Archive for May, 2012

May 31st, 2012

Check out this vid

Posted in Videos by 200

This is a video by fellow police blogger Minimum Cover. It’s rather well done, and the music is great.

May 30th, 2012

Bike cop survives

Posted in Videos by 200

This motorcycle cop was escorting an ambulance in Holland in 2009. He was seriously injured but survived.

May 29th, 2012

Wish me luck

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I’ve been thinking over the past couple of months, it might be time to look at reducing my hours.

Since I retired, I’ve found new interests outside the job. I only have a few more years with the kids at home before they disappear and I’ve given 33 years to the job.

I still work full 24-hour shifts which means you can;t commit to regular out of hours pursuits, well, not unless you are prepared to miss at least 1 in 4 of the weekly meetings. That means if you pay a subscription for membership, ¬†say to a football team or table tennis club, you immediately throw 25% of your annual fee straight down the drain because you can’t attend the meetings on a late shift or sometimes a night shift as well.

I think it’s about time I did some me and my family stuff, so I’m going to see if I can drop a few days a month and get some more free time.

There are two current thoughts with this. First, they are so short staffed - deliberately so Рthat they may not allow someone to drop shifts because that will leave them shorter. Or second, that they are trying to save so much money that they might welcome the ease at which they could save another few grand off a wage bill.

So, let’s hope the right ethos pertains when I stick my¬†application¬†in!

May 28th, 2012

Good luck with that one

Posted in The Job - General by 200

New Met chief, Bernard Hogan-Howe, wants all victims of crime to be offered a personal visit.

I don’t have a problem with this, we used to do it as a matter of routine, until people decided the job of policing could be shaved off to different departments and organisations. The problem is that the genie is now out of the bottle, going back to that ethos will take more than a few good words in the force press releases.

Apparently, an extra 3000 people have received a visit in the last 3 weeks over and above what the Met currently do. That’s good going but I suspect it leaves quite a few victims of crime without a visit over that period. Only 25% of those offered a visit too the Met up on it. The reasons the others declined are not clear. I think that would make interesting reading.

The Met have said they aim to get to someone to the scene of a car crime within an hour. We can’t get officers to domestics, burglaries and assaults within an hour, let alone crimes which probably occurred many hours prior to being discovered.

We’ve had similar initiatives in our force area. Sometimes it’s car crime, sometimes it’s anti social behaviour on a ¬†particular estate or row of shops, thefts of metals, catalytic converters, whatever. We certainly can’t get to most of those within the hour, not unless we have a load of PCSOs doing nothing better.

So it will be interesting to see how the Met gets on with this initiaive, and what other parts of the service have to suffer to compensate.

May 27th, 2012

Only in America

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Police intervened and a bizzare incident in yesterday afternoon in Miami when officers’ attention was drawn to two naked men fighting on a bike track near a main road.

One of the men was biting at the other man’s face. He was ordered to desist so police opened fire, striking the attacker, who continued chewing the other man’s face so officers shot him again killing him.

Police were then able to rescue the man and get him hospital treatment where his condition remains serious. Sources say that the victim has virtually no face left and was unrecognisable.

I wonder what choices would have been open to the officers had the incident occurred here, other than getting quite angry.

May 26th, 2012

Not long for this job

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I went to a wedding this week. One of the shift got married.

It was real opportunity for people to let their hair down.

I got to talk to lots of people, many of whom work out on shift but are very friendly with the control room staff, so much so that they got invited to the wedding. It was interesting talking to some of the guys and girls out on the street, especially the¬†ones¬†who are being shafted the most by the government. Many of them joined under one set of conditions and find themselves being shat on as new¬†conditions¬†are¬†introduced, for instance the ones who are suddenly finding that they have to work a few more years than they had, for the last few years, ever thought possible. I spoke to no less than 3 people who are actively looking for another job. One of them leave is a couple of months time. She’s going self employed and setting up as a photographer. I wish her all the best.

With recruitment at a standstill, wages on hold and proposed decreases in starting salaries, it will be interesting to see who actually applies to join this job, and what the calibre of future applicants is.

