Archive for August, 2011

August 31st, 2011

When things are back to front

Posted in The Job - General by 200

A police officer in Bedfordshire Police was GBH’d yesterday after she tried to arrest a burglar.

The unnamed 30-year-old officer with eight years’ service was patrolling when she saw a male making off from a premises in Bedford. David Glenn, aged 30,  punched the officer viciously in the face before making off. the officer was unable to speak due to her injuries but pressed the  emergency button on her radio which summoned other officers who later detained Glenn and two teenagers.

The officer, who received a broken eye socket, cheek bone and nose, has been transferred to a specialist hospital for treatment.

Glenn has been charged with GBH and burglary.

The officer has had her pay frozen and pension contributions increased in order to help pay for the country’s dire financial position. Meanwhile, UK banks have paid billions to their own staff in bonuses. This includes the Royal Bank of Scotland who paid £965 million in bonuses despite making a £1.1 billion loss in the last year.

I hope the officer concerned makes a speedy recovery.

August 30th, 2011

Tied in Notts

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Up the workers.

Control room staff in Nottinghamshire went on strike today, along with other Unison staff which included PCSOs, call handlers, custody staff and administrators. The force had to draft in police officers to answer the calls and do all the donkey work on the radios. I was reminded by the lad in the school yard who gets punched in the mouth but stands there with a quivering lip saying ‘it didn;t hurt’ and then cries behind the bike sheds when the force said the strike was not having a major impact on their ability to deliver a top quality service.

Lets see if they are still saying that after a few more strikes, another is planned for Friday.

One hundred support staff have already lost their jobs in Nottinghamshire with more cuts planned.

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Ackerley said: “We had asked Unison to allow our control room staff to be exempt from industrial action due to the critical nature of the work they do. They would not agree to that. Consequently we have put police officers into that role.”

I’m guessing that had the control room staff not been on strike today then all those police officers who had to man the desks could have been out on the street attending to burglaries and speaking to people who deserved to see a police officer today. But it’s OK ‘cos it had little effect on policing in the area.

August 29th, 2011

I hope those shoes have good tread

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I used to do this too, on my scooter, when I was five.

August 28th, 2011

Whoops

Posted in The Job - General by 200

“I’m dismayed and outraged by the mindless violence, theft, criminal damage and risk to life we have seen around London. I’m urging families and friends who might know people caught up in all this to speak to the police.”

So said 26-year-old Mark Duvall speaking of the recent London riots.

Duvall is described as a Labour party chief.

One wonders whether his father, ex Metropolitan Police Authority chairman, Len Duvall, took heed of his son’s plea and and made a call to Crimestoppers, because Duvall junior has just been arrested by the Met on suspicion of  looting a Vodaphone store in Woolwich.

He has been released on bail.

I bet the tongues are wagging around New Scotland Yard

August 27th, 2011

On the road

Posted in The Job - General by 200

In the words of another blogger ‘you couldn’t make it up’.

The country’s most financially prolific/successful (depending on your viewpoint) burglar is on the run after he ran off from prison whilst on day release.

Daniel O’Loughlin was jailed for 11 years in 2008 after he and his traveller gang stole £80 million worth of goodies from stately homes. They are responsible for Britain’s biggest burglary in which they stole £30 million worth of paintings and valuables from tycoon Harry Hyams‘ Wiltshire home.

O’Loughlin ran off 5 weeks ago whilst on day release from Hatfield Prison in Yorkshire.

The Prison Service said he was “rigorously assessed” before his day out from jail.

Yeah, right.

August 26th, 2011

Useful for rioters too

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Not sure if I’ve posted this one before or not.

August 25th, 2011

Wow

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I posted in July about a Scottish police officer who was arrested after she failed t arrest a possible burglar. She was charged with and found guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

She has been sent to prison today for one year after the court heard she and a colleague caught a man who appeared to be trying to break in to a shop, but let him go because she was due off duty soon and had to make a delivery of paperwork to another police station.

Blimey, one year!

 

August 24th, 2011

Guilty as charged

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Serial protester & anti establishment self-proclaimed mouthpiece, Jody McIntyre, had a result today after an IPCC investigation into his treatment during the December 2010 student fee protests decided he had been mistreated when he was dragged across the road by a police officer after confronting police and refusing to move. The agreed with the met Police’s investigation which found that his refusal to move at officers requests placed him in danger of being trampled by officers, protesters or police horses which were about to be delpoyed along the section of road he was refusing to move from.

