Archive for April, 2011

April 30th, 2011

When you’re glad the mates don’t join in

Posted in Videos by 200

It seems it’s not just in the UK that soccer idiots get arrested.

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April 29th, 2011

For sale, everythng

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Next time you use your GPS I wonder if you’ll think about what happens to the data which is logged back at your GPS-provider of choice’s HQ.

Tom-Tom have recently been outed as selling data from users of its service in Holland to the Dutch police.

Using data from thousands of drivers which mapped out speeds and routes, the Dutch police were able to predict where to get the best returns on their speed traps. Presumably, the data assisted by showing which roads most drivers exceeded the speed limit.

I have a Tom-Tom but when I bought it  I don’t recall being advised that any data generated from my use of the device could be sold to the nearest law enforcement department in order to make shed loads of money the roads safer by catching speeders.

I wonder if anyone over here is doing that too.

April 28th, 2011

“They were funky China men…

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

…from funky Chinatown,” so say the lyrics which got one musician nicked whilst he performed in a bar on the Isle of Wight.

News reports this week that 34-year-old Simon Ledger was performing the 1970s hit song when someone walking past the bar took offence & reported the matter to Hampshire Police. A 32-year old allegedly of Chinese origin was able to instigate the arrest of the singer by saying that he found the performance of the song racist. The song sold 9 million copies for performer Carl Douglas, a Jamaican, and was produced by Anglo-Indian disco arranger Biddu.

Hampshire Police say they questioned Ledger over an allegation of racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress, but eventually decided no further action should be taken as there wa sno evidence that any offence had been committed. What a pity they couldn’t have found this out at the time of the complaint rather than instigating a full criminal investigation into a matter which should have been filed under the ‘get-a-life’ heading.

The problem is that the Labour government decided that the sins of the fathers should be visited on the sons, so in order to make up for a previous history of racism, they should tip the balance completely the other way, which is how we ended up giving minority groups more protection than everyone else rather than treating everyone equally & equitably. Any job that comes into the control room is entitled to a higher priority if there is any mention of racism, sexism or homophobia, no matter what the actual level of seriousness or impact on the victim.

A police spokesman said: ”Anyone who perceives they are the victim of a racially aggravated crime is entitled to make a report to the police. We will treat such allegations seriously to provide reassurance for victims and to protect the integrity of appropriate lines of inquiry.”

April 27th, 2011

Pleasure doing business with me

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

You’d have thought it would be a very simple task; go to town, get a prescription & post a letter.

So with an hour to go before the shops shut I reach town. I go into one of the chain stores that sells makeup, cold remedies & has a pharmacy. I’m the only customer at the pharmacy so I hand over my prescription & pay the required Ă‚ÂŁ7.40 because I don’t live in Scotland or Wales or wherever it is that thinks people shouldn’t have to pay to be made better.

“I’ll just check if we have any,” says the girl at the desk who goes to a cupboard & pulls out a shelf with a box of what I want. She takes the box out & puts it on the table next to the pharmacist, who, as far as I can see, is doing bugger all.

“Do you want to wait, it’ll be 5 or 10 minutes.” To print out a label & hand it to me? “No, I’ll pop back in ten to fifteen minutes. So looking at my box of drugs on the bench, I walk out.

I pop in to the newsagents & grab a magazine then make my way to the Post Office.

We used to have a Post Office which belonged to the Post Office, it had 6 or 8 positions & was filled with generally friendly staff who were very often quite helpful too. Now, because the government wanted to save a few quid, we have a pokey space at the back of a newsagent who seem to excel in providing the most miserable fuckers on God’s earth to serve up what someone in their company euphemistically calls ‘customer service’ but what everyone else describes as complete shite. So I wasn’t filled with high expectations as I joined the queue in order to post an A4-sized envelope t0 some money-grabbing real estate company who wanted the ins & outs of a cat’s arse on my financial situation (with written proof of everything from my birth certificate to evidence signed personally by the Queen that I am who I am) , to show that should my student child do a runner from the ill-decorated, hovel that appears to pass as a house where they come from, I’ll be able to pay the Ă‚ÂŁ3500 they want for next year’s uni accommodation.

