Archive for December, 2011

December 11th, 2011

It’ll be all right when the new radio system comes in

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

The recent investigation into the Riots in the summer has found that the police Airwave radio system was found wanting when it didn’t work and officers were forced to use their own mobile phones to contact each other and the control rooms.

Prior to the introduction of the Airwave system, we had UHF and VHF systems. These had their limitations, they didn’t work sometimes and were subject to poor weather conditions, they were also insecure. I remember as a kid tuning into my local police force’s radio system and collecting all the weird and wonderful callsigns.

Airwave was the antidote to a poor radio system, secure and reliable.

In 1999 they said the system would costs something in the region of Ă‚ÂŁ2.3billion plus the cost of the equipment over the 22 years of it’s life.

We’ve been using Airwave for several years now and the findings of the riot inquiry will come as no surprise to anyone who has had to use the Airwave system. It didn’t work on the underground so BTP had problems until special equipment was put in. It doesn’t like working in buildings with a heavy metal content to the roof. Officers don’t mind this so much when they are having their breakfast in the local Tesco or Asda, as they can’t be contacted (except on their mobile phones).

In one of our divisions the worst place for radio reception is in the new police station, who’d have thought, a radio system that doesn’t work in the police station.

The signal falls in and out at will, people who have to listen to it will be familiar with the bucket of water or Dalek effect it has on speech when it decides to play up.

The masts are spread around the area but have a habit of falling over (not literally, they just pack up), this means the system won’t work at all in areas of the town and is more common than I think anyone foresaw. It results in officers being told to go back to the police station and do ‘fire brigade’ policing – only responding to emergencies – for health and safety reasons, which always strikes me as strange since it’s usually the emergency situations who pose the most risk to health and safety.

December 10th, 2011

Robbing Graves

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

The latest inductee into the ‘2oo Weeks Scum of the Week Hall of Fame‘ is an, as yet, unnamed woman who has been captured doing her scummy deeds on CCTV in Barking, East London.

11-year-old Robert Stringer died in 1980, his father died in 1984 and his mother died in 2009. They are all buried in the same plot in the cemetery in Barking.

Over a number of weeks family members noticed ornaments, baskets and flowers disappearing from the grave. After several incidents they decided to set up a CCTV camera which captured what appears to be a middle-aged woman kneeling at the grave and filling bags with flowers, she walks off with the items.

After some local publicity the police received a call from a woman who was so disgusted with the thief’s actions that she felt the only action to take was to name the woman. The family of Robert have said that the police told them the informant was the thief’s daughter.

Talk about robbing the dead, what an eminently proper entry into the Hall of Fame.

December 9th, 2011

Unbelieveable

Posted in The Job - General by 200

News today that a Leicestershire Police Inspector who was sacked from the force may have killed his wife and six-year-old daughter and tried to kill his two sons. Police were called to his house in Melton Mowbray where they discovered the dead body of 37-year-old Toby Day. His wife and daughter died from their injuries. His two sons are in hospital and described as stable.

It is very difficult to understand what could bring someone to kill their own children and even more difficult when that person is a police officer. You live as an officer for the majority of your working life, even after you stop wearing a blue suit you remain as you always were. There is something which you like to think differentiates you from the mere mortals you deal with every day, something in your makeup, your psyche which you hope inures you to the weaknesses of others. This is why it is always so sad when another officer slips from their position in the world and ends up in some kind of stupid trouble.

It’s very difficult to imagine anthing expect disgust and contempt for anyone who could do such a thing, police officer or not.

 

December 8th, 2011

Green Shoots

Posted in The Job - General, Videos by 200

Is there some light on the horizon perhaps?

Footage of new Met Commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, talking to members of the Metropolitan Police  & London Authorities. You just got to love the bit where he says he gives straight answers rather than answers that politicians give, and the uproar that anti-police members Jenny Jones and Dee Doocey show, and the frankly laughable comment that Doocey makes when she is completely affronted at the suggestion that politicians don’t give straight answers. She then goes on to show a complete lack of listening skills tainted by her anti-police stance when she says Hogan-Howe accused politicians of lying; he did no such thing at any point but it doesn’t stop Doocey making it up, what she actually does is make herself look like a complete tosser.

And Jenny Jones has a weird appreciation of what makes a ‘macho man’ judging by the statement of fact she reads out as a quote from a Met officer towards the end of the footage.

And these people are running London and policing in London, sheesh!

Good for the Met boss.

December 7th, 2011

Do the right thing

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

Support this recording.

Amazon pre-order

That is all.

 

December 6th, 2011

Sad memories

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

In my 30 years, most of which was on the street, I got to deal with many road traffic accidents, quite a few of which were fatal. I used to work in a large sparsely populated area of the force which had several main roads through it. We used to get motorcyclists from all over the region come down during the summer just to race around these particular roads.

I used to arrive first before the Gucci traffic boys got there and had many a scary moment wondering if someone was going to die before help arrived.

