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.

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

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Classic Investigating.

I am fascinated by this Cash for Honours investigation.

So far ninety people have been questioned by police and four arrests made. Now Lord Levy has been arrested for a second time: no doubt they waited until his bail had been cancelled so they could book him in afresh on the custody system and claim another arrest for it.

The investigation has now spanned nearly a year, which must mean that the PC in charge of it has had a few emails from his/her sergeant and inspector, and probably a headquarters review as well. Sadly there is still no sign of a Detection.

It all reminds me a bit of when some kids in Blandmore pulled down a wall last year. That took me four arrests, a year to investigate and I never did get a Detection. My advice to the officer in charge of the Cash for Honours job is to leave an arrest request with the night shift and hope that the paperwork is gone from his tray in the morning.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

PC Bloggs Investigates... Non-Crimes.

In the past the police used to employ a lot of people called "police officers" who would go to an incident, decide whether a criminal offence had taken place and if so, arrest someone and create a crime report. These "crime reports" formed the national statistics on crime and naughty "police officers" would often pretend no crimes had happened in order to push the statistics down.

Nowadays, the system has been streamlined. We employ a lot of people called "police staff" whose job it is to take phone-calls and create a crime report for every incident. This is a taxing role and these "staff" have to use all their ingenuity to select the relevant classification for the incident, especially where no criminal offence has actually taken place. The result is that you can call Blandshire Constabulary safe in the knowledge that no matter what you originally phoned for, you will go away with a nice crime number to put on your fridge.

Today I will arrive at work to find ten "open" investigations in my name.
  • Two are thefts where nothing was stolen.
  • One is a criminal damage where no damage was caused.
  • One is a racially aggravated assault where no one got hit, no one gave a statement and no one thought it was racist apart from the member of staff creating the crime report.
  • Three are waiting to be filed because the victim never wanted them opened in the first place.
  • Two relate to incidents I never attended and have no knowledge of.
  • One is a genuine assault with an offender I have been unable to arrest because I am too busy filing the other nine.
Someone somewhere thinks that the police are fiddling the crime figures to make crime appear lower.

Maybe we've got the wrong idea, because Blandshire is doing the opposite.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Worlds Apart.

As the trial of these men continues, we must remind ourselves to be impartial. Despite overwhelming CCTV and witness evidence suggesting that all six of them blew up their bags and then fled the scene leaving behind an embarrassing mess, they are still innocent until proven guilty (as they no doubt soon will be).

In this country you have every right to deny the bleeding obvious; it is one of the things that makes Britain great. Indeed one of the cornerstones of Britain's criminal justice system is the rule that you should plead Not Guilty and wait for the police, CPS or witnesses to stuff things up. If none of them do, you can then change your plea on the day of court with very little effect.

Across the world, investigations must have a very different feel. In Israel, terrorists are falling over each other to claim responsibility for murderous acts and the problem is not getting them convicted, but knocking them off without carving a swathe through the surrounding crowd. Oh for a quality problem like that in England.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

There's Always One.

Whenever the Home Secretary allows his backside to make public announcements, there will always be an important public figure who jumps on the bandwagon in an effort to raise his own profile. In the case of the prison row, it is Lord Phillips. This is the man who helpfully told us that if only we hadn't fed mad cows to sane cows, we would have been all right.

In Blandmore, our boot-licking figure is known as Inspector McToady. Whenever we see the introduction of a great new initiative such as the Overtime Ban, the Use-The-Furthest-Away- Custody-First Policy or the No-Leave-For- Response-Officers Strategy, Inspector McToady is there to announce his support for the scheme. This will involve him attending management meetings to let the bosses know that he agrees with their ideas whatever they are, and getting them to sign his portfolio to say that he understands what it means to be a "strategic police service". His goal is to distance himself as far as possible from every day policing, so that one day he will get to be the one spewing forth grand ideas for Blandmore and seeing his name in the daily press.

As far as us wee Response officers go, the only effect of McToady's meddling is that he appears twice weekly in our briefings to remind us to enforce the new policy and sends us emails if we fail to do so. Sometimes he appears in briefing to read out the emails.

Strangely enough, we are currently fielding twice weekly resignations in Blandmore Local Police Area. I'm sure it's just a coincidence...

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Feedback please:

I have recently removed my "Snap" windows which show you a preview of the link you are about to click on (just in case I am trying to trick you into viewing porn/terrorism/Tony McNulty's homepage). As a police officer I had no discretion to introduce or remove Snap windows and I should have consulted a supervisor before doing either.

