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, November 14, 2006

Celebrations are in order.

It is my 146th Post Today!!

In time-honoured Blandshire tradition, I am celebrating this momentous occasion by a discussion of a policing strategy AND a survey. You can't get more Twenty-First Century than that.

Bobbies on the Beat: What are your views?

For as long as I have been alive and aware of things called newspapers ie for a short period aged 18-21, people have demanded more police officers ON OUR STREETS. Year on year, the public and media have called for greater numbers of police and to raise great cheers from voters, a political leader need only bellow, "More police officers ON OUR STREETS" to meet with a riotous cheer. Look what has happened for a Witney MP since he made the call five years ago.

It is a "Golden Cow" of modern policing that we all strive for. Nowadays any old backwater force can promise more bobbies on the beat and immediately get some positive press coverage. Even the Telegraph seems to think that we could stop police officers from being shot if we only mooched around our neighbourhoods on foot more often.

I have managed to gather what people mean by this bizarre desire to see police ON OUR STREETS:
  • A local bobby will stroll past and doff his/her cap in the morning, lean on the post and rail fence and comment, "What lovely daffodils, Mrs Lupin."
  • The bobby will lurk in areas of high crime and pop out to collar the criminal in the act of breaking into a car/house.
  • The bobby will have cups of tea with the elderly and the head of Neighbourhood Watch.
  • People will rush up and tell the bobby all kinds of local secrets.
  • The bobby will break up groups of antisocial youths and haul them home to face the music.
  • The bobby will say, "Hello, hello, hello, what's all this then?" and "Move it along - Nothing to see here".
For those misguided fools who buy into the above illusion, let me explain what PC Bloggs being "on the beat" would mean for your neighbourhood.
  • PC Bloggs can cover about five miles in a day allowing for attending incidents and all the cups of tea. Blandmore would need approximately four hundred more officers for each one of PC Bloggs that exists currently, in order that most roads could be visited once per shift. This would cost £540,000,000 in salary alone just for one town.
  • Most of PC Bloggs' day would be spent tootling up and down the road, listening to incidents on the radio that are happening half a mile away that she cannot get to before they have finished.
  • PC Bloggs will be lucky to catch one criminal in the course of a crime. For some reason they just don't seem to happen when she is standing next to them.
  • If PC Bloggs has to attend an incident, she will have to walk back to the nick, which could take an hour, to fetch her paperwork.
  • People might rush up and tell her local secrets, but that happens to me all the time anyway. If someone wants to tell you a secret, the fact that you are in a car won't stop them.
  • If PC Bloggs manages to take a miscreant youth home, his/her parents will screech, "My Ashlee wouldn't hurt a fly" and slam the door.
  • PC Bloggs will have to say "Good morning, sir/madam, how are you doing?" and "I am afraid I am not able to comment on the current situation" instead of the desired phrases in order to avoid receiving complaints.
  • The upshot of it all is that PC Bloggs will spend seven out of every eight hours in the day doing nothing other than walk up and down the road. Crime might well go down with four hundred of us doing the same... or it will just wait until we have walked past.
When I am in a marked police car, I can zip all over my area, I can put prisoners, victims or witnesses in the back to take them places, I can carry all my paperwork (some of which I regret to say is actually needed). I can take a spare jumper or coat if it rains rather than having to go back to the nick. I can carry a big map book and all kinds of trinkets that people might need - such as postcode pens, leaflets, you know, all the stuff members of public seem to love. I can stop vehicles committing traffic offences and through this identify local burglars. I can hop out and patrol areas where a particular problem is occurring, but still be ready to jump in the car and zoom to an incident if required. I vote for more cars. And possibly a couple of mopeds.

Villages used to consist of a few hundred people, now there are thousands. Cities used to be hundreds of thousands, now they are millions. Ninety-five percent of these people will barely see a police officer in their lives and will be better for it. Let's get some members of public out in the cars with us, or out on foot, to see what a Twenty-First Century police officer actually does, before they bleat for more of us ON THE BEAT doing absolutely nothing useful.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.


Blogger AllBloodyTaken said...

Make up YOUR mind..!In other posts YOU complain about the excess paperwork which does NOT leave YOU free to 'collar criminals'. The fact is that seeing 'Bobbies on the beat' is (a) re-assuring to us mere civilians going about our honest day's business and (b) will PREVENT a great deal of petty crime and vandalism. It seemed to work years ago. I read somewhere that in the 1950s 'mugging' was unheard of and crime rates were miniscule compared to today.

