Archive for July, 2012

July 31st, 2012

Watch out!

Posted in Videos by 200

Gotta love some folks’ sense of humour…

July 30th, 2012

Jury’s still out

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I’ve put in to reduce my hours, but it’s like waiting for Christmas (which I can’t get off, by the way, again).

I’ve now worked for this lot for around 33 years and feel it’s about time to slow down a bit. As I’ve mentioned before, I can’t fully retire on just the police pension as I still have children at home who want to go to uni.

So I officially applied to drop my hours to give me more time to chill out a bit and pursue one or two new interests I;ve taken up since I retired from the uniformed job.

The only trouble is I can’t get anyone to make a decision. I don’t know how many departments it takes to decide that i can work a few days a month less but who ever I ask it seems to be somebody else.

Come on guys, pull some fingers out, I want to plan my life.

July 29th, 2012

Another bit of kit

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Grampian Police are to be the first force in the UK to offer body-worn camera technology to all front line officers. This follows a successful 18-month trial in Aberdeen, where cameras the size of mobile phones were used to capture incidents attended by the officers.

Officials say that in 90% of cases proceeded in the courts with body-worn video evidence have resulted in an early guilty plea.

As well as capturing evidence and the behaviour of suspects, something which usually gets watered down with the mere word of a police officer in court, theyc an also be used to protect officers from vexatious complaints.

I believe we trialed them. Let’s hope Grampian used a different system, ours either failed to work or were not available for those officers who actually wanted to wear them.

July 28th, 2012

Paying in blood

Posted in Videos by 200

Just a quickie tonight as I’m watching wall-to-wall Olympics.

July 27th, 2012

Nice one

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

Entertaining, inspiring, emotional, funny, surprising.

Sometimes being British is good.

That is all.

July 26th, 2012

Moments of serendipity

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I was reading something about complaints about police recently, can’t remember what it was, it might have been about the numbers of complaints we get.

I had very few complaints in my 30 years. I was never disciplined and all complaints against me were found in my favour.

Some years ago I got a call to a block of flats, an elderly gentleman had been assaulted by the paper boy after an altercation on the doorstep when the chap had not been satisified with the way the local paper had been screwed up into his letterbox. I got the impression that the old boy was having a go at the lad who, for whatever reason, had enough, punched him in the mouth and walked off.

When I arrived I was met by someone who was not the typical vulnerable old boy you might think whilst on route to a report of an elderly male who’d been bested by a teenager.

For a start he was around 6’1 tall, he had a choice turn of phrase, a handlebar moustache and was quite large in stature, not fat but wll built with a large chest which he puffed out at every opportunity. He said he was an ex-para and there were mementos around his flat which suggested this might be true. He was around 70, as I recall.

The paper boy had split the man’s lip. I took a statement and left, promising I would do what I could to trace the lad and bring him to justice.

A phonecall to the local newspaper distributor revealed the address of the lad who was arrested 15 minutes after I left the chap’s flat. I then spent the next four hours in custody interviewing the lad and sorting out the various reports and papers, fingerprinting & photographing, etc etc.

When I got back to the nick having taken the hapless teenager and his mother home, I was told that Mr Para had made an official complaint that I had not updated him on what progress I was making with his case.

The reason I hadn’t was obvious; I’d been dealing with the offender since leaving the victim’s house. Needless to say the¬†complaint¬†went nowhere, but it was registered in that year’s stats.

Some months later I had a¬†strange¬†sense of karma¬†regarding¬†the old man. I was out shopping one afternoon when I happened to go into my local branch of John ¬†Menzies. Who should I spy behind the chocolate display rapidly trying t force a really expensive box of chocolates into a plain ‘elderly person’s’ shopping bag, but Mr Para.

They say what goes around comes around.

July 25th, 2012

That’s enough bitching, it’s our turn now

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

Having had to listen to the constant bitching about the Olympic Games, massive cost, disruption, nothing for me, London-centric, jobs-for-the-boys, yada-yada-yada, for the last two years, enough already.

I can’t get a summer holiday, I can’t get time off to watch an event I have tickets for, but that’s in the past.

I am now looking forward to a couple of weeks of super sport. I love the Olympics and I’m not afraid to admit it.

I’ve got my BBC iPad app, my London games apps and ¬†my 24 BBC live channels sorted. For the first time ever I’ll be able to watch any sport I choose from the Games*, brought to me by the best broadcasting operation on the world. The stories and experiences will be exciting, emotional and inspiring.