Here is a quick poll to establish whether or not to bring them back (please note that the results of the poll will be used as a PC Bloggs statistic to show that I am part of an improving blog). To see an example of Snap, visit Inspector Gadget's blog.

What do we think of Preview windows?
Irritating. Thank goodness they're gone.
Love them! Bring them back.
Can't say I noticed either way.
I'm tired.

Thank you.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Pursuit Of...

... the appropriate form.

With every passing day the Senior Management Team of Blandshire Constabulary move one step closer to their goal of recreating the great Vogon Empire. Past successes include the Tactical Pursuit Risk Assessment (which prevents officers from driving too fast after bad guys) and the Post-Rumble Checklist (to assess the effectiveness of the relevant officer's fists and/or feet following a fight).

Their latest triumph is the new Near-Miss form. At last we can combine online-form-filling with those occasions when we ALMOST hurt ourselves but don't.

The Near-Miss form must be filled in online (handwritten just will not do), then printed, so that you can then handwrite the bits that the automatic form-generator has messed up. A supervisor will then fill out a second form to go with the first form which must also be done online and then printed, and you then somehow email the printed forms to Personnel, who will return printed copies in the post for you to correct. The only part of this process I can really criticise is that it leaves no opportunity to fax anything to anyone.

The Near-Miss form applies whenever:
  • Your radio has no reception (frequent).
  • You press your Emergency button and no one hears.
  • You spray someone with incapacitant and they keep fighting.
  • You have fewer than "minimum manning" officers on duty.
  • You have "minimum manning" but can't cope with the amount of "immediate" incidents.
  • You have no sergeant on duty (surprisingly frequent).
  • You try to race out to assist a colleague and the immobilising fob on the panda will not deactivate.
  • A car nearly hits you but stops in time.
Whilst I admire the Near-Miss form, this list has a lot to be desired. For example, what are you to do if you trip on a crooked paving stone and nearly fall? What about when someone swears at you but stops short of taking a swing? Which form should you fill in when the panda windows are frosted over and there is no ice-scraper available? I think you will agree that until these situations and more are covered by another form, we will not be truly safe at work.

In the meantime, here is some Vogon poetry to keep you going:

A Blandmore cop,
Wends through the lonely streets.
She does not know the art of
Or managerial prowess.
Which is a shame.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

It's John Reid Week.

Charia Groves is a persistent shoplifter. She has 18 previous convictions which, if you look into them, cover another 48 offences "taken into consideration" and the same number again left "on file".

Last month she was detained at a superstore in Blandmore for stowing a joint of lamb in her baby's pushchair (next to the baby), and I was dispatched to deal with her. Ordinarily the horror of having to call out Social Services is enough to deter any police officer from arresting a woman with a baby, but I have this old-fashioned notion that you shouldn't be able to use a child as a shield against the law. She was arrested and we waited an hour as she pretended to phone a number of relatives to come and collect little Charlye (the letters 'i' and 'y' are interchangeable in criminal circles).

Finally I summoned a social worker and Charia was whisked off to the slammer. The custody sergeant had no doubt that the moment she was released, Charia would be back down at the Virgin Megastore or another of her favourite shops, tucking away her spoils under Charlye's feet. The custody sergeant also had no doubt that Charia would never show up for court. Hence, she was kept in overnight and sent to court in the morning.

This is where John Reid stepped in. Charia was bailed from court in the hopeless expectation that she will not reappear until arrested on a warrant. But anyway it hardly matters, as she will never be sent to prison for her prolific shoplifting. It wouldn't do for Charlye to lose this important role model in his life.

Why do we bother.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Genius in our Time:

In yet another bout of inspiration, the great John Reid has identified a general solution to any situation where there is more work to do than people to do it:
  1. Farm out the work to people who are not supposed to do it and are not trained to do it. If you can possibly use the people who generate the work in the first place, all the better as it will stop them generating any more work.
  2. Ensure that the system for getting the work done is as inefficient as possible and hope that a lot of it falls through the cracks.
  3. If all else fails, just stop doing the work.
The innovation of the Home Office is unparalleled. With half of Blandmore's custody space full of remand prisoners who should be in jail, most of the things I complain about are solved:

We no longer have the problem of over-crowding in the briefing room, as half the shift are working 12-hr gaoler duties in the custody block.

We can no longer arrest people as there isn't room for them. For an account of how little we police really need our cells, see here.