May 25th, 2012

And one more

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

Sometimes you just have to lighten the load.

In the control room we currently have at least four members of staff who have been off for longer than 3 months with stress. It’s getting more like that. I saw someone crying in the little room outside the control room this week. It was something to do with what happened as she was trying to control an incident, I didn’t bother finding out the details.

So it makes a nice change to introduce some levity into proceedings.

We had a really busy night shift. I can’t remember which one of us suggested it but someone said something along the lines of, wouldn’t it be a laugh if we had a donut for every immediate job that came over, and how long we could last before either giving up or being sick.

So the next night we bought in a couple of dozen jam donuts and set them up on the desk beside the radio console. We were both in position by ten minutes to the start of our shift. By the time our shift had actually started we’d eaten 3 donuts. By the time we were an hour into the shift we’d had 10 donuts. By the time I took my grub break at 2 in the morning, we’d run out of donuts and had gone onto Chocolate Bourbons.

I didn’t manage to eat my sandwiches during my break. I kind of just laid there, floundering. When I got back thankfully the Bourbons had gone.

Someone offered to nip out to the local 24-hour supermarket during their break to get some more donuts.

I said it was a bad idea.

I won’t be eating donuts, for a while.

May 24th, 2012

Making a difference

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I came across a lovely story over at the PoliceOne.com website today.

Jose Rubio-Pavon, aged just 12, is dying with an inoperable brain tumour in Colorado. His dream was to be a police officer.

Jose’s dream came true last week when he was sworn in as a Brighton PD officer.

Officers Anna-Marie Cuney, Levy Slagle and Cpl. Monce Portillo swore him in during a ceremony in his hospice room and presented him with a certificate officially recognizing him as a member of the Brighton Police Department, a police uniform shirt and a junior officer badge.

The fifth grader wore a giant smile as he took the oath of office, Brighton Police said.

Sometimes I love this job.

May 23rd, 2012

I’ve never arrested a polar bear

Posted in Videos by 200

but this guy has…

May 22nd, 2012

How much was the pay cut again?

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Three police officers, a gas engineer and a paramedic have been seriously injured in a gas explosion at a bungalow in Gateshead.

Emergency services were called to the address after a report of a smell of gas. Whilst they were helping an elderly resident from the premises the building exploded seriously injuring the police officers. The injuries to the officers and engineer were descried as serious after the incident yesterday afternoon.

The officers have had their pay cut and pensions pillaged but will still be expected to put their lives at risk in the service of others when they return to work.

May 21st, 2012

Hurrah for the Home Office

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Another day, another complete load of bollocks designed to fool particularly stupid people.

A new white paper, whatever the bloody hell a white paper is, gets announced tomorrow designed to force police to investigate anti social behaviour.

The coallition will announce that they are disposing of ASBOs and replacing them with something exactly the same, though they won’t actually say this. A new Criminal Behaviour Order will ban individuals from certain places or activities, pretty much like an ASBO was supposed to do. Anyone who breaks their order will be liable to up to five years in prison, hurrah. Except that the government don’t want people to go to prison for burglary and stabbing people so why they are suddenly going to be countenancing prison sentences for people who wind their neighbours up is beyond me.

They will also say that police will be forced to investigate anti social behaviour if at least five people complain. This is great news, usually all the anti social behaviour we attend currently (which in my opinion is not enough but a fair proportion) is usually only reported by one person. Clearly this means we will now be able to forget all that and only attend if five people complain. Thus freeing up thousands more officers to look for disobedient teenagers who can’t be arsed to come home on time and we will be able to investigate thousands more cases of people being naughty on Facebook. Hurrah!

Of¬†course, the government will say they are taking ASB more seriously whilst¬†completely¬†misunderstanding what we do now and what we can’t do because of their fucking cuts. They’ll trumpet it as positive action by saying more stuff will be done to help people, without a moment’s thought that the actual people available to carry out their new old policies, are the same people being cut in their 20% efficiency savings.