It seems the IPCC were satisfied that the officers had the right to move McIntyre out of the way but disagreed with the manner in which it was done and this may have amounted to a common assault by police.

In a twist of irony, due to the fact that the IPCC always takes so long to investigate anything, the statute of limitations means that the six months in which proceedings for common assault need to be initiated has long passed and there is nothing that can be done under criminal law to prosecute any officers.

On reading McIntyre’s blogs or Twitter feed one would wonder why the need for the IPCC, or any other investigative body since McIntyre is able to try the police and find them guilty as soon as he hears of anything which he can use as ammo against the police.

If I can use the same approach he he does against him, his Twitter feed of 8th August – at the height of rioting in London when 44 officers had been injured, millions of pounds of damage had been done, lives had been put at risk & at least 4 people had been murdered by baying scum – was: “Be inspired by the scenes in tottenham, and rise up in your own neighbourhood. 100 people in every area = the way we can beat the feds.”

Guilty of incitement to riot, that’ll be four years’ imprisonment, take him down.

August 23rd, 2011

Here be dragons

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

So Mrs Weeks, the kiddies and I got back from our holiday. While Mrs W put the kettle on I checked the mail, the kids either made for the TV or Facebook or both.

I had two letters from HM Customs & Exise. The first one was summary of the child tax credit I was allowed last year. The second one was confirmation that the allowance this year amounted to zero pounds zero pence. Good old government, somebody has to pay for those cancelled riot-related holidays.

After the general depression of reading the mail I decided to retire to what I euphemistically call my ‘upstairs office’ – I have a downstairs office too. Second to sleeping in my own bed after a holiday, I like using my own toilet for the first time in 2 weeks.

So, magazine in hand, I made my way upstairs, stopping briefly to admire the new wallpaper & painted woodwork in the master bedroom, which had been redecorated whilst we were away. For the last few years we’ve paid someone to decorate various parts of the house when we’ve been on holiday to minimse the disruption.

The guy who we always use had, as usual, done a good job, so it was with a smile on my face with thoughts of HMR&C now fading into the distance I entered the bathroom.

It was when I lifted the lid that I discovered the decorator had left us more than glossy skirting boards; there, staring up at me was the biggest turd I had ever seen in my entire life. I almost jumped back, it was like walking round the corner right into the path of a huge grizzly bear.

I was simultaneously shocked, amazed and confused. How the bloody hell did that get out of a human being? It looked more like something a blue whale might have deposited. I wondered whether to check the house just in case the decorator had crawled away & died of some incredible rupture. Either that or he had an anal caesarean. I truly had seen bigger babies. I was sure a U-boat commander popped his head out the top of the turd and surrendered.

I called down to Mrs W and told her to deduct £100 from his bill – we’d need to get the council contractors in to remove it and the child tax credits were no longer going to cut it. “It’s no good Mr Weeks, we’re going to have to remove the bathroom window to get it out of the house.”

I tentatively reached across the bowl to press the flush button, half expecting the bloody thing to leap up and drag me down the pan by the neck, the ignominy of being found with just my shoes sticking out of the toilet was too much.

I pushed the button on the cistern and to my absolute amazement the turd disappeared down the pipes & hopefully out into the bowels of the street. I made a mental note to call the people at the Thames Barrier just to make sure the thing was open. I prayed it was able to leave the sewage system from my house & out into the mix of everyone else in the street, the town, the country, I mean who would believe it wasn’t mine.

I suddenly wanted to return to the hotel to use their facilities once again, mentally traumatised against sitting on my own bog. How could I possibly spend 45 minutes doing nothing but reading on that toilet ever again?

I staggered off to the en suite wondering whether it was all real or I;d just awoken from some terrible nightmare. Still, it could have been worse I suppose, at least all the silver was still in place & it hadn’t been left on the pillow.

NB: This story is true, I have no idea whether I can look the decorator in the eye again.

August 22nd, 2011

Another fail

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Another day another slagging off of the police by the Daily Fail.