We no longer have to remand people in custody as there isn't space, so no more late-night remand files.

We can no longer attend crappy harassments and petty assaults because there aren't even enough of us to attend crimes that are in progress.

Some say that John Reid has lost his marbles, I say we are merely witnessing one of the great minds of our time.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

We have a problem...

Today I announce the exciting news that I have discovered a cure for all social problems, in particular racism and mass murder.

The cure is teaching. It will not surprise many teachers to know that as soon as you tell a classful of pupils about something, it is imbibed into their soul and becomes a permanent part of their character.

I first became aware of this fact during my training with the police, when I discovered how as soon as my class had finished our Diversity training, the deep-seated hatred of non-white people and foreigners that all police officers are born with had just melted away.

So for goodness sake, why isn't the government encouraging more schools and local councils to teach the young about antisocial behaviour, crime and violence?

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Shake My Hand!

Today a scrawny drug user was so grateful to me for taking down a record of his confession that he offered a sweaty palm for me to shake. Unfortunately it is against my religious beliefs to contract Hepatitis, so I declined, mumbling a made-up tale of an infested house I had visited earlier.

There are other categories of hand I will not shake...
  • Blood-stained ones.
  • Filthy ones.
  • Ones soaked in an unidentifiable substance.
  • Mad people's.
  • Drunk people's.
  • Stoned people's.
  • Those of people who fought me earlier and now want to apologise.
  • Those of people who have a history of snapping police officer's hands off.
  • Those of people who have a history of alleging that police officers have tried to snap their hands off/sexually assaulted them.
  • Limp ones.
  • Sweaty ones.
  • Those of people whose houses I am about to search/have just searched.
... and circumstances in which I will not shake a hand:
  • During a fight (you know, when some passing drunk thinks you want to say hello whilst restraining another passing drunk).
  • Following a fight.
  • Following a foot-chase.
  • Just prior to a fight or foot-chase.
  • After searching a house/person.
  • When tired.
  • When cold.
  • When about to arrest someone.
  • When about to arrest someone's child.
  • On releasing someone from custody who has been there for drugs/sex/alcohol/urination/assault/abusive language.
I am surprised that Sir Ian Blair is so aggrieved by a PC not wishing to shake his hand this week. Did he ask himself if it was for any of the above reasons? Surely he must be used to people not liking him.

The real issue is whether this officer is willing to go hands-on with people she has to, not her self-important chief.

As seen below, not everyone is in the mood for handshaking even when they have to:

Handshakes have always been controversial.
Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Hail to a Hero:

For the first time ever, video footage of a daring rescue has been released to the public.

At the same time, across the world in Blandmore, England, another daring rescue was occurring.

It followed a serious incident where a person had been stabbed and PC Bloggs was assigned to guard the drops of blood left behind. On arriving back at the station later, PC Bloggs became aware that the scene "log" (containing evidence of who had attended the scene) was missing. She asked for offers to go in and get it and of course, every officer on her team bravely volunteered.

They went in an unmarked car, squashing into seats too small for a normal human being let alone one wearing full kit. "You have no idea how precarious it felt", said PC Hicks, who was selected for the mission. "The diesel engine was so loud, and the traffic just would not get out of the way like when you are in a panda car."

On entering the original crime scene, the crew was saddened to find the scene log stretched out in the road. It had fallen in action from where PC Bloggs had left it on the roof of the car. The colleagues reverently collected its tyre-streaked body and bore it back to the police station to be added to the senior detective's file.

Let us give praise to the bravery of these fine officers who risk overtime daily in the line of paperwork.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Slicin' and Dicin'

What a relief! The Home Office is to be split in two. This will solve all kinds of problems:
  1. The issues causing the most media attention will now be split between two ministers, meaning that we can enjoy the drama of not one but TWO resignations next time there is a furore.
  2. The big problem of lack of communication between departments will be a thing of the past: as two separate departments, they would not be expected to communicate anyway.
  3. There will be separation of the policing from the reoffending issue - which after all are two totally unrelated matters.
  4. It will involve re-training and employing more civil servants, which I think you will agree can never be a bad thing. We wouldn't want them to get to know their job too well.
  5. It will allow for the creation of dozens of new email addresses and the opportunity for online training packages and welcome emails. These are the bread and butter of success.
The far-sighted Chief Constable of Blandshire Constabulary has over the years implemented many similar ideas which have all turned out beautifully.