14 November, 2006 22:28

Blogger PC South West said...

Maybe in a more rural beat area foot patrol is not practicle or possible. But in the town centres and housing estates more police on foot is without a doubt the best form of Policing.
When we do manage to get a few of us in the town centre it is a differant place than when we are not. And arrests come thick and fast and the public feel safer, that's what it's all about really.
I don't think anyone really want Dixon Of Dock green on their streets. But a large Police presence prevents crime, disorder and keeps the drugie scum dealers under their stones.

14 November, 2006 22:39

Blogger AntiSocialWatch said...

There must be a happy medium that can be reached. When police are seen on foot it does alter a persons perception of crime, people do feel safer etc. And I have to say that in my area, which is mostly antisocial behaviour, police on foot have more chance of seeing exactly what we complain about.

14 November, 2006 22:59

Blogger totallyun-pc said...

Allbloodytaken, did you read about the nineteen fifties in a history book per chance? switch on!

We live in a developed world. which means the world has developed. Get it? not always for the best!

There are now more of us, more cities, more towns more cars more people to mug and more people to do the mugging.
High Viz and prevention has its place, and we don't need you to tell us that. WHAT WE NEED is sentencing that not only reflects the offence, but the offender. You know, the ones on release, or the one's on ASBO's or the ones who don't turn up for the Community punishments. The piss takers who get away with murder everytime they go to court! petty crime and vandalism will dissapear if we put the fear of god into the criminal, not the honest civilians! If criminals are punished appropriately, you wouldn't need a bobby on every corner.

14 November, 2006 23:17

Anonymous non pc pc said...

ive never understood the request for more bobbies on the beat.
its not like there is more public on the beat/pavements, they are all in there cars anyway!

i was a beat bobbie for a few years and i used to explain to people that yes i could walk the beat and if i was to walk the whole of my beat equally it would mean that i would on average walk past there house once every 3/4 weeks.

what people really mean is that when they call the police they want us now...there is only 2 ways to do this
1 employ lots and lots more officers
2 stop sending officers to those non police crap jobs that take up all the time.

in reply to allbloodytaken (great name)i would point out that in the 1950's the public never used to call the police to report little jimmy had been bullied at school and could we sort it out, or that they wanted to report there darling daughter missing but they knew where she was (with nasty boyfriend) and could we go and drag her back and whilst there arrest nasty boyfriend for sending nasty text messages to darling daughter.

more bobbies will prevent crimes...but so would sending criminals to prison

15 November, 2006 00:51

Anonymous ted said...

Some areas are not suitable for policing on foot due to the distances involved. On the other hand for areas like inner cities and town centres with high densities of population and more shops and commercial premises the beat officer provides the best policing available when combined with response cars as a first response to emergency calls.
Not every street on a beat will be visited every day. The idea is to visit the streets where there are ongoing prblems. And despite stats quoted elsewhere to the effect that a patrolling officer would only find a crime in progress every x number of years beat cops used to regularly catch criminals by focusing on problem areas.
On a beat of 1 square mile any point can be reached within 20 minutes by walking. Even quicker by jumping on a bus, or as I frequently used to do attending urgent calls - flagging down a hackney driver and getting a lift from him.
In my area it is not so much a case of getting more cops on the beat as getting cops there (24/7 policing) at all. an area that 25 years ago was policed 24/7 by a shift of anywhere between 10 and 18 cops is now regularly policed by 4 or 6 cops. sometimes less.
Over that time there have been regular abstractions from the core shifts to fill posts on all the departments which didn't exist back then.
The police have in my view made a big mistake over the years by not doing what any other organisation did when asked to take on other tasks - say "fine, give us another 40 officers and we will do it".
Having done various other jobs in different places over the years I'm now back at the same station I worked on the beat at 25 years ago. Now back then the shifts had spare capacity and could afford to lose cops without much effect. All that fat was trimmed years ago and in the last few years the cuts have gone through the flesh and into the bone.
While beat policing is fine as an ideal, as far as doing it on the core shifts goes it's a luxury we don't have any more.

15 November, 2006 01:11

Anonymous CO19 PC said...

How do each of you posters feel when you're off duty and you see a police officer walk along your street? That's what the public wants, whether the reassurance is imaginary or not it's still reassurance and no one is suggesting replace response cars with foot patrols completly, just increase the number of foot patrols by actually freeing officers from back offices recording useless statistics compiled by all those other poor officers whizzing around recording crimes

15 November, 2006 02:34

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is called vox populi.
there can be police on feet and in cars. After all who pays your wages - the public - so why can't they have what they want - not necesarily what you think they should have.
whatever speed you walk at.

