Archive for September, 2011

September 30th, 2011

Would the last one to leave…

Posted in The Job - General by 200

… please switch off the lights, because we might as well all go home.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-15123496

f***ing disgrace.

September 29th, 2011

This week I have mostly…

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

…been  sending officers to offer a personal, tax-funded parenting taxi service for recalcitrant teenage girls who can’t be arsed to do what they’re told.

I can’t believe we have to put up with this shit, day in, day out.

What happens is Ms Single-Parent calls the old bill when little 15-year-old Chelsea decides she doesn’t need to follow the rules and wants to spend the night drinking fruit-flavoured vodka whilst being fingered on the swings by however many similarly recalcitrant spotty oiks happen to be out that night.

Mum usually says something along the lines of: “I want to report my daughter missing, again, they said if it happened again you’d go and collect her and bring her home.”

Of course the reply from the calltaker should be something like, “fuck off, who do you think we are, a free parenting taxi service, get off your arse, switch off the Sky box and go and get her yourself, you lazy cow.”

To which the reply will be either, “I’ve had a bit to drink” – funny how many parents are drinking the night their kids go AWOL – or, “I can’t leave the house ‘cos I’ve got six babies asleep.”

Whereupon the old bill turns round, lifts up it’s corporate trousers and shouts “take me roughly and don’t bother about the lube.” In other words, they create a log entitled “Missing Person.”

We then spend the rest of the shift driving round the town looking for Chelsea, knocking on all the addresses she’s been found before and generally doing stuff that a particular group in society should be doing, they’re called ‘parents’.

We sometimes do this several days running, and it’s not unusual to do it several times in the same shift. I’ve lost count of the times we’ve had a call from Ms (or, to be fair it is sometimes Mrs or Mr) Single-Parent (though it’s not exclusively single parents) saying, “As soon as the police left, Chelsea ran out the back door again.

We do this time and time again, meanwhile all the people who have been burgled and have been waiting 8 hours to see an officer get a phone call at 11 or 12 at night from their local constabulary saying, “Sorry we’ve had nobody free, are you available tomorrow?”, again.

The reason we do it is because nobody has the bottle to say to parents, sorry, that’s your job. And the reason nobody has the bottle to say this is because if Chelsea ends up face down in a ditch or the lads on the swings go too far, it will be the fault of the police.

September 28th, 2011

One law for…

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Travellers have been in the news a lot recently, what with the Dale Farm debacle.

The Telegraph reports today on an all-too-frequent occurrence at a traveller site in Northamptonshire. Paul Staley, a farmer, and his son Sean were returning to their farm when they disturbed a group of people stealing parts from two vehicles parked on the farm.

The thieves made off in a vehicle and forced their way past Mr Stanley’s allegedly pointing a shotgun at them out the window as they made off.

The Stanley’s gave chase and followed the vehicle to a traveller site outside Northampton. Police officers arrived and the victims pointed out the offenders’ vehicle inside the camp, it contained stolen parts from two of the farmers’ vans including a metal container, wheels and bumpers.

Police declined to go into the camp to seize the vehicle or make enquiries as to the whereabouts of the offenders telling the victims that they were not allowed onto the site until a full risk assessment had been made.

The story in the Telegraph doesn’t report on whether this risk assessment was done nor what the conclusion was, but police later said that three officers went onto the site in the early hours but the vehicle was not recovered. It is not clear whether the Stanleys got any of their property back.

Mr Stanley said: “If we’d had a shotgun out they would have had an armed response and helicopter flying over us and we’d have been in all sorts of trouble,’ said Mr Stanley, from Wootton, a village just south of Northampton. But when it’s the other way round with travellers it doesn’t happen.

“The police were there, the vehicle was there, our stuff was in the back of it. It could have been job done. It was only when I went public that they became interested.”

I can imagine that the risk assessment said something along the lines of. Travellers have a reputation for violence, travellers have been known to possess illegal firearms, old bill don’t have enough officers. We’ll fill in a crime report and leave everyone thinking we are scaredy-cats.

 

September 27th, 2011

The perils of pre-work pleasure

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I hate being late for work. I feel so guilty, unlike some of the people I’ve posted about previously. It’s like a mixed feeling of embarrassment and shame.