May 20th, 2012

Dream on, son

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

The Metro reports today that the Olympics will be the biggest pre-planned police operation the country has ever seen. No shit, Sherlock.

12,500 officers will be on duty for the Olympics, 9,500 of which will be drafted into London each day from forces all over the country.

I’m not a police officer (any more) and I won’t be going to London to help make the streets safe for those few people who actually got tickets, but I still haven’t had any leave approved over the summer. That’s why I still don’t know whether I can actually have a holiday with my wife and children this summer, nor whether I can actually attend my own child’s graduation or go to my best mate’s wedding. I’ve had to turn the role of best man down because I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to get leave to attend.

It’s a bit worrying that there are only 2 months to go and they still don’t know how many staff they’ll need, or when they’ll need them.

May 19th, 2012

I can’t understand why there’s no outcry

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

I posted in December 2011 and this April about the poor service coming from the ambulance service. It had certainly gotten worse between December and April.

In April I reckoned that I was dealing with about a dozen calls a week where an ambulance wasn’t available, sometimes for quite serious injuries and incidents. I have to say it is almost approaching that number a shift now.

In the last couple of shifts we have had several calls for an ambulance but none were available. An 88 year old lady who had fallen behind locked doors. We forced the front door and called am ambulance. None available.

Elderly man who had fallen in the street, no ambulance available. Victim of a stab wound to the arm, no ambulance available. RTC, person with head and leg injuries, no ambulance available. After 45 minutes of waiting and the third or 4th call from our control room to theirs, still no ambulance available but a request from their controller to call them back if the injuries became life-threatening; presumably they think police officers’ first-aid training, such that it is, would make it clear when someone has an injury that might be life threatening. I know on most occasions I dealt with injuries, unless their head was half hanging off I didn’t have a clue if they were likely to die or waltz off into the sunset singing God Save the Queen.

It’s causing a lot of friction between control rooms. I like to think I’m usually pretty¬†friendly¬†and professional when I speak to people, especially those who are in the same kind of business. But I’m getting pretty pissed of speaking to ambulance controllers who are short, snappy and sometimes just downright rude just because you have the temerity to ask if and when an ambulance might arrive. I know some of my colleagues can be rude and snappy too, but that’s not really an excuse to speak to me like that.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but there seem to be lots more calls where the ambulance is declining to attend in the first until an officer has been because the patient is ‘being violent’. Now there are times when someone is being violent, and situations where I wouldn’t anyone with at least a stab proof vest, a big stick, some pepper spray and may be a Taser, to enter first, but these are not the norm. The amount of jobs we get to where absolutely nothing is happening but the ambo has either not been sent yet, or is sitting in another street, seems to be on the increase. It almost seems like the ambo control is using the police service as a triage nurse to find out whether one is actually needed before they send one.

We’re now recording all incidents where an ambulance is not available, the Association of Chief Police Officers is getting involved, apparently. After all, whenever an ambulance isn’t available, it’s the¬†police¬†who have to pick up the workload. we’re now running people to hospital routinely rather than have an officer wait with the patient. We couldn’t possibly just drive off and tell the patient to wait for an ambo, because if they died it would be our fault.

May 18th, 2012

Man gotta work

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

We had the financial arrangements letter from the Education Department through recently.

I recall, when the government said that they were allowing universities to up their charges to 9 grand, they said that universities actually charging 9 grand would be the exception to the rule. Yeah, right.

My first child was paying ¬†just over 3 grand a year for her tuition fees. My second child starts when my first finishes, just one year later my second child will be paying ¬£8,500 tuition fees. Technically, the government were right in that her fees aren’t the maximum. This is true, over three years she gets to pay a whopping ¬£1,500 less than the maximum ¬£24,000. A bargain.

I never went to uni, I sometimes wish I had, mainly so that I could have gotten a different career. In just one generation we have gone from a free education, to one where a child will come out of uni with a minimum of £36,000 in debt.

But it’s OK though, because not only do the government loan the kids the money for the course, they’ll also loan them money for living expenses. Mine will get ¬£4,500. The trouble is that her accommodation will cost almost ¬£4,000, leaving her ¬£450 for the year to buy food, books, transport.

