Thursday, May 15, 2008

I predict a riot

Funnily enough, I did just do that. I said to a colleague, "If Rangers lose, it'll kick off".

I wasn't quite expecting several hundred of them to kick off because their giant TV broke, though. Still, thats what happens when you let several hundred people drink all day.

Still, at least the cup final was in Manchester, not Europe, where the police take less kindly to being chased down the street and would've used water cannons, CS gas at concentrations double what we're allowed and several dozen more gratuitous baton charges.
I did laugh at one outraged football shirted woman captured on some news reel, thinking how the police were soooo brutal because they pushed her over. Well, lets think about this. You've a rather hacked off police force (15 injured, plus that cctv footage we've all seen) who are ordered to clear streets, usually to allow ambulances access to one of the dozens of injured supporters. You don't move, you get shoved out of the way. If anything, they were restrained. Riots aren't a spectator sport.
In major public disorder, we don't usually have the time to stop and explain what we need to do and why. Awfully sorry.
Noddy has posted his views from north of the border, but you'll need a scottish translator to read it :-)
Lets see if the supporters this weekend take their cue from Manchester... hum...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I know I haven't been posting much recently. A lot of time at work means not a lot of time thinking about work when I don't have to, combined with most of the stuff that I'd really like to whinge about would unfortunately make myself far too identifiable, and a couple of garden projects underway, all in all means not much time spent on here.

In the meantime, here's an article for Ms Chakrabarti to consider next time she stands on her pedestal to whinge about how corrupt and abusive the police here are- her last whinge I found being about they were preparing to take legal action against the Co-Op for being prepared to use that terrible tortuous device known as the "mosquito" (a high pitched sonic gadget designed to be immensely annoying to young people, so that they clear off).

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the ideals of Liberty et al, but lets have a sense of perspective?

Friday, May 09, 2008


The last post reminded me of something I meant to post about a while back.

Some time in April, I was off visiting the folks, and I had been saved a glossy leaflet dropped through the letterbox trumpeting the success of their local force in the last performance year. 4500(*) crimes reduced! 7000 more crimes detected! Healthy satisfaction levels across the board in all communities! We are safer than 12 months ago!

The problem is, I don't believe a bleeding word of it. I still know that if I have to call 999 when I'm there I'll consider myself highly fortunate to have a response car within 10 miles of me. The statistics trumpeted I consider with utter disdain, knowing the majority of it will be down to dubious crime recording methods. I am having regular run-ins with my own crime management unit where they even go to the extent of recording something as a no-crime until certain tasks are carried out.

Following a time year where my folks had occasion to call their local police, their (and most certainly my) opinion of them has taken a nosedive following the way they dealt with the call. Don't get me wrong, it was highly compliant with the priorities blared out, but as an "end user" left a very sour taste in the mouth. So much for high levels of satisfaction.

So I thought if I consider this performance news with the gravity I would with a steaming cow deposit, what chance has everyone else got.

(*) All numbers made up of course.... but along those sort of lines

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Random Thought

Tootling home the other day from what felt like an interminable shift in custody and my mind was wandering.

For most uniform sections of the police, arrest figures are king. I was speaking to some traffic colleagues the other day. Their senior management have set them targets of a certain number of tickets and arrests per month. The (to my mind) absolute core function of a traffic officer- don't ask me to call them roads policing officers- surely has to be to reduce the number of serious and fatal car accidents. Job parlance for that is KSI's- Killed or Seriously Injured. Yet a target to reduce KSI's doesn't actually feature in the performance indicators set for traffic officers.

I simply just don't get that at all.

This led me on. Senior management, led by the government and whatever authorities they answer to, by the way they have determined performance figures obviously feel that the more arrests = more productive = more good.

Surely though, would the most effective police force would be the one that doesn't find it necessary to arrest anyone in a month. I admit I'm slightly in the realms of fantasyland here as while there are people in the world, some of them will always be up to no good. But do you see my general point? The most effective police force will prevent crime, not simply turn up afterwards to claim arrest points.

But we are orientated completely and utterly to the latter. Not the former.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A TV review moment

Had one of those rare things yesterday, an evening free to watch the box, and happened to come across "Traffic Cops" on the beeb.

The wife doesn't understand me at all. I whinge about how much time I'm spending at the job and then when I do have some time off, I spend it watching a tv programme about the job.

To be fair, she has a point.

Anyhoo I still do find it interesting to watch stuff about UK police, if only out of a curiosity to see how other forces deal with various things, and generally have a debate with myself to see if I'd do the same thing.

Following on from my previous posts below, I definitely do share their sense of frustration with the traffic people about the lack of ability to deal with pursuits. The little oik who crashed an old dear's Micra? I can safely say he won't learn any lessons at all from being caught, and being disqualified from driving. Oh no, I'm disqualified from driving, when I don't have a driving licence in the first place.

Putting my sense of annoyance at the personal characteristics of pint sized scumbag aside, I can understand why the pursuit was called off. Barely 13 years old, haring round in a stolen motor, around a residential estate, in the daytime after school is out is a recipie for disaster. I think the greatest source of frustration is in our apparent inability to deal with pursuits, and a lack of willingness from senior management and home office to seriously invest money into researching safe alternative means of pursuit termination.

But while our options remain limited to stinger, with the odd brave force continuing with TPAC, then this will continue to be a story repeated. TWOC will continue to be common with bored teenagers with little fear of reprisal even if caught. The alternative is to commit your crimes on a motorbike, and give the finger to every passing useless patrol car.

In other news- I'm a fan of Mrs Justice Rafferty! Finally a proper sentence for two definitive scumbags who kicked a man to death in a half-robbery, half for-the-hell-of-it escapade. 28 and 26 years. Now that's a sentence that might actually do what it's supposed to do and serve as a deterrent to others.