I know what it’s like waiting to be relieved as the clock ticks round to the hour.

When I was making my way home from work this week and the petrol light came on, I knew I had enough juice to get home but not enough to get back to work the next day.

Rather than get some before arriving home at some unearthly hour, which would have meant attending the next town to mine for the nearest 24-hour petrol station, I resolved to get some before work the next day.

Needless to say I completely forgot.

Normally, I leave in time to get there 15 to 10 minutes before my duty time, but today I took just a few minutes longer than I realised on Call of Duty, which meant I’d get on with just about 5 minutes leeway.

That would have been fine until I was halfway along the dual carriageway, having left my home town, and noticed with horror that the petrol gauge was pulsating red.

That’s when the gods of of shit and derision kicked in; the traffic lights at the next town with a petrol station were red on the dual carriageway exit, the traffic lights outside the petrol station were red, the petrol station was almost full with most pumps having a queue of one or two cars waiting, because the pumps were full, the kiosk was full so it took ages to pay. The traffic lights were red at the exit to the petrol station. The traffic lights were red on the entrance to the dual carriageway.

I got to work late.

At least I completed another level on Call of Duty.

September 26th, 2011

Just takin’ me AK-47 for a spin

Posted in Videos by 200

I’m not sure I’d be as trusting as some of the onlookers here…

September 25th, 2011

Who’d have known it?

Posted in The Job - General by 200

You might not have noticed, to be fair, I didn’t even notice, but then I have been away this weekend, but today was National Police Memorial Day.

What?

Yes, national Police Memorial Day, when officers and families gather to pay tribute to and remember police officers who have died or been killed on duty. The event occurs on the nearest Sunday to St Michael’s day, St Michael being the patron saint of police officers. (I’m surprised the police are still allowed to have a patron saint; I’m sure having one would offend so many different groups).

I think we’ve got a long way to go in the UK to advertise and promote National Police Memorial Day. It’s been going for 7 years and nobody has ever heard of it.

 

September 24th, 2011

From the World’s Dumbest Criminals show

Posted in Videos by 200

I’m guessing illegal substances played a part in this attempted theft.

September 23rd, 2011

I’m outta here

Posted in Videos by 200

Right, I’m off enjoying myself for a change so have a couple of videos.

If only all criminals were as professional as this armed robber in Spartanburg, USA.

September 22nd, 2011

It probably seemed like a good idea at the time

Posted in The Job - General by 200

A police officer and a barman face a prison sentence after admitting to perjury in a drink drive case involving the off-duty officer.

Myles Hughes, a PC with Greater Manchester Police pleaded guilty to drink-driving but kept his licence after telling the court that he had been served the wrong drinks. He claimed he had been served four pints of Stella shandy but that Paul Doyle, a barman, had served him lager-top. Doyle appeared as a witness and confirmed he had served Hughes one pint of shandy and four pints of lager-top ‘to cheer him up’.

A police investigation later found that Both men had lied to the court and this week they pleaded guilty to a charge of perjury. They await sentence.

Hmm, 4 or 5 pints of Stella shandy. I’m not sure that if I wanted to to avoid drink-driving I’d be drinking 4 or 5 pints of any shandy, much less Stella. Hughes claimed he thought he’d be under the limit and felt perfectly fine to drive.

I’ve heard that a few times.

September 21st, 2011

Unlikely to happen round these parts

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Beware the cleaners!

Like most office-based dwellers we have cleaners in every day who do a varying job in tidying up. Some are good and thorough, others  appears to have mastered the art of pushing a duster or a hoover around but not actually achieving much.

Mind you, if it wasn’t for the lazy people who sit at the desks not clearing up after themselves, I guess the cleaners would have a lot less to pretend to clear up.

At the height of the supposed flu pandemic, when every third person was expected to die a horrible death, or something, someone came up with the idea of providing antiseptic wipes for every desk station. Like every budgetary-managed item, we had boxes and boxes of the stuff for the first few months, now, presumably after the tea and medals were awarded for such a fantastic, innovative and money-saving scheme have been long issued, you’re more likely to see Shergar riding Lord Lucan across the HQ car park than being able to de-infect your desktop and keyboard with handily-placed wipes.

