This is the official blog of Sgt Ellie Bloggs, a real live police sergeant on the front line of England. It's not the official opinion of my police force, but 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 pay my salary.


(All proceeds from Google Ads will be donated to the Police Roll of Honour Trust)

Friday, September 29, 2006

Chav Breakthrough!

I have become party to a great Chav secret.


Ever since forces went digital and the wondrous "police scanner" has become impossible, several Elders of the Chav community have been trained up as mystical Human Scanners.

Their highly-tuned criminal frequencies enable them to hear police cars coming from three miles away, and to distinguish the growl of the panda diesel from almost any other vehicle. They can even tell whether it is a simple Astra or a Vectra coming, thereby to judge the speed of their escape.

More than this, the Chav Elders are able to sense the exact moment at which the concurrent domestic, burglary, car chase and fight take up the final police resource in a ten mile radius. They are then able to transmit the signal for the Chav on the other side of town to begin his attack on the two unsuspecting PCs effecting his arrest. With all the backup busy, this gives the Chav precious extra seconds in which to kick them a few more times.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Dummy Police.

The owner of a jewellery shop in Cheshire is cross because the police response to intelligence that his shop was about to be robbed was to put an empty police car in a nearby street.

What this owner fails to realise is that this police car was probably nothing to do with this intelligence whatsoever. It was probably left there by the driver as he spent three hours taking a false allegation of theft in a nearby house.

Even if the car was there on purpose, this is a measured response to a vicious crime. Bearing in mind that when faced with an armed gang, the no doubt single-crewed driver would have a choice of standing and watching them depart or ending up like this, therefore it was really a better response than the public might have hoped.

Also in the news today, I was gratified to read that pilots of crashing aeroplanes have just as much trouble getting in on the radio as I do when I'm chasing someone. [Read this piece of up-to-date reporting by The Daily Mail - about an incident that happened on 10th January.]

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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.

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The Separator.

Someone has set up an agency to tell people's partners that they want to break up. I wonder if the Separation Agency would accept calls from police officers wanting them to tell victims their investigation is being closed? That could save my ears a lot of abuse.

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A Modern Phenomenon.

Report-writing in this day and age is more than a full-time job. It is a vocation. Children as young as six dream of the day they will grow up and be seconded onto a government department to generate a 500-page document assessing the failings of a 400-page document published the previous year.

Report Writers are specially trained in not using one word where ten would do. Here is a good example of the Report Writer in action. But nowhere are these skills more widely put into action than in the INQUIRY.

THE INQUIRY
It usually takes place after a death, near-death or complaint by someone important. Very often the focus of the INQUIRY is to generate a report on something that was supposed to save money, but hasn't. More often, the INQUIRY is to highlight flaws in a system or a decision. In nine out of ten cases, the person who wanted the INQUIRY in the first place is not happy with the outcome of the INQUIRY.

It is not my place to comment on the validity of these INQUIRIES that dog our lives. They are rightly campaigned for and will no doubt help a lot of people to understand how the police and other agencies cocked up on a previous occasion. The INQUIRY can then be turned into a RECOMMENDATION and the police can add sentences to their policies such as "we will search more white people". There can then be a further INQUIRY into whether the RECOMMENDATION is being followed, and this makes for lots of embarrassing stories for chief constables. You can never have too many of those.

These INQUIRIES take up an impressive amount of paper. The Macpherson Report costs £26.00, consists of forty-seven chapters over 335 pages. Whereas Macpherson could just have written, "You are all racist pigs. Change your ways", I think in general I agree with the principle: The more paper, the better the INQUIRY must be.

Take this 3000 page report generated into murders possibly committed by a guy who has already died of a brain haemorrhage? A fantastic use of police resources.

Or this INQUIRY into the wasting of £1.2m on an investigation where the suspect was acquitted? This one also came to several thousand pages. We should hold an INQUIRY into every case where a police officer wasted his or her time investigating a pointless crime, it is the only way we will learn.

The problem with the INQUIRIES is that it is just too plain hurtful to have to read them. We all know the system sucks already and have no intention of changing it. I would therefore like to propose an INQUIRY into the amount of money spent on INQUIRIES in this country. This could result in a RECOMMENDATION to have no more INQUIRIES. Then we could fire all the Report Writers and spend the money on a great new computer system that can do its own INQUIRIES and follow its own RECOMMENDATIONs without needing to tell us about them at all.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Storm in a Laptop.

PC Copperfield has set off a storm this week. The pervading theme of the 126 (so far) commenters responding to a video of two coppers having the crap kicked out of them seems to be:
  • How horrible but it happened because of crap policing in the UK.
  • They didn't defend themselves very well. Police should be big and beefy and male.
  • I wouldn't help as I'd be arrested.
  • I would have given the offenders a good kicking.
I am in agreement with all of these comments. Police officers have become arrest-happy. Back in the good old days we never used to nick people for theft, criminal damage, or swearing in the street. Now, however, the Home Office has made these offences "recordable", always a sign that they want us to arrest people for them, as we can claim Detecty points for bringing them to justice. If we will continue to investigate reports of petty crime, we should expect to be attacked by chavs. Anyone who hits a 13yr old for being rude to them shoud get a handshake, not an arrest. And people whose Satanic cars subject them to a hair-raising police chase should be comforted not investigated. Bring back the days when we did not have to write down the amount of vandalism and minor thefts occurring in a neighbourhood, but could just tell everyone that everything was fine. If they will make us record this type of crime, they should expect it to go undetected, as we didn't investigate it before and we won't investigate it now.

As for the big and beefy issue, I agree that women are pretty useless in combat. They are a bit hesitant to get involved and don't do much good when they do. I have rarely been involved in fights during my service and only when they are already happening as I arrive. This is proof that WOMEN are simply not able to generate a good fight the way a man is.

Some worry they would be arrested if they got involved on the side of the police. We do like to bring people to justice for fighting in the streets, whatever the circumstances. I cannot understand the issue with this: if you are willing to help out your local force by thumping a baddie, aren't you willing to help us out by giving us a detection for public order offences?

I can't really argue with those who want to give the scrotes a good kicking. If only I didn't walk around in girly little high heels, I would be happy to help.

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Let Them All Go.

I am sure you all remember the fiasco over foreign criminals not being deported after release. This "crisis" occurred earlier this year and an emergency unit was set up to catch the bad guys. Time was of the essence as some had only been released several years before.

