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)

Monday, April 30, 2007

Is being rude a criminal offence?

"Public Order" is a funny old thing. A good proportion of my Detections arise from the Public Order Act of 1986, which makes it illegal to be physically or verbally threatening in the street, or to abuse passing Members of Public, or even just to be abusive to no one in particular (if a passing Mop is upset by it).

Despite this straightforward definition, there appears to be some confusion in Blandmore about exactly how to commit a public order offence. Here are some tips:
  1. The word "F**k" always does the trick. Even when said in passing conversation to a friend, this is a very upsetting word and is rightly clamped down on by most police officers, especially those short of their Detection target that week.
  2. Urination. Depending on the force and area in which you live, this can be committed virtually anywhere as long as a police officer spots you doing it. If you are female, urination is even more disgusting and should be treated twice as harshly by the courts.
  3. Waving your arms about. Whilst also a tactic to prevent crime, a judiciously-waved arm can constitute a public order offence if, as stated, the passing officer is short of a Detection.
  4. A raised voice. Regardless of what you are saying and why, shouting is highly antisocial and will not be tolerated in a civilised society.
  5. Asking someone the time. Just don't do it.
I give out an £80 fine for public order every couple of weeks, which is more money than the local Magistrates Court sometimes fine people in a month. Each time I give a ticket, I have "brought someone to justice", whether or not they ever pay the fine. This is an excellent form of policing, as it involves filling out a form containing someone's personal details, filling out a crime report containing the same details, writing a short report and sending an email - which as we all know are four of Peel's principles of policing)*. Sometimes I go to town and give out two or three tickets in a night. You can, of course, still obtain Detections from public order the old-fashioned way: arrest, fight, custody, charge, court case, etc., but that would be missing the point, wouldn't it?

Our local leaders take steps to ensure that we do not forget about the many advantages of public order, and to that end we are encouraged to detect it even in the unlikeliest of places, such as in passing a deserted alleyway, or someone's window. Occasionally a PC will encounter difficulties where no Mop was around to hear the abuse or see the urination, in which case the Crime Auditors will bounce back the Detection. Therefore it is always good practice to put in your statement that you DID see someone looking disgusted in the background, even if you were unfortunate enough not to catch their name before they boarded a bus to the West Country.

So, as you can see, being rude IS a criminal offence, and rightly so: without it we wouldn't have a hope of meeting our weekly target.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

* In case you are wondering, the other five Peelian principles are:
  • Faxing something.
  • Completing a file.
  • Photocopying at least ten pages.
  • Getting a detection.
  • Achieving positive media coverage.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

NCRS'd to death...

Some of my readers may be thinking that I missed the fact that Administrative Detections no longer count as "real" Detections. For the linkily-inept reader, an Administrative Detection is where no one has been brought to justice, but we prove who did it anyway and claim a performance figure for it.

Readers will be relieved to hear that the demise of the Admin Detection has not had the slightest effect on my workload. For starters, I did not get any credit for these before the new rule and that did not stop the Crime Centre from trying to wring them out of me nonetheless. I fully expect that quite rightly we will still be encouraged to achieve these Administrative numbers in preference to filing investigations without any kind of Detection at all. After all, reducing crime cannot be more important than increasing the amount of SOLVED crime.

However, I do think it is a little bit unfair that the Admin Detection has been taken from us in Blandmore and replaced with the far less efficient-sounding "Undetected Detection"* (which is exactly the same). Just think, this was a perfect opportunity for Blandshire to carry out a coup and name it the "Victorious Detection" or the "Keeping You Safe Detection", which would have worked wonders in the local community.

Fortunately Blandshire have not taken away all our fun. Despite now only being able to claim credit for detecting crimes that have actually happened, we received a booklet this week explaining that this should in no way restrict our ability to RECORD crimes, whether they have actually happened or not.

It's all good for our integrity, so I'm not complaining.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.
* I have changed the name of this new Detection, for fear of publicly embarrassing my force.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Give us guns...