15 November, 2006 03:36

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said 'allbloodytaken' & 'CO19' and a couple of 'anonymouses'. 'totally unpc' & 'nonpc pc' perhaps you should rename yourselves 'totally no thought pc' & 'no thought pcpc'. What arrogant and detached views! You've all bought into the big lie and will therefore actually support the enlargement of the 'extended policing family' and the bogus return of 'uniformed authority figures such as park keepers'. You actually seem to want to support the destruction of your traditional role, and traditional public support and yet in other postings in this and other blogs you actually moan about about it. Your representative body, the federation, has been undermined by the divide and rule introduction of a host of other representative groups based on race, religion. sexuality and disabilty. You have no united front and therefore no political power (when was the last time you saw the federation conference make the news? - the last time was when a met pc criticised sir Ian Bliar and then got bullied). You struggled to get your pay rise this year - wait and see what next year brings. Over the years, patrolling was decried as a waste of time by criminologists and the call for rationalisation taken up by the new breed of ACPO - you deserted your streets - but then post 9/11 John Stevens et al couldn't get enough hi-viz patrols out there - and what happened to crime figures in those areas? Now the call for the EPF - to give the puiblic what they want - a visible uniformed presence on the streets - has resulted in the massive recruitment drive for support officers or the new 'new' police, and your place in society, your traditional role is being lost as is your public support - hence the over defensive postings on these always informative pages. As for sending officers to crap jobs (and other similar comments) whatever happened to 'zero tolerance'? Deal with the shit jobs, take the wasters and ASBO people off the streets for the small stuff, execute a few of the hundred thousand plus warrants gathering dust in filing cabinets, and the big 'serious' GOOD jobs won't happen. Oh yes, (before there's some bleating about it) let's have some more prisons, and some support from the rest of the CJ system would be good too.

15 November, 2006 06:58

Blogger ExtraSpecialCopper said...

I have been out on foot before, and had people moaning that they never see officers on foot. So when one particular weekend we had 6 officers walking town centre, the comments recieved were............negative! People now moaned it was overkill, and wanted to know what had happened etc and shouldnt we be catching (yes, you have guessed it!) rapists and murderers! Although, statistically, the town centre is where such crimes (very rarely) happen in Scroatsville

15 November, 2006 08:10

Blogger ExtraSpecialCopper said...

anon 03@36 - dont forget that police officers themselves pay taxes - so in effect are self employed!

15 November, 2006 08:13

Anonymous realisticPC said...

The British Crime Survey shows that the public's perception and fear of crime is at an all time high - mostly due to the fact that the media love to publicise gruesome murders usually involving kidnap, rape, buggery or torture. Together with the apparent massive increase in the number of paedophiles who seem intent to have sex with any child they can grab from the streets - or baths in peoples houses -, apparently the prisons are so full that judges can't put anymore scumbags in there so they are getting community sentences - is it any wonder that the 95% of the population who will never have contact with the Police in their life would like to see more Police Officers - OR more PCSO's - providing a high visibility presence where they live? I think we have to accept that the majority of Joe Public are decent people who want to feel safe - and seeing a uniform walking or driving around provides that reassurance.

15 November, 2006 10:22

Anonymous Pascal said...

Not only does it provide reassurance, I'm pretty sure it also acts as a deterrent.

15 November, 2006 10:44

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The head shed seem to think the way to solve all problems is to throw a few yellow jackets at it. Sometimes what the public wants is not always what they need. They want "old fashioned" beat bobbies. What exactly does that mean? perhaps they mean the sort of police officer that walked the beat when people showed a little respect,gobby youths wouldn't dare abuse the police because we would "give em one raaand the ear'ole", shits didn't smash their way into peoples houses to nick their car keys (probably because you could leave your doors opn in those days) and criminals would not make off in vehicles. Alot of people , including an ex member of ACPO who recently said we should moveto a more traditional sort of uniform and only wear our vests when needed. Im sorry, the last time someone fancied helping my missus to claim on my life insurance policy by trying to fillet me with a knife straight out of a klingon weapons catalogue, I sure wouldn't have had time to run back to the car and put it on. Heaven forbid we should look part. I am all for intimidating criminals,in actual fact it should be a national sport and as the first part of the conflict resoloution model is "officer presence" I would rather not tackle scumbags looking like a school crossing warden.
I actually did a stint of foot patrol for the first part of the shift yesterday. A car key burglary occurred and I was the closest unit. I was still the first to arrive even though I was on foot to find a nice family in complete terror. If I was in my car I would have got there whilst it was happening.The first words out of their mouth "what took you."
Just can't win.

