Archive for August, 2012

August 31st, 2012

Opps

Posted in The Job - General by 200

We’ve not had a data breach story for a while, so here’s one from this week.

Hertfordshire Police’s website appears to have been hacked and details from a¬† database connected to the website have been published.

Hackers alleged to be supportive of Julian Assange have posted the names and email addresses of police officers and civilian staff. The list also appears to show the officers’ log-in details, presumably to police computer systems.

Hertfordshire have taken part of their website off line while they investigate the matter.

August 30th, 2012

Who left the raw onions out?

Posted in Other Stuff, Videos by 200

I don’t normally peruse the website of the Sun, but I picked this one up on a link so0meone sent me in an email and thought it worth sharing.

Corporal Luke Tamata, 31, Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker, 26, and Private Richard Harris, 21, of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment were killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Two hundred soldiers of the 1st and 2nd battalions greeted the coffins when the dead soldiers were repatriated.

This is what happened.

August 29th, 2012

More of the same please

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

I’ve just settled down in front of the TV with a cool one, watching the opening of the Paralympic Games. Apart from looking out for someone I know to lead out one of the teams, I’m really looking forward to some more cracking sport.
And guess what, I even managed to get tickets. After being refused times off to utilise the tickets I managed to get for the Olympics, the events I’m going to re on my rest days so the job can fuck right off.

August 28th, 2012

Meeow

Posted in The Job - General by 200

When I worked in a rural part of the county, we used to get reports of big cats quite frequently. A puma was reputed to wander the area over one particular summer. Investigations used to revolve around a phone call to the nearest zoo or animal sanctuary to see if any had escaped, followed by a quick drive round the nearest village. There were lots of reports but never a puma was found.

Essex Police seem to have called off their search for a lion.

 

August 27th, 2012

Always a sucker for these

Posted in The Job - General, Videos by 200

On the 13th August this year Constable Brain Bachman, a 20-year-veteran of the Brazos County Constable’s Office, was sot and killed whilst serving an eviction notice.

The murderer continued to fire his weapon from his home killing a civilian and wounding another. Three other officers who responded to the initial call were injured before the murderer was shot and killed.

The following video was shot depicting Constable Bachman’s funeral procession.

You can see Constable Bachman’s entry in the Officer Down Memorial Page.

August 26th, 2012

That’s how much some people value their kids

Posted in Videos by 200

This guy, who was drunk, led police on a chase of speeds up to 100mph. The vehicle contained his wife and four young children.

August 25th, 2012

Farewell Gentle Traveller

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

Astronaut, Neil Armstrong, died today aged 82.

I was 9 years old when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon. It was my sister’s sixth birthday and we were allowed to stay up and watch the moon landing.

I was a big science fiction fan, I built space rockets, read stories and looked at the skies at night. It has stayed with me my whole life, only today I bought the third issue of the new magazine All About Space and I’m 52. Neil Armstrong played a big part in all that.

August 24th, 2012

I laughed until I stopped

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Believe it or not, there are times of levity in the control room.

One of my colleagues is trawling through the open lots to see what’s going on around the force.

She finds one and starts laughing. That’s usually a cue for everyone near by to glance over to try and see the log that’s being looked at.

A woman has called in all of a panic saying she thinks the police ought to know. She’s received a text from her husband. It says that one of the lads at work has just received a call from someone saying that a bomb has been planted in the local Asda, in the Alphabetti Spaghetti display, and if it goes off it could spell disaster.

August 23rd, 2012

Send him down

Posted in The Job - General by 200

This one has been on the BBC News channel most of the day.

Car dealer Ben Westwood, 33, has the single distinction of being the driver prosecuted for the highest speed on a UK road after trying to escape from a raid in a stolen Audi RS5. The vehicle had previously been modified with a Lamborghini engine and was capable of speeds up to 200mph.

Westwood reached speeds of 180mph on the M6 in January.

Thankfully, Westwood has just been sent down for 9 years. Though we know he won;t serve anywhere near that.

August 22nd, 2012

There are no targets

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

The public voice of the control room will tell you there are no targets. Calls into the control room are dealt with on merit, to the best of the call-taker’s ability and are resolved at the point of source, if at all possible, by the call-taker resolving the problem. If they can’t, they pass the matter on to someone who can, often in the form of a job which gets sent to the controllers for a police unit to be assigned to deal with it.

Being able to deal with the call when it comes in, from start to finish is good; it satisfies the needs of the caller, and it means less calls come in because the caller has to call back again, and again because their problem isn’t resolved. It also takes time; call-takers can only deal with one call at a time, this means when they are resolving someone’s issues,. they are not dealing with someone else’s.

It might be as simple as finding out a piece of information. Often the call-taker will be able to pass this information straight away, sometimes they have to go and find out. This might involve looking it up or speaking with someone else who knows. While they are doing this they are not answering calls.