Personally I don't see why we bother sending foreign criminals to prison in England at all, when we could just deport them straight away. In fact, we should deport them before the investigation even starts, that way we could save money and police hours. Anyone who has spent time in an English prison is breaching the rules of their migration to this country, by wasting public money in a selfish manner. Why can't they commit their rapes and murders in their own country? In any event, I see no problem with letting them serve what we deem to be a suitable sentence for the crime, and then sending them away as a second punishment specially reserved for foreigners.

The point of all this is that the unit set up to recapture the undeported has been disbanded. Apparently those still outstanding are "probably dead or abroad". This is how I account for anyone I have been unable to arrest, when what I really mean is that they weren't in on the three occasions I had time to knock on their doors.

When I have a named suspect to arrest, I usually do the following:
  • Knock on his/her door once at a time I am almost certain he will be out.
  • Ask the next shift to try at a more likely time (this means they will do the paperwork if they get him).
  • Forget about it for a few days until the Emailing Unit contacts me with a snotty email.
  • Try to locate the paperwork where the other shift have left it - usually in a random tray in a random office somewhere, sometimes not even in my station.
  • Phone up the offender on his/her mobile and arrange for them to attend the police station, preferably at a time when I am not on duty.
  • If they show up, all well and good.
  • If not, complete a "wanted" file. This means the paperwork goes into a drawer somewhere and I never think about it again, and one day the guy will be brought in by a special squad being paid time-and-a-third to do so.
  • The victim will usually withdraw the complaint at some point during the next few months, which means I can retrieve the wanted file and throw it away. Alternatively, having got away with his crimes so far, the suspect will go ahead and murder the victim. Either way, it is a minimal amount of work for me.
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Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Warrants Drawer.

This driver who ran over a woman, made off and then failed to appear in court has finally been brought to justice. The police claim that the offender "disappeared off the face of the earth", otherwise known as going to live in West Norwood.

I imagine that what really happened was:

The offender, Mr HEARD, was traced, arrested and charged. Police applied for him to be remanded in custody due to his poor record of turning up in court and consistent offending on bail. He appeared in court the next day and the magistrate hummed and hawed and decided that it was unlikely that the guy would abscond, given he was only to be sentenced to a couple of years in jail. HEARD was given bail, failed to show up in court and a warrant was issued for him. If Brighton nick is anything like Blandmore, the warrant got filed in THE WARRANTS DRAWER, a place of mystical and ancient cases from the mists of time and laws that don't exist any more. Every now and again when someone stuck a pin in the letter "H", HEARD's warrant was taken out and someone knocked on the door of the address he had not lived in for five years. The warrant would then be returned to the drawer where it remained until Heard was caught nine years later, probably when stopped because he had a brake light out.

This case led me to read the charity Brake's take on "death by dangerous driving". This is a little bee I have in my bonnet. It's a pretty big bonnet.

Brake effectively state:
  • that a bus driver working an extra shift (which may or may not have been his choice) who suffered a lapse of concentration and ran a red light, killing a teenager, should have been sentenced to far more than fifteen months in prison.
  • that driving at 40mph in a 30mph zone should constitute "dangerous" driving rather than just speeding.
  • that if you allow people to drive faster when no one else is on the road, you are imposing a "curfew" on other drivers.
  • that if you overtake lots of times dangerously, this is no worse than overtaking once dangerously.
  • pleading guilty should not reduce your sentence.
As I have ranted about before, I agree wholeheartedly with these and more. If you are tired and make a fatal mistake, you are a murderer and should never walk free from jail. If you speed, you are a murderer and should never walk free from jail. If you drive at 120mph on an empty motorway, you are infringing the human rights of others. All victims and witnesses of these incidents should be dragged through court in a full trial and guilty pleas are unacceptable no matter what the circumstances.

Last but not least, if we implemented all the above measures, no doubt awful things like this wouldn't happen any more:





Here's to a speedy recovery for the Hamster.







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Friday, September 22, 2006

Fair Pay Campaign

A reader has asked me to put a draft letter to MPs on my site asking for our rightly due 3%. I have decided not to print the letter here as it is just too serious and confusing for a dumb girl like me, but I do urge you all to write to your MPs, which I think is something that people should do far more often. If MPs got letters from pissed off people enough, fewer of them would go into politics and we could spend the extra money on our pay rise. I have written to my MP already and expect to receive a reply along the lines of:

Dear PC Bloggs,
Thank you for your letter. It has been entered into a prize draw, the winner of which will get to spend a week with the local MP seeing how crappy his/her job is and how nothing he/she does makes a difference anyway.
There are two runner-up prizes: the first to work as a civil servant for a week to see what the word "paperwork" really means. The second is a plane ticket to America where you can shop on a sunday and kill any wild animals or people you want, and where the words "police officer" convey a sense of actual authority.
Good luck.
From your friendly neighbourhood MP.

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Gloucestershire Are Racist.

Gloucestershire Police have had to pay an applicant for discriminating against him because he was white and male.

This is yet another example of how the police just can't win no matter what we do. What is wrong with turning down a white male applicant on the grounds that we have enough of them! This is clearly demonstrated in the video shown on PC Copperfield's site today: obviously that situation really called for an officer from an ethnic minority or a woman, rather than one or two more people of just any colour. If only that force had also prioritised its recruitment strategy, the officers might not have been beaten up so badly by two or three misguided young men.

Forces everywhere should simply stop recruiting white officers. This is the only way to level the playing field, and the shortfall can simply be made up by "buying" extra police hours. Hours are available in all good local communities where standard officers will work any amount of overtime to make up for resourcing shortages. Hours can also be purchased online by sending snotty emails to the officers concerned informing them that they WILL work a twelve-hour shift the next day.

Another option might be to utilise the vast resource of civilians at forces' disposal. As shown in a Freedom of Information reply I received from Bedfordshire Police, while only 30% of police officers are female, about 75% of support staff are. By simply training some of these women to be police officers and taking some men off the streets and into offices, the male/female ratio of most forces can be equalised.

Things could be so simple if we just didn't complicate them!

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

"I forgot I had it in my pocket."