I remember comforting a woman trapped in the passenger seat of her car telling her that her husband was doing OK and help was on the way while knowing full well he was dead right beside us.

I’ve just had a look at a new map which shows where every single fatality occurred between 1999 and 2010. 36,371 people killed on the roads of the UK.

I checked the area where I used to police and seeing all the little dots on the map brought back a memory of every single fatal I attended or knew of in my area, stuff I’d long since forgotten, like the little old lady who had a heart attack at the wheel and veered across the road into the path of an oncoming car, or the children that were killed when their vehicle overturned. Or the overpowering smell of alcohol and blood when a car left the road in the early hours of the morning and hit a tree killing the young driver instantly. His neck had been split wide open and he was just sat there in the driving seat, eyes still open.

You can check out your area at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15975720

December 5th, 2011

Ouch!

Posted in Videos by 200

Is this the most expensive car crash in the world?

Probably not, but  there’s some serious cash involved in this accident which occurred on a dual carriageway in Japan this week. It involved a collision between 8 Ferraris, 3 Mercedes, a Lamborghini and 2 Toyotas. The cars were driven by a group on enthusiasts on their way to a meeting in Hiroshima when one of the cars lost control and hit the central crash barrier, the cars following all piled into each other.

I’m never going to own a car like this as long as my arse points towards the ground but I did flinch when I saw this on the news today. Ouch!

December 4th, 2011

Sitting Ducks

Posted in Videos by 200

All in a day’s work ma’am.

December 3rd, 2011

Drop it, Fido!

Posted in Videos by 200

That’s one determined dog…

December 2nd, 2011

Scratch 6 Burglars

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I love it when a plan comes together.

The call came in as usual from someone who had seen 3 guys somewhere they shouldn’t have been. It’s a disused commercial premises. I’m not sure whether they went bust or just moved to India, but they left all the buildings. It’s quite a large area. From time to time it gets broken into by burglars chancing their arm that there is still stuff they can flog, metal & cable thieves who want to rip out the innards, or just semi-brave adventurers who want to photograph the dereliction and stick the shot sup on the Internet.

In a rare moment of surprise I found that I had 3 or 4 units to send to the scene. Using our mapping computer I directed people to cover the perimeter, called a dog and the chopper. Unusually, our dog was in the same county so he made and the helicopter was just 10 minutes away.

The first unit on scene hit the front gates, nothing seen. the second was around one of the side and found a hole cut in the fence. The third was sent into the grounds of a school which backed on to the complex. He could see 5 or 6 males inside with hammers, crowbars and bags. The officer hid in a bush and gave a commentary. The males walked towards another side of the site out of his view.

The helicopter and dog arrived at the same time. I love the helicopter getting to the scene before the job is over. It means I can watch the footage from their heat seeking cameras and watch the bad boys getting surrounded by the boys and girls in blue.

We’d been watching them for a good 15 minutes by the time the dog was put in. The baddies did a starburst and took it on their toes most of them heading straight towards where officers had been plotted up.

Two were quickly rounded up. Two made it over the fence and after initially running out onto the street, then broke into a jovial walk like they were out to buy a paper. You can’t tell expressions from a black and white negative image ona  screen, but I bet they changed when the firearms car pulled up beside them and promptly nicked them.

There aren’t many people can outrun an Alsatian at full pelt which made the spectacle of the chase somewhat shortened, but it looked great on screen. Especially when it took down the last of the burglars.

It might even make one of those Cop Action programmes on the TV one day. Put me in a good mood for the rest of the shift.

December 1st, 2011

The end of the world is nigh

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

I’m not in Unison, as I mentioned before. Of the reasons I’m not in the Union, I can add a new one, because ‘they’ are clearly a bunch of twats.

Unison is calling for the sacking of Jeremy Clarkson because he made a comment on the ‘One Show’ on the  BBC last night that he thought all public sector strikers should be shot.

Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, said: “Clarkson’s comments on The One Show were totally outrageous, and they cannot be tolerated.” Er, yes they can, not only that, they can be ignored. Clarkson is an entertainer, millions of people are entertained by his utterings both in print and on screen. You know what you’re going to get with Clarkson, if you don’t like what he says, don’t watch or read him.

Inevitably, Unison, or a more specifically Dave – jumped up mouthpiece – Prentiss, is calling for the full weight of the law to come crashing down around Clarkson’s ears. He said: “An apology is not enough – we are calling on the BBC to sack Jeremy Clarkson immediately.” And, as is usually the first resort in society these days, “We are seeking urgent legal advice about what further action we can take against him and the BBC, and whether or not his comments should be referred to the police.” Good luck with that one Dave, the answer will be ‘bugger all’.

Clarkson made a light-hearted jape which some people found amusing, and some did not. He is not Hitler, Stalin or Pol Pot.

Suck it up Prentiss and do something useful, there are things in  life to be concerned about, the mutterings of a highly paid entertainer is not one of them. Grow up.