15 November, 2006 11:29

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blimey. What was that last post all about? Is it a present day 'bobby'? God help us!

15 November, 2006 12:21

Blogger MogPharau said...

I’m not a member of the police, just another Joe public who reads these police blogs with alarm, bewilderment and amusement in equal measures. In regards to police on the beat; an incident occurred in my neighbourhood over a year ago where a woman and her children were burnt to death in a house fire. Foul play was suspected so the house was cordoned off and guarded by police while evidence was being gathered. So far so bad, but it wasn’t the incident that was so remarkable it was the effect of having a police presence in the neighbourhood 24 hours a day for over 3 weeks had on people. Miraculously, the usual gangs of ASBO/pikey/chav/toe rags who roam the streets disappeared from the area. Parked cars remained where their owners had left them and kept their wing mirrors and paintwork intact. Shop windows were not broken; the streets were free of urine vomit, syringes, broken bottles etc. The pub goers didn’t feel the need to engage in violence, criminal damage, theft, screaming and shouting as they made their way home at night. Instead they slinked past the police presents very subdued. House owners would wake up to find their property undamaged and their possessions present. The thing is these police officers were not actively policing the area they just guarded this one house. It was their presence that made all the difference. Please don’t take this as criticism of the way you do your job, I’m on your side 100% but for me and most of my neighbours, who are sick of living in fear, we need the re-assurance of a police presence.

15 November, 2006 12:47

Anonymous CO19 PC said...

Nicely put Mogpharau, that's exactly what the SMT and the government needs to hear and maybe some rank and file officers too, get out of your cars every now and then and actually see what policing is supposed to be about instead of being a mobile crime recording service

15 November, 2006 13:19

Anonymous PC Nutter said...

To be honest as an officer with a few years in, i too would like to engage more with the public other than just always aggrieveds or offenders. To be honest on my area we are so shortly staffed due to the draw of the MET that we will be lucky to cover all the immediate incidents on area.

15 November, 2006 13:30

Anonymous Mr Happy said...

I just want to say that it is ok for the public to go on about a bobby on the beat, but we are just responding to what they really want and complain about. All those letters to SMT about where was PC X when my car got damaged , why did it take so long to turn up to my burglary, why arent you catching criminals. This has meant they had to impose targets and stats to show off how good we are or not! Either way you cant have that sort of demand and then expect an officer to spend 2 hours chatting to Mrs Miggins. You cant have it both ways, the public via the politicians have driven forces to be more efficient as it is thier money we are spending! and more effective with our time! What you get is the things that could not be accounted on any form but which the public held dear being dropped. With the cutting of funds and change in crime patterns it means that a halfway house is not even a realistic prospect, maybe there will be the odd slow night where you can get out on foot to patrol in the hope of catching the odd baddie, though the public will never see that in the most. I agree with PC nutter, the strains and demands to performe on tighter budgets and with fewer officers means bobbies truely on the beat a thing of the past. They are no longer cost effective. The Public got what it wanted given they are paying for us!!!!

15 November, 2006 16:13

Anonymous non pc pc said...

anonymous 6;58 ( would be much easier if you just used a name)... thanks for your commebts and name calling. sorry you dont agree in what i say, but thats what a forums for isnt it?.

not sure why i was berated for my views as i think i said i used to be a beat officer for quite some time and i was merley pointing out that whilst public may want to see the police walking the beats they also want to see officers attend incidents in a timely fashion.

the 2 roles are not always compatible.
my own viewpoint as an officer that has worked variuous roles within the job is that if the public didnt clog the system up with jobs such as the ones i mentioned then this would free up more officers so yes we could put more out on the streets. plus if the justice system actually started removing some of the criminals that we do arrest (ie prison) then again this would mean less criminals therefore more time to deal with social issues.

check my next comment which may help a little as well.

15 November, 2006 16:15

Anonymous non pc pc said...

just thought this might interest some people...from sir robert peel comments i think still for the most part hold true today.


1. The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.

2. The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.

3. Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.

4. The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.

5. Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.

6. Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient.

7. Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

8. Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.

9. The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.

15 November, 2006 16:17

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sympathise with your view, PC Bloggs, but you've ignored the issue of policy visibility and its deterrent effect. Even if this is over-rated (and it probably is), bobbies on the beat accomplish something almost as valuable: reassuring the public. You don't always have to be doing anything practically effective to be doing something worthwhile.