The PC arrested for shoplifting yesterday need not worry. The chances are the investigation will go along the lines of:
  • The store detective will go home before officers manage to get his statement.
  • The CCTV was broken.
  • The member of public who actually witnessed the incident left the store without giving his/her details.
  • The PC will go "No Comment" in interview as he knows the system and will play the odds.
  • He will be bailed and will get the Federation on stand-by. Should the evidence surface, he can use the "I rescued people in the 7/7 Bombings and was traumatised" as a back-up defence.
  • CPS advice will be sought and the decision will either be: "It is not in the public interest to prosecute a hero" or "There is a two second gap when the witnesses did not have the PC in view, so if he claims he put down the items selected and a person he has never seen before put them back into his pocket when he wasn't looking, we will have no way to disprove it." Therefore he will be NFA'd.
  • In the unlikely event that he is charged and convicted, the Met will never fire him as they would have to justify this against the many rank and file officers they employ with convictions for drink-driving and assault.
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I said J said I.

The Beeb has today reported on a woman blackmailing two immigration judges. The writer of the article decided it would be a good idea to refer to the judges as "I" and "J", hence:

I decided it would be "prudent" to end her employment.

I said it was because he did not want her to pursue her threats.

I also admitted some jealousy.

She appears to have slept with one or other of them, worked for one or both of them, and from the way this reads, possibly had some kind of relationship with the BBC reporter writing the story.

Just imagine how the court case will sound:

Prosecutor: "I said he had been blackmailed for a year."
Judge: "And what did the victim say?"
Prosecutor: "I, the victim, said he had been blackmailed for a year."
Judge: "So you are the victim?"
Prosecutor: "No, your honour, I is the victim."
Judge: "I AM the victim."
Prosecutor: "YOU are the victim?"

Hours of endless fun.

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It Has Happened.

At last the moment that Transport 2000 has been waiting for. Proof that driving at 300mph is dangerous. An investigation is underway into how the crash of Richard Hammond occurred yesterday as he tried to break the land speed record. I would like to suggest that it was caused by him trying to break the land speed record.

This just goes to prove that all the motoring lobby groups who say no one should drive over 20mph are right. Following on from my report on Health and Safety yesterday, I think the government is just around the corner from deciding that no one should drive at all.

Personally, I think this is a ripe opportunity for the police to make some money. We could introduce levels of speeding fine from the current £60 up to £150 or more depending on the speed travelled. If you go over 300mph in a rocket-shaped car with a parachute on the back, you stand to get a roadside fine of £200 and eleven points on your license. This would give the police greater jurisdiction to decide the guilt and innocence of the public at large, in a five minute interlude at the side of the road, rather than having to utilise the court system. Anything that frees up the court system is a good thing.

In the future I hope to develop proposals whereby all offences, including burglary, GBH and terrorism, can be dealt with by way of a fixed penalty notice at the side of the road.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Dog.

I had to draw your attention quickly to this story, posted on (of all places) the Centrex website! I suppose Centrex has to do something now national police training schools have been closed down.

They also report on how a man was reported for "placing a garden gnome with intent to cause harassment". The gnome was shaped like a policeman and glowed in the dark. Apparently.

Health and Safety: PC Bloggs Style.

A colleague has drawn my attention to recent reports of police officers being potentially sacked for chasing criminals.

This is nothing new. If my memory of training school serves me well, Health and Safety applies to US ALL. Our employer, us, the users of our service. For example, if you go to a public swimming pool and ask the cafeteria to give you a toaster so you can make toast by the pool, and you subsequently knock the toaster into the pool killing eighteen schoolchildren and burning your toast, you will find the pool, the cafeteria attendant and you are all responsible under Health and Safety. Possibly even some of the children are responsible too.

I do not think police health and safety goes far enough. Check out this story of a police officer who got away with the most brutal leg-squashing of a car thief. Or think about the tragic de Menezes shooting. Or the one where officers died falling through a roof and the police were not convicted. The Met Commissioner even said that it was impossible to make the police workplace safe unless officers were to never leave the station.

I think you will agree that the keyword here is UNLESS. As the years pass and we learn more and more about the dangers of taking risks in the modern world, the evidence is stacking up for a decision not to let the police out of the station unless it is on fire. This should especially apply to WOMEN. We just aren't safe out there. This is a view supported by Surrey Police, as I reported yesterday. Hertfordshire also comment on the dangers of a woman living, walking or doing anything alone. Cambridgeshire goes one step further and describes how you should react if you are attacked. While this is purportedly aimed at both genders, they recommend you defend yourself with "umbrella, hairspray or keys", so it is fairly clear who this is really for. (It is worth noting that Cambridgeshire is excited about their new "revolutionary" ink-less fingerprint machine. Even Scotland has had these two years.)

At the moment most police forces slap their WOMEN on "light duties" the moment they fall pregnant. Many women take a year or so to return to "shift" work after having a baby, especially if they go onto have more. This is one successful way forces have got their vulnerable officers off the streets. It is time for forces to go further and put us WOMEN on light duties the moment we start. Every woman has the potential to have BABIES and we should not be put at risk. We are also prettier and get more upset by being hurt.

It's time our employers WOKE UP and realised they have a RESPONSIBILITY towards us!

So what could we do if we are not allowed out on the streets? The answer is obvious. We are excellent multi-taskers and could therefore take reports from members of public at the front counter whilst simultaneously throwing them in the bin.

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Dealing with Corruption.

Every once I see another officer doing something I disapprove of. Surprisingly, this is more normally along the lines of dropping a file of evidence into the paper shredder, than it is witnessing a display of savage police brutality. Then again, I am a GIRL, so most of my male colleagues are careful not to be too violent around me in case it upsets me, or sends me on a feminist legal suit rampage, as we GIRLs are prone to start.

However, there must be times in most police officers' careers when you inwardly wince and turn your head away, thinking: "I really wish PC So-and-So hadn't just used unreasonable force to push that guy's face into the dirt and call him a 'Fucking Knob'". Or when you think: "Gosh, whatever happened to that joint PC Whatshisface seized from the scrote he just searched?" Or when you think: "I really shouldn't have sped through that speed camera on my way to my lunch break."