For example, When the Burglary and Robbery Teams were created, CID found themselves too short-staffed to take on any GBHs, sexual offences or boring old domestics, which gave response officers like myself some great learning opportunities. This also gave rise to the opportunity to merge the Burglary and Robbery Teams into one glorious team and to create another team to deal with sexual offences and domestics. THAT team was then split in two and we are just waiting for the announcement that they have all been merged back into one Super-Special department.

The outcome of all this visionary reconstruction is plenty of highly specialised positions to tempt people away from response work, and a multitude of teams containing officers so specialised that only the rarest of offences actually falls within their remit.

Now they can all blame each other when things go wrong or, as is more usual, blame me.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Met, Again:

I have discovered another reason why officers defect from dozens of forces in the south of England to go to the Met: To arrest important people.

The officers who arrested Tony Blair's aide this morning must just be thrilled to have the details of the arrest in the papers, although the arresting officer's name has been rudely omitted (no doubt so that his/her Chief can claim credit for the performance figures). "BBC officials were said to be 'taken aback'" claims the above article, though why the BBC has chosen to report on its own officials I cannot imagine (perhaps a comma would have helped here).

I can also only assume it was the fact of the arrest being at 0630 GMT that surprised them rather than the arrest itself. I too am taken aback: in Blandmore we have to make our morning arrests by 0530 GMT in order to ensure we do not incur overtime transporting the prisoners to custody.

Back to the original point, I have only arrested one famous person in my career and no one had ever heard of him/her. The lucky old Met get to do it every other day, as evidenced here, here, and here. Even if their prisoners weren't famous before their arrest, they often become so afterwards. No wonder Met officers are rolling in it - the sideline in selling gossip must be lucrative. Not only this, but they get to tell their families all about it. The only downside is also having to tell their families that they work for the Met.

You can't have it all.
Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Thank Goodness for Evil Women!

Every time I read a story about a mass murderess or a female criminal mastermind, I send up thanks for these brave women who are keeping EQUALITY alive.

These are just a few examples of those women who are breaking down the patriarchal barriers in the field of evil genius. But the prejudice is still there. Why, when we hear of the deaths of five prostitutes, do we automatically assume it is a male killer (don't tell me you didn't)? In time we can only hope that relentless campaigning will lead to equal working conditions and sentences for murderous men and women, and that more women will therefore take it upon themselves to commit these heinous crimes.

Long live evil women.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Conversation:

Controller: PC Bloggs, can you attend No.1 Big Brother House, following reports of a racist incident.
PC Bloggs: No problemo, always happy to help. What are the circs?
Controller: Well, some racist slurs involving Oxo cubes have been used.
PC Bloggs: Sounds like a typical Blandmore job. Why is it racist?
Controller: Because 27,000 people perceive it to be.
PC Bloggs: Crikey I had better take some more statement paper with me.
Controller: Just give us an update when you arrive.
PC Bloggs: Yes, I will most likely just give "words of advice".
Controller: It's also been declared a Critical Incident due to a spot of effigy-burning that has taken place as a result.
PC Bloggs: Fear not, "Critical Incident" is my middle name.
Controller: The Chief is asking that we deal with this one thoroughly.
PC Bloggs: I am Blandmore's finest.
Controller: The Media Liaison Officer would like the name of the officer in charge as soon as possible.
PC Bloggs: If I must, I must.
Controller: The Hate Crime Unit are involved.
PC Bloggs: Oh... well... I suppose they're just doing their job.
Controller: And it's already been crimed.
PC Bloggs: I've just become extremely busy... sorry you'll have to send someone else.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

My Yahoo Inbox.

Someone out there knows I am a police officer. Every day I get two or three emails I want to read and at least twelve about enlarging my penis. It strikes me as a sad reflection of my typical working day.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Part Two of My Offenders' Guide

For this installment, I will describe the best and simplest way to avoid facing repercussions for any crime you commit. For those of you looking for a handy defence when you have been caught, check it out here, but this post is for those of you wishing to avoid arrest and prosecution completely.

Step One
Select the town of your offence. It should not have an airport and be to the extreme north of south of the country.

Step Two
Strike. For this plan, it does not matter if the victim or witnesses know your name, address or even see you do it, so be as obvious as you please.

Step Three
Immediately abscond to another town in the opposite extreme of the country. The key to choosing the town is that it should be between a 4-6 hour drive from the first town (ie too far to drive within one shift and too close to fly).