This light introduction to today’s entry is actually a lead-in to a serious and sad story from Chicago.

Forty-two year old police officer, Kevin Morgan, a tactical officer with the Chicago PD died in April this year after inhaling noxious fumes from a cleaning substance sprayed onto a desk beside him. The 15-year veteran became ill and started coughing and having difficulty breathing. He was hospitalised and later released after treatment. His illness persisted and doctors were forced to put him into a medically induced coma after his lungs began to shut down.

An autopsy report has stated that his death was due to lung illness from inhaling noxious fumes.

He left behind two teenage children.

September 20th, 2011

And now for the interlude

Posted in Videos by 200

Must be time for some more idiots on bikes.

 

September 19th, 2011

Will he, won’t he?

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I spent a shift this week suffering the fallout of the ‘sickness policy’ at work.

Some time ago they invented a job for one of the controllers which a) took them out of the control room and b) gave them a manager’s salary to basically ring  people up when they were sick and get them to return as soon as possible, that and threaten to remove their right to sock leave if they kept going sick.

Sickness is a dodgy subject, you must be able to remain at home when genuinely ill but lots of people pull duvet days when they can’t be arsed, for whatever reason.

I tend not to go sick, I’m quite lucky in that if I get a cold it’s usually pretty mild, I never get flu and the only time I tend to go sick is when I injure myself.

People who have gone off sick more than however many times in six months the policy states (I’m not sure what the warning level is as it’s never applied to me) are threatened with being taken out and shot, or something equally drastic, if they go sick again. The upshot is that when they are genuinely sick they come into work, couch, splutter and moan all day, fail to do a good job because they’re not up to it and you have to cover them, and spread their bloody germs around the room so that people who don’t normally go sick, have to go sick.

I sometimes think management can;t see beyond the end of their noses.

I’m currently waiting to see whether I’ve escaped the ravages of another exposure to someone else’s snot and flem flying round my ears.

September 18th, 2011

An Englishman’s Home

Posted in The Job - General by 200

So another householder has been arrested on suspicion of murder after two men broke into his home.

Greater Manchester Police said that the incident occurred during Saturday evening when two burglars forced their way into the home of Mr Vincent Cooke. The victim was threatened in his own home by burgling scum and it is alleged one of them ended up on the sticky side of a sharp pointy thing. He will not be able to burgle any more people’s homes. The second burglar was arrested some time later after he fled the scene.

This is the third case recently of burglars being killed by householders. The first two were not prosecuted. After the most recent case prosecutors said: ”Householders, shopkeepers and anyone going about their lawful day to day activities can be reassured that the law will protect them if they use reasonable force to protect themselves, their families and their property“.

Lets hope the CPS do the right thing this time, too.

September 17th, 2011

Teenage Boys are Angels – Fact!

Posted in The Job - General by 200

The Daily Shite is at it again with their take on an incident in which police tasered a violent teenager.

Of course the Shite doesn’t say that what it actually says is: “A schoolboy was Tasered by police after locking his mother out of the house.”

The incident occurred back in June when a woman called 999 after a domestic with her son left her locked out of her own house. Police attended and eventually the boy came out. He told the Fail: “I came out, held my hands up and said ‘I want to negotiate with my mum’. The next moment they all jumped on me. There was a scuffle and they tried to throw me to the ground but I wouldn’t go down so they Tasered me. I didn’t know what was happening.

“I want to negotiate with my mum”? Negotiate? How about you do what ever the fuck your parents tell you to do, try behaving for a change. Therein lies the sorry tale of the sandal-wearing liberals that have fucked up British society, don’t get me started.

The officers arrested the boy for assault police times 2 though the CPS later chose not to charge any offences.

Mother and son can’t understand why the boy was tasered and arrested. There might be a clue in the words from the little lamb’s mouth, “There was a scuffle and they tried to throw me to the ground but I wouldn’t go down.” Or, ‘I was so violent that officers felt in imminent danger of violence against them and the best method to control the violence was to use a Taser. They could of course have battered him with a few feet of metal, which would have been the only other choice until Taser was issued. Perhaps Mum would have preferred little Jimmy to have had a few cuts & bruises or maybe a broken bone rather than a short sharp shock which did no harm other than to make him think twice about refusing to do what he was being told.