As a consequence, here is my guide for the best course of action should you bear witness to a shocking piece of POLICE CORRUPTION:
  1. Take a few steps back. That way any watching tourists with camcorders might not catch you in the shot.
  2. Immediately call up on the radio with a vague catch-all to cover the situation, eg "He's kicking off", "Another unit required", "He's thrown the drugs away", "A car just made off from me".
  3. On no account speak to the officer about it. This will only make you appear party to it later on.
  4. Surreptitiously gauge your colleagues reaction to what has happened. Bear in mind if people seem unfazed by the corruption, you could be wrong in thinking anything untoward has occurred.
  5. If you hear remarks condoning the actions, quickly join in selecting from:
    • "That was fun."
    • "I twisted his cuffs up good."
    • "What a cock that guy was he deserved to get his head kicked in."
  6. Secretly record details of the incident in your pocket notebook. That way if you are challenged later you have irrefutable proof of what happened. It is impossible to lie in a pocket notebook.
  7. If you have a mobile phone, secretly video what is happening. Even if you never get to use it to defend yourself in court, you can always sell it on the Internet as a hot download.
Remember: There is no room for team spirit when public prosecutions are on offer.

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Praise Be The Media!

Considering that I have only twice in my uninspiring career ticked the box on the crime report for "Media Appeal", there are a surprising number of them all across the media daily. I can only imagine there is a special civilian consultant who is brought in for this purpose.

As I have stated before, I think the Media Appeal is underused by the average bobby. We spend a lot of our time on funky new investigation tools such as Hi-Tech Crime, DNA and Handwriting. When has it ever been crucial in a case other than Murder or Rape?

Here is the timeline of a Deception I once investigated: (I imagine most of my readers are by now breathless with excitement to here that not only have I dealt with a Deception, but I investigated it.) Sadly, this is a true story.
  1. Woman reports that a guy she met three times and decided to move in with has forged her signature and withdrawn the entire contents of her bank account (£3000). PC Bloggs is actually there in response to harassing text messages the woman is receiving from the same guy, but decides to deal with both and takes a statement.
  2. Arrest of offender. Sadly the offender lives in Rubbishtown, the other end of the force area, 89 miles away from Blandmore. PC Bloggs types out an "Arrest Request" and faxes it to the relevant station.
  3. Two weeks later, having forgotten about the job altogether, PC Bloggs comes into work and finds a fax telling her that Billybobjojo, the offender, has been arrested and interviewed in Rubbishtown and he has produced a letter purportedly from the victim, authorising him to take the money. Billybob has been bailed to come back to Blandmore on a day PC Bloggs isn't working.
  4. PC Bloggs rearranges the bail date and Billybob arrives. It is now a month since the original statement was taken. PC Bloggs gets handwriting samples from Billybob.
  5. PC Bloggs prepares to send the handwriting to the Forensic Unit to analyse. She has samples form his house, 12 samples on bits of paper, and the letter Billybob claimed was written by the victim, which is in the property store at Rubbishtown. PC Bloggs rings Rubbishtown store. "We can't just send it, someone has to come and get it."
  6. PC Bloggs arranges for a Rubbishtown unit to pick up the letter and bring it to a slightly closer station, where they can send it to her from.
  7. The person who agreed to send the letter from the closer station goes on annual leave.
  8. PC Bloggs rings up about the letter two weeks later and discovers it has been sent back to Rubbishtown.
  9. PC Bloggs rings the Rubbishtown sergeant, who sympathises with her situation and arranges for the letter to be ferried to Blandmore.
  10. The letter arrives in Blandmore! Now PC Bloggs has to get the handwriting samples out of Blandmore Property store. She is working nights, then days off, then the early morning at the weekend. The property store is not open at any of these times.
  11. PC Bloggs comes in on a day off to get the handwriting samples out of the store. She submits the packages to Scenes of Crime and breathes a sigh of relief.
  12. PC Bloggs comes into work to find a note in her docket: "The form was filled in incorrectly. Your exhibits have been returned to the property store. Please re-submit with correct form." In a panic, PC Bloggs rushes to Blandmore property store. No, the letter has gone back to Rubbishtown.
  13. PC Bloggs drives the four hours to Rubbishtown and back and collects the letter. She transfers it to Blandmore so it will never leave again. She submits the samples by hand and waits while it is checked.
  14. Four months, six new bail dates, three complaints from the suspect, four complaints from the victim and several hundred critical emails later, PC Bloggs receives the expert analysis: "The results are inconclusive."
  15. The victim withdraws the complaint.
Here is how I should have investigated this offence:
  1. I take a statement.
  2. I knock on neighbours doors. I can therefore blame them if they know nothing useful.
  3. I do a Media Appeal. If you think this isn't relevant to the offence, you are missing the point.
  4. I file the job saying, "No response to Media Appeal."
More on this another day.
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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Bringing out the MAN in woMAN.

It appears I raised a few hackles by posting on rape recently. A reader has brought to my attention that there are liars in this world. Mostly women, it seems. There must be so many innocent men languishing in our jails, convicted by a court system that brutally sends people down on the sketchiest of evidence.

This has made me start thinking about the way we investigate other offences. When I attend a burglary, I generally assume that the victim who has had their house broken into and their DVDs, cash and jewellery stolen, did not give permission for this to happen. I put it into the statement as a matter of course and it is rarely challenged. Likewise with criminal damage, theft, robbery etc. There are occasions in which the person did give permission, or the damage was to the offender's own property, or an item was borrowed and never returned, for example, but by and large courts do not challenge the victim stating, "I did not give anyone permission to take/damage it".

This is a nonsense. We should be incredulous of these "victims". I would like to see more people put through the wringer in court and made to give irrefutable proof that they had not given implicit permission for a guy they had met once to break into their house and nick their handbag. As police officers, it is our job to assume first that everyone we speak to is lying, until proved otherwise. That way we won't waste time preserving scenes and seizing clothing for jobs that aren't going anywhere, and can spend more time giving out fixed penalty notices and speeding tickets.

While on the general subject of hysterical, lying females, here is a reproduction of a notice on Surrey Police website:

It can be
easy to miss, but men can help by taking the issue of women's safety seriously in their everyday lives. By keeping these few points in mind, men might be removing any unnecessary worry or sense of vulnerability.
  • Walking behind a woman on her own can cause anxiety that needn't be there. Reassure her by crossing the road.
  • Likewise, don't sit too close to a woman on a bus or train if you can help it.
  • If you're thinking of chatting to a woman at, say, a lonely bus stop, remember she won't know you mean no harm.
  • Simple actions like staring, whistling, passing and comments can be very threatening to a woman, especially if you are with a group of other men.
  • Help female friends or family by giving them a lift or walking them home if you can. Make sure they are safely indoors before you leave.
  • Aggressive tones can be scary. If you find yourself getting angry or frustrated, find the time to cool down before continuing a discussion.
  • Accept that "no" to a sexual advance means exactly that.
Glad they cleared all that up. Also on Surrey's website is the following:

Stop H8 Crime B4 its 2 L8

Well at least they aren't dumbing down or anything.