I wasn’t disappointed. There were 8 people in the queue ahead of me. The 4 positions available were closed, except for one with a middle-aged man with a blue tooth headset who was ‘serving’ a customer. God knows why he needed a blue tooth headset, or indeed a mobile phone, unless it’s to text photos of his cock to one of those freeview adult channels after midnight; I can’t see such a miserable git having any friends to ring him.

The customer was one of those specially chosen to be in front of me, whatever she was doing it involved the filling out of forms which appeared longer than a job application for MI5. I’m not kidding you, I was 9th in the queue, by the time she finished whatever it was she was doing, the queue was up to the door & starting to interfere with the men trying to get their copies of ‘Men Only’ past the pick’n mix customers.

There are actually 3 members of staff. One, a bloke with a gold medallion round his neck & the look of a bouncer only missing a Pitbull terrier, was counting money. It appeared to me to be money that was already counted since it was in a drawer made up of  packages of money. He slipped off the bands which had the amount contained within printed on them, counted it & put it back, before picking up the next pile. I ended up counting the notes with him & watching his lips to see if his count matched mine. He didn’t look at the growing queue once. He looked miserable.

The other member of staff was a middle-aged blond lady. Her job seemed to consist of moving ‘counter closed’ signs from one closed position to another, then finding ‘counter closed’ signs that were even bigger than the ones already there, and pushing them up against the windows as if people hadn’t worked out for themselves that the counters were indeed closed. She looked miserable.

The next person in the queue had a passport application, then there were 2 car taxes, & someone who couldn’t see properly trying to pay their electricity bill.

Then they guy two places behind me takes a mobile phone call. He happily advised his mate that he was in the post office. He had one of those Dom Joly mobile phone voices, the ones where you hear every syllable of every word even though you’re in the next town.

I moved forward a couple of places. There was only a woman with a single letter in her hand & a guy with a sheaf of papers. The guy with the papers asks for a special delivery envelope, he is handed one. As he tries to stuff his sheaf of papers inside, Mr Popular tells him to stand to the side so he can serve another customer. The woman with the letter steps forward. She has been in the queue so long she’s forgotten why she has the envelope & has to ask her husband who is going up & down the queue handing out liberty packages, whether she needs first or second class.

The man with the mobile behind me takes another call. He advises his friend that he is still in the post office and then proceeds to direct him to walk down past the Honda garage on the corner. I have to check whether he is actually talking into his mobile or shouting to his mate across town.

The woman gets her stamp & just as I step forward the guy with the special delivery package has managed to get it in the envelope & he dodges back around the lady with the letter to pay his fee. It takes another two minutes before I reach the counter. I step up to the plate ruminating on the fact that I have been here so long my child has probably graduated & doesn’t need to rent any more. I put the envelope on the weighing scale & say “second class please.” He says, “58p.”  No ‘please’, ‘thank you’ or a glance in my direction. I say “No. I want it first class, I was simply commenting on how you treat people, you miserable, fucking, lazy bastard & all your lazy bastard staff.”

Actually, I don’t, I just think it as I walk out having paid my 58p.

So I now work my way back across town & suddenly realise I’ve got a prescription to pick up. I reach the shop at 17.27, 3 minutes to go. The manager & another member of staff are standing beside the exit door, no doubt wishing their last few customers a warm good evening & a thanks for shopping with us today.

The entrance door opens &  I step inside, past the manager who glances at me. I walk across the shop to the back where the pharmacy is. A rather gorgeous blond, who appears to have strayed from the makeup counter is standing behind the pharmacy. “Just picking up my prescription,” I smile warmly & faintly pleadingly.

“Sorry, we’re closed.”

Closed? CLOSED?? I could have sworn I’ve just walked through the bloody open door, past the manager who didn’t advise that I was now an intruder.

“Can’t I just get it quickly?”

“Sorry the pharmacist has gone home, I don’t even work here.”

