Sunday, June 22, 2008


Morning all.

A word of explanation. I know for a while now I have only been posting inconsistently. This is mostly do with a new, frankly terrible shift pattern where I seem to never have any time at home, and that time at home is spent not wanting to be anywhere near a computer desk nor thinking about anything job related.

I am also a bit frustrated that I can't blog about what I'd really like to, like the barmy amount of paperwork I have to do to evidence a particular PC isn't up to the job and the sheer length of time it takes to kick someone out of the job for not being up to scratch. Unless you commit criminal offences or are overtly phobic or 'ist' in one way or the other then it is bleeding hard to be fired in this job.

Perhaps I'm being excessively paranoid about being found out, but I know if I talk about some of the embarrassing moments this Pc has put himself in anyone on my team, and some of the more senior management involved, will suddenly have a very accurate idea of who I am.

I don't know, I seem to have lost a bit of motivation or direction for what I'm doing here. I stand in awe of the like of Bloggs and Gadget et al who are always updating with topical stuff with a good degree of wit and / or sarcasm thrown in, but I find myself thinking I'd rather be out in the garden or polishing the bike or something.

I apologise if anyone has sent an email to the one I have to the right- I haven't checked it in ages and now I look at it with a good degree of guilt, particularly with regard to one person whom I promised I'd do something and I never have got round to it- particular apologies to you.

I think this will be the status quo for some time, methinks, or at least until I get on a different pattern. I've reached a point where I am now actively looking for something to get me off response team as I figure if I'm going to put up with rubbish shifts and far too much time in custody, I might as well clear off somewhere else where I still may have rubbish shifts but can bin the time in custody instead. I can't remember the last time I was able to driven a pursuit standard car for anything other than 15 minutes and Traffic (yes, Traffic, not Roads Policing), always in the back of my mind as a career option, is coming more and more to the fore.

I'm not saying I'm going to fold this site. I just wanted to explain why I have been so sporadic in updating, and say that unfortunately that'll be the case for a while yet.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Anyone else see this coming?

Old news now I know but I've only just found the bit of newspaper I saved, as it made me laugh in a highly ironic way.

Recall a while ago I posted in a mildly disparaging way about the government's "tough on crime" policy with regard to paying £3000 to those of foreign shores convicted of a crime here? The £3k being an incentive to take voluntary deportation?

I think I said something along the lines of what a load of rubbish.

Well, it is a load of rubbish to anyone except the criminal of foreign extraction, who must be laughing all the way to their home country having been released from prison early, and then having the UK taxpayer fund their journey straight back home. Possibly even business class.

Except that this isn't actually a hypothetical situation any more.

I am not in the least bit surprised he came back the following day. After all, what kind of punishment is he going to face? No judge will give him the 10 year sentence the Theft Act allows him to mete out.

I heard a rumour on one TV news programme or the other- I can't remember which one, I had only just fallen out of bed, I really wasn't paying attention and thus I have no idea whether it is true or not- but I heard that there was a proposal for suspected terrorists detained over the 28 day limit, to be paid £3000 per day of continued incarceration? Anyone confirm or (surely) deny this?

Friday, June 06, 2008

Well I never

Last Saturday, I did two things I normally never would do.

I bought something from a motorway service station, and it was a copy of The Times. I did the mental equivalent of a handbrake turn when I saw the headline article though, and I had to buy it just because I didn't believe it.

Top police to boycott official police paperwork? Turns out the headline is a touch misleading as Surrey police and their compatriots are not boycotting the official paperwork, but are giving a suitable finger to the target driven culture that has the bane of every front line PC, and a great deal of dissatisfied "customers".

Well halle-flippin-lujah. What this and countless other blogs have been saying for ages, in fact is the root motivation for many a blogger- has finally been noticed at the top of the policing tree.

I still have some reservations though- I put chief constables in the same bracket as politicians most of the time, and I will be curious to know if any front line officers from Surrey, West Mids, Staffs and Leics police will actually find their day to day jobs any different. Not that I'm suggesting that Chief Constables are all talk and no action, or like their league topping position a little too much to really follow through with this once the media isn't listening.

I hope I'm wrong. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times that target driven policing is a shambles to the detriment of the police and the public. So much front line work either cannot be measured - e.g. how you go about dealing with the family of a road death victim- or is ignored all in favour of the big two: total recorded crime, and total detected crime. Nothing else seems to matter come the end of the financial year.

Come March this year I had to laugh as suddenly bucketloads of cash were released from their hoarding sites as 1) it had to be spent else there'd be less the next year 2) everything was being thrown to try and keep the total recorded crime figures less than the previous year. I kid you not, up to three minibuses a day full of old bill on overtime, dragged out from every which corner, stuffed in a yellow jacket and told to do "high viz anti burglary patrol".

So I hope that Mr Rowley, Sims et al are true to their reported word, and really have decided that focusing and driving towards being top of the sanction detections table at the cost of losing common sense and discretion is to end.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Knife Crime

Well I'm only away barely a week and all sorts go on.

So the government will solve knife crime by a multi million pound poster campaign? Well, that'll work.

I am fed up of people asking me what we're going to do about it. I normally now just simply turn the question round and ask what they think we should do. This usually provokes a bit of a bluster and one of two responses- "I don't know, just something", or an indignant "I don't know, its your job to figure it out".

Well, no. It's everyone's job. Especially parents. Especially government and local authorities who need to give schools the proper resources- and I don't mean posters- to speak to these kids who look like they're certain to end up through my custody suite doors. I have relatives in the education system and the potential to stop a lot of children and youths going feral is clearly there, but the government and the Daily Mail readership is only obsessed with the three R's to the exclusion of everything else. Difficult kids are invariably seen as a drain and a diversion of resources and it is rare to find a school (through no fault of their own) prepared to put the time and effort into these kids to stop them becoming one of my regular customers.

So what would I personally do? Well, nothing more than I do at the moment. Legislation is sufficient and is actually fairly common sense. To not quote exactly, to have a pointed or bladed article without lawful reason is the offence, but the lawful reason is not specified and is open to interpretation.

It's a cliche but it isn't the knife thats the problem, it's the person carrying it. I have on my kit belt a multi tool with not one but three blades that should I ever decide to use it that way would cause horrible injuries, and is easily strong enough to penetrate far enough to be fatal.

Carrying it on my kit belt at work is fine. I've used it for a number of things including fixing door frames and sawing the tops off plastic bottles.

Take it down the pub with me, different kettle of fish.

This may be controversial, but police don't need to do any more. We could search more people, but that'd need the removal of the reasonable grounds to suspect clause out of the search legislation. At the moment, when we find people with knives, or screwdrivers, or anything else in circumstances we find dubious, we bring them in.

They go to court- and herein lies the problem. What deterrent is a £50 fine. Spin a yarn about they forgot it was in the car door or they left it in their back pocket after fixing a loose screw and off you go. Unless you are daft enough to talk in interview how you planned on using it against anyone whether self defence or not you'll never get a punishment bigger than a big saturday booze up.
Knife crime is one of those things where prevention is far far better than the too-late time when we happen to search them. However, the government is ploughing money only into something visible and something people can see and talk about. Utterly unsurprising. Putting the money where it'd be useful won't have the instant, visible, talk-about-at-the-next-election results the government quite clearly crave.

Next post- what's this I hear about Chief Constables officially going against the government grain and binning sanction detection targets?

(Useful website I came across: )