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Surveillance for Immigrants.

In response to widespread panic at the deadly Bird Flu virus, the government has authorised a massive surveillance operation to monitor migratory birds this autumn. Tony Blair has had to shamefacedly admit in the past that he has "no idea" how many migratory birds are in Britain.

So from now on, swallows, terns, shearwaters and rarer breeds will undergo rigourous checks on entering the country. When they apply for asylum, their clawprints will be taken and they will be assigned a nest in a poor area where their prospects of overthrowing the birds who live here all year round will be minimal. They will not be allowed to perform basic actions necessary for their survival, such as pecking, tweeting or crapping, but will be given government handouts to cover these needs, paid for by sparrows and blackbirds.

The government admits that it will have no way of checking whether these birds have illegally pecked or tweeted, and that there is also the risk of large quantities of illegal migratory birds entering the country through illicit means. The public are therefore being encouraged to report suspicious activity among local foreign birds. The system for any bird caught breaking the rules of its migration is that it will be bagged up, removed to a large centre where its eggs will be taken away from it, and held there indefinitely while countries wrangle over who is to take it in.

The government wants to reassure the public that it has a handle on the situation, and that despite having no clue when or where these birds came from, how many more are due to arrive, and what to do with them once they are here, everything is going to be fine. The government also wants to reiterate that there is no link between the poor treatment of migratory birds in Britain and the increasing number of "bird strike" suicide attacks on aircraft.









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Positive Action for Dealer.

Police are searching for the ugliest man in the world. Despite a media appeal which gives the number for Crimestoppers, they are just concerned he is "fit and well", after swallowing sacks of cocaine. So the fact that he might just be a drug dealer has nothing to do with their concerns. A woman has already died at 0640hrs from swallowing similar bags. I can usefully inform you that was 0640 British Summertime.
P.S. Yikes, if I looked like that, I'd swallow bags of cocaine too.


In other news, once again the police can't help themselves from stopping and searching black people. This statistic always amazes me. I look everywhere in Blandmore for some black people to stop and search, but there just aren't any. I will be in real trouble with the auditors if they ever check my figures.

We are always being picked on by the EQUALITY bandwagon. If we aren't allowing enough ethnic minorities into the force, we are allowing too many. And black and Asian groups now advise the communities they represent NOT to join the police, meaning we will soon have to start cold-calling minorities to tempt them away from better jobs. Plus because so few are police officers, there is a higher proportion out there to be searched. Obviously.

And why are people so surprised these minorities do not want to join up? What no one understands is that NO ONE NORMAL WANTS TO JOIN THE POLICE. We do it out of a desire to hang around with white men who have thick necks. If you do not want this, you would not join, hence the low application figures from these sectors.

No one I joined up with was racist, anyway. We had a class of about fifteen, with two Asian guys, five white girls and the rest white guys with a range of thick to very thick necks. During Racism Week, we discussed who in the class had been stopped and searched. The only two who had been were the two Asian guys and we were ALL SUITABLY APPALLED by this, so I don't see the problem.

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

CSI: Blandmore.

According to the TV, which is where i get most of my guidance on life, it is great to be a CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATOR. You can snatch DNA out of the air, recreate an animated video of the murder from the splatter pattern of blood on the walls and you get to work with a lot of gorgeous, glamourous colleagues.

Someone should write a drama called SOCO: UK. In it, the Scenes of Crime Officers spend a lot of time using sellotape to lift stuff off car-seats, only to decide it is too expensive to submit it for testing. They never work a night shift or past 6pm. They do not have an opinion on who has done what, but they simply take photographs and hand them to the senior investigating officer who is too busy to attend the crime scene himself. This would be gripping television as on two out of a hundred cases, DNA or fingerprint evidence forms a tiny part of their case although neither the lawyers nor the judge understand its significance. Occasionally, officers on the show might spend £4000 deciding which 14 year old burglar out of the four who trashed a house was the one who spat on the cutlery. All of them would plead guilty anyway. Sometimes an offender will be identified on the basis of a DNA hit, but this should only occur once a series otherwise the show would be deemed far-fetched. At no point would the fictional SOCOs get any investment to be trained, nor to use advanced equipment that really can detect crime.

We should follow America's lead more often - even actors investigate crime better there.

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Cherie Takes up Happy-Slapping!

See this from the Beeb. The story is about Cherie "motioning" to slap a 17yr old boy.

Let's compare the investigation of this offence with my own investigation of a "common assault" last night.

Blandmore: Caller reporting a 55yr old woman has assaulted a schoolboy.
Strathclyde: Caller reporting a 55yr old woman has assaulted a schoolboy.

Blandmore: PC Bloggs attends after a cup of tea.
Strathclyde: Six detectives arrive within minutes.

Blandmore: The victim doesn't want to make a complaint.
Strathclyde: The victim doesn't want to make a complaint.

Blandmore: PC Bloggs is unable to fathom who actually cared about this incident to start with.
Strathclyde: Detectives are unable to fathom who actually cared about this incident to start with.

Blandmore: PC Bloggs starts and concludes a paper-free investigation.
Strathclyde: Detectives take eighteen statements from every member of the sports team, protection group and school, including people who were not there.

Blandmore: PC Bloggs declares that no incident ever took place.
Strathclyde: Six detectives declare that no incident ever took place.

Blandmore: Original caller tracks down PC Bloggs and complains to her inspector, who issues "Management Advice". The investigation is reopened and the woman arrested, goes No Comment in interview and is released without charge. PC Bloggs is forced to create a crime report which will continue to exist long after the caller, the 55yr old woman and the schoolboy are all dead.
Strathclyde: Original caller sells her story to News of the World and makes a small fortune.

Guess which scenario I favour (sigh). However at least this will be a warning to good-natured celebrities who think it is fine to joke about with young boys. There is nothing funny about a 17yr old making "rabbit ears" behind the head of the Prime Minister's wife.