If you go for several years in a row without replacing any staff in the control room, there comes a time when you haven’t got enough staff. The result, apart from finding it impossible to get a¬† summer holiday (bitter, much?) is that people have to wait longer for the phone to be answered, because call-takers are trying to deal with each call to the best of their ability to give the best service possible.

Answering the calls in a longer time is fine, as long as you don’t have targets for answering calls.

What actually happens, when the figures go below the target level is the supervisors get nervous, it might be their butt on the line come the management meeting in the morning when the people who say they prefer quality service to a slavish desire to reach targets, ask why the figures are too low. Once the percentage dips below the desired level, what to do? Go with the quality service maxim and let the figures fall or go for target acquisition and try to rescue the figures.

The answer is easy, people who work in the control room know that the public face is complete bollocks and the figures matter. The only way to retrieve the figures is to get more people to answer lots¬† more calls but there aren’t any more call-takers. Simples, get the controllers to answer the phones.

But surely if the controllers are answering the telephones, they can’t answer the radios? I’m glad you asked that. Of course, but who gives a fuck. the people that run the control room sure don’t. The executive at their armchair quarterback meetings each morning don’t care, as long as they can tell the Home Office that the ‘non existent’ targets are being met.

Of course, the only way to get controllers to swap over to call-taking is to close a radio channel and get all the officers from one area to share the radio system of another area, thus doubling the workload of the other controllers while having the radio space available to all the officers in two areas. The service to the officers and members of the public they need to deal with drops through the floor.

But at least more calls are being answered within 10 seconds. (regardless that the ensuing dealing of that call might take 3 days).

August 21st, 2012

Apparently, we’re millionaires

Posted in The Job - General by 200

So today sees the announcement that police have seized one million vehicles from people with no insurance or driving licence, since powers were given so to do.

For the last seven years we’ve been taking uninsured vehicles off the road mainly because the driver isn’t insured or hasn’t got a driving licence. Most get returned on production of suitable documents, while the rest get crushed or sold.

The use of ANPR cameras in police vehicles has massively increased the chance of getting caught, but current estimates are that there are still 1.2 million uninsured vehicles out there.

With so many uninsured vehicles being taken off the road, one might think that there would be more insured vehicles and our policies might start to come down in price. I’m not sure about you but I can’t see any evidence of that in my family’s insurance bills. Maybe those who get caught driving without insurance just go and get another car not to insure. Sadly, the penalties for having no insurance often don’t even amount to the cost of an insurance policy, so it makes it a worthwhile risk to drive uninsured.

Still, 1 million vehicles has got to be a good pain in the arse factor for certain groups of society.

August 20th, 2012

In their own words

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I missed the first in the series on BBC, but the second episode of “The Riots: In Their Own Words: The Police” was on TV tonight.

Thankfully, I was on holiday during the 2011 riots, it was the last holiday I’ll get until August 2013 due to my department’s inability to organise a piss up in a brewery, but that’s by-the-by.

It was fascinating TV telling individual stories in the context of the worst outbreak of public order the UK has seen for many a long year. Apparently, last week’s episode was in the words of the Rioters.

If you didn’t catch this programme you can catch it again on iPlayer for the next week

August 19th, 2012

It beats dealing with Facebook threats

Posted in Videos by 200

August 18th, 2012

RIP brothers over the pond

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Two sheriff’s deputies have been gunned down and two more injured during an incident in Louisiana, USA, on Thursday.

It followed an incident where an off duty deputy working security at a construction site was shot and killed by an offender who made off in a vehicle. This was later traced to a trailer park.

Officers arrived and arrested someone at the front of a property, meanwhile the suspect came out the back with an assault rifle and gunned down 3 officers killing two of them. Five people have since been arrested. Two people have been identified as shooting the officers who were from¬†St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Department.

Kyle Joekel was identified as one of the shooters. He had been on the local most wanted list for a year after evading arrest in August 2011.

The slain officers were named as Brandon Nielsen, 34, and Jeremy Triche, 27.

August 17th, 2012

Here we go again

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Whilst some police forces appear keen to distance themselves from selling off the family silver to G4S following their Olympics security debacle, it seems G4S continues ever onwards in is goal to take over the world.

Job adverts have appeared for up to 40 civilian investigators in the Warwickshire area. The adverts says that duties include gathering evidence, taking statements, house to house enquiries and undertaking ‚Äėsensitive high profile case enquiries, posts would be ‚Äúideally suited to experienced ex-police‚ÄĚ. Pretty much the role that already exists within the police service and is often handed out to ex coppers.

August 16th, 2012

As quick as that

Posted in Videos by 200

This video shows just how quick things can go wrong.

An Arkansas officer was shot and killed during a stop last year, footage has just been released by the department. The offender has since been convicted and sentenced to death.