For fuck’s sake don’t tell the manager ‘cos that’s two burglars in here, I think as I turn round & walk through the shop, past the manager & out into the street making a mental note to return to the Post Office with a  very sharp stick & some KY jelly.

And the manager didn’t even thank me for not shopping at his store.

Wanker.

April 26th, 2011

Darwin inductee?

Posted in The Job - General by 200

It would have been a classic nomination for a Darwin Award (except the pratt didn’t die), when a 25-year-old Ontario, Canada man tried to set his Pitbull dog ion a neighbour.

During a heated exchange between the neighbours, the dog owner got his Pitbull out & told the neighbour that his dog was going to tear him apart. When the dog failed to attack the neighbour on command, the owner began hitting it in an attempt to wind it up & get it more aggressive. Presumably the dog, having more sense than the owner, had enough of that treatment & jumped up biting the owner on the face & arm.

The owner was rescued by a passer-by, but being bitten didn’t stop him punching the neighbour & returning a short while later with a mate & trying to get his dog to attack the neighbour for a second time. Unfortunately, the reports don’t say that the Pitbull had another bite out of its master.

April 25th, 2011

Man’s got Balls

Posted in Videos by 200

When you think what might have happened, the guy has balls of steel.

April 24th, 2011

We won’t be caught out like that again

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

So aid someone our way when told of the debacle that was Christmas when they decided to have less than half the normal staff on duty, both on the street & in the control room, forced the controllers to double the work with half the staff & sent the stress levels through the roof because we couldn’t cope.

One would have hoped that, as with everything else senior officers are called to account for ‘lessons will be learnt’.

So one wonders what exactly the rationale was on the very next bank  holiday after Christmas, they decided to do exactly the same & cut control room staff by half & give most of the front line staff a bank holiday, putting out precisely no PCSOs & no neighbourhood officers.

Now I’m no brain surgeon but something tells me that a bank holiday Good Friday, during school holidays, is a particular time when the priorities that neighbourhood policing is supposed to embrace, would be at their most demanding; everyone at home, probably hitting the booze for an extra long weekend, gorgeous weather keeping everyone outside. So the calls for service went through the roof & there were precisely no neigbourhood officers to take any of the pressure off the front line officers, whose numbers were also cut.

The number of jobs on my box were far greater than any of the Christmas bank holidays. The stress I suffered was far greater too. I was that close to just getting up & walking out with my next visit being the doctors for a couple of weeks of R & R to recover.

The jobs piled up, there were hours that I didn’t even remember what jobs I had to deal with, much less knew whether they were important or not. People just got ignored.

We saved an awful lot of cash this weekend. The service to the public was utter shite.

Our force: Putting people first, except when it costs money.

April 23rd, 2011

There’s a rule for that

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Anyone with a cursory knowledge of police & poling will know there are policies & procedures for everything, and not following them may leave your arse hanging out to dry, no matter how barmy or wasteful the policy is.

When the Met discovered the headless body of a male in a river in Wimbledon last year, they found the body to be badly decomposed, full of maggots & missing a head.

Police officers are experts in several things, the criminal law & drunkeness for instance, but they are not experts in medical matters. They therefore are unable to say that a decomposed headless person is dead.

So despite the bleeding obvious, the Met called in a  doctor to attend the scene so the doctor could say that life was extinct. God forbid they get it wrong & they take a live headless body to the mortuary, just think if the civil litigation costs if they got it wrong.

April 22nd, 2011

What a waste

Posted in The Job - General by 200

With all the talk of job losses within the police & the wage cuts that some of us are already suffering, it never ceases to amaze me the way constabularies, of have had their budgets cut by 20%, find to fritter away that oh so valuable cash.

Take Greater Manchester Police, for instance. they’ve just produced their annual report on how they are meeting their priorities. The Police Authority produced the report in print & then mailed to it all their parishioners, at a cost of some Ă‚ÂŁ47,000.