So when anyone asks why I still bother to do the job I do, when I could be laying back 7 days a week on a police pension, I point them to the above figures.

May 17th, 2012

You can imagine this in the UK, can’t you?

Posted in Videos by 200

I’m not sure if we’ve had this one before, but to be honest I’m in such a hurry today what with one thing and another, that I’ve not had time to sort out anything for the blog.

May 16th, 2012

Yes, we’re just like everyone else

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

This week sees the British Medical Association trying to persuade its members to vote for strike action in protest at the government’s plans to change pension conditions.

Train drivers in Lincolnshire are expected to strike again tomorrow over plans to change  their pension scheme.

Last week, the much heralded¬†fuel¬†tanker drivers’ strike was called off after an agreement was reached with employers. Also last week public sector workers all over the country took part in a 24-hour strike over pension plans.

Among those striking last week were UK Border Agency workers, also angry at plans to change their pensions.

At the same time as 35,000 police officers were marching in protest in London, prison officers held a half-day strike against the government’s pension reforms.

Teachers’ unions are considering similar strike action.

The police are not alone in having their wages and pensions attacked by a government who failed to prevent themselves falling into a hole they are now using our cash to claw themselves out of.

The difference between the police and everyone else is that they all have the right to take industrial action. All we get to do is spend our days off walking through London and not clap the Home Secretary while holding up signs.

May 15th, 2012

Round four hundred and sixty-two

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Disgraced ex- police officer Ali Dizaei has been sacked from the Met for the second time.

It followed his second conviction for perverting the course of justice. He has been on full pay since his original sentence was quashed, but this stops from today. It would be interesting to know how much cash this man has been given whilst not doing a day’s work for the community that has been paying him.

¬†Deborah Glass, the IPCC¬†chairman, said: “Ali Dizaei’s dismissal from the Metropolitan Police Service was the right and inevitable outcome following his conviction, a second time, for serious criminal offences. There is no place in the police for corrupt officers and they have no business wielding the powers of a police officer in our communities.”

Interestingly, she also said: “Many will wonder how Mr Dizaei was able to rise to the very senior rank of commander.¬†The Metropolitan Police Service needs to ensure that never again is its reputation so badly damaged by the acts of one of its most senior officers.

I think we can take a fair guess at why such a man rose to the highest ranks, despite a very checkered history, and it has little to do with his skills. It is borne from a  system which recognises quotas above ability.

The Home Secretary will decide on whether Dizaei receives  a police pension.

May 14th, 2012

It doesn’t sound good

Posted in The Job - General by 200

A police officer in the Met has been found dead at North Wooliwch Police Station this afternoon, it is believed he suffered gunshot wounds.

The officer was a PC with the Aviation Security Command at London City Airport. Police are not seeking anyone in connection with the death.

News appears to be a bit sparse at the moment.

May 13th, 2012

And the headlines tonight

Posted in The Job - General by 200

So Sir Hugh Orde, president of ACPO, has gone on record today saying that the cuts in police numbers will probably lead to increases in crime. Police officer numbers are set to be cut by up to 16,000 by 2015.

Of course the government will not tell you this, fixated by spin and image they still bang on about efficiency savings not affecting the front line, blah, blah, blah.

In other news tonight, Julia Bradbury in Planet Earth Live reveals footage of brown bears defecating in heavily tree’d areas of America. And in a shock revelation, Andrew Marr is told the¬†religion¬†of the Pope.

May 12th, 2012

Thank you

Posted in Blogging by 200

for your support and comments on my post a few days ago concerning the future of the blog. Of course, you are quite right that the number of comments doesn;t reflect the number of readers, but it is nice to know you’re not a lone voice in the wilderness sometimes.

As discussed, I’m going to continue posting daily until September to get that magical 5 years’ daily posting in after which it will be a good time to reassess the future of the blog.

Thanks for the kind comments, it makes an old, overweight man feel nice and warm inside.