I'm interested in your true identity, because I don't buy the '25-year-old' bit. Your spelling and grammar are too good for a 25-year-old. Do not protest otherwise: I interview, hire and train very well educated youngsters for a living, and they're all functionally illiterate under the age of 30. To blame: good old UK public education, or what passes for it. I suspect you are both older and more senior than you let on.

15 November, 2006 16:45

Anonymous colleen said...

congrats! i saw you listed on the carnival too!

15 November, 2006 17:50

Blogger PC Bloggs said...

anon 16:45 - I am not sure where you got my age from but I am sure I posted that some time in the past. It is true, I am not 25. I am actually 27. I hope that clarifies things.

The comments are interesting - I agree if a police officer stood on every corner there would be less crime. It seems an expensive way to tackle these problems, however. Reforming the courts might be a cheaper way to go - if not cheaper then more sustainable. They are in a right state as are the prisons - I actually think we police do an ok job.

On the subject of crap jobs: the latest one on our terminal "Someone has parked a van in my street with the words 'Paedos are evil' on it." It has been crimed as "Public Order" and now officers will need to attend. I wish we could just say "SOD OFF YOU TIME-WASTING GIT" to the caller, but nowadays you can't. THAT is why we aren't available to stand on a street doing nothing all day.

15 November, 2006 18:02

Blogger PC South West said...

When I first joined the job I went to NPT and then directly to response and my opinion was foot patrol was crap and the best way to Police was by driving from job to job. That was some years ago and I now realise that Policing in the Town centre is only practical on foot. I know it makes a difference because certain crimes increase massively when we are not there, especially at night when clubs and pubs are kicking out.
I am certain that some officers object to foot patrol because they prefer to sit in their air conditioned response car, a bit like a protective shell to keep them free from the public and some of the crap that goes with foot patrol. And some are just too lazy to walk at all.

15 November, 2006 18:21

Anonymous labrat said...

well, I seem to remember that once upon a time, coppers who needed to get around their beat had - you guessed it, bikes! why not try one PC bloggs, you'd be suprised what a good policing tool they are...

Peels principles are so incredibly relevant to this discussion - the public do not want you taking statements and filling in paperwork to justify how you have dealt with a crime - they want you to PREVENT it happening in the first place, the best way to do that is to actually be around harassing and interdicting criminal behaviour, not responding to it.

As for crap jobs, I think you'll find that 90% of them become dealt with through judicious use of "a word in the ear" - with no need for paperwork, since it gets reported verbally to the beat copper over a mug of tea or the garden fence whilst out on their beat, picture the scenario:
victim: "my ex is giving me hassle again, phoning me all the time"
PC: "I'll have a word!" jots it in notebook and collars matey boy the next day in the street, gives him a bollocking, end of issue unless he continues, in which case he gets nicked and a statement is taken.

Old Fashioned policing at work!

You need to shift your attitude from "I'm here to arrest criminals" to "I'm here to prevent crime" wether you want to admit it or not, most intel about crime comes from the local residents - but you need to build their trust first, it does not appear overnight.

Read peels principles one and nine again, and write them inside the band of your helmet.

I'll leave you with one phrase again, policing needs to "Harass and interdict criminal behaviour"

15 November, 2006 19:43

Blogger PC Bloggs said...

Does anyone else know the defintion of Interdict as used by my last commenter? I looked it up: Interdict = "to destroy by firepower". An interesting take.

Did anyone notice the point about there being hundreds of thousands more members of public to police nowadays? Or the one pc nutter brought to the discussion about there not being enough police to even attend "immediates" (ie events happening NOW). Indeed a bobby can police a beat of a square mile very effectively, but who will police the other forty-five square miles covered by Blandmore nick? This is not a small-scale problem.

PS I tried a bike once and fell off. Then again I am a girl.

15 November, 2006 22:48

Blogger MogPharau said...

Yes PC Bloggs Having a police officer standing on every corner isn’t practical but neither is having a police officer zipping through a neighbourhood blighted by crime and anti-social behaviour in his/her patrol car oblivious to what is going on and only re-acting to events instead of pre-empting them. As for resources, manpower and reforming the courts, you will get those the day crime starts affecting the lives of politicians and the people your chief plays golf with.

15 November, 2006 23:17

Anonymous non pc pc said...

hmm to say i agree in principle with what you say...crap jobs should be dealt with in the way you mention. however they are not as when a person calls in reporting ex making calls it is logged as a crime and a great deal of discretion goes out of the window.

as i say in principle you are saying what most officers are stop tying me down with the paperwork and let me deal with the job...but in reality its not always so easy.

