Archive for September, 2011

September 10th, 2011

ck me

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

Bloody ‘ell.

That was one evening at work, and it started so smoothly.

By 8pm the two of us in the controller’s seats were absolutely run ragged and the jobs came piling in. I don’t know what Veolia put in the water in the two divisions we were covering (the same two divisions which for the last 30 years or more had at least two controllers per division which now has just two controllers combined), but it sent some of the residents loopy. If they weren’t crashing into each other and nearly dying, they were hitting, choking or stabbing each other, and nearly dying.

Those who weren’t trying to batter the hell out of each other were wondering off into the countryside with or without tablets or knives, or just winding up anyone they could. I would think that in the period of 3 hours we probably had two and a half times as many immediate assignments as we normally do on a Saturday.

I don’t normally speak to the Emergency Social Services folk more than once a week, I spoke to them 3 times in 2 hours, we were on first name terms by the time I went home, I kid you not.

And that was on top of the 25 minutes I spent on the phone trying to get through to British Telecom to report one of their lines down. I rang the emergency number for BT Open Reach, when I got through to them they said they only deal with telegraph poles and said I had to ring ‘151’, so I rang 151, when I eventually got through (it took about 15 minutes just to get someone to say ‘hello’) they told me that I had to ring BT  Open Reach on a different number. By the time I had spoken to them it was 25 minutes down the line, 25 minutes that my partner had been on his own dealing with all the normal radio stuff. I don’t know if BT have changed their call centres but it was unusually coincidental that all three people I spoke to had Indian accents.

I had to ring a care centre back after they reported someone pressing their assistance alarm. I rang them back 4 times, each time I had to do the ‘if you want this person press that number dance’ only to find on each occasion I got the same messages to say they were busy and would answer when someone was free. They had a great customer satisfaction tool in that after you had waited 4 minutes the line cut you off, that was another 20 minutes wasted on the phone.

We used to have people who could make calls for us when we were busy, sadly, as they have cut the numbers there’s never anyone spare to help you, even when you are running round like blue arsed flies dealing with emeregncies.

And I still think officers on the street think that the moment you stop speaking you must be sitting back with your finger up your arse surfing the ‘net.

September 9th, 2011

I know I can, I’m sure I can

Posted in Blogging by 200

When you post a blog entry every day it becomes part of your life, and like your life it has bits that are OK, bits that are fantastic and bits that are bloody awful.

Sometimes I really look forward to posting something, particularly if I’ve been thinking about it during the day and formulating thoughts for it, I love sitting down and turning those spurious thoughts into something which satisfies me on the screen  and then pressing the ‘Publish’ button.

Other times I dread it. Usually those are the days when I just haven’t got a clue what I’m going to post. I usually write and post late in the evening and it gets posted around midnight.

In a few days’ time I’ll have posted something every single day, wind, rain or shine, Christmas and bank holidays, whether I’m at home or away, during periods of joy and deep sorrow for four years of the six years’ life of this blog. There can’t be many blogs that achieve this, let alone police blogs.

It’s getting more difficult. I probably won’t make 5 years.

September 8th, 2011

My kingdom for a

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I wonder how many people would like this one to be real.

Kudos to the folks who were going to go in after him though.

September 7th, 2011

Well it brought a smile to my face

Posted in The Job - General, Videos by 200

Not quite the standard of a couple of the ‘police dancers’ I’ve posted on this blog in the past, but it still made me smile.

The officer was on duty at the SSP Soundstage in Kensal Rise during the Notting Hill Carnival. The MC on the soundstage can be heard to say: “big up the police inside the place”.

Big him up indeed…

 

September 6th, 2011

Just another day

Posted in Videos by 200

All in a day’s work…

September 5th, 2011

I’ve got a plan

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

So the next great idea to get the police to do more with less is to get them all to go to work wearing their uniforms. How fantastic is that. Depending on how far they live from their nick, you get an extra hour or 4four of police patrol and don’t have to pay them anything for doing it.

We all know the public like seeing police officers on the streets, they always did, in the days when I joined and police officers lived on their beats, all the estates were covered and every village had a dedicated officer who lived in one of the villages he covered. Then they sold off the family silver before realising a couple of years ago that maybe there was value in having ‘neighbourhood officers’ and started patting themselves on the back for coming up with the idea, as if they invesnted it.

Anyway, Policy Exchange, whoever the hell they are, think it would be great for public confidence for police officers to travel to work in full uniform, presumably not in their cars as nobody would see them, so maybe walking jauntily from their house to the station taking in the town centres on the way, or jumping on a bus or train which is situated a few yards from every police officers’ house and runs every fifteen minutes throughout the entire 24 hour period that officers have to get to work or get home. Call me cynical but I see a flaw in that plan, especially as most police officers drive to work.

So, on the way to work we can deal with anything that we might see or come across or have reported to us (I say ‘us’, it’s habit), we can go and deal with it. It won’t matter that we don’t have any protective gear, a radio, pepper spray, baton, protective vest, unless someone changes the law to allow us to keep it at home. Of course everyone will understand when we feel a little reticent to go and deal with the most violent people in society without and equipment or backup and everyone, including the Daily Fail, will understand completely that it’s not safe and we can just stand back and watch while trying to get through on a 999 call like everyone else.

I heard some comments on Radio Five this morning, most of which were basically saying that police officers were a bunch of pussies too scared to be seen in public.  I’m not sure how many of them have had their cars damaged four times and their shed set alight just because of the job they do, like I did when someone on my estate found out I was a police officer. I’ll also make a point of getting them to fix my car when it breaks down, for free, when they’re on the way to work.