I’ve already got an interesting array of varying ciders in for the duration, it’s gonna be great.

Roll on Friday!

(* apart from the football, I won’t be watching that, obviously)

July 24th, 2012

Gotta dash

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

Having just got home from work and needing to get up for an early shift, I find that I have no time to post, I’m not even going to try and find a suitable vid for you today.

See you on the other side.

July 23rd, 2012

I see some parallels

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

So the East Midlands Ambulance service are planning to close most of their ambulance stations in a bid to save money and increase efficiency.

Now where have I heard that before.

The EMAS was among the worst performers for responding to 999 calls within the set times and the bosses believe that by shutting 66 ambulance stations and replacing them with 13 ‘hub stations’ they will save (a¬†paltry) half a million quid and increase their success rate in response times by (a paltry) 5%.

I know the¬†parallels¬†might be slightly askew in that members of the public don;t routinely go to ambulance stations like they do with police stations, but you’d have thought they might look at the police experience first and see if that gave any hints.

We’ve been closing police stations for a few years now, though these days it’s kind of a wholesale process. I don’t recall seeing many reports from people who live in towns where police stations have closed, that they feel better served. Indeed, as a¬†member¬†of the public myself, as¬†ewe¬†all are, even police officers, and council tax payer, I don’t think me and my neighbours feel safer in our beds knowing there is nobody at the police station down the road every night and at most other times during the day, and that should there be an emergency, officers have to blue light it from a couple of towns away rather than 1/2 of a mile.

Still, I expect the ambulance service will be different and the current appalling level of service our citizens currently experience will suddenly be transformed once all the ambo stations are shut.

July 22nd, 2012

We need more incident rooms

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

So, crime is down this year, by almost 4%. Apparently, around 4 millions crimes were reported last year. It’s the lowest crime rate since 1989.

The Telegraph is¬†bemoaning¬†the fact that the police only solve 1/4 of all offences. I’m not sure how they think we should be solving all these crimes, given that the vast majority of crime is committed by people unknown to the victim, who are never seen by anyone.

In contrast 95% of drugs offences are solved. This isn’t so wonderful when you bare in mind that most drugs offences are only recorded when we catch someone with the drugs. All the times we don’t catch someone are not recorded since we don’t know about it. Maybe the Telegraph thinks that everyone who takes drugs are ringing us up to report that they got wasted last night, so we can get the figures to match those for burglary, damage and theft.

95% of the 552 murders recorded last year were solved. What does that tell us? Maybe that if you put a Detective Superintendent and a whole incident room full of detectives and civilian staff on the case of Mrs Miggins missing plant pots, you might get a much higher detection rate there too.

July 21st, 2012

Must have seemed like a good idea, at the time

Posted in Videos by 200

The following video of a police pursuit of a motorcycle which reached speeds of 150mph in Sweden. The motorcyclist has a female on the back of the bike during the pursuit. After a few minutes it manages to break free of the following unmarked police Saab, only to crash into a barrier.

The rider was killed, the passenger got away with minor injuries. (you don’t see the crash)

The footage is from Sweden.

July 20th, 2012

Genius, but…

Posted in The Job - General by 200

isn’t the wheel more expensive than the fine?

July 19th, 2012

I am at liberty to comment, as the subject is just a PC

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

I’ve been otherwise engaged today so haven;t seen any news programmes on the TV.

I understand that a police officer has been found not guilty of manslaughter, and that it’s all over the front pages of the national press.

I also heard that representatives of the IPCC and Metropolitan ACPO ranks have been speaking about the officer before a disciplinary investigation has been concluded. Something which they seem loathed to do when the subject is a senior police officer.

How strange.

July 18th, 2012

Life is like a box of chocolates…

Posted in Videos by 200

…you just never know which one you might get.

July 17th, 2012

Same old, same old

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

So, the workings of G4S has been described by a parliamentary enquiry as “a humiliating shambles“.

And this is the government’s favoured ‘partner’ to take on the role of many policing functions?

It comes as no real surprise, the people who make decisions on how the police run, either nationally or locally, have a long history of making poor choices. We have a radio system which falls far short of what was promised, which cost the country billions and works no better than the old system in many areas. We buy command and control systems designed by people who will never use them with functionality we never use and lacking things we could really do with.

