two hours after the shooting & in an ‘engagement’ he was shot & killed. The slain officers wereĂ‚Â Deputies Cameron Neil Justus, 41, and William Ezra Stiltner, 46.
I came across this video today. It apparently comes from a school in new South Wales, Australia.Ă‚Â It is a typical case of a ‘happy slapping’ video where groups of bullying thugs film each other trying to be big in front of their mates, at someone else’s cost.
Only this time there was an unexpected twist.
Apparently, Casey – the larger of the two – was suspended from school & may face criminal charges. Personally, I think he deserves a bloody medal & everyone who stood around, cheered the little shit on & filmed it should receive their well-deserved comeuppance.
If the video has been pulled by YouTube by the time this entry is published you can also see it here.
Freedom of Information requests by the BBC ‘You and Yours’ programme have revealed that police forces up & down the county have paid out Ă‚ÂŁ770,000 compensation in the last 3 years to people who have been bitten by police dogs.
A report in the Telegraph says that one person received Ă‚ÂŁ49,000. The report doesn’t give any circumstances under which the people were bitten other than to say that 2,727 people were suspects, 155 were other members of the public & Ă‚Â 196 were police officers and staff. West Midlands Police seem to have the hungriest dogs; they reported 644 bites over the last 3 years among 8 forces with over 100 bites each.
I’m not sure what the report is saying really. I’d guess that some of the bites were justified & some weren’t. Let’s hope the cash just went to the unjustified ones. (bites that is, not people)