Yet again the "too big gun" debate is back. Every few months a Women's spokesperson pipes up about the shocking conditions under which we women are forced to work.

I for one do not thank these supposed "supporters" of my breed. How am I to find a rich husband with these bossy hussies giving us girls a bad name? The fact is, we women just do not want to join departments where we get to swan into incidents, point a gun at someone before swanning back out without completing a jot of paperwork. Nor do we see the attraction of arriving to peel someone off the tarmac and then driving really fast after the person who hit them. What use will our multitasking abilities be there? I just cannot understand what leads women to apply for these departments in the first place...

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Web of Deception

A widespread fraud is taking place. All over Britain people are being promised work, a house and a better standard of living, only to be exploited and left with nothing.

Just today I met one such victim of this escalating crisis. Prescilla was fooled into thinking that there was a job and house lined up for her, and she forked over handfuls of cash on the promise. Now, years on, the house she was promised unaffordable, her local school shut, the job she had been promised has fallen through. She has been left living in fear, in over-crowded conditions.

Prescilla is not a Lithuanian migrant, she was born here. Just why exactly do people want to come?

Forgive me, I start a week of nights tomorrow.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Catch 22: Guilty/Not Guilty

There are two ways that criminals get away with crime in this country.

1) Plan it carefully, strike, make good their escape.
2) Don't bother with much planning, do a botched job, then claim all this as evidence that they never intended to do it anyway.

Of course, our wonderful Criminal Justice System is there to nose out the lying scum. You may remember this rock solid institution from such triumphs as "Sentencing Guidelines" and "The Prison Service". We can soon expect to see these issues handed over to a brand spanking new Ministry for Justice, as part of the government's commitment to splitting things into smaller pieces in order to stick them back together again later.

I do not agree with those critics who worry that the move to break the Home Office into two will cause a breakdown in communication giving rise to blunders. I am instead confident that there will be exactly the same quality of communication that there always has.

To split or not to split: it makes not the blindest bit of difference as long as this hero has anything to do with it.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Monday, April 23, 2007

If you can't take the heat...

Is it just me, or is 21 degrees not especially hot? Albeit I did not run in the marathon, I have this vague idea that marathons used to be run in slightly warmer climes than here without the competitors being warned of imminent death.

I cannot blame the authorities for being cautious, however. The Twenty-First Century is a dangerous place and it is just as well to distribute health warnings every time a Member of Public steps outside. This is why I am delighted to see that the Prime Minister and Michael Schumacher have teamed up to ban road deaths. The pairing could not be more qualified to teach us the dangers of unpredictable U-turns and fast driving.

My own view on road safety is simple: most drivers could not care less about human life and until we take firm legal action against them, our country will not be safe. I propose a form which must be signed by every driver before getting behind the wheel, promising not to be involved in a collision. It could be accompanied by a risk assessment and could be forwarded to another department for checking. Any breach of such a contract would result in a jail-term which truly reflects the recidivist nature of these killers.

THAT should solve the problem.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Cash for Lawyers:

At long last, the police have handed the file in the Cash for Honours case over to the CPS. The CPS will now read it for over a month before making their decision.

I particularly liked the guy on Channel 4 News today who said, "What we have seen here is the police doing their job properly", and the MP who said he "expected the police to turn a blind eye". This appears to be some kind of reference to CORRUPTION.

The truth is that Corruption is alive and well in the Twenty-First Century. I have experienced numerous examples of officers recording crimes unethically in return for kickbacks in the form of Detections. This even extends to them trying NOT to record crime reports where no crime has taken place, when we all know that the only honest thing to do is record one anyway. Worse still, I have seen with my own eyes as an officer took a pen from another's in-tray and USED IT TO SIGN SOMETHING!

