This is the official blog of ex-Sgt Ellie Bloggs. I was a real live police constable then sergeant for twelve years, on the real live front line of England. I'm now a real live non-police person. All the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't (or didn't) pay my salary.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Part One of My Caller's Guide.

The police are often lambasted in the press for not arriving at incidents quickly enough, or not bothering to go at all. This is not the police's fault. What people fail to understand is that once you are at an incident, even if it is just a report of a minor theft, you CANNOT LEAVE. If you redeploy mid-incident, you will come into work the next day to find that the minor theft has been turned into a crime report under your name, you will spend the next two months trying to track the victim down to get their statement, by which time there will be zero chance of catching the offender and the crime report will remain under your name forever.

It is a competitive world for the member of public who desires police presence NOW. In this day of under-resourced areas and stressed out police officers snowed under with paper, the public has to make it worth our while to attend their incidents. Try to make your call sound more appealing by elaborating on the truth. Here are ten ways to report day-to-day incidents that will get the police rushing to your door straight away:
  1. You get home and have been broken into: "I think the burglar is still here."
  2. You see a scrap between drunks: "There's a fight and both parties have knives."
  3. You have detained a shoplifter who is sitting quietly in the security office: "He's kicking off!"
  4. A minor car accident has occurred and you want the police to see it to help your insurance claim: "The other driver is refusing to give his details, is drunk and about to drive off. Plus, the road is blocked and a child might be hurt."
  5. You had an argument with your partner: "My partner has just assaulted me and is now trying to kill me."
  6. Your garden wall was vandalised by an unknown offender: "There are kids outside with weapons threatening to break into my house."
  7. You are lost, drunk, and want a ride home: "I'm being followed by a stranger down a dark alley."
  8. You kicked your football through a neighbour's window after repeated warnings not to bounce it off the glass and now she/he won't give it back: "The old woman next door hit me!"
  9. You are going through a bad breakup and don't want your ex-partner's new boyfriend anywhere near your children: "My daughter said she was sexually abused at her mother's house."
  10. You just had a fight with an equally drunk friend of yours and warned him you'd call the police so you are: "I've just been stabbed."
I attend calls like these on a daily basis and invariably the description NOT in quotes is the reality when I arrive. With competition like this, the public cannot expect the police to attend incidents described, "There is a car with no tax on my road", "There are kids doing something kid-like in the school grounds".

The moral of the story? If you aren't prepared to compete with the mountain of exaggerated "urgent" calls we get each day, don't bother to pick up the phone. Who is to blame if we don't attend? You are, for not making your crime sound exciting enough.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.


Blogger PC South West said...

I don't know hat you mean PC Bloggs!
Are you trying to say the good old members of the public lie and embellish their plight when they call the old bill, surely not.
I always rush to above said calls with complete confidence that I will find it exactly as the dispatcher has relayed it. Not!!

27 September, 2006 00:03

Blogger ExtraSpecialCopper said...

Happens all the time doesnt it! You can tell when people have mental blocks in imaginary stories as you often have not much to do!

I went to a job which was "youths have driven a car around the field behind my house and are setting it on fire.....oh the cars now on fire"

Got there within 5 minutes to find a couple of youths playing football the other side of the field. The car had been there 3 days and was set on fire back then!

Then again perhaps the job was on the system as a grade one for 3 days

27 September, 2006 11:45

Anonymous justacop said...

One acronym that used to be in our control room was 'ALERT'. It was printed on notepads and the like for ages before the alternate meaning was more widely known than the original meaning.

A - answer eventually
L - load off onto another district/force if at all possible
E - evade any suggestion of a police officer attending
R - respond eventually
T - take a break you earned it !

I can't rememember the original now.

27 September, 2006 15:51

Blogger Midlands PC said...

My personal most hated call ever, as a controller and also as a bod on the front line, is the girl on the 999's saying 'my ex-boyfriends outside kicking off and he's got a gun!'. Officers are dragged from every job under the sun, a gunship is summonsed from central control, RV set, gunship liaised with gaffer, gunship does an armed approach ad a hard stop if the numpty is still outside. Once he's kissing pavement, it becomes apparent the correct statement was 'He's got a gun, but I haven't seen it this time'. If I was a firearns officer, I would be blatting the lying cow!