The mother has said “I thought they would just get him out of the house and take him to his sister’s or something to calm down.” Maybe  she should have tried bringing her son up to respect authority, hers and the police’s and then she’d not have to ring the police to come down and bring her son up for her.

Inevitably the boy has  been traumatised by events, suffering feelings of confusion with panic and anxiety attacks. The family are considering suing.

I was much heartened by the Shite’s comments section on their website:

“Sons bargains with Mum – are you KIDDING? I would have broken the window to get into my own home then binned his TV, mobile phone and computer. Finally, all pocket money would have been suspended until the cost of the window repair was met. It’s called parental training, get on with it.”

”There was a scuffle and they tried to throw me to the ground but I wouldn’t go down so they Tasered me.” Otherwise known as resisting arrest.”

“cps should be ashamed he assaults police resists arrest but the police are in the frame for over reacting? you couldn`t make it up what a joke”

“Her 16 year son locks her out the house, she calls the police,they come, he resists arrest and they do their job, Now she considering suing them, unbelievable….next time sort out your own domestic issues and stop wasting police time.”

“The officers responded to a 999 call and the boy resisted arrest, it’s a shame this isn’t the normal response.”

“Is this another of those cases that the family now want two sue the force? Now mother finds her spiteful son not so bad after all. Resists arrest and you get the treatment full stop. Do us all a favor and stop wasting police time.”

“I want to negotiate with my mum”. ‘The next moment they all jumped on me. There was a scuffle and they tried to throw me to the ground but I wouldn’t go down so they Tasered me…. If I had been the copper I would have sent eight or nine ‘Smart Alec’ members of the public in to get injured, why risk injury to yourself?”

“Tough luck. Next time do as your told. When they say down you get down Good on the police.”

“Lets have some proper reporting DM, not your usual anti police innuendo. A Taser is only drawn when a person has become so violent there is a risk of serious injury to officers or others. And fired when all other options have been exhausted. Firing a Taser is less likely to cause injury to the aggressor than use of batons, that can break bones or kill if a strike hits a vital body area. Any officer firing a Taser knows that he will be automatically referred to PSD or IPCC for investigation and if found to be unjustified in law, risks exposing that officer to criminal charges, dismissal and loss of pension. It isnÂ’t a decision taken lightly! Can you not try and paint the subject here as an “innocent little schoolboy”. A 16 year old male can be as aggressive and violent as a 40 year old, or didnÂ’t you pay attention during the riots.”

 

September 16th, 2011

It’s a dangerous life

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

Ever since the mid 1980s I have taken a particular interest in stories involving miners. It came about as a result of mixing with them every other week for around a year.

When the strike started the call went out for immediate support to all forces in the country. We went to Nottingham and were on duty for 48 hours before coming home and being told to have a good sleep because we were going back a couple of days later for a week.

I can’t recall how many times I went to Nottingham & Yorkshire but it was quite a few. We did have some trouble, particularly at Orgreave, but mostly we were just kicking around outside the pits with miners. We would stand opposite each other on the picket lines on shifts, when both sides had completed our shifts we often spent time together in the local miners social club. I remember we got so friendly with a particular group of strikers that one of the coppers ended up serving behind their bar when we were off shift.

Many of  the management staff still worked, together with the occasional bus load of ‘scabs’. We were invited down the pit to see what life was like.

We all geared up in orange suits with helmets & battery packs, most of us already had steel toe capped boots because we had bought them from the mine stores; they were cheaper than the boots we normally wore and offered much more protection.

We were given a  safety briefing and made our way to the pit head. I have no idea how deep we went but it took ages to get to the bottom.  I’m not sure how far out we went from the pit  head but I’m sure it was measured in  miles. I seem to recall than in an 8 hour shift the miners spent half of it travelling to and from the coal face. We rode the conveyor belts for ages, every so often we had to jump off the belts while still moving and jump onto the next one. It seemed so archaic, I imagined the transportation system looking exactly the same 50 or 100 years earlier.

