Sunday, May 27, 2007

Something else

I know most people who look here more often than not are observers of Inspector Gadgets blog. However, if you tend not to bother with the comments take the extra few minutes to take a look at this post and its subsequent comments.

The stories there from anonymous officers across the country are beyond anything I have the ability to write tonight. I'm in one of those tired and defeatist moods at the moment, where I look at the whole scene of policing and feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the task we have. I was reading a report yesterday online (which I cannot now find the link for to save my life) talking about the decline in so many things within the police with the flipside of the vast resources allocated to the recruitment of PCSOs; how official job media outlets are so disproportionately biased in terms of coverage towards PCSO's (I saw recently PCSOs recommended for bravery for chasing a shoplifter- no weapons or anything, just bags of clothes-, to which I had not even the will to shake my head); and how anyone with the capacity to influence or even question this stall of resourcing to front line police is either blinkered or going with the flow.

I was speaking to another skipper the other day, talking of how I am actually motivated to move up through the ranks to try and make some kind of difference on this broader scale. But to get there, I'd have to jump through all the yes minister hoops and try and sound enthusiastic about things I really don't agree with. Crocodile Politics, I think I'll call it. Like crocodile tears. But with political views. But I think you'd figured that out.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Our glorious leaders

No sooner had I written the post below then I heard something on the news that made me mad. MPs are voting to exempt themselves from the freedom of information act. Lawmakers are amending the law to make themselves exempt from the law. Whatever their posturing about keeping their constituents letters private, I reckon they're more embarrassed about their lucrative sidelines and dodgy business deals.

Am I alone in thinking this pathetic.

Get a list of who voted here, send your wormy MP a letter....

Friday, May 18, 2007

Standing by

Apologies in advance. Will be a dearth of posts next couple of weeks, going to be a busy time with both work stuff and home life, net result of which will be I won't really be able to devote much time on here.

Have updated sidebar videos in the meantime for your enjoyment and wincing. I've retired the old ones to the very bottom of the page.

Bear with me!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Commendable behaviour

Normally I don't read the Daily Mail, as I tend to find it a somewhat middle-england championing, opinionated and hypocritical newspaper (where else would you find articles condemning size zero culture, but turn pages to find several articles on how to lose weight in femail.....) but there was one lying around on the bus today and I read it on the way home.

Something caught my eye as a tad disturbing. The Met have commissioned a report which has criticised their handling of homophobic attacks. Now don't get me wrong here. I'm all for introspection and improvement and if we, the police as a whole (not just the Met) aren't doing our jobs properly then it should be inspected, highlighted and acted on.

I have great problems with the fact the officers writing the report are to recieve commendations. This is a reflection of the appearance-obssessed priorities upper echelons of the police have. Write a report that criticises the service for not doing a good enough job to a particular section of the public, expect commendations and probably promotion. Whereas I on lowly response team send an officer home after he inhales a lot of smoke pulling someone away from a burning van. The only official feedback I get is a whinge for not doing the injury on duty form correctly.

Perhaps myself and all the other police bloggers should expect commendations for criticising the way the police is run, currently being trumpeted in the papers after being taken up by the federation. But I doubt it. Our team came under pressure recently as our arrest and disposal stats are lagging behind the other teams. I just shrug, point to the other statistic that we consistently turn up to more calls and quicker than the other teams, and wonder if the stat crunchers will ever realise there's an inverse link between the two. Personally, I think thats the way round it should be and thankfully so does the team boss.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I smell the blood of an Englishman

Finally, I have a working computer and phone line again, and have got some time do put something on here. The perpetual rain is doing a very effective job at persuading me to remain inside too.

There's been all sorts happening over the last weeks across the country. I might delve into them another time, but for now a couple of "highlights" from the month.

I was most upset the other night. For the first time I can remember I lost a foot chase. Why? Bleedin shoelaces came undone. At one point I considered just kicking the boot off but then I thought I'm running round stairwells at night in an unfamiliar estate, probably not best. I don't think I'd have seen it again. I said quite rude things to the offending shoelace as I was yanking it back together again. I nearly always double knot the things, I just forgot this time so of course sod's law kicks in.

A couple of weeks back I met Robert. Robert has one of those personality disorders that are determined untreatable and so he is kicked out of the hospitals to which we frequently send him under S136 Mental Health Act. Robert decided the other day to cut his wrists. Now we quite often get calls like this, and get there to find small cuts, not very deep. Robert was a tad different. With a stanley knife blade he had gouged right through his wrist. 3 times.
He was sat in his kitchen when we got there with his despairing friend. The kitchen was a reasonable size, with a white tiled floor. Blood covered every single tile. It was on the sideboards where he had sat. It was down the cupboards. A completely soaked towel was in the middle of the floor. Spots were on the wall from when he'd moved his arm. I've seen lots of blood before, but this was something else. You wouldn't have thought blood smells, but I tell you it does.