16 November, 2006 01:02

Anonymous Anonymous said...

LABRAT you said...

As for crap jobs, I think you'll find that 90% of them become dealt with through judicious use of "a word in the ear" - with no need for paperwork, since it gets reported verbally to the beat copper over a mug of tea or the garden fence whilst out on their beat, picture the scenario:
victim: "my ex is giving me hassle again, phoning me all the time"
PC: "I'll have a word!" jots it in notebook and collars matey boy the next day in the street, gives him a bollocking, end of issue unless he continues, in which case he gets nicked and a statement is taken.

Old Fashioned policing at work!

The problem is, I would not be able to just "give him a bollocking." This is a domestic incident, in which case I would have to take positive action- whether the ip wants it or not, and at the very least complete a domestic abuse form for the female, including the part where you ask her, whilst drinking a cup of tea over the garden fence, if he has ever tried to strangle her or do anything of a sexual nature that that made her feel uncomfortable. I will then have to fill in a form for any child present too. Then I will have to hunt the ex partner down and serve a 1st case harrassment notice on him....


having also appeared on this earth 27 years ago, I too found the comments about your sentence construction and grammar a tad offensive.

16 November, 2006 09:16

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous of 11.29 has obviously been watching too many episodes of Dixon of Dock Green. I worked very rough beats, which included docks and steelworks, in my time as a Police officer. Neither I nor any of my colleagues gave kids a clip or thump around the ear. If we did, we would have been hauled up in front of our Inspctor (at a time when Inspectors were minor Gods and not young boys with an 'ology) and severely punished. Yes, we were respected, but not through fear, which is what you get if you go around hitting kids (as well as hatred). We did our job through respect. We were mainly local lads and lasses, our families worked in the docks and steelworks and we went to school with many of the local residents. In those days, Police were included as part of the community. We drank, played football with, or against, local residents and saw each other at birthday parties, anniversaries or at the local Working Man's Club.
Now, it seems that so many of the young officers are from different parts of the country, or even different countries, that it is so hard to form a bond or community spirit (made worse that so many places are commuter towns with residents working away during the week and only seeing, or wanting, Police officers in the evenings or at weekends).
Foot patrol in built up areas can work as long as it is linked with regular mobile patrols, where officers can, if the situation warrants it, take the time to stop and talk to people.
Robert Peel's Principles of Policing went out the window many years ago. Have any of the readers been re-called to duty to explain to their Inspector why there was a burglary in the town centre when they were on foot patrol and why didn't I prevent it? It happened to me (once, only once) and to several other shift members. Now it's more important to have a crime detected than prevent it in the first place. All in the name of statistics which, as many know, consist of 78.3% of made-up figures.
Finally, I al think Anonymous has been reading too many Chris Ryan novels, using terms like "head shed".
Now, if I can just ask my Granddaughter how to switch this bloody thing off!

16 November, 2006 09:39

Anonymous Anonymous said...


With regards to the comment about me mentioning clipping kids around the ear I was being sarcastic. Yes, its the lowest form of humour but there you have it.

With regards to the use of my phrase "head shed" it is an accepted term in my force......Anyway I prefer reading Mills and Boon:)

16 November, 2006 10:16

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re the above comment about dealing with crap jobs, time and time again i get sent to jobs that with a more knowledgable person on the phone, (ie a bobby) then this could be sorted over the phone, without the need to send a patrol car, it only takes a few pertinent questions to ascertain that no crime has taken place, and there is no need for a patrol, as to foot patrol, yes, in an urban environment it can pay dividends, as a response officer, i actually enjoy it, rather than preferring to "sit in my air conditioned car".
There are precious few foot bobbies though, and the response sections are sent to the many domestic incidents which are immediates, there needs to be more bobbies, end of story.
We dont fight crime, we write crime

16 November, 2006 10:50

Anonymous labrat said...

anonymous @ 0916h and non-PCPC

you're missing the point - its only a domestic incident because its been reported on the phone, through the system, and therefore become a crime...

its a crime because of the system of reporting!

if its dealt with informally over a cup of tea, by a copper who has built a rapport with the local citizens - and jotted in the notebook as an informal issue to cover your arse (complainant does not want to report a crime, asked for informal resolution of issue) - then no crime has been reported, no crime number generated, and no paperwork produced.

clearly if informal methods do not have the effect, then you go with the formal paperwork - but working smart can reduce your workload as well - as soon as it gets phoned in, then the official system has to deal with it and it gets messy, cut the crap jobs off at the head by dealing with them via people skills.