Eventually we got to the coal face. We stood around one of the mine managers while he told us about the risk of being blown up by exploding coal dust, or being crushed by collapsing rock. He then told us to turn off our lights. I have never, before or since, been anywhere which was so dark. You’ve not seen dark until you have been somewhere with quite literally no light, and there aren’t many places like that  in my life. Not even when I’m really pissed off at work.

We were to enter the coal face at one end then crawl down the length, which was about 100 yards, then exit at the other. The place we crawled was between the pit props. The props were about 4 feet high, so for a guy over 6 foot it was not the most comfortable walk I’d ever had. The props were hydraulic rams positioned every few feet literally holding up the roof.

As we crouched between the props we watched miners working the huge drills which were massive circular bits which span round and bit into the coal face knocking it from the rock as it fell onto conveyor belts to be whisked away.

Every so often someone pressed some button which advanced the pit props forward a few feet. As the props moved forward the ceiling collapsed behind them, rock and coal was falling just inches from us. I managed to pull a piece of coal from above my head, I still have it in the loft somewhere. The props moving and the roof collapsing was mightily scaring. You really felt that any second the whole place could come down on top of you.

We gradually made our way along the face to the other side, virtually on all fours. It was such a relief to make it to the end and be able to stand up at last.

I wasn’t the only one to comment that going down to the coal face was the scariest thing I’d ever done in my life.

That afternoon when I was on the picket line, i shook the hands of several miners. I looked at them differently after that.

I was sad that four lads died at Gleison this week.

September 15th, 2011

Who’s Gumby anyway

Posted in Videos by 200

September 14th, 2011

Standards have dropped, shock, horror

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Ex rail-regulator and government-appointed looker-into of the polcie service, Tom Winsor, he who is hoping to change the terms and conditions for police officers making the world a better place, has discovered that the standards of entry into the police force has dropped.

He has found that some people believe the quality of evidence given at court by some officers is ‘barely literate’, and noted that interview questions from the 1930s and 40s were significantly higher than those of today.

I suspect that any salty old dogs out there – like me – might agree with him. When I was tutoring new PCs I also found the standard dropped in the 90s. I had officers who couldn’t spell beyond a pretty basic level and whose sentences barely passed a pretty low level of correct grammar. I’m not sure the lower standards of those times have improved much since then.

Winsor has been told by a former commissioner of the Met and a national Federation official that standards were lowered to increase acceptance levels for black and minority ethnic applicants.

The Home Secretary was asked if the police have poor standards of literacy. She said: “That is not what I have found. I have found officers committed and dedicated to getting on with their job.” Like she’d have the first clue about educational standards in the police.

 

September 13th, 2011

I fancy a money-spinner too

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I received an email from an outfit called Creative Non Fiction, publicising them accepting submissions for an upcoming issue about true crime.

They say: “We want true stories of petty theft, identity theft, embezzlement or first-degree murder; of jaywalking, selling (or maybe buying) weed or assault; of crimes and punishments and unsolved mysteries. Think “The Devil in the White City” (Larson), “In Cold Blood” (Capote) and “Iphigenia in Forest Hills” (Malcolm); or “Half a Life” (Strauss), “Lucky” (Sebold) and “The Night of the Gun” (Carr). If it’s against the law and someone—maybe even you!—did it anyway, we want to know all about it.” And are offering $1,000 for the best entry.”

I was going to publish their email in full, until I read the bit about wanting $20 “reading fee” for each entry.

I think I’ve just hit on an idea for Gadget to fund his new computer.

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BTW, Planet Police have sorted out their technical issues and it’s all working OK now – thank you PP!

September 12th, 2011

Happy Birthday to me

Posted in Blogging by 200

Four years ago, on 13th September, I was wishing myself a happy 2nd birthday. That was the second birthday of the  200 weeks blog.

So today I can wish myself a happy 6th birthday. Six years of blogging about police, life and everything.

Today also marks a period of four solid years of blogging every single day.

So a double Happy Birthday to me!

September 11th, 2011

Is it really 10 years?

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

In memory