Step Four
Relax and enjoy your freedom. Even if the officer in Town 1 does track down where you have gone, the force covering Town 2 will never agree to make the arrest. Even if they do, the force in Town 2 will never authorise officers to travel that far to deal with you or pick you up.

In certain forces, you only need to go to the town next door for this to work (or run out of the building).

The joys of cross-border cooperation!

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Why Are We Stressed?

A blogger recently posted on the number of emergency services personnel who seek advice over stress and substance abuse. Another has posted a cracking account of an assistance shout he attended where a colleague was stabbed. From reading these blogs you would imagine that it is the antisocial hours, the continual sights of blood and gore, the fighting and the physical exhaustion, that drives us to despair.

On the contrary, here is the reason I am STRESSED:

Today I spend some time "surfing" the incident control system. Superficially I am seeing what jobs needed attending, but in actual fact I am trying to decide - based on said jobs - whether I should be available or unavailable the next time the control room calls my name.

The eight unresourced incidents (not counting the thirty waiting for Monday morning) include two teenaged girls missing from a care home for the seventh time in six months, a girl who has woken to find that her boyfriend had run off with £20, a man who thought he might have been about to be attacked by a dog in the park earlier on but wasn't, a twelve-year-old who was punched in the face by a thirteen-year-old, the thirteen-year-old claiming that the twelve-year-old kicked her first, and the resident of no.4 Boxham Green reporting that once again the occupant of no.6 has parked in his parking bay.

While I am as cynical as any other young go-getting single in her twenties, I have no problem with any of the above people calling the police. Let's face it, these people have always called the police and the police have always gone to see them. Ten or twenty years ago we would have gone to each one and said, "We'll have a look for them", "we'll go and get your £20 back", "we'll keep a look out for that dog", "we'll box both the little toe-rag's ears", "we'll go and tell him to wind his neck in". Each caller would have ended happy and we would not have put pen to paper once. PC Bloggs might even have gotten to all of these callers in one day.

On scanning further through the incident reports, however, I discover that each and every one of these incidents has been allocated a "crime report number". A crime report cannot be deleted, downgraded or ignored once in existence, or a cataclysm will end the universe. If I touch any of the crime reports for a quick read, knock at any of the victims' doors (whether or not anyone is in) or update the incident log to say that I have knowledge of the person in question and the officer attending should be wary, I will become the Officer in Charge of every one of these "investigations".

This will be the trigger event for the Department of Critical Emailing to get its cogs in gear for an email-fest. It is the trigger for Supervisory Chats with PC Bloggs about her mounting paperwork tray. It is the trigger for five calls from members of public asking why PC Bloggs is still sitting at the care home filling out a form when she could be with them filling out two others. It is therefore the trigger event for PC Bloggs to make herself another cup of tea and become immediately too busy to attend any of the incidents at all.

If, in the middle of juggling five crime reports for trivial or non-existent crimes the radio should blare to life to inform me that a colleague is in need of assistance, it is almost a relief. At last something that I want to do and can do with no consideration for form-filling or reprisals. Something simple, something human, something important.

Afterwards, there will be the form-filling and reprisals. A form to say that I discharged my incapacitant. Another one to say that it didn't work. A third to say that I scratched my arm. Another to say that I am fit for duty in spite of this. A statement about what I did and didn't do. A meeting about how I managed to lose a file of paperwork that I was holding while I rushed to my colleague's aid.

Whilst the blood, the gore and the fighting is tiring and traumatic, I would rather be out there doing that than sitting in front of a computer updating those five crime reports. I am sure most of you would agree (I said "most" - there's always one).

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Preemptive Investigation:

In a bold new move, Blandmore (in association with Johnny Depp) is to pilot a scheme whereby serious offences are investigated by way of making a film. Initially the film will be produced part-way through the investigation, to assist detectives in understanding the more sensationalist aspects of the case.

It is hoped in future that movies revealing the offender can be produced well before the actual criminal offence, so that police can watch them and be ready to strike the moment the offence takes place. More importantly, this will enable Hollywood stars to be in prime position to reap the rewards of these terrible crimes almost instantaneously with their occurrence.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Friday, January 12, 2007

A Short Statement:

It appears some northern copper is parading around on the BBC under the pseudonym PC Blogger. I would like to distance myself from this neanderthal who has usurped my identity and seems to have delusions that he has a few readers, or something.

Copyright of PC Bopperfield.

PS. Just to clarify, it is the Beeb and not DC who has adopted this title.
PPS. Dave, where is the plug for your book in that story?!

A Winter's Tale.