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Hope?

What do you do if your organisation is out-of-date, bears no relation to the real world, is exasperatingly unfair, wasteful with money, gets its main business from people who don't work and always puts off until next May things which could be done today?

Obvious: bring in teenagers to get society on your side.

No, I am not talking about the Labour Party. But about the new trend for young magistrates, brought to my attention by a fellow blogger.

Here are the latest magistrate's shoes:




Yes, I do have a pair just like them.

Here is the new magistrate making her first television appearance:

I think this is the start of a grand new trend. We could lower the age of entry into the police to 15, in order to widen our appeal to the ASBO-achieving age range. With time, both magistrates and police officers will be below the age of criminal responsibility. Maybe that will silence our critics at last!

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Not Just Us.

I am so glad to see that the government is breaching working time regulations equally across all public services.

What these moaning prison officers do not understand is that public services in Britain are founded on the common values:
  • If people like a job enough they will work any amount of hours.
  • If people can't strike, they will work for any amount of pay.
  • Overtime is what keeps the system up and running.
  • Being screwed over by their employer is what keeps people's motivation high.
  • If you send enough emails, everything will be all right.
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Friday, September 15, 2006

Part Two of My Solicitors' Guide

I am surprised to read of this case, involving a man considered so mad he is "incapable of instructing solicitors".

My surprise stems from the suggestion that solicitors need instruction. These worthy law school graduates (or sometimes untrained secretaries) are ready to fly to action at the beck and call of any arrested person and rarely require more than a rundown of salient facts by the police officer in charge. They then "consult" with their client before interview.

For budding solicitors, the consultation is vital if the interview is to go well:

Step One:
Enter the room and before the client can open his/her mouth, the words "Let me tell you what the police know" should be leaving your lips. Then fill the client in on the police case.

Step Two
Never ask, "So what happened?" This question should be phrased, "Let's talk about how we're going to tackle all that evidence." Now explain possible legal defences to the offence suspected, and ask a good many questions like: "Were you scared?" "Did you know this person or had you never seen them before in your life?" "Was it just meant as a joke?"

Step Three
You can now gauge the next phase of advice on the responses given in Step Two. If the client did not twig which replies could lead to no charge, advise him/her not to comment. See here for a guide to when else to advise No Comment. At no stage should you receive "instructions" that you have not first given to the client.

Step Four: The Interview
Your role in interview is to advise your client when you feel he/she is about to trip him/herself up, and to answer the harder questions for him/her. If this starts to annoy the interviewing officer, you are doing your job well. If you can possibly slip in a comment about breaching PACE, do so. It may put the interviewer off. If not, it will still annoy them and is therefore a bonus.

I will describe the rest of the process in a later posting, but this is all you really need to know. Remember, the only purpose of a police interview is to get a confession so they can do a smaller file (if a guilty plea is expected, it involves half the number of forms, and they can send the originals in rather than copies which means they never have to see it again). The police do not really expect the interview to teach them anything, any more than you or your client do. So don't worry if they produce a watertight case that would convince anyone your client is lying. It will carry no weight in court anyway.

Also bear in mind that the British legal system works on the following premise:

If a man tells the truth about what he has done, he will be charged and locked up.
If he lies, we let him go.

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By George They've Found Something!

Since the 9th August the Home Office has been funding a humungous search of some woods in High Wycombe. The residents have been getting fed up. I bet the police are too. There is nothing worse than a scene watch which you know has no hope of ending within the next two weeks. In Blandmore, I would be lucky to get relieved in time for Christmas.

Everyone involved will be glad to hear that after a month of sitting on fold-out chairs in the woods, SOMETHING HAS BEEN FOUND!! I can scarcely believe it myself, but here is the proof. Today "suspicious items" were found near the M40, a mere few miles from where the exhaustive search of a small area of woodland has been focussed. It is perhaps a little embarrassing that these items were found by members of public and did not lie within the cordoned off area, but it only goes to show that PC Bloggs' Terrific Investigating Techniques (TITs) have proven themselves yet again.

My TITs:
  • When you attend the scene of a crime, do nothing other than circle the area and arrest the first person you come across. It is better if you do not obtain a description as the witness could well be mistaken and it just narrows down your options of who to arrest. This method is the ONLY way you will ever catch the perpetrator unless the victim knows them.
  • Don't bother with House-to-House enquiries. The neighbour might well have seen or heard something, but if they were willing to give a statement they would have called the police when it happened.
  • Never seize exhibits or call for Scenes of Crime. Nine times out of ten the result will be nil and the one time DNA or fingerprints do lead to identifying someone, you will have to spend months tracking down the baddie and when you come to do the file, you will have to wade through a stack of paperwork relating to fingerprint experts and chemical techniques.
  • Do not give Crime Prevention Advice. It is too late and will only annoy the victim, plus a repeat crime doubles the chance of catching the baddie in action.
  • Do not write your name on any piece of paper relating to the case. That way you will never have to attend court to explain why you didn't do something.
  • Do not tell the victim your name. If pressed, give the name of the Exective In Charge of Emailing at Headquarters (that will serve them right).
  • Sir Ian Blair says that the public should be more responsible for preventing and detecting crime, so once you are finished doing nothing, HAND OVER the entire investigation to a randomly chosen member of the local community. You can then phone them every few hours and leave messages asking why they have not magically produced a result.
In the case of the above terror investigation, the public have come up trumps. Now claim the detection.

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Men Are Cleverer.

The Mirror has once again astonished me with their cutting edge news: men are cleverer than women. All women knew this already. Thank goodness for IQ tests, that prove once and for all that men are better at twirling a three-dimensional geometric object around in their head and filling in gaps in rows of numbers.

The Mirror provides us with this example of how intelligence can help male police officers to carry out their duty. I quote:

[PC Danny McNamara] headed for the bedroom and found a body in bed under a blanket with grey hair and a pale face.

The officer said: "It was immediately obvious that the female was dead.

"I said to Mr Lewis 'She's dead isn't she?' and he replied 'Yes'.


I do feel sorry for men nowadays. Not only are women constantly trying to take away their right to work all hours of the day and night without seeing their family and arguing away their greater intellect, but now women are interfering with the male monopoly on street-fighting.