This time they are moaning about the fact that some police officers are paid out of public funding to run the Police Federation. The headline says “Hundreds of police paid £7million to do union work instead of keeping streets safe”, though the text of the piece UK Border Agency, the Identity and Passport Service and even the Criminal Records Bureau and the actual police figure was £4.8, but £7 million sounds much better when you’re slagging.

Anyway, the police aren’t allowed to have a union like most other workers so we have a ‘federation’, basically this is a group who look after the interests of officers and go on annual conferences where much alcohol and merriment is had, so I’m told. Members – I have no idea what proportion of officers – pay a monthly fee to the Federation for cover of the benefits provided. Some would say there are no benefits as it never achieves anything on behalf of the members & we end up just doing whatever the government stipulates, but in fairness, anyone who has ever been accused of something they didn’t do may be grateful for the legal cover provided in investigations, tribunals and court cases.  And I did get a little gift from them when I retired, which was more than was provided by my employer after 30 years’ service. No gold watches in this business.

Maybe the Mail would prefer us to have a proper union, the administrative staff would be paid out of the membership fees and we’d have the same rights as any other union members, including the right to industrial action. If you  take away the rights of normal workers then perhaps its only fair that you pay something towards compensating for the withdrawal of those rights.

August 21st, 2011

Great News

Posted in The Job - General by 200

One notable thing happened when I hung up my blue suit and donned the work clothes of a civilian – or should that be ‘support staff’? – my annual leave entitlement decreased. So for years of having X amount of days’ leave, I now have X minus, actually I’m not sure how many minus it is off the top of my head, I just know it’s less.

Which makes coming back from leave all the more depressing, knowing I have longer to wait for my next holiday because I’ve run out of leave.

I did find out a little of nugget of information while we were on holiday to cheer me up. Mrs Weeks actually did manage to get some tickets for an Olympic event next year. Unfortunately, we have one ticket less than the number in our family, all leave has been cancelled so I can’t book the day off to go, and even if the blanket ban on leave is lifted, I probably won’t have enough holiday left to take.

Chin chin.

August 20th, 2011

All this for less money

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Chilling footage released tonight from West Midlands Police.

Tell me again why police officers are having their pensions ripped apart and no pay rises, Mrs May.

August 19th, 2011

Another pair of high heels?

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

One thing I noticed while playing catchup on the whole riot thing was a little bit in the telegraph which was entitled “Holiday Money: Expenses for MPs who returned”.

It said that MPs who returned from their holidays to attend the emergency debate in the House of Commons last week will receive tens of thousands of pounds in expenses. The payouts will include the cost of air travel back to Britain if overseas holidays were interrupted. Travel to and from Parliament would be reimbursed, other costs would also be considered, for instance hotel bills.

I believe the Home Secretary, Theresa May, ‘ordered’ police chiefs to cancel all leave & get as many police officers who hadn’t been sacked yet in the cuts, out on the streets so she could go shopping in safety.

The expenses of police officers cancelling their holiday plans in order to clean up the mess made by successive governments runs to, oh yeah, fuck all.

August 18th, 2011

Of Heroes and Zeroes

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I watched two contrasting TV programmes tonight. The first was Crimewatch’s special, “Riots Caught on Camera“, which featured film of groups scum whose only thoughts are for themselves & getting whatever they can for nothing rather than going out and working and saving up for it like the rest of us.

The second featured a group of men of 3 Platoon, 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment who filmed themselves out in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2007. It told the story of the death of Private Chris Gray, a 19-year-old soldier in his first experience of war. The moving documentary told of the effects of his death on his friends and colleagues, and of his family. If you haven’t seen it, after it was first shown on BBC Three, you can catch it on the BBC iPlayer.

Not one of the people I saw in the first programme were fit to lick the boots of anyone I saw in the second. Everyone involved in those riots should be forced to watch this programme repeatedly until it sinks into their self-serving little skulls what living in society is about, any that fail to understand should be sent to Helmand, dressed as a soldier and handed a wooden gun, sent towards the Taliban lines and told to get on with it.

I know which group will be occupying my thoughts for the rest of the evening.

August 17th, 2011

Anything been happenin’?

Posted in Blogging by 200

The more astute amongst you may have wondered how come no riot-related stuff.