16 November, 2006 14:40

Anonymous labrat said...

oh, just to expand on the verb interdict - PC bloggs is right on the interpetation in a strictly military manner, but its gradually become slightly wider than that -

To confront and halt the activities, advance, or entry of :

for example "the role of the FBI in interdicting spies attempting to pass US secrets to the Soviet Union"

16 November, 2006 14:52

Blogger PC Bloggs said...

No one has yet answered how we are supposed to cover the large areas and populations that exist nowadays?

16 November, 2006 15:12

Anonymous Anonymous said...

UUmmmmm, ahem, if you please Miss Bloggs, could you explain to the court what is meant by the term....ahem...'Head Shed'? I'm sure some members of the jury may be puzzled, of course as a judge I am not - but I think an explanantion from your - ahem - perspective may be preferred..............................................................
Mr Justice Temple-Buttocks

16 November, 2006 15:14

Anonymous labrat said...

large areas? erm... has the UK grown bigger recently then?

as for the growth in population - home office figures:

Labour costs form the largest component of police force expenditure. At 31 March 2000, 53 thousand civilians were employed in the police service in England and Wales, in addition to the 124 thousand police officers. The overall total represents an increase of 42 per cent on 1971

42 percent more staff in 30 years - just how much has the UK population grown recently?

Once again, we all know the problem - too many coppers tied to desks and writing reports, too much responsive policing and crime recording by people who need to be out on the street preventing the crime happening in the first place - the tail should not wag the dog!

Heres a bright idea - get the PCSO's to take the crime reports off of victims and fill in the forms, and the police to do the patrolling - hows about that then?

16 November, 2006 16:16

Anonymous labrat said...

I'll just answer my won question - the UK population has aparrently grown by about 9 percent since 1970

9 percent more people, 42 percent more staff - point taken?

16 November, 2006 16:22

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
UUmmmmm, ahem, if you please Miss Bloggs, could you explain to the court what is meant by the term....ahem...'Head Shed'? I'm sure some members of the jury may be puzzled, of course as a judge I am not - but I think an explanantion from your - ahem - perspective may be preferred..............................................................
Mr Justice Temple-Buttocks

16 November, 2006 15:14

Well, your worship, it was I not PC BLOGGS that used that phrase. "head shed"is a term to refer to the Senior management team as....One of the more polite names.

labrat said...
anonymous @ 0916h and non-PCPC

you're missing the point - its only a domestic incident because its been reported on the phone, through the system, and therefore become a crime...

its a crime because of the system of reporting!


I feel that you are missing the point. In these days of arse covering and accountability we have a great deal of discretion removed, especially at DV jobs.You have to take action if something like this is disclosed to you, if not and something happens to the ip the shit WILL fall downwards to you, and someone on the proffessional standards department is going to have some great evidence for their next PDR on how they jumped on you from a great height.
I agree with you a lot of things should be dealt with like how you say, it may still be in some small village but not in my force. Im afraid those days are long gone..

16 November, 2006 20:32

Anonymous pc pc said...

the public may want to see bobbies on the beat but that is because they have a fundamental lack of understanding of what our job actually entails. the same public who want us on the beat want us at their door within minutes of their call. they also want to know how many black people we stop and search, how many people we failed to arrest during a domestic violence incident. they want us hauled over the coals if we use our discretion to decide that their allegation is a pile of crap and they bay for our blood if a 14yr old steals a car and kills himself in it. to combat all of these desires, the police has been forced (and i mean "forced" - a lot of paperwork is now mandatory from the Home Office) to generate piles of work that make a simple criminal damage take thirty hours to deal with. it's all very well to say, "give the public what they want as they pay our wages", but they want way too much and we cannot possibly deliver it all! we are too stressed by the prospect of a complaint nowadays that we dare not open our mouths in public. only online.

17 November, 2006 00:25

Anonymous Anonymous said...

PcPc - again your posting displays an arrogant and patronising view of the public, whose concerns you also confuse with the political pressure brought to bear on the police (and other organisations) from pressure and other representative groups in society.

I hope this is unintentional on your part - well I'm sure it is, you are just frustrated at not being able to do your job right.

There is no reason why there shouldn't be a more visible and approachable police presence. And that is a 'police' presence, not a pseudo police presence in the form of PCSO's and local authority community wardens + the other tiers of street wardens. The latter's function being to dish out FPN's for everything from criminal matters to parking to whatever else is deemed suitable for revenue generation.