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Good Old Courts

A Crown Court judge has been overridden this week on his decision to sentence two rapists to less than 2 years in prison. Apparently he didn't really want to imprison the boy who just held the girl down, as he had not actually had sex with her (the boy got a fiver for doing so, therefore it would be better dealt with under a breach of Working Time Regulations or Health and Safety).

I think it is disgraceful that these prestigious icons of our community are overridden in this ham-handed way. After all, there is good precedent for this lenient decision. In recent years we have discovered many previously unknown facts about rape:
  • if you can't remember saying yes to sex, you may well have done so nonetheless.
  • if a psychologist says your rape of a baby was a one-off, it was.
  • if you were wrongly sentenced to a too-short term for raping an ill old lady, too bad.
  • you might be proved as an abusive sexual police predator who redefines the term "batoning", but unless someone was sitting about witnessing your rapes, a charge of sexual assault is just fine.
  • if you are a cool enough customer to answer your police radio during sex, it ain't rape.
  • many raped women asked for it, so that defence is always worth a try.
The good effects of these discoveries cannot be underrated. Let us not forget that if you are a female officer on duty and a rape comes in, it means the following:

As the only female on shift, you rush to the scene. You then spend two hours with a weeping woman, interrupted constantly by phonecalls from the sergeant, CID and possibly some guy from a department responsible for emailing. You do your best to comfort her but you are solely in charge of all enquiries as it isn't appropriate for her to have to talk about vaginas in front of a man, in case he collapses, so you have a lot more to think about than just her welfare.

You have to make sure she will press charges, otherwise she hasn't really been raped. She has to consent to a medical immediately, or she hasn't really been raped. She has to give you all her clothing or she hasn't really been raped. If she's showered, urinated, eaten or brushed her teeth, you've got to ask yourself if she's really been raped. If it happened three days ago, or three months ago, you KNOW she hasn't really been raped. If there aren't any bruises or visible signs of attack, well, she pretty much definitely consented. If there isn't any sign of DNA, she is a lying whore who probably gets off on spending fourteen hours with the police alleging all kinds of things.

You will then call CID back. They are busy with the gucci arrest of the offender, so you have to seize all her clothing, make notes of her first account, organise a doctor, get her to the rape suite, try to get some overtime authorised but fail. No DC will come and the wait will start to make you feel unprofessional in front of the victim, so the best thing is to crack on with the doctor and get all the relevant swabs taken and booked in. You haven't received any training for this, but no one likes a whinging WPC who doesn't know what she is doing so just muddle through the best you can. Most big cases are lost over lack of continuity with exhibits anyway, so you will be in good company.

This is also where these recent trial decisions can help. Use them to help assess the credibility of your job. You can try to drum up a couple of witnesses, as if no one heard or saw anything, it isn't really a proper rape. If it happened behind closed doors between two adult parties, you can bet your paycheck it was consensual sex. If it is too hard to prove, falls under one of the categories where offenders were previously acquitted, and will take up too much of your time, it is "a Blandmore rape" which did not really happen, and although we have to charge the guy to get the detection, it can be binned without too much more effort.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Women's Update.


I previously posted about my quest for information on the numbers of female officers serving in various forces. Avon and Somerset and Hants police were vying for second place on my leaderboard for their easy access information (with TVP topping the board for replying twice). Well the Met have now been pushed off their bottom spot by Herts police, who replied within a week but their attachment has given my computer a virus!

Thank you to a reader for the information about The Sharp End article. I have yet to read it, but I understand it describes how female officers can do all manner of "Special" roles as well as looking prettying up the nick.

I personally do not think WOMEN should be allowed into specialist roles. The evidence shows that dogs just do not respond that well to women. Nor do guns. They are much better off in the hands of a competent male. As for traffic, how are we weeny little women supposed to wrench dead bodies out of overturned HGVs? Underwater search will be too gruesome for our fluffy minds, we are too easily distracted for surveillance... the list goes on.

We might just about manage the Child Abuse unit although our poor sensitive souls will be distraught. The good news is, you can always count on us to sacrifice ourselves to make the men look good.

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That Dick.

Horror of horrors, what depths will the Met stoop to next?

I think it is disgusting that an officer who has not been convicted of any wrongdoing and cleared by a CPS investigation, should be allowed to be promoted. The only redeeming factor is that at least the offending supervisor is female. This will help the female EQUALITY cause in showing that even us girls occasionally cock up so badly that someone is shot seven times in the head. It also goes to show that when even we cock up one aspect, we can still balance out the diversity figures by being promoted to Deputy Assistant Commissioner.

The Reuters article linked to is a little harsh, however, in repeatedly calling the poor lady "that Dick".

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Hooray for Double Jeopardy!

The conviction of William Dunlop for murder fifteen years after he was acquitted must be a bit embarrassing for Cleveland Police. They searched the victim's house for five days only for her mother to be the one to find the body stashed inside the bath panel. (Just goes to support my notion that we should give the responsibility for fighting crime back to the community.)

They then failed to put together a convincing case file, with the result that Dunlop was originally acquitted in 1991. Maybe the arresting officer did not show up because he was only given two days' notice of the court case. Or more likely, the judge threw it out because the victim did not support proceedings.

This time around, Dunlop has pled guilty.
The police finally trapped him with that most powerful of investigative tools: someone heard him bragging about the murder while in prison for something else. Oops.

Apparently the Double Jeopardy rule will "give the police two bites at the cherry. As a consequence the investigation might not be as thorough and there are likely to be injustices." (Suresh Grover, chair of the National Civil Rights Movement). I am interested to hear that the "cherry" seems to mean convicting an innocent man. Oh how we police officers all yearn to do that!

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Home Office Genius.

Today we are witnessing the brilliant enaction of a scheme to avoid congestion on the motorway. In a nutshell, it involves drivers using the hard shoulder as another lane during times of bad traffic. No one quite wants to claim responsibility for the brainchild, but it has either come from the Home Office or the Highways Agency, or possibly both.

I think this is a wonderful idea, and I propose to suggest the introduction of this idea to other areas of police work. I will call it "Hard Shoulder" Policing.

The scheme stems from the fact that we have plenty of emergency measures in place to assist our work in times of national crisis. We all remember the Fuel Crisis. Petrol was regulated, people were advised to stay home, etc. Likewise the Firefighters' Strike. Armed forces driving Green Goddesses were able to perform the fire brigade's duties without much problem.