Some safeguards against this behaviour are already in place. In Blandmore our crime reports are checked at least three times before being forwarded for checking to the Checking Department. There are a variety of roles responsible for checking, such as Sergeant, Inspector, Auditor, Scrutineer, Crime Desk employee, Crime Centre employee and the like. In the case of domestics or race hate, all of these checks are duplicated by the equivalent roles in the Public Protection Unit. If you do succeed in getting a Detection authorised by ALL of the above, the file itself will be checked by a variety of people.

In the case of the Cash for Honours enquiry, it is currently being checked by a number of people at the CPS. The important thing that these lawyers will be looking out for is not whether there is enough evidence to gain a likely conviction, but whether or not the paperwork has been filled in correctly in order to claim credit for one such conviction. If not, the file will probably find its way back to the OIC's* desk so that he can get the blame for filing it.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.
* OIC = Scapegoat

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be...

You know the world has gone mad when police officers are calling for new employment legislation. Whatever happened to the police sticking to crime and disorder?

So today ACPO has pointed out that we will not hit the government target of 7% ethinc minority officers by 2009 without actively recruiting minorities. For once I cannot criticise ACPO. Anything that highlights the importance of government targets and the methods needed to reach them can only be a Good Thing for this country.

When, oh when will ACPO start calling for new legislation enabling Detections to be recorded out whenever a Member of Public announces that it is "them wot lives next door who done it"? March on the day that we can reduce crime figures simply by creating a law against calling the police. It will not be long before the last insidious traces of Institutional Commonsense are crushed from our nation's police forces.

The horror, the horror.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Pig's Ear.

Following on from my last post where I pointed out how the public do not take enough responsibility for their own thefts and burglaries, I would like to even the score. The fact is that we police do not accept nearly enough blame for the criminal acts of others.

See this example, where South Wales Police fluffed an investigation into a paedophile kidnapping. The paedophile himself was just one cause of the child's ordeal, and it is quite clear that the manufacturers of the car he drove, as well as Swindon Borough Council, should share some blame. Moreover, every officer on-duty at the time should have been fired, if not put before a court and jailed. It just is not good enough that crimes can take place in the area of any police force, and Chief Constables must be held to account for the depraved and criminal urges of others.

It all comes back to our old friend, Accountability. Blaming the offenders just will not do.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Professional Thieves Are Operating...

As the 2007 tax year kicks off in fine style, "Crime Reduction" is the buzzword on the lips of my Senior Managers, replacing last year's "Detection Rate". The emails reading "Just another 20 to get for tomorrow night! Come on people!" have been replaced with ones that say, "Target those burglary hotspots! Come on people!"

I blame this shift entirely on PC Copperfield's book and have therefore forwarded my paperwork to him to sort out. As it is impossible to measure Crime Reduction in Blandmore, due to the policy that every incident has to be crimed no matter what it consists of, it will be hard to come up with a target for us all to aim for this year, but I am sure the SMT will manage.

But sometimes even Blandshire Constabulary thinks of a good Crime Reduction idea. This time it is signs in the local bus and train stations that read "Professional thieves are operating in this area". "Professional" brings up an image of gangs wearing ski masks and carrying automatics, who plan everything on a whiteboard and have blueprints of the pedestrian they plan to mug. It only goes to show the poster campaign must be working, because there haven't been any attacks by these gangs in Blandmore since they went up.

It is also nice to see the police blaming Members of Public for crime more nowadays. Society used to be tolerant of the cretins who own mobile phones and sat-navs, whereas now we come down on them with the weight they deserve.

You might be wondering whether I qualify as a "professional" police officer. I do have a gang, and we do use an awful lot of whiteboards. However I am maintaining my amateur status as I hope to police in the Olympics.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Test of Time

You will be pleased to hear that in the last ten years, Tony Blair has reduced NHS waiting times, tackled anti-social behaviour and built more schools. If you are a teacher, lawyer, social worker, doctor, nurse or civil servant, you will have reaped the benefits of all of these reforms.