A single flourescent tube illuminated this scene, highlighting the contrast between red and white.

Robert was at his home. Robert did not want to go to hospital. We have no power to do anything. We only have powers to section people if they're in a public place. The old trick of arresting them to prevent a breach of the peace, followed by de-arresting them once outside and sectioning them instead isn't an option these days. We also have the issue that he doesn't even want to leave the kitchen. The floor is a wet slippy congealed nightmare. We do not want to fight this man. He's no small fry either. But there's no way we can leave him there. He's still conscious, blood steadily dripping through his hands, telling us it was an accident and he'll get it sorted in the morning.

We all know he'll be dead by the morning. The bandage he did let the ambulance service put on he has torn off.

So, we negotiate. We patiently build rapport and trust. His friend tries too, but nothing. He just sits on the sideboard, oblivious to the blood everywhere, telling us he's fine. Half an hour of patient persuasion leads nowhere. Eventually, Robert starts getting impatient and smashes a cup. The group of armoured PC's outside brace, wondering if I'm going to order them all in or order them all out.

A Pc comes in with a shield, telling him not to be so stupid in a manner you would tell off a child, which with all the circumstances seemed mighty surreal. But Robert responds, saying sorry. The gentle persuasion has failed and so its time to try the more forceful approach. Myself and the Pc tell him that he's coming to hospital right now. Hallelujah, Robert agrees. I quickly signal for everyone outside to quickly hide, knowing if he sees all the armour waiting it'd freak him out. We walk out and go down the several flights of stairs, everyone quietly following. Blood is still flowing down his hands, to the extent that as we turn and turn round the stairwells, there are spots and spots of blood all over the floor before we even get there.

Finally, three floors down Robert goes down in a heap, succumbing to the blood loss. I quickly grab his arm and get the ambulance service to put one, then two and finally three dressings on it. Robert starts coming round. Straight away he tries to fight us, swearing at us to leave him alone. I've had enough by now and am not in the mood for negotiation. I take a tight hold of his arm and shoulder, a Pc grabs the other side and we march him down the stairs, holding him as he collapses again. He's a hefty git and we can't carry him, we just wait for him to come round again, stop him fighting us, and march him on again.

Finally, we reach the bottom. He collapses once more as the ambulance driver runs off to get his rig. Once again, once he revives he flails out at us, seriously pissed off. We can't handcuff him because of his wrist. We hoik him into the ambulance. I throw my car keys at someone and we're off to the hospital on blues. I'm standing, holding his wrist up high to a) stop him hitting me with it and b) to stop him losing yet more blood. The other Pc is holding his other arm. The paramedic is trying do something, but we're all struggling with him and our balance as the ambulance dodges in and out of traffic

We get to the hospital and see the open mouthed reaction of the staff when we struggle in with him. We take him down to a cubicle from where he kicks off again. We end up pinning him to the ground. A doctor gets a sedative and administers it. Finally, he calms down. He goes to a mattress on the floor and lets the nurses start cleaning him up. The floor where he was pinned down looks like some something out of Dawn of the Dead. I take the chance to grab some water and take a look at myself.

I am covered in his blood. Top to bottom- boot, trouser, vest and shirt. Thoughts of HIV and Hepatitus cross my mind and I go and clear myself up, hoping that little nick on my arm has healed properly. The other skipper is going through all the details with the ambulance and hospital staff.

I feel justified in nominating someone not covered in his blood to do the write up. I head back to our nick, feeling quite nauseated now by the constant smell of blood from my own clothes.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Communication Issues

Apologies all, lack of posting resulting from telephone (did you know you can monitor your fault progress online? How flippin useful is that, I don't have a telephone line, I can't get online you bunch of halfwits) and computer issues (behaving rather oddly)....... should be sorted by end of week so I don't have to borrow friends internet connection.........

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Summer vs Winter

I have decided blogging is more of a winter lark, really.

I did have things I was going to write on here today, but rather than cooping myself up when it is glorious sunshine outside and for once I am not at work or preparing to go to work, I think I'd rather be out there, even if it is cleaning the car or the annual puzzle as to whether the green thing in the garden is something I planted last year or is a weed.

Further updates when the weather has changed......

Some tales of gore from recent shifts, I can tell you. Will probably post about them soon.