27 September, 2006 21:47

Blogger staghounds said...

There's always the old reliable "I think the criminal is still here, I'm going to shoot him if I can find him". Just lie very still when the police arrive, they don't know what you look like!

Or you can do what that woman in Colorado did, call 999 and ask for that cute one...

29 September, 2006 20:12

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my station we started arresting people for wasting police time (now a fixed penalty for disorder offence). its' early days but it should concentrates minds....

30 September, 2006 19:12

Blogger Indigo said...

I wish I could write satirically as well as you do. *Admiringly*

But I wouldn't dare write satirically about the day recently when I found a puppy (no collar) wandering the streets; I put her on the spare lead I always carry when walking my dog but, on picking up the telephone outside our local (not open very much) police station, was told to take her to the dog pound at Plumstead - 30 minutes on the bus (I don't have a car) - and also told no, I couldn't wave down a passing patrol car and hand it over because patrol cars are not allowed to take dogs. I was beginning to wish that I hadn't been such a Good Samaritan (and said so); luckily a few minutes later I ran into its owner who was out searching for it.

So all's well etc - good blog, yours.

01 October, 2006 21:55

Anonymous Molloy said...

The other day I had a classic

"And that's when I phoned the police, but you took 12 minutes to turn up!"

12 minutes. . on a Saturday night . . to a report of criminal damage to vehicle and it's not fast enough.

02 October, 2006 10:36

Blogger beheard said...

Lying can go both ways. Although the DC investigating satanic child abuse done to me by my adoptive parents was honest and genuine, his senior officers in Surrey Police lied in writing to squash the case. They REFUSED to even talk to one of the doctors who had treated me, rubbished a direct witness's statement, prevented me from access to the hospital records that quote "no problem proving your symptoms were the result of assault" All I have are the hospital records detailing my psychotic mother's knife attacks to kill me but 8 years of psychiatric notes have been denied me. Certain officers do not understand that serious child abuse is not a triviality. A victim of that depth of abuse never recovers. I still suffer and I will go on fighting to get my abusers prosecuted. Police lying and concealing medical documents and someone altered evidence text, as I can prove, to avoid proceeding, does not stop child abuse. I was given by adoption to a known mental patient, and now abandoned yet again to a cover up. The DC told me "I cannot go against my superiors if I want to keep my job". So I understand what you feel about members of the public lying to you. But remember this. When your customers exagerate, it wastes your time. When police lie,particularly senior officers, a child can die. I nearly did. And I see the reference of the officer describing the culture of Surrey police as "drinking beer, eating kebabs and shagging birds" I had to run for my life in her satanic episodes. Easy to lie to a vulnerable person, well the written evidence of the direct lies and concealment are now being passed to the lawyers of Amnesty International. Thankyou.

12 January, 2007 20:50

Blogger beheard said...

A message for the senior officer of Surrey Police who lied in writing,concealed evidence, rubbished testimony etc etc, you know who you are. You thought you could easily get rid of this complex case by lying. What you did not know is that I have married a senior Spanish Police Inspector who works at Ministry level, whose jurisdiction covers child abuse. You are not now dealing with an easily manipulatable victim of satanic abuse. Your written lies have been collated with the originals versus your absurd false statements into what is a professional denouncement of your conduct. You will be brought to book, I promise you that, and I will see this through to the bitter end to protect other Surrey Police ignored child victims of serious abuse. I cannot have my life back but I can protect other children in Surrey getting your idea of protection and "justice" who are suffering now from indifference and cover up. There are quite a few of us in a similar situation to me in Surrey, I am not alone. But to lie about evidence is unforgivable. I could,like before, attempt suicide with the anger, but my wife is going to fight and she knows how to, professionally. My story is of torture allowed to happen. Which is why, amongst others, I am going to bring you to book.

13 January, 2007 14:16

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