Then there’s Kent whose report cost them Ă‚ÂŁ68,000 or Thames Valley who have spent Ă‚ÂŁ95,470, or Northamptonshire at Ă‚ÂŁ63,000, or Surrey & West Mids at Ă‚ÂŁ84,000.

Some forces, like Devon & Cornwall publish theirs on their website at no extra cost.

The Tax Payers’ Alliance reckons that around Ă‚ÂŁ1 million is wasted by forces printing & circulating their annual reports when they could be published freely on their websites & downloaded by only those actually interested in reading them.

April 21st, 2011

Brace yourself

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

It’s nice to be back. Not.

The video posts of the last few days would have told you that I’ve been far too busy doing other stuff to write anything more than a few sentences. Oh how I love annual leave.

How fantastic is it to ditch work for a few days & just take off in the car to somewhere away from the stresses & strains of work & the pressures of home life? And the fact that the weather has been so good just adds to the ambiance of relaxation. There really is nothing better than walking along a deserted beach hand-in-hand with the Mrs while the kids muck around on their own, for a change.

We’ve never been great ones for getting away from it all, usually our summer holiday is our annual holiday. It’s great to find the salary funding normal life & the pension funding those extra treats you did away with while the kids were growing.

The problem with going away is that you have to come back. I don’t think I’ll feel as relaxed tomorrow as I have felt for the last few days.

April 20th, 2011

When Pharmacists fight back

Posted in Videos by 200

Gotta love the commentary on this one.

April 19th, 2011

Supergran

Posted in Videos by 200

I mentioned this story some time ago, here’s the actual footage.

 

April 18th, 2011

Master Criminals

Posted in Videos by 200

You might have gathered I’m rather busy this week.

Not the brightest robber I’ve ever seen…

April 17th, 2011

That’ll stop his farting in church

Posted in Videos by 200

(I love that title, my dad used to use it all the time)

I bet he didn’t expect that!

April 16th, 2011

20% allegation, 100% bollocks

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

One of the recent backlashes from the News of the World ‘phone hacking scandal’ was the release of information from actor Hugh grant who published a transcript of a secret recording made with a News of the World reporter. Paul McMullan is quoted as having alleged that 20% of Met officers had “taken backhanders from tabloid hacks” for information provided to the papers on stories.

With some 30,000 Metrpolitan officers one wonders how a single journalist can know about 6,000 of them. It struck me as an incredibly high amount & reminded me of the fact that 89.7 per cent of all statistics are made up.

In 32 years with the force I have known of occasions when officers have called the press to give them information on stories. I once rang the Sun’s night desk to tell them about a heard of horses who had rampaged through an urban street wrecking parked cars & numerous fences, hedges, gates & lawns, not because I wanted some money but I thought it was quite an interesting & unusual event. It got about one & a half inches on page 16. I wasn’t offered any cash nor would I have accepted any. I know of several people who spoken with journalists & given them a true account of an event when someone higher in the organisation has provided them with corporate spin, or in other words, just lies. I’ve never heard of anyone being offered any money much less accepting it.

The plain fact of the matter is that the vast majority of police officers don’t have information which any journalist worth their salt would consider spending their beer & burger allowances on.

Unless they want to know which unemployed drug-fuelled burglar has got which handout-leaching chav pregnant, or how often they’ve threatened each other on Facebook.

April 15th, 2011

Incredible

Posted in Videos by 200

I normally try not to post videos on consecutive days but I’ve just seen this one on the national news & thought it deserved a quick airing.

Camridgeshire scum Terrence Fowler steals a car & this is the result.

April 14th, 2011

Of age & experience

Posted in Videos by 200

Gotta watch these oldies, you know…

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April 13th, 2011

Those who can’t, cont’d

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

So I didn’t really finish my post off yesterday. It was about supervisors creating shite for overworked controllers. I got kind of sidetracked as the post went on.

As I was saying, we close a log with several Home Office codes, these are national codes used by all forces & enable statistics to be compiled about all the jobs we deal with.