Here are five great changes Mr Blair has made to my job:
  • I no longer have to decide whether or not a crime has been committed. There are civilians to do that for me.
  • I get to work at lots of different stations all the time, which means I don't have to see my sergeant every day, or half my team.
  • I can meet paperwork targets merely by talking to a member of public.
  • I can arrest people for anything I want.
  • I don't have to walk anywhere.

Blair: "When you ask the question 'Will our changes stand the test of time?', the answer is they will."

Copyright of PC Bloggs.
In no way should this post be seen as expressing support for any political party. I just think Blair's great, that's all.

Friday, April 13, 2007

It's religion, man...

I think it's disgraceful that the police have invaded the sanctity of a place of worship. The raid on the St Agnes Place Rastafarian temple is just another example of how the police in this country put investigating and preventing criminal acts above respect for religion. If there is one thing we should have learned from the years since Stephen Lawrence, it is that no amount of temple-visiting and diversity training can make up for one such flagrant display of irreligious door-boshing.

I have noted with pleasure that some forces are aiming towards a brighter future. Perhaps one day the British will accept, like other nations have, that if criminals are going to hide behind the shield of religion, it is better just to let them get on with it.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Bloggs' Glossary:

It isn't just police investigations which the media report on in a confusing manner. We all see daily accounts of court cases in the papers, but what is really going on when the reporter refers to glitches or unusual decisions? Here are some straight-talking definitions to assist my reader in deciphering them:

"Due to a problem with expert evidence..."
The doctor/scientist took six months to send through their statement.

"The defendant is pleading not guilty on the grounds of..."
The defendant has a good lawyer.

"A prosecution is not in the public interest."
It's a bit complicated, the CPS can't be arsed and everyone is hoping he'll never do it again.

"A man has been jailed for..."
A man has pleaded guilty to...

"A man has been bailed..."
A man has fled the country.

"A woman has been acquitted."
We couldn't prove it.

"A teacher has been acquitted."
The prosecution was brought to keep the family quiet and they all still think he did it anyway.

No need to thank me.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Not in my...

The old paedophile debate is back. Are we any safer if we know that our neighbour is a paedophile?

I for one think that when someone moves into a neighbourhood they should be put before a local board of residents who will decide whether that person is allowed to live there. This hearing will involve disclosure of their criminal record, lifestyle and DVD collection. They will also have to answer the following questions:
  1. Are you childless?
  2. Do you believe in saving the environment?
  3. Do you vote Tory?
  4. Have you had more than one partner in the last year?
If the applicant answers "yes" to any, he/she is socially unacceptable and possibly a paedophile. In this way we can keep our own neighbourhoods safe without any help from the government. We could also try pilot communities consisting entirely of paedophiles. These could be known as "prisons".

We will of course need legislation to push this idea through. I propose three or four Acts of Parliament at 2-3 year intervals, to give civil servants just enough time to get used to each one before we change it all again.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Make up your minds

I think it is disgraceful that unproven allegations are held on record and show up on CRB checks when people, especially teachers, apply for jobs.

I also think it is disgraceful that people who have been accused of assaults and sexual offences are able to get jobs as teachers with no sign of the allegations on their record.

I can do this because I am a MEMBER OF PUBLIC (or Mop), and therefore able to hold contradictory views with no apparent side-effects.

For example, I don't like it when the police pick on black people, and I also really hate it when the police make me wait for ten minutes while they fill in a form that shows they don't pick on black people. I can't abide the bureaucracy which keeps officers off the streets creating records and files, and I think police officers should be able to account for and justify all of their actions towards me by producing records and files. I can't abide being given traffic tickets for minor infractions like speeding and jumping red lights, when the police should be out there giving tickets to other people who are speeding and jumping red lights. I want firm action taken against hooligans, and I want the police to be sensitive and lenient on youngsters who transgress. But most of all, I want to call the police and be allowed to make allegations against all of my family, friends and neighbours, without my ever having to attend court once!