Well, to let you into a little secret I’ve been somewhere that doesn’t have TV or the internet or even papers, well they probably have all three but I didn’t have access to any from the UK. So the last 10 days’ entries were pre-programmed.

I got the Daily Telegraph this morning on the journey home & saw the 10-o’clock news tonight.

It seems I missed all the fun.

August 16th, 2011

Balls of Steel

Posted in Videos by 200

I don’t know whether the video tape is the best or the commentary by the presenters…

August 15th, 2011

Show me the money

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Another day another copper suing the force for not being up to the job. 51-year-old Lesley Hart was  a police officer in Devon & Cornwall when she transferred to the Domestic Violence Unit. This followed a significant amount of sick leave which was blamed on a shoulder injury caused by wearing body armour.

Some time later she went on another extended period of sick leave which she said was due to stress caused by the emotionally demanding work in her role, excessive work load and lack of support from senior officers. In other words, exactly the same as every other hard working copper out there. The vast majority of whom just get on with it.

Whilst on sick leave, Hart flew to Argentina to take part in the BBC One game show ‘Total Wipeout’. (Strangely I know two people who have been on that show, Ms Hart was not one of them, I hasten to add).

It is understood that colleagues complained when they saw her on national TV figuring that anyone fit enough to take part in physically demanding competitions on national tele could probably be performing some kind of role within the workplace rather than being off sick.

She was subsequently cleared of any misconduct and retired on a medical pension.

She has now decided to sue the force claiming it did not do enought o support her at work and  failed to do enough to help her get back to work.

A friend is quoted as saying that she went on the game show as part of her recuperation.

The news report does not note how much money she will be claiming in damages.

August 14th, 2011

What goes around

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Drug addict Gavin Raine, 38 from Sutherland got a bit of what’s coming to him recently when he mugged a woman for her handbag.

He pushed a 51-year-old woman from behind and snatched her bag before running off. A man who saw the attack gave chase.

Raine tried to  jump over a fence but ended up impaling his right honourable member on the fence. His lawyer later said in court that the injury to his groin was “truly shocking and required substantial repair in hospital the next day”, which is where Raine was arrested following his escape from the fence.

He was jailed for 20 months.

Am I the only one hoping the fence was particularly rusty?

August 13th, 2011

Waste of space

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Figures released recently suggest that the police are failing to investigate 1/3 of all reported crime. In London, the figure is even higher at 44%.

I guess this means that a third of crimes get recorded and then nothing further happens with them. I’m surprised the figure is that low given the amount of information and evidence available on most recorded crime.

Sadly, despite the country being the most surveilled in the world, not every criminal is recorded going about their daily business. Most offenders don’t leave their fingerprints or DNA in labelled packages ready for collection, neither do most of them accidentally drop their driving licence or benefits claim forms behind at the scene of their deeds.

Most crimes aren’t witnessed by neighbours who identify the offender during house to house enquiries. Someone should do a cost-benefit analysis around the worth of doing door-to-door enquiries and how much information is gleaned/crimes solved as a direct result. I spent thousands of hours knocking on doors after burglaries, damage and theft and can count the amount of useful information I received in all those thousands and thousands of enquiries on the fingers of a Twix bar.

Given that there is now way on this planet we’ll ever have the resources to investigate every crime as thoroughly as the Times would wish, perhaps they would prefer we wasted all the time making it look like we cared rather than investigating stuff which has a better chance of being detected.

August 12th, 2011

Call that an excuse?

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Shock news to the chief of North Yorkshire; they closed one of their two control rooms and went over to single room last year. New figures reveal they are now answering 999 calls ONE SECOND slower than they did a year ago!

This year sees those disgraces on the North Yorkshire call centre slacking off by taking five seconds to answer an emergency call rather than the four it took them in 2010. Probably all sitting on their arses looking at the internet and going for fag breaks every 30 seconds. What a bunch of wasters.

Chief Constables love getting their stats up the top of the tree showing everyone else what a good job they are doing. The Chief  will probably be apoplectic with rage at the dismal 25% increase in call waiting times.

The acting Deputy Chief  came up with the following lame excuse for such shocking figures: ”We’ve only seen some very slight decreases in our call-handling performance but that has to put against a change in control rooms and more staff being recruited into York who have yet to start.”

Pathetic.