This desire for a police presence isn't a harking back to the golden era of policing and 'Dixon of Dock Green', and by using these phrases you underpin the dominant ethos and agenda in the criminal justice system. The desire is to feel safe in a society that as it becomes supposedly more civilized, seems, to many, to be barbaric at so many levels. Those members in our society who do conform, are law abiding and do pay their taxes feel that they are the ones who have been abandoned by the state and their protectors the police, who protect and serve the criminals and the anti-social elements.

Amazing how many police are about in central London when the latest bunch of demonstrators are clogging up the already clogged up traffic. Or a couple of people want to make a point about the pointless loss of life in Iraq. where do they all come from we ask? You wouldn't mind if they all seemed to be used, but there's van loads sitting about in the side streets, munching sarnies, smoking and sleeping. Don't get defensive here, we know you've been bussed in from allover, often at ridiculously early times and your bosses would rather a few ordinary bobbies get it, before they deploy the riot squads (or of course don't deploy them). it just doesn't look right to us.

many of us also understand that this isn't the fault of the police themselves, well not those from constable to inspector - probably, but the fault of politicians and the state, who have imposed strict targets which remove the constable's traditional discretion.

Failure to comply with these targets, those codes of practice and the current policies and procedures (and let's not forget HEALTH and SAFETY) can render the organisation and individuals subject to legal action in the criminal and civil courts.

We also appreciate how compliance with these targets also entails the collection of statistics, which entails the use of different IT systems and that there is an arrogance within the legal profession, the CPS and the courts that has prevented the introduction and use of linked systems which could reduce time spent compiling records and reports.

So there isn't a '... fundamental lack of understanding of what our job actually entails...' at all.

Why shouldn't a person who has been the subject of a crime expect a prompt service from those paid to supposedly provide it? Should they really have to wait for 2-3 days for someone to attend to examine the scene of a burglary - if at all? Should they really have to wait in the queue at the poliice station front desk for over an hour - more if you've had to travel to the only station open 10 miles away because the local station is only open during certain hours, not at night and manned (yes - manned) by volunteeers?

The silent majority do not "...also want to know how many black people [you] stop and search, how many people [you] failed to arrest during a domestic violence incident".

You're again displaying some severe sensitivity. We know why black male youths are supposedly
'disproportionally' featured in the stop and search records, and why male afro-caribbeans are supposedly
'over -represented' in the prison system. We just have to read our local newspapers to see how many robberies happen in certain areas on a daily basis, to see how many people were shot - again in certain areas and that a certain police unit specializing in 'black - on- black' shootings is investigating.
It's quite sad that we, the silent majority don't really care if they shoot each other - we agin, just don't want the innocent involved.

We also know that this country imports a great deal of it's crime and criminals, just look at any news site for a week and see who are committing the crimes - we've imported the lot it would seem and we can't get rid of them. When we did have them, we let them go and can't find them now. We can't even deport them because they might get killed in their own countries - HUMAN RIGHTS again.

We don't understand why 2nd or 3rd generation young people from minority ethnic backgrounds are allowed to exist in an actual and cultural ghetto. Well we do, the state has permitted it.

Areas of our cities abound with 3rd world values involving criminal activity, political corruption (vote rigging), and health epidemics (well almost) with TB prevalent in some areas - a disease viryuly wiped out here 40 years ago.

We don't want you to spend time filling out useless stop and search forms and 10 page DV booklets. We know you haven't a choice and as for discretion, YOU DON'T HAVE DISCRETION ANYMORE!

The silent majority don't care if a pikey/chav/little shit kills himself and few mates (hopefully) when they are being chased by you. We just don't want an innocent person and their family to be involved and/or worse killed by the shits. We also don't want to be mown down on the ped-x by the poorly trained (or not trained at all) 'basic' police driver or the response/pursuit driver who hasn't had any checks on their standard of driving, or is an idiot who has failed to comply with the instructions and policy about driving such cars.

As for complaints from the public? Who actually makes them about you? Not us matey - not the silent majority that's for sure - we know there's no point - and if we do, it's just like banging on to a 'customer services' adviser at british Gas - pointless, but it makes you feel better for a minute or two.

17 November, 2006 07:55

Anonymous pc pc said...

anon of course you should expect to see a PC within a short period of reporting a burglary, but you can't have that as well as a PC walking past your house every day - as if they are on foot at your door they won't get to someone else's burglary five miles away.

17 November, 2006 13:49

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