It's not easy being a Mop.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Policing for some people...

The Conservatives have finally laid out their vision for the UK police force. Well, more accurately, they've laid out a lot of criticisms, waffled about a lot of statistics and made a point of saying that none of it represents a promise or any kind of policy. There's also a lot of stuff which reads suspiciously like a certain White Paper from days of old.

There are some interesting things in the report, at least up until page 66 which is where I had to start eating ice cream to stay alive. In fact, I suspect someone might have been reading a certain someone's book. However, though it might be hard to believe of a generous and soft-spoken soul such as myself, I do have some criticisms of this magnificent document. Continue reading for some thoroughly unconstructive abuse.

Here is an extract, two of the four main reforms proposed by the Tories:

The police’s hands must be untied to give them the discretion they need and to release officers for front-line duties...

The police must be made properly accountable for their performance as well as their conduct...

Is it just me, or does anyone else think that these two objectives will not exactly make for symbiotic harmony? I personally find it easier to exercise proper discretion and judgment when I'm not afraid of being hauled up and fed to the media afterwards. But then I am a stroppy cow, so what do I know.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

The difference between the USA and Britain:

If you don't get why it's funny, see here.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Part Three of My Solicitors' Guide

So far I have explained how to ensure the safety of your client throughout police detention, interview and charge. Now, in the third instalment of my Solicitors' Guide, which national newspapers have described in no way, I will give you tips on protecting your client during the court process.

The important thing to remember is the golden rule: There is no penalty for pleading Not-Guilty. This is because your client can change his/her plea at any time with no likelihood of a higher sentence. In any event, it isn't the solicitor who will go to prison anyway. Alongside the Not-Guilty plea, you should request a series of time-consuming investigative actions from the police without which you will claim your client cannot have a fair trial.

The thinking behind the Not-Guilty plea is that the longer the case goes on for, the higher the chance that one of the following things will occur:

  • The police will lose the file.
  • The prosecution will lose the file.
  • The victim will change their mind.
  • The witnesses will move abroad.
  • The police will fail to do something you asked and you can file for abuse of process.
  • The officer in charge of the case wil leave the force.
  • The defendant might stay clean for a few months and you can use this as a reason for a lower sentence.
  • The magistrates will feel it isn't really fair to convict someone after so long.

If the case does get to court, by no means advise a change of plea before checking the following factors:

  • Has any witness failed to turn up? This can include the guy from the police control room who copies tapes.
  • Are there other trials double-booked for the same courtroom?
  • Can your client produce a medical note stating s/he is ill?
  • Has someone in your cient's family died?
  • Can you produce a mystery witness name at the last minute and say you want them called, for which the case will have to be delayed?

If the answer to any of these is "yes", you can apply for a discontinuance or adjournment. For the reasons why this is a good thing, see above. In the unlucky event that the case goes ahead on the day, only NOW should you read the file and decide whether your cient is so obviously guilty that even a magistrate couldn't help but convict them. In that case, advise a Guilty plea.

Whilst guidelines state that the reduction in sentence for a plea "At the door of the court" (first day of trial) may only be one tenth, in practice magistrates get so excited at the fact this is one of the times they can use their discretion that they will jump at the chance. the sentence wi therefore be no different than if your client had admitted the offence in police interview on Day 1 - but wth a lot more public money wasted in the process. Now that can never be a bad thing!

By the way, thank you for the appreciative comments yesterday - that's more praise than my force has given me in the last three years!


Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Budget

The police take a lot of bashing in this country, but rarely do we hear people singing our praises. I would therefore like to talk about one of the things we do really well: economising. As the good Brits that we are, we take the view that if something ain't broke, don't fix it - and if it is broke, don't fix it. The amount of time and money saved by this approach is immense.