The premise behind "Hard Shoulder" Policing is that the emergency measures we have in place to kick in when there is a terrorist attack, train crash, fuel depot explosion and the like, should be introduced during times of non-emergency, when things get a little bit tricky. Instead of just phoning off-duty PCs to make them come into work when a plane blows up, they would be phoned any time there is an outstanding domestic harassment that has not been attended. Instead of waiting for a death in custody to bring in shifts from other areas to cover the crisis, they could be brought in at a moment's notice to cover all kinds of duties.

The workload and ongoing situation in each area would be monitored by an automated system. When the amount of unattended jobs rose too high, the computer would generate phonecalls to officers, prioritising those who are due to start work later, those who have just finished work, then those on rest days, those on annual leave, compassionate leave, sick leave, finally calling people who are off with stress. On no account will officers sitting doing nothing at court ever be called into work, however, nor traffic officers.

These non-emergency emergency measures will be expensive, but they will provide higher numbers of police officers on our streets and the overtime will probably be enough to double most PCs' salaries, thereby stemming the complaints about the lack of the 3% pay rise. Beds could even be brought into the police stations to negate the need for them to ever go home in the first place.

I don't know about anyone else, but Blandshire Constabulary is already adopting "Hard Shoulder" Policing with great effect.

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Monday, September 11, 2006

Part One of My Offenders' Guide

Looking back over my previous postings, I realise that I have been extremely biassed in the advice I have offered so far to my readers, focussing on police officers, solicitors and law-abiding speeders. It occurred to me today that there may be a hidden audience of delinquent offenders out there just desperate to hear the views of an articulate, middle class policewoman. (I said "may".) Some of my online colleagues are already catering for this niche market.

Here are the top ten defences to use when you are definitely guilty, that will almost without fail get you off any charge:
  1. A person I have never seen before who lives abroad, gave me the weapon and I was about to hand it into the police.
  2. I had no idea the drugs were in my house/car/pocket/hand.
  3. My cousin who looks exactly like me was using the car that day. I can't remember his name, date of birth or where he lives.
  4. S/he hit me first.
  5. S/he's been harassing me.
  6. S/he's a drug dealer.
  7. I was asleep at the time.
  8. I can't remember anything but I know I didn't do it.
  9. My mate did it. (Works best if the mate is prepped to say that you did it.)
  10. No Comment.
The Crown Prosecution Service has so much to answer for.

While on the subject of delinquent offenders, check out this rather interesting forum on Yahoo.

Also, sorry for the duplicated posting yesterday. I thought it was so good it was worth reading twice.

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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Are you being bullied?

I have just discovered that I am being bullied in the workplace. It is happening to three out of four women (according to that link), and as I am your average policewoman, it must therefore be happening to me. I must start to look out for the signs of this, or I am missing opportunities for a good pay out.

I wonder how many other opportunities I am missing out on to capitalise on my gender. Some readers have in the past expressed puzzlement at my lack of a "W" before my prefix, and others have just given me one anyway out of the goodness of their hearts. It does horrify me to think that there may be people out there who think that all of this wit and humour has been generated by a MAN!

However, the number of women left at my nick who still use the Dubya is dwindling, and the ones who are left are over forty and have blond hair. They aren't very good with computers and they still think it's ok for sergeants to call them "Sweetheart". As I am well under forty, very un-blonde and arrested the last person to call me "Sweetheart", I am afraid my macho masculine prefix is here to stay!

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PC Bloggs Investigates... More Chav Culture.

As I travelled by foot through the treacherous backroads of Blandmore town last week, my great burden of standard issue kit weighing me down, I stumbled upon a gathering of three be-hoodied figures. Their names were quickly cycled through the Police National Computer with the result that one figure was uncovered as a dastardly felon, wanted in the far North of England for a most heinous criminal damage against a car. I was excited to identify that this was a prime opportunity for me to observe that most confusing of Chav rituals: The Arrest.

Until the age of fourteen, the average Chav male will accept his arrest in a docile manner. He will shed tears in the back of the police car, say, "Please don't tell my mum", and maybe even apologise. These are all signs that he has not yet been Initiated.

The Initiation occurs on or after his fourteenth birthday, on witnessing a fellow Chav's performance. The next time he is subject to an Arrest, the young offender is ready to spread his Chavly wings and adopt his very own technique.

It begins with some posturing to the onlooking Chavs and Chavettes. "NO WAY AM I BEING ARRESTED!" is the key phrase that should alert you to the onset of the Arrest ritual. If there are non-Chavs looking on, you should expect the mantra, "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU LOOKING AT!" These phrases usually precede the arrest itself, giving the police officer who may not actually have decided to arrest yet, no option but to go ahead.

As soon as the magic words are spoken, the performance kicks off in all its glory. The object of the Arrest ritual is to see written in the arresting officer's statement, "I have never heard such foul language nor been so personally offended as by this cretin". The officer's mother, female colleague and spouse are ideal targets for the rant. It should be loud enough for the whole street to hear, to maximise the spectacle and achieve the highest chance of attracting a girlfriend. The more minor the offence for which he is being arrested, the bigger the event should be.

The fledgling Chav will physically resist the arrest, wrenching away just hard enough to make it impossible to handcuff him, but keeping it subtle enough that onlookers will be horrified at the police's reaction. If everything has gone to plan, the Chav will now be taken to the floor by seven officers. At this moment he will begin the true performance.

"OW MY HEAD! YOU'RE HURTING ME!" He will be subtly resisting even as he yells. If an officer is reduced to kicking and batoning him in the side to release his arms from their clenched position under his chest, this is a positive sign. A true artist will prompt complaints from members of public at the police brutality.

Once successfully cuffed, the Chav's antics should have attracted a large crowd who can continue to give the police abuse long after he has been carted away. But the ritual does not end with the subject's insertion into a transit van. No, he must now keep up an unceasing tirade of abuse which should last from the moment of ignition until the door to the custody suite is opened. The young male's head should bang relentlessly against the cage, the police driver's personal hygiene, upbringing and accent now all come into play. A talented Chav will be able to keep this up for many hours, in heavy traffic and en route to distant custody blocks.

On arrival comes the climax of the performance. As the Chav is lifted from the cage, he should bear the many signs of headbutting the inside of the van. He will walk docilely into custody, stand before the sergeant wincing with every step and announce,

"Look what the bastards did to me."

The Arrest Ritual is now complete.

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