Every now and again Blandshire Constabulary has to send me something important. It is not usually something that is important to me, but something that is important for them to be able to say I have received, in case I file a suit against them.

Last year I was eagerly awaiting one such document, which I expected would appear in my docket, post-tray or hand, with a vital deadline impending. Come the day before the deadline, I contacted Personnel. It was sent a month ago, they said. The Personnel Manager was forced to leave the document with the duty sergeant at another station, for me to drive there at 3am one night following a late shift in order to get it submitted by the deadline. The Manager was so adamant that he had put it into the internal mail a month ago that he even gave me a dressing down by email for not keeping my paperwork in good order.

I just imagined that the document had gone where all good documents go - to a desk in the Home Office.

Just as Christmas was pending, with all the lovely parcels that flood through one's door at that time of year, I received a mysterious card from the postal service informing me that an item was waiting for me at the depot. Wonderful, I thought, the knitted pullover I have been long-awaiting from dear old auntie.

At the depot I was informed that the sender had failed to pay the postage on this item, which came to the shocking amount of £1.05. I did consider refusing to cover it and sending the present back to auntie with a rude note, but the Christmas spirit won me over and I coughed up the relevant amount.

Can you imagine my astonishment to find that the envelope I was handed bore the name of Blandshire Constabulary as the sender? Surely, SURELY the Area Commander had not knitted me a pullover!

I open the item and lo, the vital document that I had been waiting for over a month ago.

I really do despair sometimes.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Why are we surprised?

This is nothing. I cannot understand why people are making such a fuss about bits of paper remaining on a desk for years and then being lost. Does the public not realise that leaving paper on desks is the fundamental cornerstone of British policing?

When I charge someone with an offence, I do it on a computer system. In case anyone does not know, computers can send messages to other systems to update them, saving humans time and money by not having to duplicate things. Blandshire has chosen not to adopt this cliched approach, however, and when I update the custody system with a charge, I then fill in two twelve-page booklets with identical information about the suspect (incidentally, information that I have already entered into two other computer systems when their photograph and fingerprints were done). I then leave these booklets in a TRAY and they are ferried to Headquarters where they sit on someone's desk waiting for input onto the Police National Computer.

Here is the clever bit: three weeks later I receive an email from the Inspector Responsible for Being Responsible, to demand why I have not submitted these booklets on the day of charge. I reply that I have, whereupon I am asked for documentary proof of my submission. I must now produce a Polaroid of me submitting the forms with a cheesy grin, the date clearly visible on a calendar on the wall behind my head, else I will have to redo them. Being a girl, I find it hard to remember the dates of birth, shoe sizes and lifestyle facts about each one of hundreds of prisoners I arrest and process each year, so the repeated forms tend to go in with half the information they had on the suspect the first time.

I wonder where these booklets go, as they certainly do not go onto the PNC. Perhaps someone is selling the information off as a sideline from a cushy Headquarters job. Not a bad idea...

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

We aren't the only ones.

I always delight in reading about other agencies making cock-ups, in this case the Prison Service allowing a criminal to escape custody for the third time. It reassures me that the police are not simply useless, ineffective, lazy bastards, but we are as useless, ineffective and lazy as all the other bastards out there.

I myself am not too surprised at this revelation that the Prison Service is in a shambles. I once went to interview a thief in prison, only to be told that although they were fairly sure he was in the prison, the jailers couldn't be too sure exactly where.

Fortunately we can be reassured that despite previous convictions for armed robbery and two other escapes, the prisoner in the above article was not considered "high risk". Moreover, debacles such as this give rise to the opportunity for an Enquiry, which should always be welcomed.

I believe an Enquiry should also be launched into the "secret register" currently being held on all those who have been investigated by the police. We must endeavour to delete all records of our investigations as soon as we have finished them, or preferably before.

PS No doubt it will be for the police to find this guy again now the Prison Service have lost him. We could start searching here:

Copyright of PC Bloggs

Monday, January 08, 2007

PND: The Instant Detection.

Healthy and Safety: Not Applicable.

PNDs are in the news again, this time being slated by the Telegraph. I quite agree with these journalists who state that an £80-fine for hoaxing the fire department is just despicable. That man should have been taken to court where his case could have been dropped in fine style.

As for the woman who falsely alleged rape but admitted lying well before any court proceedings were begun, she should have been dragged to jail for five years as a lesson to all those other would-be rape "victims" out there. If I had my way, no one would ever be allowed to report rape.