Police officer regularly intervene when off duty, and not just on the way to work or back home, sometimes even on rest days when out with the family. I don;t think we really need some office-bound shiny arse moralising on national radio about the duty of officers to deal with things on or off duty. I wonder whether Policy Exchange really thought out the logistics about what would happen with all these officers doing police work for free, I mean, how would anyone ever get to work on time and that’s not even to consider the personal safety aspects or our rights to a private life between our clocking off and clocking on times.

I will make a prediction that this will not come in as long as my arsehole points towards the ground.

 

September 4th, 2011

Bloody cheeks

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

Thirty years ago this week I was tramping round the outskirts of an American Airbase trying to stop women cutting the fence and storming the base. This was the ‘peace’ camp at Greenham Common and some of those who took part are currently doing the rounds of the media outlets letting everyone know their earth mother sisterhood credentials and telling tales of sitting round camp fires singing kum-bah-ya.

I wonder which of them were the ones who walked round with the used tampons pinned to their jackets so police officers wouldn’t touch them. I’d particularly like to see the one who discovered a new way to stop a police van in its tracks; by squatting down in front of it & proceeding to pee all over the place in full sight of everyone, what a charmer.

I think we spent most of our time hauling women off the perimeter fence without trying to offend any sensibilities whilst being sworn and spat at.

Happy days.

September 3rd, 2011

Out of the mouths..

Posted in The Job - General by 200

American supercop Bill Brattan was interviewed in the Financial Times this week. This blog has been running for six years (one of the longest police blogs currently active) and that’s the first time I;ve ever linked to the Financial Times!

Anyway, you’ll know Bill, he’s the champion of policing in the USA who Cameron wanted to get over to run the Met. This was quickly seized upon by ACPO as a ‘s tupid’ idea when they realised that the people they have been pandering to for the last 10 years finally acknowledged by implicatin what a piss poor job they’re making of it, so much so that the nirvana of modern policing lies in people from outwith these shores.

Anyway, whatever you think on Brattan’s successes or otherwise in clearing up the streets of L.A and NY, he seems to have his finger on the plse of UK policing.

He said: “I am a great believer in using crises to create change and accelerate it. The Brits really do have the opportunity to take a look and design [the police system] – the crisis you have experienced is very similar to what happened in New York [in the 1980s].” He pauses. “Or perhaps I would compare London right now more with the way that the LAPD was in 2002 – a dispirited workforce, a lack of trust of leadership in the organisation and a profound loss of confidence in the leadership of government. And that is only to be expected when the [UK] government is laying people off … Morale is awful. All you have to do is read their police blogs.”

September 2nd, 2011

Sort it out

Posted in Blogging by 200

I tend to get my fill of Police Blogs via the amalgamation thingy that is Planet Police. It’s really handy for an overview of the main UK police blogs.

So how bloody annoying is it that for the last few weeks or maybe even longer, all the blog entries imported from anyone with a blog at blogspot.com are showing all the bloody code behind the article and thus making it extremely difficult to read, all the WordPress-type entries seem to be working OK

Sort it out Planet Police, please!

September 1st, 2011

What a waste

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I’ve spent a week of shifts wasting the public’s money, again.

Those that make the decisions and design the protocols avoid risk at all costs, any risk. Therefore we have policies which border on harassment by a public body of an individual.

What happens is someone rings the police because they don’t want to take responsibility for their own problems and want someone else to sort it out for them. Let’s say they are having a petty dispute with a partner who has hidden their mobile phone. They happen to mention that they had an argument with their girlfriend over the amount of money they have been spending on shoes.  This petty falling out happens in most homes in the land, it’s just that usually nobody gets to find out about it and is forgotten about within a few hours, if not minutes. It is nobody’s business but the people involved and should not require the force of the state to investigate and record it.

A log is created. This is not a theft, it is not a crime at all but because the caller wants to report it as a theft we must record it as such, or at least make enquiries to determine that no crime has been committed. Also, they mentioned that it occurred during an argument. This is now a crime with a named offender (mandatory attendance) and a domestic (mandatory attendance).

The fact that when we ring him to make sure he’s home for an officer to call and he cancels us as he has his phone back and realises it was such a petty thing to ring the police about means nothing. The words ‘crime’ named offender’ and domestic’ are recorded in bits and bytes on the computer, there is no going back.

ALL domestics require police to attend to make sure it is on record that we ‘did something’ if at some unspecified time in the future she (it’s usually a she) ends up dead.

The original caller does not want to see police, there is nothing to see police about, he has been involved in what most of us call ‘life’.

Depending on who the supervisor is we might have swung it by marking up the log that no property was stolen and therefore we need  not attend, depending on how much adherence the supervisor gives to the national standards of crime recording. (it’s funny how strict protocol can be open to interpretation). But because the D word is mentioned there is no way we are not going to harangue the caller until we see him.

He spends days avoiding us. He gets to know when we are ringing and stops answering the phone. He is never at home when we call despite leaving messages. We spend literally hours of wasted time ringing him or sending officers round. We can do this for a week or more. We might  strike lucky and get him to answer his phone, he says every time that it was a ‘nothing’ incident and he doesn’t want to report it and he can’t see why we keep harassing him. Out of desperation he might agree to pop in to one of the few police stations that are open so we can record the domestic. He never does, but that wastes a few more days.

The supervisors won’t close the log without him being seen; they don’t want their name to be the last one on the log when she turns up dead because police didn’t fill in a form. It’s only when a sergeant or inspector agrees that we are wasting our time and they put their name on the log that the supervisor feels they can say it wasn’t their decision, when it all goes wrong.

So when it got accused of harassment this week at work because I’d rung this bloke at least a 8 times in 4 days (and people from other shifts had rung him too), I had a certain amount of sympathy for him.

There are far more desreving causes out there that need our attention.