August 15th, 2012

Things must change

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Today saw the memorial service for PC Ian Dibell, who was shot and killed whilst off duty, when he intervened in a dispute between neighbours in Essex in July this year.

Who knew?

I missed the start of the 10 o’clock news tonight, was it features, it certainly wasn’t featured in the majority of the other 20 minutes I did see.

As is normal practice when preparing entries for this blog, I go to the Google News section and input the word ‘police’. I then scan the search pages for any stories worthy of comment. I was looking for news of the service. I gave up after 10 pages, 100 hits.

I tried again, this time with “police Dibell”. Google came up with the goods, a link to the news story on the BBC News website (where I get most of my stories from). I’ve also checked the BBC News front page to see what I could glean of the memorial service. I’m struggling though; it’s not on the front page, neither is it on the front page of the UK News section. You’re alright though if you’re looking for news of some overpaid footballer’s latest transfer, some band nobody’s ever heard of bus crashing where nobody was killed, some other footballer forced to quit football after a heart attack, and the government’s new play space rules causing a ruckus.

No matter, on to the England News page. Oh, there’s the bus plunge story, GB gold medalist returning home, some TV actor caught using his mobile phone and a boy microwaving the neighbour’s cat.

Found it!, you need to go to the eastern region sub section and select Essex, it’s the top story.

So onto the story itself. Apparently hundreds of people attended. Chief constables of forces from all over the country attended. I looked for photos of lined streets, hundreds, or thousands of police officers in best dressed uniform, squad cars and police motorcycle riders lining the root, just like regular readers of this blog will have seen in previous posts about American cops who have memorial services.

All I got was the photo of Ian Dibell that we know from all the previous stories, a photo of the Home Secretary, Theresa may at the Service, an occasional pic of PC Dibell’s girlfriend. I’ve checked a good 20 websites mentioning the story. I can only assume they weren’t there.

If we can’t honour our own properly, how can we expect the public to change their attitude to the worth of a police officer’s life?

August 14th, 2012

Lucky people

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Police in Northamptonshire have sent warning letters to  people who were caught filming a likely to prove fatal road traffic accident on the M1.

Police were on the motorway dealing with an overturned articulated lorry while the seriously injured female driver remained trapped in the cab.¬† As is so often the case, the traffic on the other side of the motorway ground almost to a halt as motorists slowed down to ‘rubber-neck’. Police became aware that many drivers were filming or taking photos, whilst driving, and turned a camera onto the opposite carriageway to film people driving one or no-handed as they passed the accident scene.

Eighty drivers were sent a warning letter pointing out the law in relation to use of mobile phones at the wheel, and failing to have proper control of a vehicle. A ROSPA spokesman has said they were lucky not to receive a ticket or a summons.

It’s not surprising really given the society we have created for ourselves these days. What is amazing is that nobody had an accident on the other carriageway, given the amount we normally have when people crash into the rear of other vehicles that have slowed down for a gawp.

 

August 13th, 2012

Another day, another…

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

…wait for the Ambulance service.

Regular readers may feel that I have a bee in my bonnet about this one, given the amount of stories of late that I’m posting. And I know the garden isn’t all that rosey within the police service but I’m really not trying to divert thoughts from the police onto the other services, but bloody hell.

This week we had an officer in the town centre calling up wanting an ambulance urgently. A 90-year-old lady had fallen over on the footpath and hurt her hip. Alarm bells always ring when I hear this, ever since my own mother-in-law fell over in our kitchen and broke her hip. She spent a while in our local hospital until she had an emergency hip replacement. After a few weeks she returned back to her part of the country where complications necessitated a stay in her hospital during which she contracted one of those  illnesses brought about by unclean wards and she died.

We called an ambulance explaining the situation, and ambulance came there none. None available. Not until 65 minutes later. 65 minutes during which a frail 90-year-old was lying on the footpath amongst the shoppers, all presumably tutting that we weren’t doing anything to get her medical aid.

Meanwhile we were having a debate about whose fault it would be if she died on scene, or if we picked her up and took her to A&E ourselves and inadvertently caused a condition which lead to her death. We concluded that it would be our fault whatever happened. It usually is.

It wouldn’t be so bad if this wasn’t just a rare occasion, but it is happening EVERY SINGLE shift.

I still haven’t read anything in the papers about it.

August 12th, 2012

More bad news for the Olympic haters

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

News today that police made 242 arrests during the Olympic games.

Considering that 139 of them were for ticket touting, I don’t think that’s a bad figure considering the size of the thing and the amount of people involved. 245 people were arrested during the 2011 Notting Hill Carnival and that was just over two days.

As mentioned previously, my personal experience within the control room is that the local populace hasn’t taken advantage of the fact that we’re policing the Olympics, along with all the other forces, and have less cops on the streets than normal, since we’ve been comparatively quiet in the last two weeks compared to¬† more¬† normal times.