September 10th, 2012

For anyone interested

Posted in The Job - General by 200

If anyone uses Facebook, you might be interested in another angle on police pensions, here.

September 9th, 2012

What next?

Posted in Blogging by 200

Another milestone gets reached this week.

Only 3 days to go…

 

September 8th, 2012

Just Wow!

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After the job refused to give me any holiday this summer, meaning my family will have to wait two years for their annual holiday, and they declined to allow me any time off to have a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Olympics in my own country, I actually managed to get down to the Paralympics (on a rest day, so up yours everyone in the offices who decline others’ leave but spookily managed to get their own summer holiday to a man, and woman). Bitter, much?

And what an experience it was. A fantastic day of sport. A day filled with awe, respect, humour, emotion, the works.

The sound of 80,000 people all screaming at once is one that won’t leave me for some time. And it all ran so smoothly, the transport was great, lots of people to point you in the right direction. The soldiers on the security gates were friendly, the volunteers were all friendly and helpful. The toilets were clean with no queues.

And the sport was top notch.

I’ll say one thing for this country, well two, can;t run a police force but can put on a wonderful sports event.

The trouble no is that I only have 4 years to save up for Brasil, and I probably won’t get the time off even if I can, if I’m still here.

September 7th, 2012

And I quote

Posted in The Job - General by 200

85% of the Police Federation of England and Wales members are Constables.

As your Constables Committee we have a clear duty to ensure our voice is heard. This means managing politics at the top and ensuring the clear leadership we are mandated to deliver is delivered affectively.

Our Members are angry about pensions and the apparent final nature of negotiations which in turn has magnified calls for the Federation to get on with the promised ballot on full industrial rights.

We hear you and we are listening – this is why we need to urgently engage more.

It has long been a point of contention that existing protocols mean we on the national Constables Committee do not have access to the contact details of the people we represent – a protocol dating back to 1919.

But this is not 1919. In 2012, the Office of Constable has been eroded, and is teetering on the cusp of total destruction, falling in status and respect still further.

The time for niceties and archaic protocols are over.

We need urgently to communicate directly with the 103,000 Constables of the Police Federation of England and Wales so we can make important and lasting decisions together and deliver those policies in the interests of efficiency, welfare and conditions.

It is as important now to work with our regional Branch Boards as it has ever been – but there is growing criticism and concern among our Membership about the inability to communicate directly with Constables. This is plainly ridiculous and cannot continue.

This is why we are asking you to register at www.policeconstables.org , in doing so we are able to capture your details, enabling us to contact you directly as well as giving you a free forum to share views.

Many major decisions will need to be made over the coming days, weeks and months – We want to involve every Police Constable in England and Wales in this.

This is a call to arms, circulate this and discuss it with your colleagues.

From the Chairman’s Office of the Constables of England and Wales.

Julie Nesbit, Chairman
Will Riches, Vice Chairman

September 6th, 2012

Fortunately, he didn’t Die Hard

Posted in Videos by 200

September 5th, 2012

You could do worse…

Posted in The Job - General by 200

…than sign a petition of no confidence in the Police Federation.

One of the constants among police officers is how the Federation are a bunch of toothless tigers who appear to stand up to the government with a vigour inversely proportionate to that needed to attend the annual conference and get all the relevent expenses.

Fortunately, there is a new petition over at the Petition Online website.

It won’t do any good what so ever, and nobody will take any notice, bu it might keep you off Facebook for 2 minutes.

September 4th, 2012

So here it is

Posted in The Job - General by 200

So the decision on police pension reform is out today.

From April 2015, the pension contributions rise from 11% for old pension members and 9% for the newer scheme which came in around 2006, to 13.7%, a rise of between nearly 3 and 5%.

The final pension will be based on  ‘career average’ rather than a ‘final salary’ earnings.

The normal pension age will be 60 but officers aged 55 will no be able to draw their full pension amount until they reach that age. The two reports I read today don’t make it clear how long an officer must serve to get the full pension. It used to be 30 years but rose to 35 in 2006.

I’m glad I retired when I did.

September 3rd, 2012

There’s only one side who are wrong

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

I’ve been saying for years that one of the biggest reasons this country is in such a shite state is because people do not fear consequences.

When I was growing up, I was taught that whatever I did had consequences. If I did something wrong, not only would I meet those consequences from my parents, I would also meet consequences from my neighbours, or anyone else with a vested interest in a peaceful and stress free life. It was the old saying along the lines of it takes a woman to have a child but a village to raise it.

These days, there are no consequences, therefore a certain section of society feel it is their right to do whatever the hell the please, whether that is keeping their neighbours awake at night with loud music and parties, helping themselves to anything they don’t want to save up for, or breaking into someone’s house and stealing what they themselves wouldn’t have the ethics to obtain legally.

Consequences don’t have to be massive or life-changing. A simple ‘please don’t do that’ might have the desired effect, if told young enough and often enough. Other consequences might include having personal items removed, being fined, or even being punched in the mouth.

If burglars thought that one of the consequences of breaking into someo0ne’s house in the middle of the night might include being shot, I’d guess there might be many fewer burglars.

I hope these people don’t get prosecuted.

September 1st, 2012

Man tries to sell stolen gun on national TV

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Gotta be a candidate in the World’s Dumbest Criminals competition…

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

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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

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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.