Don't get me started on all those "hooligans" apparently receiving PNDs for petty shopliftings and criminal damages. Currently Blandshire allows us to give out PNDs to anyone who has never had one before and for theft worth under £100. This will only encourage criminality and we just should not be allowed to give them out at all. People must not be given a second chance in life, and it is wholly appropriate for the police to spend eight hours bringing these people to justice instead of five minutes on the street. The public just want to see these people in court where they can be publicly humiliated with a community order or an absolute discharge, instead of whacking them with an effective fine that might well be worth more than the sweeties they tried to steal in the first place.

I would rather see the police doing nothing at all than giving out these disgusting PNDs!

Copyright of an angry PC Bloggs!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Let's Record Fraud!

Every day I say to myself, "When, oh when, will the government abolish some old criminal offences and replace them with new ones that are exactly the same?"

From time to time my prayers are answered. In 2003 my hate for the offence of Indecent Exposure was appeased when it was replaced with Exposure, and Indecent Assault with Sexual Assault. These changes have proved vital to effective report-writing. This year I am delighted to embrace the Fraud Act 2006.

My readers will be pleased to hear that instead of Obtaining Services By Deception, police will be able to prosecute people for Obtaining Services Dishonestly. Instead of Going Equipped to Cheat, we will deal with Possession of Articles for Use in Frauds. It is hard to express to non-police readers what a great impact this will have on crime. For one, we will not be able to record any Fraud as our crime-reporting system is usually a year behind the legislation. It is also a wonderful opportunity for some online training packages, the backbone of Blandshire Constabulary and the root cause of many civilian jobs in the force.

What this country needs is more legislation and I back New Labour all the way.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Persistent Young Offenders:

Villagers in Blandmore are being terrorised by these wild creatures who move in packs and will often surround lone walkers. Locals are furious at this behaviour, and have threatened to hunt down the beasts themselves. The Youth Offending Team has called for calm, saying that we should be patient as it is only natural behaviour for this species.

The Home Office held a public consultation on this issue last year and decided that it is for the parents of the PYO or the police to do something about it.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

It's SOOOOCAP confusing!

A year on from the happy introduction of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, I thought I would take a look at how Blandshire Constabulary has managed to implement it.

For those of you who are unaware of this surreptitious little act, the government snuck it in last year without much of a fanfare. This was appropriate as all it really did was radically overhaul police powers to arrest, search and enter people and premises, and pave the way for a civilianised police force which will gradually dissolve back into one similar to what we have now.

This might be a bit of a technical post, but I feel it is important. If you are a non-police reader, please flit to the end where I have composed a little ditty, just for you.

The only bits of SOCAP I have noticed are:

While these have been around since one of other of the Police Reforms Acts (try 2002 but I'm just a PC so you can't expect me to know the law), the last year has seen a spate of them. PCSOs should be useful for patrolling under-age drinking hotspots, stopping unroadworthy vehicles, guarding scenes and cordons and carrying out high visibility patrol (walking about) following major crimes. Currently in Blandmore they only do the first and last, however they are also adept at talking for many minutes on the radio and summoning police officers to their aid because they have no legal training.

Arrest Powers
Notably, every arrest I make now has to be justified, whereas before I could do it for happies. This should reduce the number of "disproportionate" arrests and will therefore encourage the public to think that when we do make an arrest, it is a jolly good one. In Blandmore this has meant that we now arrest for anything and everything and all the prisoners are rejected in custody because three of our five custody sergeants disagree on what the new law means. The other two are unaware that there is a new law.

Entry/Search Powers
It used to be simple. If I could arrest someone for something, I was nearly always allowed to bosh down their door to do so. Now I have to stop and ask myself whether the offence is triable in Crown Court. If it is, I can bosh away. If not, I must sing a serenade and hope they come out on their own. The best part about this change is that when I went to training school they did not really bother to teach us what offences were triable in Crown Court or not. What a great opportunity for some self-development.

Process of Prisoners
Whereas before I used to only take fingerprints and DNA from criminals who had been charged, now I take it from everyone. This means that the police can detect some rapes and murders from the 1970s and say things like: "We now hold the DNA of xxx million people. Muhahahaha." I have yet to detect a murder from the 1970s by arresting someone for common assault, but that doesn't mean I can't keep trying.

Footwear Impressions
We can now take imprints of people's shoes by force. This is fabulous, as I can forcibly remove Charlene Burglar's Reebok Classics and create a beautiful indent of them on a piece of paper. I can then take the paper to expert Scenes of Crime Officers who look on a database of shoeprints and announce the remarkable news that "This came from a Reebok Classic". Seriously.