The same theory applies not just to the vending machines in our stations and the doors to our kit-lockers, but to police cars, computers and systems of policing. The result is a Can-Do attitude in our staff such that where a normal person might say, "That chair is not safe to sit on", we will just go right on ahead and sit on it anyway (after all if it is sent away for repair we will have no chair at all).

The reason for our inbred economy is of course obvious: World War Two. To be honest, most of the things that make Britons great can be put down to WW2.

It just goes to show that the British have a deeper understanding of budgeting than other nations. Whereas Germany and America splash out on top-of-the-range kit which will save time and money in the long run, the British understand that there is no point buying expensive systems and equipment such as air-conditioning, because within a year another Superintendent will replace the one who bought it in the first place and will introduce his own money-saving idea. It is far better for these Superintendents to keep away from the budget and let loose their hare-brained schemes in a field where no one cares how much damage they do... such as frontline policing.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The New PACE:

I would like to propose some minor changes to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984:
  1. Instead of having to have grounds to arrest someone, police will just be able to swoop at will.
  2. Suspects can be held indefinitely for no apparent investigative purpose.
  3. The arresting officer will be given a medal on each occasion.
  4. Females will be provided with more appropriate clothing.
  5. Televised confessions will be aired at intervals during the period of detention.
  6. The suspects will have to apologise sincerely to the officers who arrested them.
  7. Release will be sudden, unexpected and unexplained.
Roll on the Iranian Arrest Act 2007...

On a sidenote, I do think that if the British insist on sending young mothers to sea, they deserve nuclear holocaust.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

As promised...

As a seven-year-old child, I was the victim of a most heinous sexual crime.

I was walking through the park one day when a boy a whole year older than me ran towards me and revealed his genitalia, waggling it in my face before running off giggling.

Naturally enough my mother informed the police, who immediately created the requisite crime report. Within hours they were at my door and a reassuringly large pile of paper began to accumulate. Through some superlative investigative skills, my attacker was identified. The crime report was in place, I had been interviewed, we were all ready and willing to go to court. Police prepared to swoop.

Then, the system let me down and my real ordeal began, for on discovering that the felon was only eight years old, the police dropped all charges.

Five messages to the officer concerned, two letters to the Area Commander, three solicitors and one MP later, my fight for justice rages on...

When, oh when will they close this loophole in the law which means we cannot get Detections out of under-10s? You can offer support to my campaign by clicking here.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.
Note: I feel it only fair to say that this scenario did not actually happen to me personally. Just in case you were wondering.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

They come in threes..

No, not alien encounters, but sexual offences. Like buses, rapes can elude you for months and then you get hit with a tidal wave of them over the space of a few days.

The same goes for clusters of other incidents, which generally wait until the hour before you are due to go home before they strike. If you are unlucky enough to work a "quick changeover" shift pattern, whereby your last night shift is followed by a short 4pm-10pm shift, you can expect those six hours to be the busiest you have had all week.

For any budding criminals out there who read my blog, check out your local station's shift pattern and time your attacks for 15-20 minutes before the shift changes. This will mean:
  • It will be ten minutes longer than normal before any police officers are dispatched, while various sergeants weigh up the pros and cons of overtime.
  • If officers attended incidents earlier in the day or made any arrests, they will still be dealing with them and will not be able to come and arrest you.
  • If any police do turn up, they will have no backup.
  • If you are arrested, they will rush you through the booking-in process so they can get home on time. This means you can get your curry and rice sooner.
If you are into crimes like burglary or robbery, another hot tip is to wait until you read about a series of especially violent robberies, murders or rapes in the local press, then strike. CID will be too busy dealing with those and your lesser offences will be passed to Response Officers* like me. I have no time for more than cursory enquiries into such matters and therefore the chances of my catching you are minimal.

You will be pleased to hear that Blandshire Constabulary is in the process of stopping up this loophole: as less and less people are recruited into detective posts due to severe shortages in Response, soon EVERY investigation will be dealt with by us.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.
* Response are the bozos who rush out to you when you dial 999.


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