We spend millions on PDAs which officers refuse to use because they are shite.

Does anyone know whether, in the bidding for outsourcing police functions, G4S were the cheapest by any chance?

Still, it’s not all bad news; ¬£400million has been wiped off the value of G4S following the current Olympic debacle.

July 16th, 2012

Well that’s the first one

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

The first of the little Weeks family graduated from university. I am now the proud father of a child with a First Class Honours Degree in Science.

She becomes the first member of the northern branch of the family Weeks to qualify with a university degree. ¬†What’s more, she has got a job after just her second interview, in order to gain two years in the workplace before she can return for her Masters.

I had high hopes for her at uni, after all, she made head girl at school and obtained the best GCSE results in the whole district with one A and 10 A*s. It was great to realise that she had her dad’s brains and her mother’s good looks, there’d have been no hope if it was the other way round. (I jest, I’m actually quite dashing!)

Proud, much?

You bet.

And thankful that when she was making her life choices, law enforcement didn’t figure.

July 15th, 2012

Would the last one to leave…

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I sometimes wonder whether the job is trying to get people to leave so they don’t have to make them redundant.

It’s the only explanation for the way they’re treating people, piss them off enough so that they leave, less hassle for HR.

Three people in the last 3 months have retired, they didn’t have to, but have just had enough. They won’t be replaced so I guess the department has saved around ¬£90,000 without having to do anything. I know one of them was pissed off with not being allowed to take leave when he wanted it. He was in the control room when I was a probationer so he must have 34 plus years in the job.

Three people have taken career breaks, one for a year, one for two years and one for several years. I know one of them can’t take all the shite any more and is off to university with the hope of getting another career at the end of the course and not coming back. ¬†That’s gotta be another ¬£100,000 saved. None of them will be replaced because there is no recruiting.

Meanwhile, I’m waiting to hear whether they will accept my proposal to cut my hours. Rumours are that they’re biting peoples’ hands off to save money, so I’m hopeful of a positive result.

July 14th, 2012

Zzzzz

Posted in Videos by 200

The vid lasts around 3 minutes but nothing much happens after the first few seconds. Apparently it was around 4.45 in the morning in Norwich. I guess working a night shift in east Anglia is enough to send anyone to sleep.

July 13th, 2012

Big Brother isn’t watching

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I’ve always been a little bit of a gadget geek. ¬†One app I don’t think I’ll be downloading though, is one to be released this week by the City of London Police, who have¬†designed¬†an app to keep an eye on crowds gathering in London.

Ostensibly, the app is about seeing where crowds are in events such as the terrorist bombings on 7/7, which would help to plan for evacuations of areas affected. It can also be used to advise members of the public about areas to avoid.

People download the app which then sends anonymous information about the locations of all the app users. This is turned into data which shows as heat spots on a map. It works because the iPhone users agree to have their locations fed into a central server somewhere in App Land. The App stresses that all info is anonymous and that the identity of the participants remains anonymous, and the police aren’t tracking individuals.

This may well be true, but how many people will want to download and use the app, I wonder.

More details here.

July 12th, 2012

The future is bleak

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

I was going to write ‘The future is G4S bleak” but I can’t figure a way how to put the correct code into a WordPress heading.

As more and more forces consider the option of selling out to the largest security company in the world, G4S, shocking news that G4S appears incapable of facilitating a drink fest in  building custom-built for the purposes of the consumption of hop-based alcohol.

The government have been forced to call in the Army, or rather, a larger proportion of the Army than they had already bargained for. Fortunately, the machinery to sack or retire thousands of soldiers hasn’t fully kicked in yet, otherwise they’d really be in the kak. This is because G4S have suddenly realised, 3 weeks before the games start, that they can’t actually deliver that which they promised when the shiny ¬£50 notes were waived in their corporate faces.

It’s a good job the Olympics is this year and not in 2013 when the Army & Police would be largely absent. Mind you, if we hadn’t spent those billions of staging the Olympics maybe we wouldn’t be sacking police officers and soldiers, and they could do the job they are actually paid to do rather than checking tickets at sports events.

Still it’s not all bad news. Apparently Surrey Police are having second thoughts about going into business with companies who can’t deliver.

Did I mention I can’t get any time off to watch the only event we got tickets for, or that I can’t get a bloody summer holiday this year for the first time in 33 years?