Abolition of Royal Parks Constabulary
This has had no effect on Blandmore or me, but I just think it's sad.

The point of all the above is that a third of the force has no idea that anything has changed, a third is struggling to comply with dozens of new regulations, and the final third, like me, is so confused that we have just stopped arresting people altogether.

Somebody help us, please!

Copyright of PC Bloggs.
PS Did you really think I would write a little ditty?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Public Displays.

In light of the news that some officers might have to face disciplinary hearings in public, I thought I would enlighten my readers on the procedure when a Member of Public makes a COMPLAINT.

Step One
As the door closes behind PC Bloggs on her way out of the person's address, the phone is already ringing to the Duty Sergeant.

Step Two
The Duty Sergeant establishes that the Member of Public (Mop) is, as PC Bloggs has suggested, a cock.

Step Three
The Mop complains about the Duty Sergeant.

Step Four
The Duty Inspector tells the Mop to go away.

Step Five
The Mop goes to his or her local MP. It is a police conspiracy.

Step Six
The MP calls the Duty Inspector threatening to go to the papers.

Step Seven
The Inspector panics and begins an investigation.

Step Eight
The investigation finds that the Mop is a cock and is dropped.

Step Nine
The Mop goes to the papers.

Step Ten
Somebody resigns.

Just thought I'd clarify that.

The people who I think have a genuine grievance never bother to make a complaint. (For example the boy whose hand I accidentally shut in his front door.) It is always someone who takes your dry mockery of their situation as some kind of personal insult who puts you through the mill of Professional Standards. This just shows that police do not give a high enough level of service to those who should never have called the police in the first place.

Here is the motto of Leicestershire Constabulary's PSD, if it can legitimately be described as a "motto":
"Learning, not blame, but honesty and integrity are non-negotiable."

My thoughts preceisely.
Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

In Reply:

A commenter recently asked:

It's a cold, miserable, wet evening in Blandmore. You are on foot patrol at about 1.00a.m. with a colleague who likes to arrest people early on the shift, when you come across three or four lads who you know. They're a bit lippy and a bit pissed and have previous. So could be drunk and disorderly or whatever. Your colleague is all for a quick bust. Do you:
Ignore them?
Give them a warning to keep it quiet.
Nick one of them because it means you can go back to the station for a cup of tea.

I thought I'd see what you all thought. My answer is to give them a PND for Section 5 Public Order as that is a Recordable offence and therefore I get a Detection, without having to spend seven hours in custody. But my real answer is that I don't have anyone on my shift who likes to make early arrests, or any arrests. We're all too tired.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year Review.

Blandshire Constabulary was thrown into disarray last night as an unexpected New Year broke out. Officers had their leave cancelled at short notice as revellers flooded the town, leaving a wake of broken glass and urine behind them.

Superintendent Rose Tint made the following announcement:

In the late hours of the evening, police received intelligence that a New Year might be pending. Party-goers were spotted gathering at several key locations in the town and Immediate Response Units were directed to break them up. Arrests were made and whilst we did not succeed completely in thwarting the New Year, it was dispersed without major incident. We will learn the lessons of this event and will have better contingencies in place in the future, but the police can never really plan for these random occurrences."

I have decided that instead of looking back and reviewing 2006, I will save time and review 2007. This is in line with my sergeant's policy of predicting that I will fail to solve all my investigations from the moment I take them on, so that he can file them straight away.

In 2007 we can expect to see:
  • A domestic violence murder which is the police's fault.
  • A police officer in the national press for something embarrassing.
  • A day when PC Bloggs arrives at work to an overflowing docket, says "Fuck it" and chucks the lot in the bin. Or in her sergeant's bin.
  • Several phoney rape victims convicted.
  • Several hundred actual rapists unconvicted.
  • Two complaints against PC Bloggs which largely focus on "her attitude"
  • A further complaint against PC Bloggs based on property she has destroyed because she got bored of waiting for it to be picked up.
  • About 22,000 assaults on police officers.
  • 2-3 police officers killed on duty.
  • At least two sergeant-changes on PC Bloggs' shift.
  • A new Home Secretary who will pledge to put more officers on the beat.
  • More officers in offices.
  • Another hundred or so criminal offences created.
  • A force will be done under the Human Rights Act.
I can hardly wait.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.


View My Stats
eXTReMe Tracker