Sometimes we pick the wrong code. This is either because we made a simple mistake & picked the wrong one from a drop down list in our haste to get rid of the log & get onto the next one, sometimes it’s because we interpret a job differently from the supervisor. For example, it’s quite easy to pick ‘suspicious package’ when you actually meant to pick ‘suspicious incident’.

So the log goes to supervisor’s desk to get closed & they notice an error. It would take them less than 4 seconds to correct the error & close the log. Some supervisors do, but others want to make a point, so they decline to close the log & send it electronically back to the controller having typed on it something like ‘please change the code to ‘suspicious incident’. The controller gets the log back on their screen, has to accept it, open it, read the message & then fill in the codes again to close it and then send it back to the supervisor. The extra work might take 90 seconds.

That’s OK when you’ve got f-all to do but when you are busy, it is simply extra stress, created directly by the supervisor. Stress which you can really do without because you are pretty bloody stressed as it is.

Some supervisors understand this, realise your mistake was a simple error probably because you;re too busy & under stress & they deal with it, thus solving a problem.

Others appear to think that as you made the error you better sort it out & create a problem for you. They are the kind of people who do not subscribe to the theory that a person who never made a mistake never made anything.

April 12th, 2011

Those who can do, those who can’t supervise

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I don’t suppose my job is much different from other jobs in many respects; we all have to put up with supervisors or bosses who don’t have a clue, or any bottle. Don’t get me wrong, some of them are perfectly fine, you can rely on them to back you up, support & assist you. Others are so busy covering their own arses they haven’t a clue what’s going on or how to do the job effectively.

To me the art of supervising should be one of solving problems, not creating them. Oh, if life was so simple.

If you work any length of time in the police service you will soon discover the art of arse-covering is all pervasive. Nobody wants to be the one who made the decision which was found to be wanting, therefore if you can pass it off on someone else you can say, ‘well I told so-and-so’ and swiftly pass the buck.

Inexperienced PCs do it all the time by consulting their sergeants on everything. Trust is a thing of the past when there is a risk of something coming back to bite you on the bum, best let someone else make a decision.

It’s understandable to a degree, after all we have created a society where blame is the key. Something is always someone’s fault & that someone is usually someone else. Where there’s blame there’s a claim & boy there is blame anywhere if you look hard enough.

When a job comes into the control room, the calltaker decides whether we need to send an officer. If we do they pass the log (computer audit trail of every job we get) on to a controller. The controller takes ownership & decides how best to resource the job. This invariably means sending a police resource to sort it out. The log is kept updated with exactly who does or did what, police & public alike. At the end of the job the log has to be resulted.

The government have come up with a list of specific results, all with their own codes. All jobs must be coded with a result; it makes it easier to see how many cases of anti-social behaviour force X dealt with in 2010 or how many road traffic accidents Y force went to in 2009.

The controller closes the log with the result codes. They can’t be trusted to select the right codes so every log gets checked by a supervisor to a) make sure the correct codes are added & b) that the job itself was dealt with correctly. The supervisors can’t be trusted to get it right either so the logs then get checked by an audit department to make sure everything is correct. I wouldn’t be surprised if the audit team’s work was quality checked later by someone else.

Our supervisors are often people who have spent a couple of years in the call centre & have not the first idea about policing & they’re the ones deciding whether a job has been dealt with correctly.

They can be a f****** nightmare. I have no idea whether they realise how much stress they create sometimes.

April 11th, 2011

For the Blue Lamp

Posted in The Job - General by 200

A PC who was told he would never walk again is to run the London marathon this week.

PC Gareth Rees, a Hertfordshire officer, was on duty at a road traffic accident in 2008 when he was struck by a another vehicle. His legs were badly broken & at one stage he was told he may never walk.

PC Rees has teamed up with PC David Rathband, the officer blinded by Raol Moat to raise cash & awareness of  the Blue Lamp Foundation, a charity started by Rathband to support emergency service personnel criminally injured on duty. Rees will guide Rathband around the 26-mile course. They have already completed a much shorter charity run together.

You can find out more about the charity at their website - bluelamp-foundation.org